Opposition view: Tottenham Hotspur
By Ric Turner, Thu 08 November 2012 19:50
Ahead of Sunday's clash with Tottenham at The Etihad, Bluemoon caught up with our own resident Spurs fan Crouchinio to get the lowdown on the opposition...
What are your expectations for this season?
At the start of the season I would have been happy with a top 6 finish, that still stands right now too. After losing Modric and VDV that has seriously affected us. They were absolutely brilliant and weren't phased about any oppostion. Without them it'll be more difficult to finish in the top 4 again.
Are you happy with the manager?
Yes and no. At the current moment I'm not sure why he is leaving Lloris on the bench in favour of Brad, and I'm not sure what he is doing with Adebayor either. He is big on tactics and doesn't use the standard 4-4-2. We seem to be doing formations such as 4-2-3-1. The lack of intensity and attacking football is a bit of a worry for me. I'm so used to playing quick football at Spurs, no matter who the boss is. The revolving door has been a nightmare down the years so I fully back him. Hopefully Levy will support him in the January transfer window
Who are your key players?
Sandro is a huge player at the moment for us, he protects the defence and our midfield. Bale is of course the main man, when he is on his game he is one of the best in the world in that position.
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
Not really. When you sell a powerhouse like VDV for 10m and spend 8m of it on Dempsey something is wrong. Sigurdson has yet to hit form and Adebayor and Lloris aren't really playing. The one who's really impressed me has been Dembele, but he is currently injured!!
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
Andros Townsend is a very good player, very tricky and quick winger. Anyone that follows the lower leagues may have seen Andros on loan. Ryan Mason always looked good at youth level too. He, Caulker and Townsend always stuck out for me. I'd like to see more of him in the future.
Your Achilles heel?
Sitting back on a lead towards the end of the match. We haven't got a mentality to see a game out half the time. I am a big fan of Walker but not defensively, but he is having major confidence issues this season, we have seen teams exploit this several times already.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
David Silva. I haven't been so in awe of a City player since Kinkladze. I loved Kinkladze for his amazing skill, not afraid to take a player on and it wasn't done with pace, it was all skill, me and my Dad used to watch the City games just for him! When Silva is on form he is a joy to watch. His control, skill, awareness, even the swivel and posture I like! I think it was City's sixth goal at Old Trafford where he made the most amazing pass to Dzeko to run onto, I found myself clapping at the television, even my wife did too.
What is your perception of City as a club?
City have always reminded me of Spurs in a lot of ways, the difference now is that City have taken it to a whole new level. Like Spurs, City were in the shadows of their neighbours for many years, from the rivals taking the piss to feeling sorry for you, that is when you know things are bad. Now the tide has turned and you get a lot more respect, jealously and fear. That's exactly how it should be. As I said City remind me of Spurs, as do Everton, all lagging behind the neighbours for years but a loyal and strong support, you can't really knock that at all.
I think Mansour has done very well, I think he was a bit wreckless at the start with the cash, but maybe that was down to Hughes. At the time I thought the sacking was harsh, but seeing Mancini take it to another level and buy genuinely world class players he is the right man for the job. Whether he can replicate the domestic form into Europe remains to be seen.
Now City have had a taste of the good stuff, the dreaded expectation levels increase. In the days of having crap players like Lee Bradbury and Summerbee (the younger one) you just hoped for a decent game. Now Spurs have made top 4 a couple of times the fans get restless and pissed off very easy. I see glimpses of that this season too with City, watching the first half of Swansea the fans weren't happy at all. They expect great things all the time now.
It does make me curious about the future, whether they can keep bullying the big boys or not. There will come a big slump along the lines. I wasn't too impressed with the signings your lot made in the summer. I haven't ever been a fan of Rodwell or Sinclair. When you think of the likes of Dembele, Oscar, Hazard, Modric were all available I think you could have done better.
Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?
It will probably look something like that. If Sandro isn't injured that is. If Dembele is back I'd expect him to be in midfield.
I'd be delighted with a draw but think we'll fall short. I'm going 2-1 to City. Gallas and Caulker will have their work cut out. Both sides need to get out of second gear this season