Unless you’ve been smoking crack for the last two weeks, you’ll know it’s the Manchester Derby FA Cup semi final at Wembley on Saturday as United take on City for the seventh time in two seasons.
This isn’t just any old game against the ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City, this is the ‘biggest Derby of all time’ well at least since the last one anyway.
Rather than spouting our usual pro-Red anti-Blue rants here at Redflagflyinghigh we thought we’d get the Bitter, sorry City perspective on the upcoming game.
The Rooney ban, whether Mancini’s up to the job and the enigma/donut that is Mario Balotelli were all discussed when we spoke to Stu Yearsley who runs the ‘Now Were No Longer Alone’ City site.
Tell us a about your site and why you started it?
With so many people having an opinion these days it’s always difficult to get your thoughts across without someone else shouting theirs louder, so I started the website at the end of last year and just basically blogged what I thought. The name ‘Now we’re no longer alone’ comes from the lesser known second verse of our famous ‘blue moon’ and I think it represents where City are as a club at the moment in a transitional period into more successful times.
How do you rate your chances for Saturday?
For a few weeks I have been extremely confident and couldn’t wait for Saturday, that was until Anfield on Monday. After watching possibly our worst performance of the season followed shortly by United beating chelsea comfortably my confidence and expectations have somewhat disappeared. I do think it will be a close game on Saturday and I think it’s the closest game between the two teams for a while. Unfortunately City being without Tevez is more damaging than United being without Rooney so that could have a big bearing on the result but I think we have enough class in the squad to really put up a fight.
What would you consider to be a successful season? Is it all dependent on Saturday?
Not at all. At the beginning of the season our objective was to finish fourth and get into the champions league. I think this is important and will help to being the kind of players that we need to progress to the next level. It would obviously be nice to win a trophy but in my opinion champions league football will do more to raise the status of the team and then it’s just a matter of time and the trophies will come.
Do you expect that “chap” from Argentina to be at Eastlands next season?
In all honesty no. I would love Carlos to stay as much as anyone would but I think he will be gone in the summer. It’s a similar situation to Ronaldo leaving Old Trafford in the way that the player wanted to move on but Other players stepped up and matured at United and I’m sure the same thing will happen at City, we certainly have the money to replace him and as previously mentioned Champions league football will be a big factor in attracting big name players.
If he leaves are you not worried that you’ll be losing arguably your most effective player?
In a way yes, his goal scoring record speaks for itself and he’s certainly the best striker I’ve ever seen at the club but if he does go I have no doubt that we will look to replace him with a player of similar calibre. With talents such as Silva, Yaya and Johnson coming through the signs are definately pointing in the right direction.
Mario Balotelli. Seriously what is he all about?
Well one thing is for sure, the guy certainly has talent. He already boasts a very impressive goal scoring record for the short time he’s been at the club. The other side of him is not too pretty but I think he does have all the physical attributes to go on to be up there with the best. The side foot half volley against Aston Villa shows his true potential, I believe there are very few other players in the world who would be capable of a finish like that. The thing with Mario is that you never quite know what you’re going to get, he’s just as likely to score a hat-trick on Saturday as he is to get sent off. If Mario changes his attitude to match his potential then we have ourselves an absolute bargain.
Who’s your City player of the season and why?
Vincent Kompany without a doubt. There has been a lot of impressive performances this season from Tevez, De Jong and not least David Silva but Kompany has consistently been our best player. He has everything you would want in a centre-half; pace, strength and determination but he also reads the game so well, plays very intelligently and boasts very good technique. In my opinion Vinnie is the best all round centre-half in the premier league at the moment and I would love for him to go on and captain the side next year.
If you could have any United player at City who would it be and why?
Well taking age into account I would probably take Nani. As much as I hate the guy and trust me I do. I think he would offer us the balance and width we cry out for at times
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