The day after our vital 1-0 win over Manchester City last season, I interviewed Pete from the City site Over The Blue Moon to find out how he was feeling, the morning after the night before.
A summer has now passed and with Tottenham about to play host to City on the opening day of the season, I’ve asked Pete to give us his thoughts on what has been a busy break for the visitors.
A summer has passed since Spurs beat City to clinch that Champions League place. How do you feel about missing out now?
We’ve missed out on so much previously that, to be honest, we’re used to it. When you come so close to something and it’s snatched away, there’s always disappointment but City fans are resilient and we’ll just try and go one better this time around.
What were your weaknesses last season and have they been addressed?
Defence was a big issue but hopefully, with the signing of Jerome Boateng and Aleksander Kolarov, we should be stronger. I’ve seen them both play and they look awesome but it all depends on how they adjust to the Premiership.
You haven’t strengthened in the way that you would have been able to with a Champions League place, but you’ve still bought some very talented players. Which of your summer signings do you think will prove to be the most important?
Yaya Toure looks like the missing piece in midfield. We need someone like him and I think he will be a big factor this season. He’d better be considering the wages we’re supposed to be paying for him.
City have very publicly been pursuing James Milner this summer. Do you consider his signing to be a necessary one? I think he’s a very good player but not massively better than someone like Stephen Ireland.
No, I don’t think we should go for him. Of course if you have a chance to sign one of the stars of the future, we should take it, but not at the expense of someone like Ireland. The big problem with Ireland is that he had a tremendous season a couple of years ago but I think he felt the pressure a little and lost it.
Your squad is now huge. Which players do you expect to see go in order to conform to the new 25-man rules?
It’s weird because we’ve always had such a thin squad over the last however many years so having such a big squad is something of a novelty.
Nedum Onuoha has gone to Sunderland and I expect Ireland to leave as well. Shaun Wright-Phillips’ days look numbered, which is a shame, and I also think Bellamy will go as well. Oh and Robinho, Santa Cruz and Jo. As an outside bet, I think Adebayor may well be playing away from Eastlands by September, but I may be wrong. I often am.
Craig Bellamy is obviously trying to engineer a move with his comments this week. Would you be sad to see him leave? As an outsider, he looked to be one of your best players last season.
He’s already been left out of the European squad and I’m gutted about that. Two years ago, he was the engineer of City’s Euro campaign when he joined for him to go would be a big mistake. He has been trouble, but all good players generally are to some degree.
Bellamy’s comments hinted at problems between Mancini and Tevez. Do you think that Mancini will succeed at City, or do you see trouble ahead?
I think there may be a problem but Tevez will know that it will be difficult for anyone else to sign him and I think he’s professional enough to put any problems aside when it comes to City.
Despite the pressure on him, I think Mancini will do well this season and next. There has been talk of him being a favourite to be first sacked but the owners know they can’t gain anything by changing manager after a few months. All that will mean is them shelling out for another glut of players next summer under a different manager. How many times will they do that?
What do you expect City to achieve this season?
Champions League qualification is the target and I think they will achieve it, but I hope it’s at the expense of Arsenal or United and not Spurs. I think its time the top four was well and truly broken but we can’t do that by City replacing Spurs or vice versa. It’s no good just one team breaking it; we need more if we want to make the league more interesting.
And what about Spurs? How do you think we’ll do?
I just wonder how much the Champions League will affect Spurs. If you beat Young Boys (that sounds a little weird even for me) and enter the group stage it will be good, but I just hope your league form doesn’t suffer as a result. If it doesn’t, then I think you’ll be in the top four again.
What’s your prediction for the match on Saturday?
My head says lose, my heart says win and the common denominator says draw so that’s what I’ll go for. 2-2
Final Question. If you could choose one former City player to compliment your current squad, who would it be?
Good question. I can’t decide between Keith Curle at the back or Niall Quinn up front. I can’t decide. Can I have both?
Best wishes to Spurs and their supporters for the new season and if by some chance you only win two games all season, make sure it’s against United!