Magnificent Seven Fan's Q&A Take Two: Liverpool
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1. Second placed Liverpool are 23 points clear of City going into this season's return fixture at Anfield. You are in a good position to challenge the rags for the title. Can you do it?
Nothing would please me more, but you've got to hand it to the scum that they're looking unbeatable. Any challenge we have left on us hinges on the 'assumption' that we win at Old Trafford. So ask me after then...
2. As honorary members of 'The Big Four,' do you see City as a future threat to the English and European football establishment?
Money talks, doesn't it? Eventually yes, I do. But you've also got to remember that it took Chelsea three years of pussyfooting around with Ranieri before Mourinho led them to their title goal, and the eleven best players in the world don't necessarily make the best team. You'll need to keep an eye on the way Villa have built a unit and try and emulate it, not just splash out on 'Shirt-seller' signings. And stay away from our Nando!
3. If you were Rafa Benitez, what would be the gist of your team talk before sending your players out against City this weekend?
'Their manager thinks they're a bunch of feckless idiots!' Um, maybe that's a bit unprofessional, even for Rafa when he's in one of those moods.
To be honest I don't think Rafa ever tries to motivate our players before a game, it was one of the main accusations about his style. Then last summer we signed Sammy Lee as assistant manager and we seem to be more...well...motivated! Anything he says will be incomprehensible scouse jibberish though!
4. What's your verdict on the vitriol recently dished out to Man City, most notably by sports hacks this past transfer window?
Get used to it, is all I can say. The more you're in the public (media) spotlight, the more you become 'tagged.'
For example, regardless of how they are actually performing, Arsenal will always play 'beautiful football.' Benitez will always be critisised for 'rotating' regardless of how much or little he actually does it compared to other teams, and judging from the recent press you're getting, City's tag will be that they're the club that big-name players will mention as a tactic to scare their current employers into giving them pay rises.
I think you made some very shrewd signings in the window, particularly Given, and as for the stuff about SWP's 'kick;' don't worry, establish yourself as a top-four club and you'll get away with that sort of thing every week!
5. 'The City Three Step challenge:' What comes into your head when you think of Manchester City? Give us first the image you see, second the feeling you get and third the word that sums us up....
Er...ok. Firstly the image I have for some reason is of Nicky Weaver's crazy run around Wembley - I wondered what sort of heart you had to have to be a City fan given the yo-yo status you seemed to have achieved back then.
Secondly the feeling I get is a sort of indifferent respect. I don't hate or dislike you (beat us and that will change!) and I stand shoulder to shoulder with you in mutual dislike for all things united, but aside from that you're just another premiership club to me.
Thirdly the word that I think sums you up is Unpredictable. Mainly because despite your wealth and signings you haven't actually improved your position much yet, though you haven't had a full summer in which to really kick on with the progress, so for the moment you haven't really found your niche place in the league, and will continue to be a little bit insecure until you do.
6. 'Six Plus Five:' FIFA President Sepp Blatter is continuing his campaign to impose a maximum quota of five overseas players on every English team. Do you agree or disagree with his proposal?
Define a homegrown player first. Take your Stephen Ireland for example (class player by the way) he's not English, yet brought up through your youth academy and despite being as Irish international could qualify for English nationality if required to.
Are you telling me that a player brought up in England and developed by an English club might one day not be able to play for his team because he'd be classed as a foreigner? It gets more complicated for us as half our youth team are from the continent, mostly Spanish obviously, and by the time they break through to the first team squad will probably have been in the country long enough for residency.
There's two major obstacles to this plan that people seem to forget though; 1 is the European Courts, who would never allow European citizens to be squeezed out of potential by any such rule, and 2 is the G14, who are relatively dormant these days but who still kick up enough of a fuss to get any decision they really disagree with killed off.
All they have to do is mention 'European Breakaway League' and everyone cow-tows to them.
7. What's your prediction for Sunday?
Well, I'm yet to hear of any injury issues filtering through from the sodding international break (I'm not a fan of international football!), and mercifully that might mean Torres actually returned from Spain in the same condition we sent him off in for once.
Bearing that in mind, even with an absent Gerrard we're still a fairly strong outfit, and though I think you're going to be tough to break down, I reckon home turf can see us to a slender victory. I'm just hoping for none of the heart-attack histrionics of what happened the last time we met!
Anyway, I'll say a cautious 1-0 to us.
Very many thanks and respect to Naoise and The Vital Liverpool team. Another brilliant interview..
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