Spyin' Kop: Manchester City (Away) 30/12/07

Posted by -HH- on December 30, 2007, 12:24:40 AM

As games go, they won't come much bigger for Liverpool this season. Tomorrow afternoon when we travel to the City of Manchester stadium we will be vying to take advantage of the uncharacteristic slip-up from the other Mancs today. A win would push us to within 7 points of them (and 9 of Arsenal) with a game in hand still on both. A defeat would probably be it for the season in pursuit of the league. As for Man City, they were a side with a 100% home record (until Blackburn got a draw there on Thursday) and will therefore be a tough nut to crack. If we can be the first side to get a win there it may even give us the confidence we need to believe we can go to places like Old Trafford, The Emirates and Stamford Bridge and get the points that in all 3 cases we should have taken at Anfield. A fascinating encounter awaits, but give me a dull 1-0 victory with a deflected goal right now and I'll snap your hand off.

Manchester City vs Liverpool F.C.


Date: 30/12/07
Venue: City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester
Kick Off: 4pm
Referee: Uriah Rennie (Rennie? He gives me fucking indigestion!!)

MCFC Club Honours - Stolen from Hinesy's past Spyin' Kop, including the sly dig at the end which made me smile

European Cup Winners' Cup: 1970

Premier League Best Season: 2004-05 finished 8th

Football League Champions: 1936-37, 1967-68
Football League Runners-up: 1903-04, 1920-21, 1976-77

Division One Champions: 2001-02
Division One Runners-up: 1999-2000

Division Two Champions (original): 1898-99, 1902-03, 1909-10, 1927-28, 1946-47, 1965-66
Division Two Runners-up (original): 1895-96, 1950-51, 1988-89
Division Two Play Off Winners: 1998-99

FA Cup Winners: 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969
FA Cup Runners-up: 1926, 1933, 1955, 1981

League Cup Winners: 1970, 1976
League Cup Runners-up: 1974

FA Charity Shield Winners: 1937-38, 1968-69, 1972-73

Full Members Cup Runners-up: 1986

FA Youth Cup Winners: 1986

Central League Champions: 1977-78, 1986-87, 1999-2000
Only team in Manchester Award 1792- present day.

Spyin Kop: This week's answers come from http://forum.mancityforum.co.uk/ - cheers for some decent, knowledgeable (and most importantly quick, since I forgot I was doing this) answers.

SK: How do you feel your season is going so far? Have your expectations changed since the season began?

Benny: Fantastic really.  This time last year we were in the bottom three or near as damn it, after the takeover and cash injection I said I'd be happy with top 10 finish, which is still true, however, being where we are approaching the window makes me feel we may be able to get a UEFA spot, which would be fooking awesome.

American Gloryhunter: Far better than expected; didn't expect anything but mid-table at the beginning of the season, now I wouldn't settle for less than European football of some sort.

SK: Sven Goran Eriksson - dullard, football genius or some combination of the two?

Benny: God.

American Gloryhunter: Great club manager (record speaks for itself), playboy, occasional prat.

SK: Were you happy with Eriksson's appointment when it was announced or did his spell as England manager put you off at the time?

Benny: I can't remember really-the England thing was a bit shit (though McClown has put that well into perspective).  I was impressed he came 'cos he obviously is still a huge name, and pre-takeover I was thinking we would get Paul Simpson or Billy Davies.

American Gloryhunter: At the time, wasn't too hopeful.  My mind had been poisoned against Sven by the journos.  Plus I still liked Pearce, even after the horror season that was.

SK: The corresponding fixture last season is percieved by many reds as possibly the dullest game of football ever witnessed. Can you remember any duller?

Benny: You guys are spoiled.  We have had many many many duller games.  See most West Brom v City gams of recent history for examples.

American Gloryhunter: Definitely, but I'd rather not think about it.

SK: Do you expect similar fare this season or are City likely to come out to try and win the game?

Benny: I think we'll give it a go, and why not *dons Barry Norman specs*

American Gloryhunter: It's ridiculous to expect the City of last year.  We'll create our fair share of chances.

SK: Dietmar Hamann - I know a lot of City fans weren't impressed last season and thought he was past it, has your view changed at all this season?

Benny: He's a revelation this season.  To be fair last year he was either injured or Pearce tried to play him as a box to box type midfielder.  This year for me he's arguably our best player, and Elano, Petrov or City wouldn't have had any of the joy we have had without Didi's work. Top drawer.

American Gloryhunter: I'm one of Didi's biggest supporters on the forum.  This year especially, he's been great at picking the right passes, keeping possession, and drawing fouls when he's out of options.  Conservative, but that's what he should be in the position he plays.

SK: Do you have any youngsters coming through the ranks that we might not have heard about? (bear in mind that Sturridge scored a brace against us in the Youth Cup Final so we've most definitely heard of him!)

Benny: Loads.  Miller and Evans on loan in the championship to name but two.  I would confidently say we have the best youth academy set up in the league.

American Gloryhunter: Kelvin Etuhu has looked extremely promising on our right wing this year.  Shaleum Logan could be a solid left back in the future.

SK: If you could choose between City coming second in the league with Man U winning it or City coming third and Man U fifth, which would you choose?

Benny: That's a no-brainer.  We get champs league in either scenario and one involves Utd winning, one them being 5th.  Take a guess.  Not much difference being 2nd or 3rd for us.

American Gloryhunter: The latter.

SK: Which of your new signings has most impressed you this season?

Benny: The obvious choice would be Elano, but Corluka for me gives him a run for his money.  I also really like Petrov as an out and out winger.

American Gloryhunter: Corluka.  Elano's the obvious choice, but Corluka had been solid all year.  Versatile defender who can play centre back, right back, or defensive midfielder (as of the Blackburn game).  Really smooth player, great ball control.

SK: We all saw Petrov have a blinding first half against Blackburn - poor defending or is he always like that?

Benny: He is, but can be lazy at times, he ain't so hot at tracking back.  That said I adore what he does.

American Gloryhunter: He's been VERY streaky so far.  Some blinders, some anonymous matches.

SK: And Bianchi's miss, amongst the worst in history?

Benny: Right up there with Rosenthal's mate. (SK wonders why people keep reminding me of that (which was my first ever game) this week)

American Gloryhunter: I could find you worse, but nobody's making excuses for the lad.

SK: What line-up do you expect Sven to put out against us tomorrow?

Benny: The one in the papers. Hart, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Vassell, Hamann, Ireland, Petrov, Elano, Bianchi.  Mebbe. (On investigation, SK discovered this Mebbe lad is a bit of a secret weapon for them. Deffo one to watch out for.)

American Gloryhunter: Our best side, excluding Johnson, who's out to injury.  Probably:

                    Hart

Corluka-Richards-Dunne-Garrido

          Hamann-Fernandes

Ireland-------Elano-------Petrov

-------------Bianchi--------------


SK: And what about Liverpool, are there any players you particularly fear?

Benny: Torres is for my money the best striker in the world right now.

American Gloryhunter: Gerrard always.  Especially if Liverpool are down late.  Torres has looked good this year, but I feel our backs can cope with him better than our midfield can with Gerrard.

SK: Where do you expect both teams to finish in the league this season?

Benny: You'll be 3rd or 4th, we'll (hopefully) be 5th or 6th

American Gloryhunter: Liverpool 4th; City 5th

SK: What about your new owner? A breath of fresh air or does his slightly shady past worry you?

Benny: Be honest-who has that amount of money and not a shady past?  Think Abramovich is clean?  Or Hicks and Gilette for that matter (not that they have actually put any money into Liverpool yet).

American Gloryhunter: Although he's contributed a lot of money, brought about success, changed City supporters' outlook, etc., I worry.  I wouldn't want a chairman who wasn't a lifelong supporter of my club because it becomes money first, club second and the club identity is distorted.  That's what's happened here.  A number of Asian players signed who lack talent but hold marketing potential.  MCFC isn't a commodity in my view, but I feel it's been treated as such lately.  However, you can't undo history, so as long as he's here, might as well enjoy the success.

SK: Finally, care to predict the score? (bear in mind that RAWK users will relentlessly quote you if you predict something stupid.)

Benny: Breaks my heart, but 2-1 to you.

American Gloryhunter: 1-1.  I think it'll be scrappy.


Benny's postscript: I lived in Liverpool for 5 years and have a very soft spot for you, despite the fact you always beat us.  I hope we dick you tomorrow, but if you won the league I'd have a cheeky drink with you.  All the best mate.

Little touch of class from the more likeable Mancunian team. I'd like to extend a similar greeting, whilst also wishing for the real Mancs to get a dicking tomorrow. May the best team win.

© -HH- 2007

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