Opposition view: Manchester United
By Ric Turner, Sat 22 October 2011 13:51
Ahead of the Manchester derby, Bluemoon caught up with Kev from The Glorious United to get the lowdown on the opposition:
1. Who do you think will be Utd's key players this season?
Rooney and Nani, without a shadow of a doubt. It's difficult to forgive Rooney's posturing for a move last season, but it's clear for all to see that he is still our best player by a mile. As well as that it seems like he has finally matured into the kind of player we all knew he could be. He's our talisman, our playmaker and probably our future captain. If he plays well the team plays well. As for Nani, in terms of goals and assists and the flair he brings to the team he has become one of our most important players. Tony Valencia has his merits as an out and out crossing winger, but for end product, match winning ability and the unpredictability factor Nani is definitely our number one winger. We have high hopes for Anderson too this year. He needs to start delivering.
2. Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
Mostly yes. It's a much repeated statement that our weakest area is in central midfield, as it has been for some years now. Unfortunately it's something that was not addressed in the summer at all. Aside from that I think we can be pretty pleased with our business. David de Gea, while raw, has the potential to be an absolutely fantastic keeper. Ashley Young has given us what we haven't had for quite some years now in a natural attacker on the left. Phil Jones could prove to be the best of the lot in years to come. Overall I think we did well.
3. What are you expectations for this season?
I expect us to defend our title. Obviously you can't presume that we will win it, but all things being right you would expect us to be challenging right up until the end of the season.I think despite the retirement of Scholes, Neville and Van der Sar, we are just as strong, if not stronger than we were last year, so you would hope we will see off any challengers. In Europe, it would be great to reach another final, our fourth in five years. Hopefully this time we can go all the way and actually win the bloody thing, but what with the strength of Barcelona and the youthful nature of our team, nothing is guaranteed.
4. Are you happy with the manager?
How could you not be? There are some people that question the managers judgement from time to time, which is understandable, but in truth he is the only man for the job. Manchester United and Sir Alex are synonymous. He's going to be almost impossible to replace, and its hard to see anyone ever repeating his tenure or achievements.
5.Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
Hype is a dangerous thing, but if it is to believed then we currently have a crop coming through that have a proper chance of securing a first team berth. Paul Pogba is probably the nearest to the first team at the moment. A strong and athletic Patrick Vieira type with an unbelievable shot on him. Ryan Tunnicliffe is out on loan at the moment, but he's another that we have high hopes for. Ravel Morrisson is a local lad. If he sorts his head out he could be the best of the lot, and the best prospect to come out of our youth ranks for years. So we have a few great prospects, but it time will tell if they make the grade.
6. If you could have any City player in your team who would you chose?
David Silva. City have a lot of fantastic players but he's the one who makes it all tick. He's among the top three or four players in the league at the moment. A real class act. We were supposedly in for him a few seasons before he moved to City. I don't think I will ever get over the fact that he ended up at Eastlands instead. An absolute player. Top class.
7. What is your perception of City as a club?
They are definitely a serious threat when it comes to challenging for honours now. Nobody can deny them that. Naturally for a club that has come such a long way so quickly, there is a certain learning curve that comes with it. Learning how to challenge on all fronts, how to carry themselves as a major club and what it takes to challenge for and win titles - these things can only come with experience. City fans are lucky to have such riches at their disposal, out of nowhere. As is the case with all successful clubs you sometimes get a sense that its being taken a bit for granted in some quarters. I think a lot has been made of the "Welcome to Manchester" sign and other such issues, but to be honest its all good banter. As a United fan, as funny as it was to watch City get relegated (sorry mate), their rise to prominence has added a new edge to the derby that had probably been missing for some years now, so that's definitely a positive. It should be interesting to watch the back and forth between our clubs over the next few years.
8. Likely starting XI for tomorrow and score prediction.
De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Young, Rooney, Hernandez. I think it will be a close one. One goal could decide it. I'm going to say 2-1 to the reds. A late Hernandez strike.