Date: 10th November 2007 at 12:17am
Written by:

What made you support Man City mate?
It’s all my Dad’s fault! I remember at an early age seeing him coming home at night from Maine Road absolutely buzzing following yet another victory and I thought that’ll do for me! The trouble is, as the years wore on, cat kickingly frustrating Saturday evenings became more frequent for both of us and “Typical City” mantra was headshakingly knocked about. We are still hoping against hope that a trophy will someday soon find it’s way to Eastlands with sky blue and white ribbons on it. Maybe Frank Shinawatra and Svennis can realise that dream for us.

Are you happy with how your season is going so far?
Bewildered but delighted! Nobody in football who witnessed events at The City Of Manchester Stadium this summer would have seriously expected City to be third in the Premier League on merit by the last firework on Bonfire Night, but we are! I have to doff my flat cap to The Iceman for gelling a side comprising of young, hungry internationals with our Academy lads so quickly and effectively. Of course, none of this would have happened without Frank buying our club. The opposition to his takeover and Svennis’s appointment from some Blue quarters in the summer has all but evaporated. As a result, I see a club and it’s fans more together and focused than for a very long time.

The cynical would say that Sven only went to City because you had money, would you agree – either way how do you think he is doing?
Well, money talks in the Murdoch ruled Premier League, we all know it, even if that is so hard to accept for so many of us long serving fans who have stayed the course. Realistically yes, of course Sven is here because of Frank’s money. Yet he has also subscribed to the vision Frank sold him about City and refers to being “part of an exciting project.” Both Sven and Frank’s public commitment to the MCFC Academy have been warmly greeted by all Blues and the manager continues to put faith in our graduates. It’s also worth noting that Frank and Sven spent less money on new players in the summer at City than Quinny’s consortium and Royston Vasey Keane did at Sunderland…and don’t get me started on The Glazers hedge company backed spending for Taggart and the rags!!
Finally, Sven exudes calm intelligence and cool authority, which has helped revitalise our club’s worldwide public image.

How do you rate his signings so far?
In a couple of words, Elano = Excitingly Essential, Corluka = Comfortably Classy, Petrov = Potent Potential, Geovanni = Gobsmackingly Good, Garrido = Green Gravitas, Bojinov = Bursting Berserker, Bianchi = Battling Bigman, Fernandes = Future Fighter

Many Blues would like to see Geovanni and Bianchi get solid runs in the side. Bianchi won every header when he came on against Sunderland and Geovanni is a class act. Bojinov is an exciting prospect but was cruelly injured against the rags. Whether or not we see him play this winter is another story.

Will he need more in January – and will he get them?
Sven has earmarked a midfield hardman and I agree we need that bit of extra steel. At times we look a little lightweight. If Bianchi or Mpenza can get going we may not need a striker. I would also like to see a goalkeeper with proven Premier League experience between the sticks. Chelski’s Cudicini would get my vote although for the hell of it, why not the great Buffon??!! Money does not appear to be an issue at this stage, but long may it continue to be sensibly used. However, we must spend if we are to realistically push for European competition. If we remain in the top six then players will be attracted to The Sven Revolution. – Via their sodding agents, of course.

Who is the City danger man that Pompey should watch?
Difficult to say in the Fratton Park cauldron. How will our new players react to the intensity your crowd can generate? If Elano gets free, then he can be lethal. Same goes for Petrov. Watch out for his left foot, it’s got a rocket in it! I would like to see Micah Richards get a midfield run out this weekend, if fit. One of these days his powerful box-to-box runs will result in a goal.

How do you reckon City will go this season?
If we can stay relatively injury free right through until January with a gelled squad, then with signings to bolster the team, there is no reason why we cannot become an established force and go for Europe. Christmas and early January will see an intensive period of games and our relatively small squad will be tested to the limit.

What about Pompey?
Dare I say it, but for me Portsmouth have defied all expectations too. You now have the strength and backbone in your side to qualify for Europe.

If you could take any Pompey player from our squad and put him in yours, who would it be and why?
I would have Sylvain Distin’s speed and athleticism back tomorrow and not just because he was once a Blue. David James would also have provided further strength to our defence. I especially like the look of Niko Kranjcar and his dangerous set pieces. Above all else, Pompey look to have a collective belief and a team spirit that City must match.

Go on – who is going to win, Pompey or Man City?
The pundits with far more experience than me are going with a closely fought narrow win for Pompey. So I say bollocks to that, and predict a hell raiser of a 3-4 er, 3-2er or a 4-3 er. – It could go either way and probably will…

Questions answered by Vital Man City’s Johnny Baguette.


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