Spyin' Kop - Manchester City (A)

Posted by Acton Nick on October 2, 2008, 10:41:08 AM

Manchester City v Liverpool - Sunday 5th October


Manchester City Honours
Football League Champions
1936/37, 1967/68
Football League Runners-up
1903/04, 1920/21, 1976/77
Division One Champions (New)
2001/02
Division One Runners-up (New)
1999/00
League Division Two Champions (Old)
1898/99, 1902/03, 1909/10, 1927/28, 1946/47, 1965/66
League Division Two Runners-up (Old)
1895/96, 1950/51
F.A.Cup Winners
1904, 1934, 1956, 1969
F.A.Cup Runners-up
1923, 1933, 1955, 1981
League Cup Winners
1970, 1976
League Cup Runners-up
1974
European Cup Winners Cup Winners
1969/70
F.A.Charity Shield Winners
1937/38, 1968/69, 1972/73
F.A.Charity Shield Runners-up
1934/35, 1956/57, 1969/70, 1973/74
Full Members Cup Runners-up
1985/86
F.A. Youth Cup Winners
1986, 2008

This weekend sees us make the short trip down the East Lancs Road (insert other navigational cliches here) for a Sunday game against Manchester City. Under the promising management of Mark Hughes, and with that most alien of concepts, overseas owners prepared to back their manager, there is a wave of optimism sweeping through East Manchester at the moment. Which makes a nice change from the usual drizzle.
 
Unlike that horrible feeling of nausea you often get when visiting Old Trafford, trips to the Eastlands tend only to bring out feelings of extreme drowsiness amongst Reds. In 4 visits there under Rafa there have been a grand total of 2 goals, 1 for each team. In fact it's so long since we scored there (November 2005) that our scorer that day was a confident, goalscoring full back going by the name of John Arne Riise. How times change. Having said that, it's even longer since City scored against us at Eastlands - a last minute winner from Kiki Mussampa back on Grand National Day in April 2005. The last 2 games have been very quiet 0-0 draws but this time it could well be different. With the Redmen riding high in the league and Europe and with City's free-scoring samba forward line of Jo, Robinho, Elano, Irelandinho and Wrighto Phillipo this game looks more than capable of living up to its billing.
 
I don't think I'm speaking out of turn to say that the majority of City fans prove that not all Mancunians are vitriolic, humourless drones who's idea of 'banter' is to spend 90 minutes trying to provoke a reaction out of you. In a refreshing contrast to the shit answers we got for the United Spyin’ Kop we had loads of good answers to the questions – apologies to those who had their answers ruthlessly edited by my power trip. Thanks to Ric and Wheelsy for co-ordinating, and the good people at www.bluemoon-mcfc.co.uk for answering the questions. Here's to a decent game on Sunday...

How has the season been shaping up so far?
California Blue: So So - Lofty expectations are slowly being realised as delusions of grandure. We've got a new team together and they're still getting to know each other. If we can stay in the euro/chumps 4th spot mix till crimbo we can push on from there...hopefully....this is city we're talking about, remember!

Matty: Bizarrely!!! We've won 3 and lost 3, with some truly excellent performances (Pompey at home was the best we've played in a long, long time) and some uninventive displays (Wigan away, although some seriously shocking refereeing decision costs us here). I'm a little disappointed with the number of defeats so far, although many teams will lose to Chelsea and struggle at Villa Park this season.

Jimmy Grimble: It's been really exciting for everyone associated with City over these past couple of months. From the excitement of Shauny returning, to waking up on transfer deadline day depressed to think the only thing we'll hear about City is Corluka going to Spurs, to then hear we're the Richest Club in the World (Officially!) & signing one of the best player's in the World, Robinho.

Wheelsy OSC Sydney: It's definitely been a strange one, and we're only six matches in. At the start of the season, we had two poor losses against Aston Villa in the league and FC Midgetland in Europe. Players were about to be sold behind the manager's back. The manager threatened to walk. We were apparently skint and weeks away from administration. Then come the beginning of September and the rest is history. Can't wait to see what the other 32 weeks have in store!


What are your expectations for this season? Have they changed from day one?
Goatfeeder 100: Yes they have. After the Villa game I thought we would be similar to last season, but now we have this takeover and a whole host of new ambitions, my thoughts for this season are thus; we definitely have to be looking at the top 6. As far as the top 4 is concerned (which for my money is a bit unrealistic this season), we have to be nailed into the top 6 and still in Europe by January. Then if we sign more players then maybe we can have a good go at tackling the supposed weak links in the top 4, which are of course Arsenal and Liverpool. Top 6 has to be the aim though.

Matty: I expect/hope for a (legitimate) UEFA Cup qualification spot come May. This is pretty much what I hoped for pre-season too, although my expectation level has increased in the last month or so

Dobsy87: We should be looking to finish 6th ahead of Portsmouth and Everton. Villa's team is a year ahead of us in terms of development so I can only see them finishing 5th.

Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants: To a point yes. The lack of money available to strengthen the side pre season was a worry and without wanting to gloat, that problem has gone. However one of our best chances of a cup has gone due to a poor performance at Brighton in the League Cup.


Having experienced highs, lows and now potentially sky-highs under Shinawatra and ADUG what are your views on foreign owners in the Premier League?
Masterwig I don't understand the fuss. Plenty of British owners have destroyed their clubs yet only foreign owners get stick. Who would you rather have, Peter Risdale or that Doncaster chairman who burned the club down or Randy Learner?

Nixon the bike thief: Inevitable, likely to become even more commonplace and if it attracts the best from around the world to complement any British talent then good for the consumer

Dobsy 87: The same as my views on English owners. Dave Whelan has had a few high profile complaints about bilionaires like Abramovich and ADUG inflating the transfer market, but he wasn't complaining when Wigan were overpaying in the lower leagues to get to the Premiership. They're all the same.
 
Blue Jim: I couldn’t care, those that tend to complain are supporting teams who have had bad experiences or are jealous.

Marvin: No problem. What matters is their commitment to the club, not their nationality.


As you may be aware, there has been a bit of a saga around our (currently non-starting new stadium). You've been at your new home for a few season's now. How do you find it? Were you sad to leave Maine Road or did you regard it as a necessity? How does the atmosphere compare to Maine Road?
Matty: I was both sad to leave Maine Road but also resigned to the inevitability of it. We had outgrown Maine Road, the capacity wasn't large enough and the facilities weren't good enough for us to push on to the next level as a club. The City of Manchester Stadium is a great stadium, the views from all seats are pretty good which is the main thing. The atmosphere isn't what it was at Maine Road, however it's not bad in certain areas. I sit fairly close to the away fans and the volume is certainly higher in this area of the ground. Overall I think the move was a good thing, although it does bring I lump to my throat when I drive past Maine Road and see the beginnings of a building site for housing, nearly 30 years of my memories have been bulldozed away, it's a little sad.
 
Piston Blue: It probably was a necessity but I was gutted all the same, still miss the old place. COMS is nice and clean and has big wide concourses, and loads of leg room etc, but it's not home. Not to me anyway. And it still takes 20 mins to get a pint of babypiss

Charliebigspuds: Atmosphere isn’t as good, I think you lose your soul when you leave your spiritual home, we are just beginning to get it back. I love the old stadiums, Anfield being one of the best, You wont realise what you've lost until you move.

Pyschodelic:  Maine Road was magic to me as a kid. I'll never forget the place. The new stadium's great but it lacks the character old grounds have. I know the club are always trying to make it City's home, new sign at the front for example but the council don't help with still leaving sportcity roadsigns up rather than put Manchester City signs up. Just something that bugs me personally.


We both share a healthy hatred of all things Manchester United. What is it about them that you most dislike (please try and limit to just one point if you can!)
Masterwig: The all-encompassing arrogance.

Goatfeeder 100: Everything.

Matty: Arrogance. They seem to feel they have a God given right to win everything, when they don't it's someone else’s fault, when they do the 'supporters' (a term I use loosely as 'customers' would be more apt) show a complete lack of humility. For over 30 years they didn't win the title, then they fluke it and manage to get a very good side just when football became a cash cow. Bring the Premiership in 10 years early, in 1982, and Liverpool would be the ones with 10 league titles (or whatever they've got). United just fluked the timing and now, because they've creamed a fortune off their 'success', they're here to stay. I hate them and everything about them. I don't want them to win a coin toss, let alone another trophy.
Moomba: The way the media pander to them.


What do City fans think of Mark Hughes? Happy to have a promising young manager in charge or wary of the apprenticeship he served under the Dark Knight?
Nixon the bike thief: Very happy to have one of Britains top young managers and his apprenticeship under Taggert is probably unfortunately a bonus due to his success :o(

Goatfeeder 100: Decent enough but I am not sure he will be the best option long term. He thinks players like Stephen Ireland are integral to our future success. Whilst Stevie is a very good player, he is not of the required level to take us to the next level and I fear Hughes might be too reliant on players of this calibre to move us up to the next level. It is just a fact that we need players of Robinho's calibre and class to help us compete with the big boys. Hughes has a bottomless pit to work with now in terms of money so we will see the height of his ambition in the transfer windows, if not in January then certainly in the summer. I am definitely prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt but the jury is out for me.

Wheelsy OSC Sydney: A lot of City fans were against the appointment of Hughes, because he was, quite simply, a Rag bastard. But there is no doubt he is one of the best managers in the business, and under the circumstances, I would not change Hughes for any other current club manager.

Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants: I was a bit worried at first by the appointment but he has instilled discipline to the dressing room and is quite savvy when it comes to the media. He's also proved that he can spot a player with the signing of Vincent Kompany. The fans haven't warmed to him as much as they did with Sven and that may take some time, along with a couple of derby wins and a trophy!!


City have produced a massive number of promising young players in recent years? Who's 'the next big.thing' coming through the ranks that we might not know about?
Masterwig: Well I don't watch the reserves so I couldn't say really. Vladimir Weiss was excellent in the Youth Cup final but most people who watch him in the youth team and reserves say he is nowhere near ready for the first team. Danny Sturridge has already played for the first team and looks a good prospect.

California Blue: Vlad Weiss - Young Slovak - Very skillful right winger

Goatfeeder 100: Kieran Trippier is a quality young full back in the mould of Ashley Cole. Slight, quick and energetic. Just a shame he is a right back because Zabaleta is going to be the mainstay in that position. Other than that, Vlad Weiss is a tricky winger and could be quite useful in the future.

N_mcfc: Ched Evans will be a star. Sturridge will be a good player but most fans are expecting way too much from him. Ermm, Vladamir Weiss has the potential to be a star too.


What do you think you're starting line up will be?
Nixon the bike thief:
Hart
Zabaleta
Richards
Dunne
Garrido
Kompany
Ireland
Wright-Phillips
Petrov
Robinho
Jo

California Blue:
 -----------------Hart----------------
-------Zab - Dunne -Micah - Garrido
---------------Kompany-------------
-----------Ireland-----Elano-----------
------SWP---------------------Robinho
------------------Jo------------------

Goatfeeder 100:
Hart

Zabaleta Richards Dunne Ball

Kompany Hamann

SWP Ireland Robinho

Jo

N_mcfc:
................Hart
Zab...Dunne....Micah...Garrido
.......Johnson/Elano...Komapny
SWP.........Ireland.........Robino
..................Jo


Who do you think is your most important player(s)?
Nixon the bike thief: Any from Ireland, Kompany, SWP or Robinho depending on how they perform on the day

California Blue: Ireland - he's doing most of the running and if he plays it'll allow the holy trinity to shake their collective money makers.

Goatfeeder 100: Kompany will be integral to shielding our back 4 enough to allow Robinho the room to show why he is one of the best players in the world.

Wheelsy OSC Sydney: On current form, it has to be Steven Ireland. The man has had his fair share of problems, most of them mental, but he has been a revelation this season. Oh, and some bloke named Robinho, he goes okay.


Your worst player(s)?
Masterwig: We need a new left back. Garrido and Ball aren't good enough for where we want to go.

Nixon the bike thief: Danny Mills (He's officially still ours and the others are of course all Gods ;o) )

Goatfeeder 100: Garrido. Nothing against him really, just he isn't a full back but that's where he gets played, and he is just a very very weak link. Left back definitely has to be addressed in January.
Moomba: Whoever is playing left back at the moment.


Apart from Blue Moon, do you have any favourite chants or songs and perhaps any that require an explanation?
Masterwig: I like 'Istanbul we are coming'. The optimism of the chant contrasts well with all the moaning.

Charliebigspuds: We’re not really here,like the fans of the Invisible man. we started singing this when we were in league 2 as a reference to how we should never have gone that low.

Jimmy Grimble: At the minute, it's got to be 'Istanbul'. As others have said, it shows the ambition of the fans & just generally a feel good song.

Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants: The new Istanbul chant is good and we've shamelessly nicked your Carlos Tevez chant...maybe we could all sing it together!!


Where do you expect City and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?
Dobsy 87: City 6th, Liverpool 2nd.

Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants: Liverpool 3rd, City 5th.

Wheelsy OSC Sydney: Both team I would say will finish top six, Liverpool a place above us.

Piston Blue: Liverpool top 4, city somewhere below that


Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs? Say something that happened to you that day or a decision you disagreed with?
Goatfeeder 100: The game where we beat you 2-1 when Gaudino scored a brilliant headed winner, the 2-2 that saw us go down, and Musampa's last minute winner against you at our place. Robbie's last minute equaliser a couple of years ago. As far as disagreeing with a decision, I think I am not alone in taking issue with Alan Ball (RIP) telling our players to keep the ball in the corner when we needed to score to stay up. I found that a slightly unusual offering of advice.

Matty: Memories of City v Liverpool invariably end up with me being disappointed! You've had a superior side to us for decades so the results have generally gone your way. I remember a few years ago Michael Owen was having a tough time and hadn't scored for a couple of months, you came to Maine Road and he scored a hattrick. That's the kind of hospitality/charity we like to run at City!!!
 
Dobsy 87: The 1-0 win when Musampa scored the winner: I think this was 2005. Benitez didn't play a strong team at all and even though he was trying to win the CL I thought it was a little disrespectful given that you had no guarantee of 4th place, so I was glad we won.

Marvin: City losing 4-0 and 6-0 in successive games at Anfield. League Cup tie, followed by Premiership game. Rosler threw his boots into the crowd near where I was sat.


Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?
California Blue: Torres - As long as my farts smell (which will pretty much outlast religion) that lad will score goals

Goatfeeder 100: Gerrard and Torres. None of your other players worry me at all.

Matty: The obvious one, Fernando Torres. His derby day brace proves he's back from his injury, and he's a handful for any defence. I'll hold my hands up and say, prior to last season, I though you'd overspent dramatically on Torres. He'd never been prolific at Atletico Madrid, and I wondered how he'd cope with the extra pace/strength required to suceed in the Premiership. Shows why I'm sat behind my desk earning a pittance and Benitez is at Liverpool cashing in those big cheques!!

N_mcfc: Keane - Always scores against us...always.


There have been a number of quality players who have played for both Liverpool and City in recent years: Robbie Fowler, Nicolas Anelka, Didi Hamann, Paul Walsh, Steve McMahon etc.
We'll draw a rather large veil over Paul Stewart...but what are your views on the latest man to have played for both sides, Albert Riera? What was your opinion of him when he played at Eastlands and do you think he'll be a success at Liverpool?

Goatfeeder 100: Riera was average when he played for us but he has obviously blossomed into a very respectable player, he was outstanding in the UEFA Cup final for Espanyol against Sevilla a couple of years ago so he has obviously developed well in recent years.

Matty: He always looked skillful at City, but lacked the pace I thought he'd need to suceed. He was here under Pearce and he always wanted his players, regardless of position, to be looking defensively first and foremost. That's NOT Riera. Therefore he was never going be kept on at City after his 12 month loan. He looks a much improved player now, but whether he'll be a success is debatable still. If you're drawing a veil over Paul Stewart I simply insist we are allowed to do the same with Steve McManaman!! He may have been a great player for you, but he was slightly less than useless for us!

Jimmy Grimble: I liked Riera. He was a player with good technical ability in an otherwise poor squad. It was a shame we couldn't afford to keep him. Although, he is already showing how dangerous he is/can be, with some good runs & balls played through. However, personally I don't think he is better than Babel. I have never understood why Babel doesn't get a regular place in your team, becuase he always seems a danger/threat whenever he comes on.

Marvin: Very poor. Don't think he will be starting in your team by the New Year.


Finally, in the last 4 seasons the games at the Eastlands have been a binary lovers' dream: 1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0 . Will this weekend be any different? Care to predict the score?
Wheelsy OSC Sydney: The difference between this season and seasons prior is that both sides now have a strikeforce to be reckoned with. I can't see City being involved in too many more scoreless draws. Liverpool though are in nice form and will be hard to stop. Manchester City 1 Liverpool 2.

Charliebigspuds: 2-2

Jimmy Grimble: I can't see it being much different to be honest. Could go either way, but should be a good game. Just depends who performs best on the day. However, I am going to stick my neck out on the line & go for a 2-1 City win. You've always got to back your team even if you don't think they can win or if you support Accrington Stanley and you're playing Barcelona. Anyways, good luck for the game (but not too much yeah!). Hope to see you on our board soon to have some friendly hearted banter. Let’s just hope we don't have a shite ref who makes dodgy decisions and lets the game flow

Psychodelic: Not too sure this time. Depends on the mood with our lot and if the ref lets the game flow. I think we're due some luck against you so who knows. More than likely a Liverpool win but you never can tell. My heart says City 2 Liverpool 1, head sees it the other way round!!

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