Skoorb Meets The Royals
VMC's Skoorb catches up with Vital Reading's Josh Aspinall ahead of this weekend's crunch clash at The Etihad Stadium...
1. Why did you become a supporter of Reading F.C and what is the best thing about your club?
'My dad first took me to a game in 2006 against QPR when I was 12. It was the game where we were promoted to the top flight for the first time in our history. It didn't really seem like much of a big deal at the time, but my obsession with Reading gradually grew and I became a season ticket holder in 2008 when we went down. Ever since then, I have been a keen follower of Reading Football Club. The best thing about my club is that we are not massive. You look at the clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United, who just have fans for the sake of their big names. However, being a particular smaller club makes us seem like more of a tightly-knit unit and promotion last year proved how a club on a basic budget and not a massive fan base could make that jump for the second time.'
2. Who is your favourite Reading player of all time and why?
'That is a very tough question. Gylfi Sigurdsson was definitely the most talented player I have ever witnessed at the Madejski Stadium, showing quality worthy of any division in the world. In terms of all-round favourite player, it would probably have to be Shane Long. Shane joined the club all he way back in 2005 and despite not being a first team regular until the 2009/2010 season, he worked his backside off. A lot of players may not have taken this attitude and have just left the club, but Shane got his head down, worked hard and now deserves his chance in the Premier League, just a shame it's not with us!'
3. Both our clubs share something in common in that both managers are celebrating 3 years in charge this week. Do you believe that Brian McDermott remains the man to ensure Reading's survival in the Premier League and do you believe the club's owner, Mr Zingarevich, will keep faith in him?
'I'm really stuck in two minds with Brian's future. As much as it is clear he is a very inexperienced manager at this level, the group of players he has to work with or not necessarily going to work miracles. Both Zingarevich and McDermott appear to have a very good relationship. It was very public in January that Brian was close to leaving the club when he took over, but Anton convinced him to stay and since then, they have worked very closely together.'
4. If there was one player in the Reading squad that you would want to keep above all others who would it be and why?
'It would be between the two goal scorers on Monday, Jimmy Kebe and Adam Le Fondre. Kebe has had his problems with injuries in recent months, but fully fit, his wing play is nothing short of superb. Capable of creating something out of nothing and has lightning pace to frighten any full back in the league. Le Fondre is crucial for what he has been known for in his whole career, that's scoring goals. I don't think anyone has taken to the Premier League in our squad as well as he has, scoring goals against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, you can always rely on him to get you goals, just depends if he gets the supply!'
5. If you could pick one player from the Manchester City squad who would it be and why?
'I would take probably any player from your squad at the moment! I would naturally go for Sergio Aguero as I am a massive fan of his abilities as a centre forward, but considering our shambolic defending in recent games, I'd go for Vincent Kompany. A natural leader, who puts his body on the line at all costs.'
6. Time machine question. Fast forward to May 2013 and consider...If Reading were to avoid relegation on the last day of the season, how do you think that would compare to the feeling when you won promotion to the Premier League in April 2012?
'In my opinion, it would be ten times better. We were against the odds in the Championship last season, especially when you consider the competition. However, to stay in the Premier League with the current batch of players we have, would be beyond a miracle. It would also allow us to build 'properly' for the following season, without having to attempt to go back up again, which previous teams have found very difficult.'
7. Not many Premier League clubs can boast that they have a Victoria's Secret Super-Model in the shape of Yekaterina Domankova as the wife of their owner. Do you feel that her presence in the director's box has acted as a distraction for the players at all this season?
'Ha-ha, I certainly wouldn't blame them if it has. She is something special. I'd put her in charge, I'd definitely play for her! Zingarevich may have to witness his team get beat every Saturday, but at least he goes home to that every night!'
8. Last but not least...what do you predict the score will be on Saturday?
'I'm dreading the scoreline. If you were to offer me 2-0, I'd snap your hand off for it. It depends which Reading turns up and if McDermott decides to play five in midfield. If we go with our traditional 4-4-2, 5-0 City. If we pack the midfield like we did in the second half against Arsenal, 3-0 City. However, if Anton's dad Boris Zingarevich pulls a few strings and gets his supposed 'mafia' to sort some things out, we may only lose 1-0 to your youth side.'
Very Many Thanks and Respect going out to Josh and the Vital Reading team.
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Vital Reading Link: The Opposition View - Man City
all times East Manchester
TOMORROW 15h00 Reading, The Etihad, PL
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL
Tu 01Jan 15h00 Stoke, The Etihad, PL
Sa 05 Jan 15h00 Watford, The Etihad, FAC
Su 13Jan 16h00 Arsenal, The Emirates, PL
Sa 19Jan 15h00 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road