Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday December 2 2011
We've shared some players down the years. Kevin Reeves, John Ryan, Kevin Bond, Lee Croft, Ched Evans, Joe Royle and Spencer Prior for starters. Now to share some debate...!
Michael of Vital Norwich straps himself in for VMC's Seven Deadly Sins...
1. Welcome to Manchester, Norwich City. The 10th placed Canaries have made a steady start to the season and arrive at Fortress Etihad in good nick. City's 43 Premier League goals need no introduction but we'll throw them in gratuitously for good measure. What's the story and the mood at Carrow Road from boardroom to terrace? Are the rumours about the great Alan Partridge coming in as Communications Director true?
'Things are all very rosy in our garden at the moment. We're very much enjoying being back in the Premier League and enjoying the sort of harmony that most clubs could only dream about. We've spent the last two years waiting for the bubble to burst and it hasn't happened yet. At the risk of using an old cliché it's a brilliant time to be a Norwich Citysupporter but alas no, Sir Alan is unlikely to have any official role at the club - regardless of how brilliant it would be.'
2. You've given plenty of teams a bloody good game and run big guns close so far this season. Which has been the particular performance that's pleased you most and the one you'd rather not talk about?
'The games that have given me the most satisfaction were the home wins against Swansea and QPR. Yes we've given some of the big boys a good game but our season won't be defined by how 'plucky' we are in defeat at places like Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. Winning the games against the sides who will most likely be around you come April definitely will. Performance I'd rather forget would have to be Blackburn at home. We fought back to 3-3 but it make me shudder looking at the goals we conceded.'
3. Head to Head. Where do you think The Citizens and The Canaries will finish in the league and domestic cups come the days of reckoning next year?
'I think your lot will win the league, and to be honest that's fine by me as I'm still very much in the 'anyone but United' camp. I'm still confident we'll stay up, and provided we do I really don't mind where we finish and I don't think many others will too. It'd be nice for it to be cleared up before the last do though if at all possible. We're rubbish in the cups so I'm sure we'll go out in the 3rd Round. It's the law. I wouldn't be surprised if you do very well in both, but I think it'll all depend on how the Premier League is going as I can't see Mancini compromising on that anywhere.'
4. 'Shot by both sides:' The Dangermen. Who should The Two Cities be paying closest attention to at The Etihad on Saturday?
'How can we pick just one? There are far two many quality players in the Man City squad to know who to pay closest attention to. Hopefully we'll get to see a lot of Joe Hart, but that may be wishful thinking! As far as we're concerned, I always pick out David Fox. He`s a former United trainee and is a quality, quality player.'
5. Roberto Mancini regularly starts English internationals Richards, Lescott, Barry, Milner, Johnson and Hart in his XI. Are you in favour of an English player quota minimum rule starting each Premier League game in a bid to boost theEngland squad?
'Not massively, but I think it could help in the long term. I very much doubt it would help the Premier League though so I'd be surprised if it ever happened. I'd rather see an investment in grass-roots football attracting better coaches and training for younger players. If they're good enough they'll get in the sides.'
6. Are The Blues guilty of 'ruining football,' one of the more hysterical charges levelled at the club since 2008?
'Absolutely not. Teams have been accused of trying to buy the league for years (look at Blackburn in 1995). United forked out £30m each for Ferdinand and Berbatov, £24m on Rooney and so on. Liverpool have spent a hell of a lot of money in recent years. There's no doubt it skews the transfer market though but that just means City end up paying more for a player than anyone else.'
7. And so to battle. Your match prediction?
'It's going to be an interesting one! If you score early then it'll be a very long afternoon for us, but if we play the way we did at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford then you definitely won't have it all your own way. We never keep clean sheets so we'll definitely concede. Whether we can score or not is going to be the bigger question!'
Very many thanks and respect going out to Michael and everyone at Vital Norwich.
all times East Manchester
Sa 03 Dec 15:00 Norwich, The Etihad, PL
We 07 Dec 19:45 Bayern, The Etihad, CL
Mo 12 Dec 20:00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, PL
Su 18 Dec 16:10 Arsenal, The Etihad, PL
We 21 Dec 19:45 Stoke, The Etihad, PL
Mo 26 Dec 15:00 West Brom, The Hawthorns, PL
Su 1 Jan 15:00 Sunderland, Stadium of L, PL
Tu 3 Jan 20:00 Liverpool, The Etihad, PL
We 11 Jan 19:45 Liverpool, The Etihad, LCSF1
Date:Friday December 2 2011
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