Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday September 12 2009
1. City go head to head with a 'Big Four' side for the first time this season when Arsenal come to town. The Gooners set a blistering pace from the off last month but came unstuck at the swamp in a game that saw Arsene Wenger sent off in frustration. How do you rate your start to the new campaign?
Despite the defeat to United I think it's been an excellent start to the season for us. In fact the game at Old Trafford instills me with even more confidence. Okay, we lost, but sometimes in football you lose games for what seems like no apparent reason. Not many teams go there and dominate like we did. As ridiculous as it sounds, the game at Old Trafford has given me more confidence for this season than any preceeding match.
2. What are your hopes and aspirations for this season?
Some shiney things would be nice. Though I'm not party to all this 'Arsenal have to win something this season' malarky. We have to win something or what? The club will spontaneously combust? We as a club have been incredibly lucky over the years, there are probably 85 or more other English clubs who'd give their right arms to be in our position. Of course it's frustrating to see our squad not live up to it's potentional, but if you're wanting me to stamp my feet and shout 'Wenger out!' then you're talking to the wrong guy.
That said, I fully expect us to win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup. Anything less will be unacceptable.
3. How do you feel the summer transfer window went for you?
Our summer transfers were pretty good I feel. We could have done with maybe one or two more faces, but I don't think it will matter too much in the overall scheme of things. Funnily enough, our best transfer was probably your best transfer too.
4. 'Shot by both sides:' The Dangermen. Who should Arsenal and in turn City be paying close attention to at Eastlands this weekend?
Be fearful of William Gallas, he's scored with his back and chin so far this season, expect a 30 yard volley with his scrotum this afternoon. We've got to be watchful of Adebayor today...old players ALWAYS score against their old clubs. Of course, focusing too much on Ade will pave the way for a Toure hat-trick.
5. Everyone at Manchester City from pitch to state of the art turnstile are very publicly aiming to take on and destabilise the seemingly endless procession of 'The Big Four' - Can it be done?
Of course. Football moves in cycles, there have been times, believe it or not, when United haven't been in the top flight, Villa were the champions of Europe and even more bizzarly that Spurs finished above Arsenal. A time will eventually come when one or more of the big four makes way for other teams, who in turn will make way once their time is up. If anyone are equipped to finish in the top four right now it's City.
6. Are The Citizens guilty of 'ruining football,' one of the more hysterical charges levelled at the club throughout 2009?
Guilty of ruining football? No way, football has been in decline for a long time. No, City are a product of ruined football, rather than the cause. I don't think there is anything that we can do about the way football is going right now we just have to let it runs it's course. All the fans who love football will be around to pick up the pieces once it's over. It won't be as pretty as it is now, but it'll still be our game.
7. And so to battle. Your match prediction?
It'll probably be a score draw, but I'm in a good mood today so I'll say 2-1 to the Gunners!
Very many thanks and respect going out to Paul and the team at Vital Arsenal. Always a great read!
Deadly Sinners so far this season:
Blackburn Rovers: Mikey D
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Akela
Arsenal: Paul Mustchin
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Date:Saturday September 12 2009
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