Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday September 26 2008
In the run up to the Wigan Athletic Vs Manchester City game at the JJB this Sunday I managed to grab a view words with Vital City regular Oliverblue.
We spoke about City, the Latics and Sundays game, lets see what was said:
1.How's your summer been, missed the football or happy with a break?
No, never happy with the summer break!
It`s one excuse less not to get dragged out shopping by the missus - ha ha! Was really looking forward to the season starting up again, especially due to the way we let the last campaign fall apart. It`s great to be back!
2. How long have you been a City supporter Oliverblue?
Been a City supporter for all of my long suffering 34 years!
Started going to Maine Rd when I was eight, and my first match was to witness us get relegated (remember David Pleat`s dance across the pitch when Luton sent us down?.
We`ve witnessed some dark times over the years, but hopefully all that is about to change (we are ignoring Wednesday`s match!).
3. Have you been pleased with your preseason?
Pre-season was tense for a while, with a fair amount of uncertainty around the club.
SGE was sacked, Dr T had his funds frozen, and we were wondering if any transfers would come in. The media was having a field-day at our expense, and there was even rumours of bankruptcy.
Thankfully, Hughes and the team remained calm despite all the unrest, but the football couldn`t come soon enough with all the off-the-field turmoils. All that seems a million miles away now!
4. Can you believe your luck with the new owners?
Honestly, no, I don`t think any of us can.
We went from threats of alleged bankruptcy to the richest club on the plant overnight. It`s still all surreal to think that we are in a position to bid for any player on the planet (whether they would come is another story!).
The aspects which please most City fans are the fact that the new owners have faith in Hughes and his team, and they are going to let Sparky call the shots in the transfer market.
Their keenness to maintain our superb academy successes is also very encouraging. The future looks very bright for us, but we are all keeping our feet firmly on the ground!
5. How's life under Hughes?
He has installed discipline and work / team ethics which were missing at times last season. His man management skills appear second to none, and the way he dealt with the adverse publicity in his early tenure was exemplary. He also has an eye for a signing too!
On the whole, we`re made up with him, and so is the new Chairman apparently.
6. Are you happy with your summer signings?
We were all getting a little concerned at the lack of transfer activity coming into August, coupled with Dr T`s money worries, but all that has been forgotten. Hughes has bought brilliantly!
SWP, Kompany, Robinho, Zabaleta, Jo - they have all been fantastic additions. With the new influx of money, there is also a heightened sense of interest in who will be joining is January too!
7. Who should the Latics fans watch out for in the City team?
I suppose the media circus will be focusing on Robinho, and to a degree, rightly so.
Equally influential though has been the return of SWP.
The one I would suggest you watch out for would be Vincent Kompany, mainly because you may not have heard too much about him. He`s a big, strong, athletic midfielder, capable of influencing the game, at the tender age of 22! A wonderful signing, and someone the Premiership is about to become very familiar with!
8. What are your aspirations for City this new season?
For me, I feel all the talk of a Top 4 finish may be a little premature this season, but I guess a lot will depend on what happens in the January transfer window. Next season - quite possibly!
I think we are in a position now for a Top 6 slot, and a decent FA cup run would be most welcome also (not the Carling Cup after Wednesday`s debacle!).
We are also hoping for a prolonged spell in Europe, but we are well aware it`s a tough competition to succeed in.
9. How do you feel the Latics will do this season?
I`m not just saying this, but I genuinely don`t think you`ll struggle this year. As you may well expect from an ex- centre half, Bruce has made you very difficult to beat, and you have the players that can influence games in Heskey, Valencia, and Palacios.
The signing of Zaki may also prove a shrewd bit of business, especially if you can get 10-15 goals from him. There is plenty of dross down there that will see you comfortable - in my opinion. Expecting a mid-table finish from you (so no pressure!).
10. If you had to pick one of the current Latics players to be in your squad who would it be and why?
It would have to be Antonio Valencia. He has the ability and pace which would benefit most Premier League squads, hence the interest you guys have had about him from other clubs.
11. Who do you think will finish in the top 4 and bottom 3 this season?
Realistically, the self-proclaimed Top 4 will finish in those slots.
Probably Chelsea - Man Yoo - Arsenal - Liverpool in that order.
We`ll hopefully be challenging one of those positions next season - this one MAY be too soon for us. As for the bottom, I can only see it being three from four: Hull - West Brom - Stoke - Bolton.
Hull have bagged eight points already, so maybe they will scramble to safety.
12. Prediction for Latics Vs City?
The majority of City fans I know (me included!) are expecting a tough game (we`ve not beaten you buggers in the Prem yet have we?).
I just feel we may have too many attacking options for you to contain, so I am going to go for City to win 2-1.
Best of luck for the season Wigan, starting on Monday of course!
Thanks for the chat Oliverblue really enjoyed that, pity about your prediction though, dont be too disappointed
Vital Latics - Talking to City
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Date:Friday September 26 2008
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