In today’s edition of view I speak to Manchester City fan Richard. I met Richard many years ago through my Dad. I’ve played football with him once or twice which is always nice way to meet someone.
Richard is a lifelong City fan and was there supporting his team during the club’s dark days. He certainly isn’t a glory hunter who saw Man City’s big money takeover as an opportunity to support a club that’s bound for glory. It must be said that exciting times are inevitably ahead for Richard and his team of choice.
Manchester City have started this season wonderfully. They are certainly looking like a team capable of winning the League in my opinion. I must be honest, I wasn’t convinced that City were quite ready to be branded Premier League winner contenders, but judging by recent performances I may be forced to eat my words. The club have been labelled as ‘noisy neighbours’ by arch-rivals Manchester United, but after living in the shadow of the Red Devils for so long could this be Man City’s season?
Richard is a top guy and was a close friend of my Dad’s. When I see him up town he likes to remind me that we’re not of City’s calibre. All good banter and Rich is actually married to a Newcastle fan, so his judgement must be pretty decent. Here’s what Rich had to say:
What do you think of Newcastle fans?
Fanatical and loyal. They, like us, have stood behind their team in all adversity – and also like us, until very recently, have had very little success to shout about.
If you could have any Newcastle player at City who would it be and why?
None. This is no disrespect to Newcastle in particular as you could ask the question in regards to most teams in the world and the answer would be the same.
OK I’ll rephrase the question, who is our most valuable player in your opinion?
Probably Steven Taylor. Local lad for whom playing for the Toon means everything. The sort of commitment that money can’t buy.
Who is your favourite Newcastle player of all time and why?
Phillipe Albert. A gifted and very clever player. That chipped goal over Schmeichel will live long in the memory.
What do you think of St James’ Park from an away fan’s point of view?
Up in the gods, atmospheric. Have fond memories of my visits there.
Roberto Mancini is certainly getting it right at City now, but what do you think of our manager Alan Pardew?
A genuine guy who will always try his best, but will not take you on very far. Never understood removing a man of similar talents Chris Hughton as they did they both would probably have done what is required – keep you premiership with no real investment.
What are your opinions of our owner Mike Ashley?
This man is a complete dickhead – self-publicist, always wore the black & white around town – likes to be seen drinking with the lads and, as I write, is in the papers photographed stripping off in a London restaurant. His only interest is in money and he will offload the team to the first person who meets his price irrespective of who they are so he can get back to his beloved Tottenham Hotspur. You will only move forward when he is gone.
How do you think we have done in the transfer market? The sales of Nolan and Enrique and release of Barton. Are they mistakes?
Your transfer dealing meet Ashley’s requirements perfectly. Sell whoever you can for best price – with the exception of Barton – to get the debt and wagebill down replace with whatever dross is available on a free. Again, to make the club appear financially sound to any would be investor but absolutely bankrupt it on the pitch in the process.
Silly question, but I have to ask everyone. Who will finish higher out the two of us this season?
If, after the investments we have recently made compared with what Newcastle have done, we do not finish above you something will have gone horribly wrong at City and yes the same answer applies to most of the Premier League teams.
I do not want to get carried away here, as supporting City for as long as I have you still have memories of them snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. However this new regime is building confidence in even the most pessimistic City fans that they are real deal so I will only say I expect us to win both fixtures.
St James’ Park – 1-3
Etihad Stadium – 3-0.
Joey Barton is a player you had on your books. He caused a bit of bother at City. What’s your opinion of Joey Barton now? How would you of felt if he ended up back at City?
Joey Barton is his own worst enemy as nearly all his newsworthy exploits have happened off the pitch where there is no-one around to control him. On the pitch where there are rules and regulations as to what you can and cannot do he has proved to be a good player. Never England quality, but has never been sought out by the better teams because of the baggage attached to him hence ending up in a relegation dog fight at QPR. He will never be back at City we have moved on from needing players of his standard.
How do you think we did in our first season back in the Premier League last year?
You did what was expected of you ie, stay up and on the gravy train that is the Premier League. Normally after that you invest to be more than a team that makes the numbers up the following season. However as stated that does not appear to be on your current owners agenda.
Last season, De Jong’s ‘challenge’ Ben Arfa at City Of Manchester Stadium. Do you remember the incident and what are your thoughts?
I was right in line with the event and although the tackle in real time looked clumsy it did not appear malicious. De Jong is a tough committed player and is there to win the ball and unfortunately his reputation has suffered from that incident and the so called Kung Fu tackle at the World Cup.
Football as I remember it is a contact sport and there was a time all teams had an enforcer who was famous for it “Chopper Harris” – “Bite your legs Hunter” – do not forget City’s most famous son King Colin had his career cut short by an assassin whose name is not fit to appear on the same page as his. The problem today is any contact causes players to roll around as if shot so referees have to decide whether they are being conned or not. That said, I take no pleasure seeing any player carried off the field. I hope he makes a full recovery & plays to his full potential again. With TV cameras today there is no escape. For anyone who breaks the rules as they can be retrospectively dealt with so the real cloggers have nowhere to hide.
Man City and Newcastle have a few links in terms of people that have represented both clubs. In a sentence can you sum up the following?
Stuart Pearce – Gave 100% for the team never shirked a tackle. Great player – so so manager.
Dietmarr Hamann – Best days behind him. Complete waste of space at City.
Andy Cole – Scored some notable goals. Came for the money – moved to Portsmouth for the money.
Sylvain Distan – Great defender. Moved on to better things he thought – if only he’d known.
Shay Given – Great shot stopper. Would probably be No. 1 but for Joe Hart.
Antoine Sibierski – On his best day was never more than truly awful.
Craig Bellamy – Great player and totally committed on the pitch. Joey Barton’s role model off it!
James Milner – Hard working, covers all areas of the pitch.
Steve Howey – Good, solid goalscoring defender. ( 11 goals in 94 appearances for City)
Kevin Keegan – Passionate.
I would like to thank Richard for his time and agreeing to take part in the interview. I think he raised some very interesting points and although some of his points were blunt I find it hard to disagree with a lot of his views. I’m also chuffed that finally someone has mentioned Albert. What do you guys think?