With our Premier League season due to kick off at Old Trafford tomorrow, I interviewed Ben of The Devils Of Manchester to find out his views on United and Spurs. Ben returned the favour and if you want to read his interview with me, you can find it here.
How happy are you with the signings made by United this summer?
Overall, I think we’ve done really well. David De Gea is a top class young ‘keeper and despite what people say he’ll be fine, I’m glad we got him. Phil Jones is an excellent young player and he’s got a great relationship with Chris Smalling. Maybe we got him a year earlier than we wanted because of the interest from Liverpool but I think he’ll actually be key this year, especially early on with Vidic out for six weeks.
As for Ashley Young, perhaps he was a bit of a surprise, signing but in hindsight I see why we needed him, both Valencia and Nani are better on the right wing so it was an area that needed improving. So I’d day yeah, I’m fairly happy.
Are there any ares of the team that you still feel need to be improved? Do you think you’ll buy anyone else before the window closes?
Midfield. It’s been neglected for years and it’s in need of some fresh talent. Modric would be perfect! It’s somewhere we needed to work on before Scholes retired so it’s now even more important.
Our poor way form last season was often down to being outnumbered in midfield and that’s not good enough. As for whether or not I think we’ll sign somebody, I’m not sure. Ferguson has said he’s happy with what he’s got but as we all know that means nothing. I remember a similar phrase being used just before we signed Berbatov.
David de Gea has been doing a very convincing impression of Heurelho Gomes so far this season. Are you concerned, or do you think he’ll eventually come good?
Give him a chance! You know as well as I do that a shaky start doesn’t mean anything; Gomes hit some fantastic form after his strange start. I’m not concerned at all, I’ve seen him play and he’s first class.
I’m not denying that he isn’t to blame for one or two of the goals we’ve let in, but it’s expected. He’s only 20 and he’s come over from Spain to takeover from one of the best goalkeepers we’ve had, and he doesn’t speak the language. I’m sure he’ll eventually come good and prove the doubters wrong.
Who do you see as United’s biggest rivals for the title?
That’s a tough question. I’d like to think we should be good enough not to have any major rivals! I know that’s really arrogant and cocky, but I think we should comfortably win the league this year. We won it by nine points last year and we’ve done excellent in the transfer market this year.
I suppose if I had to say anybody for our biggest title rivals it would be City. If you’re spending so much money on decent players then you’re definitely going to be challenging. I think Chelsea looked a tad a little too old last year and they’ve not really added much top-class youth to their team, so winning the league might be to much to ask for their new manager. Liverpool have done really well but are still a way off. As for Arsenal, well, I doubt they’ll be anywhere near the top three unless they really do some decent business. I think you might finish above them this year.
What do you think that Spurs will achieve this season?
I hope for your sake you do well. We like your team, we often pinch some of your best players! Like I just said, as long as you bring a few new names in and keep Modric, I think you can finish above Arsenal this year. Will that mean you finish in the top 4? I don’t know. You might have to fight off Liverpool for that spot and I hope you do it.
Which Tottenham player(s) do you think would improve your squad?
Luka Modric would be just the man we’re looking for to sort out or midfield, so I’d definitely have him. Perhaps I’d have Gareth Bale as well even though I don’t think we really need him.
How do you see the game going on Monday night?
It’s going to be interesting. With Ferdinand and Vidic out we’re far from our best at the back, but we’ve got great depth and have players to fill in. Obviously it’s your first game of the season so that makes it a bit more interesting. I don’t think it’ll be an easy game for either team, but I hope we can win in the end. Maybe 3 – 1 United?I’ll put my head on the line and say our goal scorers will be Rooney (2) and Nani.
What would you rank as your best ever United v Spurs game?
2001 at your place when we were 3 – 0 down at half time and went on to win 5 -3. Great match!
If you could choose one former United player to enhance your current team, who would it be?
Wow. I think I have to say Eric Cantona on behalf of all United fans. I saw him the other day at Scholes’ Testimonial and having him back was great. Even though it was Scholes’ big night we couldn’t help but sing about Eric!