In preparation for Sunday’s season opener, we’ve collaborated with Steven, from View From a Blue, in order to get his views on the match, United’s summer signings, the Tevez saga and more!
Regrettably a life-long City fan, Steven has endured the good times (few) and bad times (plenty) at Maine Road & Eastlands but still has the enthusiasm to write a blog about Mancini & Co!
What are your thoughts about United’s Summer Signings (De Gea, Jones and Young)? Do you think it has left us in a stronger/ weaker position than last season?
I think Jones is a very promising talent, capable of playing in a number of positions and someone who was wanted by a few clubs. I’ve always been impressed with him whenever I’ve seen him so I think he’s a good capture for United.
Young, too, is someone I rate. Improved immensely in the last couple of seasons, very tricky on the ball, scores goals, provides assists and is generally a threat.
De Gea is the interesting one. I haven’t seen too much of him, but he’s got big boots to fill with Van Der Sar leaving, so it will fascinating to see how he copes under pressure. If he settles in well, then he’ll be fine but a couple of mistakes early on and he might struggle.
The losses of Neville, Scholes and Van Der Sar will be huge, I feel. Although only Van Der Sar, of that trio, was a regular, it’s their experience around the squad that will be missed. They’ve got countless medals between them, and you can’t replace that overnight.
What do you make of the whole Carlos Tevez saga?
I think it’s fair to say City fans, on the whole, are fed up of it now. He’s a fantastic player whose quality has been there for all to see over the past couple of years, but his heart is not in it and no one player is bigger than the club. Personally, I’m not convinced Tévez is the problem: I think Kia Joorabchain, his adviser, is the troublemaker and the sooner he’s out of the way, the better.
The problem for Tévez is the shortage of clubs who can afford him. Barcelona don’t need/want him, ditto Real Madrid. Inter Milan is an option, but having stated by misses his family in Argentina, I don’t believe City fans would be too happy if he ended up in Italy.
If he stays, he’s the type of character who will give his all on the pitch and be professional, but off it, he can be disruptive. My gut instinct is that he’ll go.
Theoretically, if you’d had the option, would you have wanted Javier Hernandez or Sergio Aguero to take Tevez’ position in the squad?
I rate Hernandez and thought he had a fantastic first season, but to suggest he’s even in the same bracket as Aguero is absurd. Aguero is a world class player who has shown his talents both for his club domestically and in Europe, and also for his country.
He will be a huge asset to City and I’m sure, being the type of character he is, he will settle in well. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having Hernandez at City, but Aguero is just in a different league.
Considering Liverpool’s bold summer spending, Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to spend and the appointment of Andres Villa- Boas; how do you expect the Top Four to look in May?
United will always be there or thereabouts. With regards to Chelsea, much will depend on how Villas Boas settles, and how they react to him. If he can get Torres firing, they’ll be up there. If not, they will be off the top. Liverpool have spent money, but I’m not convinced they are strong enough at the back, whilst Arsenal, if they were to sell Fabregas and Nasri, could slip back.
So I’d expect the top four, in no particular order, to be United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Having won England’s two biggest competitions between ourselves last season, it could be said that Manchester is the countries capital of football. Therefore, if you were the manager of a joint team, what would be your first- choice XI?
(4-1-3-2) Hart – Richards, Kompany, Vidic, Evra – De Jong – Silva, Yaya Touré, Giggs – Aguero, Rooney
More simply, what is City’s predicted line up?
Tévez won’t play, Aguero will be on the bench but even though Clichy has sat out the last couple of games with a head injury he may make an appearance.
I couldn’t care less about this game. It’s a glorified, slightly feisty, pre-season friendly, so I haven’t given it much thought. I think it might be a draw, with City to win on penalties, but as long as we come through with no injuries, I’m not fussed.
Many thanks to Steven for taking the time to answer my questions – if you liked what Steven had to say, or want to question him on anything he said, then check out his site, View From a Blue, or contact him on Twitter.