Opposition view: Southampton
By Ric Turner, Wed 15 August 2012 07:35
Ahead of Sunday's season opener against Southampton, Bluemoon caught up with Chris Rann from the Saints blog George Weah's Cousin to get the lowdown on the opposition...
What are your expectations for this season?
Who knows. Staying in the Premier League is the obvious first port of call, but the ambitions of the chairman and the club go way beyond that. I think we will be steady, causing a few upsets along the way.
Are you happy with the manager?
Absolutely. The man is yet to be tested at the highest level, but I firmly believe he is one of the best young English managers around. Forward thinking, ambitious, confident and enthusiastic, Adkins has bought success to St. Mary's combining pretty football with comprehensive victories, smashing a few records along the way.
Who are your key players?
Lambert & Lallana are the stand out choices from last year, but I see a big season coming up for Morgan Schneiderlin. Our biggest strength though is our team unity, if we can maintain that from the last couple of seasons we will be alright.
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
On the whole I was, I think the acquisition of Nathaniel Clyne is extremely impressive and Jay Rodriguez has a big future. Steven Davis gives us some much needed top level experience. As usual with Saints though our best business may have been done from within…..
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
Several. As usual our Academy has come up trumps. Central midfielder James Ward-Prowse and left back Luke Shaw have impressed in pre-season, I think we will see some involvement from them before they inevitably move to Arsenal!
Your Achilles heel?
Our defence. I think we could do with another centre half, perhaps one with top level experience. Not just for first team duties, but also backup, we have four centre halves without a minute of top flight football between them.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
Difficult. Yaya Toure, David Silva and Kun Aguero all immediately spring to mind, but based on the weaknesses in our squad I think I will go for Vincent Kompany.
What is your perception of City as a club?
A very different one to ten years ago! City were always the club everyone had a soft spot for, the perennial underachievers with a loyal fanbase. Your financial injection has probably put paid to that, but do you care? Not likely and neither would I. Put is this way, I wish Saints were coming up against the City with Michael Frontzeck in the team….
Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?
Based on pre-season I think we will lineup like this:-
Clyne Fonte Hooiveld Fox
S Davis Schneiderlin Lallana
Puncheon Lambert Rodriguez
Prediction? Crumbs. 2-1 to City, we will take the lead through Lambert and give you a scare before you get the job done.