Opposition view: Manchester United
By Ric Turner, Wed 05 December 2012 20:36
Ahead of this weekend's Manchester derby, Bluemoon caught up with our resident red "JM Mcr" to get the lowdown on the opposition...
What are your expectations for this season?
For the season as a whole I'd like to see another sustained title challenge but come May, hopefully, go one better than last season. A decent run in the Champions League would also be nice.
On a more immediate note my expectation is for us to actually manage a shot on target at The Etihad!!
Are you happy with the manager?
Fergie is arguably the best British manager in my lifetime, his achievements in the game as a whole, and at United in particular, put him in a unique position where as a fan you have to give him the benefit of the doubt, even in the face of his more questionable decisions (73 year old Ryan Giggs as our centre midfield dynamo??!!). It's just a shame he doesn't have a more likeable personality and can be a bit of bully at times.
Having said all that, getting so close to the title last season (despite the apparent gulf in class between our squads on paper) was purely down to Fergie's desire, man-management and motivational skills. To still have all that at his age, and after everything he's won, is amazing.
In short how could I not be happy with such a manager.
Who are your key players?
Rooney, Van Persie & Carrick (like Barry a player whose contribution is often overlooked by his own fans).
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
Very excited at signing Kagawa even if he hasn't lived up to expectations yet and Van Persie was a no-brainer really (tho surprisingly, despite his goals tally, so far we're only 2 goals better off than at this stage last season). Powell looks a decent punt for the future given his age and the fee paid.
Would like to have seen a box to box midfielder and a commanding centre half but on the whole a pretty good transfer window.
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
I had high hopes for Will Keane this year before he suffered a serious injury. Ryan Tunnicliffe also looks to be a decent prospect.
Your Achilles heel?
Individual defensive errors that would make an Under 8's team cringe. Also the managers inability to decide on his preferred keeper - I think he needs to put his faith in one or the other and leave them to it. Never going to instill any confidence in either of them if they're constantly awaiting the hook.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
Yaya Toure in a heartbeat.
What is your perception of City as a club?
Being East Manchester born n bred I've always looked on City as our main rivals. For a couple of decades that wasn't the case on the pitch, but most certainly is again now. Overall, a club on the up who are making huge investments into my birthplace. I think City are on the verge of a very special decade and some of your fans should moan a bit less and enjoy the ride ;-)
Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?
De Gea, Smalling, Evans, Rio, Evra, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Rooney, Welbeck, RVP.
With some of our recent defending I think we'll definitely need to score more than once to take anything from the game. We're also long overdue a draw this season so I'll go for a 2-2.