We visited Blue Moon to get the view from the Eastlands regulars.
Q. Let’s start with last season – what were your expectations before the season started and did you meet them?
Matty: I expected us to struggle, but ultimately finish mid-table, which to be fair is what happened. What I didn’t expect was for the football on display to be so mind numbingly poor in the process.
Chris Mac: Things never really got going after some early season decent performances and we struggled for consistency after that. A decent cup run ended in disappointment losing a game we should really have won.
Q. Was it all Pearce’s fault and were you happy to see him leave?
Matty: It wasn’t ALL Pearce’s fault, but he was the major contributor. He seemed to view 0-0 as a fantastic achievement, attacking was a secondary target for him. Plus he bought terribly. The players let him down too though, they performed shockingly at times.
Clarkey311: No it wasn’t, lack of board funding was partially to blame along with lack of experience, he’ll be a top manager in years to come.
Chris Mac: I thought he got the shitty end of the stick to be honest. Had little or no money to spend, the purse strings were very firmly tied when we most needed to buy in January.
nem: SP is a motivator, thats it. After the fairytale/novelty wore of it went pear shaped for him. He played negative negative football. Was very frustrating to watch us try to adopt the long punt up the field approach. Some of his tactics/ subs were baffeling at times. There were strong rumours that he’d lost the dressing room towards the end of the season.
Q. Physcho did make some bad signings though didn’t he? Which was worst?
Matty: That’s a tough call, there are several contenders. On a value for money standpoint it has to be Samaras. In the region of Â£6m (at a time when we really didn’t have Â£6m to waste) and he was absolute gash. Corradi, Dabo and Hamann didn’t exactly pull up any trees either.
Chris Mac: I’d go with Dabo. Samaras slated by some sections of fans but the kid will come good given the chance in the new regime.
nem: 6 million for Samaras must be a front runner but I suspect there are a lot of blues just like myself that know he has quality in him and needs another chance to prove himself under the new regime.
Q. What about Joey Barton – was you glad to see the back of him?
|BARTON: City fans happy to see the back of him.|
Matty: Absolutely. He was good on the pitch, not as good as he thought he was but still good, but off the field he was an absolute liability. I hope he breaks every other bone in his body at Newcastle, he took this club and it’s fans for a ride.
Chris Mac: Played well in a poor side. Pissed on his chips with a lot of fans with his transfer request debacle. He’s trouble with a capital T. Not going to change now he’s up in the north east. Good riddance.
nem: Â£5.8 million for a troublemaker who drags the club through shit, yes please.
Q. So, this summer – Thaksin Shinawatra. Your views on him as the new owner of City?
Matty: As the new owner of City he’s doing pretty well so far, he’s come through on his promises and spent big, which we needed with our terrible squad. I’m not going to comment on his standing away from football, because it just gives people a stick to beat City with, and quite frankly I couldn’t give a sh*t anyway.
Chris Mac: Desperately needed someone like him to come in. It’s early days but the early signs are good and has the majority backing from the fans.
MaineRoad9: These days, if you don’t have one of these guys, you’re really not in the game. He seems committed to building something at City, at least for the moment. You probably wouldn’t have scripted “former southeast Asian politician with sketchy human rights record” as your chairman of choice, but I’m happy here’s here now.
nem: Without him we’d be looking at championship football next season. I doubt we will ever know the truth about his past but ignorance is bliss I suppose. He’s kept to his word, bought in a quality manager and funded him and doesn’t expect immediate miracles.
Q. And the appointment of Sven?
Matty: I won’t lie, he wasn’t my first choice, but he’s got a track record at club level and, given we were being linked with Mark Hughes and depressingly Graeme Souness at one point, we’ve done pretty well. Time will tell however.
Chris Mac: Very shrewd and knows his football. The media are hoping to slate him for failing. Maybe he’s got a few old scores to settle by having a great season!
|“Without him we’d be looking at championship football next season” – nem|
nem: His club record is superb. Regardless of what he did or didnt do for England, I believe there wasnt a better candidate for the city job at the time.
Q. What do you think of the new signings? Who do you expect to make a big impression? One of the new boys or any youngsters?
Matty: My first reaction, in most cases, has been “Who?” We’ve signed a LOT of players I’ve never heard of, which makes it hard to judge who will have the biggest impact. If I had to pick one at this point I’d go for Rolando Bianchi, he looks a good striker, big strong and knows where the net is. Look out for Michael Johnson too, for a 19 year old he’s showing great promise. Richards is already the real deal so I won’t mention him.
MaineRoad9: I’d be amazed if Petrov didn’t make a big impact, and I think Elano should give us some much needed pace on the wing. I also predict that anyone who follows the EPL will know the name of midfielder Michael Johnson before the year’s out. Stephen Ireland might have a similar break-out year.
Chris Mac: It’s early days but first impressions, Fernandez looks class, Bianchi will cause problems for a lot of defenders. Of the youngsters, expect Richards to be a top performer again, along with Ireland and Johnson.
Q. What do you expect this season? Can you get into Europe?
Matty: I expect a top ten fnish, somewhere between 8th and 10th. We’ve got very little time to gel as a squad and I think that will be our problem this season. Can we get into Europe? Yes, but I’m not expecting it. If Bolton can make it, and Reading just miss out then we’re certainly capable.
Q. And more long term – is the future bright for City? New stadium, new owner, new manager with proven pedigree, loadsa money….
Matty: It’s certainly looking that way, Shinawatra has a three year plan to win something. Given we last won something in 1976 that’s a bold and ambitious plan!
Chris Mac: Can only be good. We’ve had some very lean times so some success would be appreciated!
|VORONIN: “An absolute steal”|
Q. What about us? How do you think Liverpool will fare this season?
Matty: Better than last, domestically anyway, but still not quite up with the top two. Torres was HUGELY expensive and I’m not sure you’ll get the 20+ gols I’d be wanting from a Â£20m+ striker.
Chris Mac: Look a very good side this time. Bought well. I’d expect Torres and Kuyt to form a formidable partnership.
nem: Will be able to tell you by the end of October, if you can stay in touch with the rags and Chelsea for the first few months and stop droping silly points your in with a real shout. Otherwise its 3rd place playoff with Arsenal again!
Q. What about our signings? Has Rafa bought well?
Matty: As said above, I think Torres was overpriced. Babel looked good for the Dutch U21’s so he’ll probably be a good signing. Voronin has the experience your forward line required too. Best bit of business for Rafa? Getting rid of the dressing room cancer that is Craig Bellamy, he’s Barton but with an even more ridiculous accent!
nem: Good signings. Vorinin was an absolute steal. Looking forward to seeing how good Torres actually is. Couldnt help but think you missed out big time on our Distin. Would have complemented your defence very well.
Q. Play mystic meg for us and predict the following:
Player to come from no-where:
Liverpool to finish:
Man City to finish:
Thanks to everyone at Blue Moon who took the time to give their responses.