MAN CITY v Man Utd – PREVIEW: View From A UNITED Blogger

15 Apr

As part of the build up to Saturday’s game, I asked Doron from the Man United blog Stretford End ( a few questions. Here, he covers City’s season so far, who he would like to sign for United, gives his prediction for the game and more.

View From A Blue: How would you assess City’s season so far?

Hard one. I think it has to be deemed a success so far. More than £150m has been spent on new players over the duration of the season and it’s impossible to make that work straight away – a squad needs time to gel. Therefore I think any expectations associated with winning the league this year would have been a bit premature. The aim is surely Champions League qualification and between yourselves and Spurs no one seems to really want it but right now it’s City in 4th and that’s all that counts, so yes, to date it’s been an adequate season.

The disappointing thing in my opinion was the Europa League campaign – obviously it was a source of amusement to myself – but in truth it probably represented a great chance to win a trophy which when it happens will be a weight off many a shoulder. That said if you focus on Europe, the league form may suffer.
There are plenty of individual positives – players who have stood out and shone; yet also plenty who haven’t. Yet, it’s the team, not so much individuals where frustration must lie. There have been too many silly defeats (particularly away from home) and 14 points from 48 dropped at home is also too many to be challenging right at the very top just now, especially given how tight the league is. Similarly City’s results in the ‘big’ games haven’t been up to scratch – I can understand that setting up not to lose can see 1 point won rather than 3 lost but sometimes you have to take the gamble and go for a win. I think part of that ties in with a lack of ability to be flexible in a system – it’s the same criticism I have of Wenger and Arsenal – they only really play one way… there isn’t really a plan B.
Obviously there is still potential for a trophy depending on the Saturday – so all in all, it’s a job well done without being exceptional.

View From A Blue: In a couple of years time, do you see City as serious challengers for the title?

In a word, yes. It may even happen next year. You can’t spend that much money on good footballers and not be a serious contender. The conundrum comes if City qualify for the Champions League next year – how seriously is that competition then taken? Take it too seriously and you can lose sight of the league focus; don’t take it seriously enough, and what’s the point in qualifying?! I think Spurs have shown a bit of naivety in the competition this year but it’s worked for them because of the way they play, City would have to take it much more seriously I think. But yes to title challengers – a few less silly defeats this year and you’d be there already.

View From A Blue: If you could buy one City player, who would it be?

Haha, interesting question. Two ways of answering this – first is who do I think is City’s best player regardless of what United need and the second is based on what area I think United would most need to improve. So regardless of the United squad, if I could take one player it would be probably Silva but with Kompany just behind. In terms of what do United need and who could I have, I actually think I’d take Adam Johnson – United could do with some more wing competition and I think Johnson is a solid footballer.
View From A Blue: Are you confident for Saturday?

No! I tend to become quite pessimistic before big games like this (oddly the exception was the Champions League ties vs. Chelsea). I don’t like it when United are the clearly perceived favourites for such a big game and I do think the loss of Tevez whilst big, has been blown out of proportion a bit. Don’t forget we have a tricky game away at Newcastle on Tuesday night and I’d always prioritise the league ahead of the FA Cup, that said I couldn’t stomach the thought of City going to the final having beaten us!

View From A Blue: Where does winning the FA Cup rank on your list of priorities?

It’s a third but in my book, not by much. The league comes first every single year – there’s no doubt it’s the hardest competition to win of the three. Then comes the Champions League which requires fortune and luck. Then the FA Cup. I’m a big FA Cup fan and I would love to win it, nearly as much as the Champions League actually – the league and cup double is almost the classic success story, in the 90s it was considered the ultimate achievement. It’s a shame we’ve not won it in so long.

View From A Blue: How big a miss will Wayne Rooney be for United, considering the form he’s in?

Huge miss. Just huge. It will be very intriguing to see how Fergie sets us up as I think 4-4-2 with Berbatov and Chicharito will be too attacking given how City will (probably) set up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of Park/Anderson/Giggs playing in that number 10 role that Rooney’s played in lately. But like I hinted before, in many ways it’s not a bad thing he misses it as he’ll be fresh for the Tuesday against Newcastle.

View From A Blue: Who will be the key players from each side?

For City there’ll be a lot of responsibility on one of Balotelli or Dzeko to deliver now Tevez is out but I think the key to winning may come behind them. I’d say Kompany and Yaya Toure are the key men – they provide the spine of the team, are powerful and have had excellent seasons. For United, I guess it depends just what rotation system Fergie goes for. I’d probably pick out Nani and Valencia, I think both could cause problems for City’s full backs. Scholes would be the other one to pick out – he’s not played much lately but still has the ability to control a game and in a more than like 3 man central midfield he could be vital.

View From A Blue: And finally, the big one – your prediction?

I tend to wait until after the pre-match press conference to give any prediction but for now I’ll go with simply a very narrow United win, possibly in extra time or on penalties.


2 Responses to “MAN CITY v Man Utd – PREVIEW: View From A UNITED Blogger”

  1. Bring Bellamy back 15/04/2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Bit biased aint he

  2. rat 15/04/2011 at 11:26 pm #

    I thought he was actually quite good, for a united fan

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