It's being tipped as the biggest encounter in the Premier League this season, and rightly so. The powerhouses of Manchester lock horns & resume their rivalry this Sunday when Manchester City come to visit Old Trafford for the first Manchester derby (okay okay, the second!) against defending champions Manchester United. Being a top-of-the-table clash, this is no more David versus Goliath but Goliath taking on Goliath at the Theatre of Dreams.
For this week's Rival Rendezvous, we managed to catch hold of Joe Moran, who is a lifelong City supporter, season ticket holder & also harbours a dream to be the CEO of his beloved football club one day. Joe gets candid, straightforward & quite blunt at times, as he answers the questions posed to him -
1. First up, what are your thoughts on the game this Sunday?Joe: I think this Manchester Derby is one of the biggest in recent times, as well as being one of the biggest games of the season altogether. A win for either side will be priceless, not only in points, and obviously bragging rights, but a derby win can always become a platform for the side to use as momentum, and go on a winning streak.
With Mancini's new attacking ways, there will be goals. Not only is this derby one of the biggest, I think it will be one of the most exciting to date, too.
2. How do City fans view the Manchester Derby fixture? Has this become important only since the Abu Dhabi takeover (like in case of United fans) or has it been an important game to win always?
To say United held the derby back then in the same regard would probably be false, as you could say then they had bigger fish to fry, but not anymore. The Manchester derby is again a more significant occasion than the Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea games.
3. Manchester City have spent over £300m in the last 4 seasons & won only a single trophy - the FA Cup last season. How much of that lavish spending is justified?
4. Tell us your most favourite signing City has made since the Abu Dhabi royal family assumed reins at the club.
|Bargain for Brilliance|
5. How do you rate Roberto Mancini as a manager?Joe: I rate Mancini highly. I've had my doubts at points, but that's always going to happen. When he came, the team was just a collection of individuals, not anymore. He's assembled a very good team. He's managed to get some of the worlds best players together, as evidenced this season. I hope he remains at the helm for a long time to come yet. Roberto will only improve, and the team will improve alongside him.
|Thumbs Up From The Fans Too!|
6. Give us your thoughts on the Carlos Tevez saga.Joe: I think how Tevez has treated the manager, team-mates and fans has been nothing short of a disgrace. You cannot get any lower than refusing to do your job. Tevez as a footballer is paid millions of pounds to do something he loves, how many of us would love this opportunity? Yet Tevez seems all too keen to squander it. He's a great player, one of the best to play for Manchester City, but when we rid ourselves of the poison that is Tevez, and his agent, Kia Joorabchian, the better it is for the club as a whole.
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7. Back to the game, do you advocate City adopting an attacking style of play against Man United, also used against the lesser teams in the Premier League?Joe: I really hope we adopt an attacking style for this game. With the attacking talents at our disposal, it would be a great shame if we did not exploit them. United's defence is nowhere near perfect, so by attacking we could really cause some serious problems.
8. Both Manchester teams played each other in the season's curtain raiser i.e. the Community Shield at Wembley & United won after making a fantastic comeback of sorts. What do you think went wrong for City that day?
9. Sergio Aguero is back in the team with a last-minute goal against Villareal in the Champions League. Will he be key against Manchester United, despite having never played them before?
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11. Which has been your favourite Manchester Derby encounter till date?Joe: My favourite derby so far has to be the first Etihad Stadium derby, where City ran out 4-1 winners. Back then, as I've said, it was one of the rare opportunities the team could give us something to shout about.
12. Tell us your predicted Manchester City starting lineup for the Old Trafford game.
|Joe's Predicted Man City Lineup|
13. On a final note, your scoreline prediction for the game.Joe: It's such a big game, nobody will want to lose, it will be a very anxious affair, so I'm going for a 1-1. Agüero for City, Rooney for United. It will be an exciting encounter, though.
I thank Joe for talking to Traffordshire County. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeMoran21.
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