Opposition View – Manchester City

Ric Turner from http://bluemoon-mcfc.co.uk/ answers our questions this week.

Last time we spoke you were very excited about Pep Guardiola taking over, what are your first impressions of him?

Guardiola has impressed me greatly during his first months in charge, and he’s already exceeding expectations. Obviously we realised that we were getting an exceptional manager, but I’m not sure any of thought he would have such a positive impact in what is a relatively short space of time. I felt that this season would be a transitional one, with the players adapting to his methods and a new style of play, but we’ve hit the ground running. We’re a joy to watch at the moment, playing arguably the best football I have ever seen at City.

Were you happy with the business you did during the summer?

Delighted. We made a couple of shrewd signings – picking up experienced internationals such as Nolito and Gundogan for a combined fee of £33m represents great business in the current market. The signings of Stones, Sane and Jesus have helped lower the average age of the squad and we look well set for the future. We also got rid of some players (albeit only on loan) who needed to move on, such as Bony, Nasri, and Mangala. The squad feels less bloated and more streamlined now.

How do the fans feel about Joe Hart leaving on loan and the recent spat with Yaya Toure’s agent?

Hart was a very popular figure with the fans, and was our longest serving player. It’s always sad to see such players leave, but the supporters trust Guardiola implicitly and understand the decision. Claudio Bravo will become integral to the way we play. As for Toure, he’s been a magnificent player for the club but his agent is insufferable. It’s a shame that Toure will depart in such ignominious circumstances, but it’s great to see Guardiola stand up to Dmitri Seluk.

What are your expectations for this season?

I wouldn’t say it was an expectation as such, but my main hope is to win the league. We started equally well last season, and then it all fell apart but you get the impression that Guardiola won’t allow complacency to set in this time around. Reaching the last four of the Champions League again would be an achievement.

Guardiola laughed off a suggestion of winning all four major trophies this season, do you think it’s possible?

No, I think it’s impossible. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves – this is still very much a work in progress after all. We should focus on the league, and anything else would be a welcome bonus.

What do you make of Swansea?

I admire the Swansea model, and the way in which you’ve become an established Premier League side now. You’ve got some great players, such as Sigurdsson and Montero, but I just feel that the appointment of Guidolin was an odd choice. It seemed a departure from previous appointments.

Predict the score and where both teams will finish?

Swansea 1 City 2. I think/hope we will finish top and I think your position depends very much on the managerial situation. If your board make a decisive change early on then you should finish in mid-table. If they stick with Guidolin I can see you being dragged into a relegation fight.