View From T'Other Side: Manchester City

Last updated : 31 July 2009 By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)
  1. There's certainly a tide of change at Manchester City these days. Whilst obviously it is brilliant as a supporter to see your club signing world class players, is it really, in your opinion the right way to go?

Football has been on a slippery financial slope for years and City are just playing catch up. Five years ago we had to sell SWP and bring in Vassell, Andy Cole and Ousmane Dabo as well as keeping Joey Barton as we couldn't afford to bring anyone in to replace him. I would prefer to attract players because of success but in today's football world, you can't have success without finance behind you. It's a sad but true fact. It's annoying because I remember in the late eighties and early nineties, United spent millions on players such as Pallister, Bruce, Ince, the two Wallace brothers, Phelan and quite a few more besides. They practically bought a whole new team and nothing was said. City do it and suddenly it's not right for us to emulate this. The fact is we have now taken two players from Arsenal, one from United, pipped Chelsea to two players and stole one from under Liverpool's noses. They are ruffled and they don't like it but it's tough. That's life.

  1. The signing of top class players such as Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor will obviously bring higher expectations. What, realistically is the aim for City this season? Does it have to be top four to deem this season a success?

I think the top six is our realistic target. That's the view of the manager and chairman and the top four has been cited around the press more then it has the supporters. Qualifying for Europe will be deemed successful and maybe a trophy, the Carling Cup must be an obvious target for us. Consistency will be a key. If we are consistent throughout the season, that will be a success in itself.

  1. There seems to be a split over Mark Hughes from City supporters. What are your thoughts on him? Is he the right man to manage the big egos now in the dressing room?

Mark Hughes has never managed a club like City but I think he has done well. Last season we went out of the cups early but were the last British team in the UEFA Cup and were pressing again for qualification. That was with sub standard players such as Benjani, Caicedo and Vassell. Sir Alex Ferguson was not very successful at the beginning of his United career and was on the verge of the sack in the 89/90 season. Would he face the sack now? Managing the egos will be a problem. As Dennis Tueart said, these players now don't have to work beyond their football careers. How do you motivate them? Only time will tell whether Hughes has what it takes but I personally think he will bring success to the Blues.

  1. After already playing a couple of pre-season games already, are we likely to see many of the big names playing at Oakwell this weekend?

Yes although I think Hughes will keep his very strongest team for the Celtic game. I think he will give his new stars a good run out and give Barnsley a good game. I don't think Tykes fans will be disappointed. It wouldn't be very good if Hughes played a very under strength side.

  1. What are your thoughts on Barnsley. Have you noticed any progress The Reds have made over the last few seasons?

I would like to see Barnsley back in the Premiership. They've not done too well since being promoted and seem to have been involved in relegation battles but they've had three years in the Championship now and it's time they moved up the table a bit. I hope they do well next season and let the fans grow their fingernails back.

  1. Having won eight pre-season games out of eight, confidence is high at Oakwell, what's your score prediction tomorrow?

I remember a game in 1989 in the old second division at Maine Road. City were going for promotion when Barnsley arrived and I saw the freakiest own goal ever witnessed. I think it was Paul Futcher who hit a thirty yard shot which cannoned off the post, bounced out, hit City keeper Paul Cooper on the head and bounced into the net. The Tykes are annoyingly unpredictable against us and the games are normally good ones. This one is difficult to predict and will all depend on the team Hughes puts out. Not to sound arrogant but we really shouldn't struggle, but this is City we are talking about. I would go for a 3-2 City win as I never put us down to lose.

  1. And finally a season finish prediction for both City and Barnsley

Looking at Barnsley over the last few years it will be difficult for them to move up the table yet somehow I don't think they will battle relegation this year. I'm going for a mid table finish and will plump for 12th. City? Well we have got to do something this year and as I said, European qualification is a must. I really think they will finish 4th or 5th this season but I'd be happy with 7th and a trophy.

Best of luck to
Barnsley and all their supporters for next season.

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