Writer: Vital Saint
Date:Thursday February 7 2013
We host Manchester City this weekend so it's interview time with our Vital colleagues.
With thanks to Skoorb Vital City.
1) When did you start following your club and what would you say are your best and worst memories in that time?
I was a glory hunter I have to admit but then I was only 9 years old.
My first recollection of being a City fan is the 1969 FA Cup Final.
Maybe it was because it was the first ever game I saw on one of those new fangled colour TVs. Amazing technology. My best memories of the period that followed was of course the warm feeling that I was following a team that played exciting football closely followed by the sight of Manchester United getting relegated in 1974.
The worst memories are of me regularly getting beaten at Subbuteo (the younger one will have to look that one up) by my rag elder brother. But then he did have the advantage of playing on the dining room table whilst Maine Road was on the living room carpet.
2) Who was your first football hero, and do you have any players that you believe will be the legends of the future?
No surprise to learn given my age that it was Colin Bell - absolutely class player whose career was so tragically cut short by injury.
Legendary status seems to have become more difficult to achieve these days largely because players don't seem to stay with clubs anywhere near as long as they did. But some candidates include Paul Dichov for his goal in the Play Off Final in 1999; Sergo Aguero for THAT goal last season; David Silva for being brilliant......but I can see Vincent Kompany as having massive potential for legendary status.
Class act - I can see him having a long future at MCFC.
3) If you could resurrect one ex-player from the past, who would it be and why?
Too much choice!
I could wax on about City legend Billy Meredith from the beginnings of Manchester City FC back at the turn of the 19th century but will opt instead for Ali Benarbia when he was in his prime.
Instrumental in City's success under Kevin Keegan his play was an absolute delight to watch but we got him a few years to late. In his pomp he would have been better than Silva perhaps. And that is saying something.
4) Which was the best game you ever experienced, and if one goal stands out from your history, which is it?
No contest. The magnificent 6-1 humiliation of Manchester United in their own backyard. The joy of watching that game unfold was only surpassed by the supreme moment of Sergio Aguero's strike to win the title last year. Sublime.
5) What are you expecting from the season (now we've reached the halfway point) and have their been any highlights so far?
9 points is a big margin to claw back even with thirteen games to go but United dropped the ball last season so who knows? I suspect though that the red nosed knight will probably keep their customary arrogant complacency at bay this time so second place and automatic Champions League qualification has to be the most likely outcome.
We have not hit the same heights as we did last season but leading Real Madrid with minutes to go at the Bernabeu was exceptional (well for a few minutes) but domestically the best so far is beating Arsenal 0-2 at the Emirates and shrugging off another unwanted record of not having won at their place in over 30 years.
6) Are you happy with your clubs business in the transfer window?
I'm a wee bit sad to see Balotelli leave without really fulfilling his potential with City but will not miss the media circus.
Whilst I realise that January remains a difficult time to bring in the quality of player we need (many still at clubs competing in the Champions League) I would say it's always a disappointment not to have the frision of excitement that a new signing brings.
That said hopefully Yaya Toure's early return from the African Cup of Nations could feel like a new signing.
7) Who is going to be your main dangerman when we play?
David Silva. He can always pick a pass and although Liverpool's midfield did a great job on him last Sunday you take your eye off him at your peril.
Oh and as bonus I'll throw in Aguero after his wonderful goal last weekend!
8) What are your weaknesses, any clues for the game will be appreciated :-)
Oh I don't think it's too much of a secret - playing too narrow, too slowly and not getting behind teams quickly enough.
9) Have you been surprised with how Saints have performed so far?
You gave us a real test on the opening day and think that you have a decent enough side to stay up. But it is a tough, uncompromising league and a step up for everyone.
Fingers crossed Saints have enough to avoid the drop.
10) Do you have any thoughts on Nigel Adkins, his departure, and his replacement Mauricio Pochettino?
I would describe my reaction to the decision to replace Adkins as shocked but not surprised. Years of seeing managers come and go at an annoying frequency has inured me against these sudden changes.
I think Adkins is a decent guy who had done a great job for the club, tried to play football the right way and who seemed to be getting things back on track.
As for Pochettino - I can't imagine how difficult it must be to have to try and manage/coach through a translator but he seems to be doing ok.
11) Has anyone stood out from our recent buys?
Well there have been a few. 8 in total?
Boruc has a good pedigree - a good goalkeeper can save a team up to 9 points a season.
Jay Rodriquez was right up there with my favourites when he scored against United early doors last weekend!
12) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
Thinking of the future I would opt for young Adam Lallana - young talented player who clearly has a bright future and a good leader.
13) Who do you see as our main threat in the game?
Lambert. He knows where the goal is and with Ramirez able to supply him........
14) Do you believe Saints will avoid relegation this season?
Yes I do.
I think that you have enough quality and should have enough in the tank to stay clear of the drop zone. The players don't seem phased by the managerial change which can only help.
15) Finally, a prediction for the game please?
A tough one. The pressing game employed by Pochettino can be effective against our style of play if done right but I also think that City could have Yaya Toure back and that might spur us on so I'm going to opt, unsurprisingly, for a 2-1 win to City.
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Date:Thursday February 7 2013
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