Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Wednesday August 12 2009
You know for sure that the new season is upon us now! The return of the popular Vital MC rival fan's Q+A series kicks off with a belter from Vital Blackburn's Mikey D
Get a brew on and enjoy!
1. The big kick off is almost upon us as Rovers prepare to welcome Manchester City. How's the summer been for Blackburn?
Pretty much a rollercoaster! Although having said that there was some sort of structure to things as we sold who we needed to sell (one of them to your lot) and then concentrated on re-structuring.
Selling Roque was a given as he didn't want to be here anymore but the selling of Matt Derbyshire was widely met with disgust from Roverites as he is a cult figure at Ewood Park.
Rovers have had to reduce the wage bill this year so a lot of the signings are unknowns, which to be fair suits Big Sam down to the ground.
We have sorted the strikers out with the acquistion of Franco Di Santo of Chelsea coming in on loan and Nikola Kalinic (confirming today - Tuesday) coming in for £6 million.
Apart from that we have been tearing our hair out over the usual speculation regarding our better players (Warnock, Samba etc), which as usual comes from the press which more or less make it up out of thin air!
It's never a dull one in East Lancashire!
2. What are your hopes and aspirations for the new season?
I know that a lot of fans will disagree with me but all I hope for is a season of stability. We need to re-adjust after the heartbreak and rollercoaster that was season 2008-09 and I think we will do just that. A solid mid table showing and maybe a good cup run would be good value for money given the tight budget we operate under over here.
I also hope that Big Sam (I really like the guy) keeps on proving the doubters wrong, for all the criticism he recieves he is genuinely an excellent man manager and one of the best English managers this country has produced over the last ten years - whether you like the guy or not you can't argue he has a great track record for what money he has had to spend.
3. Best place for a pre match pint and balti pie at Ewood?
Best place for a pint - if you are a home fan you can't go wrong with the now legendary and terribly named Brown Cow pub, which has a chilled out atmosphere but is always a good place to talk your team.
If you are an away fan there is only one place you should head - the Fenhurst. Its the designated away watering hole and always gets a good crowd outside.
Now then... balti pie? That's a tough one as I am on a diet at the moment. Most of the pubs do some good grub so the answer could be same for the pies as well as the pint. The one's in the ground having said that are also very good.
4. Dangermen: Who should City be paying close attention to this weekend?
Given that Kalinic is not going to be ready for Saturday I would suggest the following:
Ignore the horribly overrated Morten Gamst Pedersen, he's really not that good.
Danger wise there could be a few depending on who Sam gives the nod to. Di Santo should be keen to impress so expect him to form the focal point up front. Diouf is always a creative force, yes I know he is a muppet but he is effective.
We have a young lad called Junior Hoilett who has pace and could cause trouble. New signing Steven N'Zonzi, who seems to be about 7'11' is also going to be an unknown quantity to look out for. Finally, of course there is your Ewood bogey man of sorts Benni McCarthy, who seems to like playing against you at Ewood.
5. Everyone at Manchester City from pitch to state of the art turnstile are very publicly aiming to take on and destabilise 'The Big Four (Bore)' - Can it be done?
For this season I am afraid guys I am going to say no guys. I think if you were going to take one of them down it would be the increasingly shaky looking Arsenal but I still think it will be how it is up there for this season.
The only reason I am saying this is that I think it will take more time than you think for all your new signings to gel together, you are the biggest threat to the top 4 without a doubt in my eyes but I think it takes time. I am pretty sure given the money that you now have at your disposal and the talent that is there that you can do it - but I just don't see it this season.
6. Are The Citizens guilty of 'ruining football,' one of the more hysterical charges levelled at the club throughout 2009?
No not at all, what a load of rubbish! You are spending money to better the club - who has achieved success without it?
Arsenal did well having brought through youngsters but they still spent a lot of money. Man United also bought through a lot of youngsters but they have also spent a shed load as well. Chelsea, check. Ourselves in the nineties, check. Newcastle and Leeds, oh well never mind!
I think City are doing a service in a way by changing the dynamics of the English Premier League but I do hope they do it at a sustainable level, not just spending it willy nilly and make the money that they spend instead of just throwing it about.
One thing I would like all you guys to do though is keep the ego's in check - some fans of other teams that have money/success are an arrogant bunch and I do hope you dont turn that way. I have spoken to a few of you before on Vital Man City and I know you are a sound bunch but some of the fans of your good club on other message boards have got on their high horse and started bragging about things and writing off the 'smaller teams' as if they don't pose you a threat now. They certainly do.
Please don't turn that way, part of your charm as City fans are that you are happy go lucky fans that you can have good banter with.
Keep that up and people won't begrudge the success that is surely on its way.
7. And so to battle. Your match prediction?
I am actually quietly confident on this one if we can get the two centre backs back from injury for Saturday. I think we can catch you cold as you have lots of new players that may take time to gel.
We will be strong at home this season, of that we can be sure, it is away from home we will struggle.
2-1 to the Rovers, Di Santo and Warnock for Rovers and Adebayor for City.
Whichever way it goes though guys, enjoy your season.
Very many thanks and respect to Mikey and The Vital Blackburn team for this excellent interview.
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Date:Wednesday August 12 2009
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