Vital MCFC Interview: Portsmouth
Vital Pompey's very own Pompeyrug gives us the lowdown from Fratton Park before sunday's top five clash...
What made you support Pompey?
Born and raised in Leigh Park - a great place, ask anyone from that area! - but left Pompey at quite a young age. I always followed them from afar but could not afford to actually go and watch them until the mid 90s.
Basically with a whole family from the Pompey area it was inevitable but I have never been as proud to be from, or support Pompey as I am now!
Are you happy with how your season is going so far?
Hell yes - how could I not be, without doubt as apart from the Arsenal game we have basically played well in all the games - and even when we have not we have still got something, apart from the Chelski game when we were robbed!
We can dream and reflect, but had we not missed the penalties against Liverpool and West Ham, as well as gotten the point at least we deserved at Chelski we would have been top, or at least joint top so in a way I am disappointed. Seriously though I am delighted, we are still 5th…
The cynical would say that Sven only went to City because we have money, would you agree - either way how do you think he is doing?
I do not really know, clearly with money he can do more so it is acceptable really is it not?
But I think the fella is as greedy as they come and to be honest I would not trust him - but then again I am judging my opinions on 'what I have been told`… You cannot doubt his obvious ability as a club manager, he is fantastic although I feel that if a bigger job came up he probably would not hang around, but then again I might be one of those cynical people?
Either way, he is doing a top job with City so if he can get some more players in in January who knows - it is going to be an interesting season for a lot of clubs though.
How are things at Pompey under Harry Redknapp?
In a word fantastic! I am always happy to say that he is the reason we are still even in this league as he is the only man that could have saved us in 2005/06.
He has a vision and knows the direction he wants to take so I am happy to sit back and enjoy it, he will make the tough calls we might not want to see, but he knows what he is doing.
Are you happy with his signings?
It is hard not to be really, he had picked up some top players, even though he has had to pay the price, but this does not appear to be over the top for any to be honest. Sulley Muntari has been top class, John Utaka fades in and out but on his day is unplayable, I feel sorry for Dave Nugent as I think he is going to be a top class footballer, so if he will be patient and wait for a chance it could still be here - but I have my doubts to be honest.
Glen Johnson and Papa Bouba Diop rose more than a few eyebrows when they re-arrived/arrived but they have been terrific, the cream of the crop though is probably a City old boy, Sylvain Distin - what a defender this fella is!
Who should the City fans watch out for in the Pompey team?
I have said this in answers to others, but the whole team are playing with confidence so it is tough to single anyone out.
I really like Niko Kranjcar though and this fella has been immense the past few weeks, his skill, vision and work rate is phenomenal such a contrast to the player we saw 12 months ago. He is destined for stardom no two ways about it and will probably take the mantle as one of, if not the finest Croatian player of all time I reckon…
How do you feel Pompey will do this season?
I can only see us building on the start to this season and what we did last season.
A lot has been made about how we will cope when the African Nations comes round, which will be important - but if we can get through this period okay, which I feel we can as we have a squad of players for this and will buy others in January - then my prediction of anywhere between 4th and 7th is possible and will be one I stick by.
How do you feel City will do this season?
To be honest mate you lot are far exceeding what I expected already, I thought you would have a good season but I did not expect you to have seen so many new signings click so quickly.
The battle for places between 4th - as I am convinced 1 of the usually top 4 will drop out, my tip Liverpool - and maybe as low as 10th or 12th is going to be brilliant, so as long as you finish below us I will be happy, so long as we do finish in my predicted area!
If you had to pick one of the current City players to be in your squad who would it be and why?
I liked Geovanni when we had him on trial, thought he was a different class until you pinched him - but then again that was only against Yeovil… Although he does have a proven pedigree but I have not lost too much sleep over missing out to be honest.
I do not really like saying this, as it can appear big headed or defamatory to an opponent but I would not really take too many of your squad over ours to be honest, as first team players anyway. Although Micah Richards is a different class but Sol and Distin are great in the middle of defence - and we have Linvoy Primus too, fantastic defender still one of the best I have seen to be honest - and I am really warming to Johnson at right back, speaking of Johnson I do like that Michael Johnson you have in midfield and Elano looks a classy player.
So picking one, I would like to say Richards but he would not get in ahead of others, so would pick out Michael Johnson I think, the fella has a big future.
Prediction for Pompey v City?
I love playing City, as I have some great memories against you - Pedro Mendes and his goals being the best. I also have some bad memories, mainly of the pair of animals that are Ben Thatcher and Joey Barton! They have damaged Mendes, who has not been the same since they got him - I am glad you have got rid of those thugs.
Anyway, back to the point… had this been at your place instead of at Fortress Fratton I would have settled for a point, even if I might have thought we could get more. We are flying, really flying although our last two showings at the Fortress have not been good and have seen us draw and lose - in the league cup - but I reckon we will get back to our best this Sunday and win 3-1.