Savvy talks to the man from Vital Man City who has some comforting words for all City fans. We also find out why he is worried about our midfielder Robert Snodgrass…
Are the fans still on Mancini’s side – this season you don’t seem so fluid?
We definitely aren’t so ‘fluid’ that’s for sure. There is a lot of frustration around undoubtedly. Being 7 points behind your main rivals for the title is not what anyone would like, Chelsea have picked up their form and we have been struggling to score. I don’t think many of the fans would be opting for ditching Mancini at this point in time not least because there are hardly any serious replacements available but also because most of us I would hope are sick to death of the revolving door that had been used in the manager’s office for so many years and some stability is much craved. We just want to see some evidence of a more flexible tactics and higher tempo to our games.
How much will the owners let him get away with? Is the PL the key objective that he has to achieve or else he’ll be sacked?
Well I think they are in it for the long haul and are not inclined to ‘knee jerk’ managerial changes. Although there is a feeling that Mancini and the team over-achieved last season winning the PL title (the target was probably this season) and there was bound to be disappointment at the failure to get through to the CL knock-out stages, I personally don’t believe that he’ll automatically get the push if City don’t win the league this time around. Finish outside the CL places and now that might be a different matter altogether. The bar has been set high.
What will your starting XI be? What’s the key difference this year?
Starting 11 is always tricky although our defensive injuries have made the choices a bit easier. I will go with Hart; Zabaleta; Kompany; Nastasic; Clichy; Barry; Yaya Toure; Silva; Nasri; Tevez & Aguero. The key difference this year is a failure to get the right transfer targets in to put more pressure on the players and prevent complacency.
Be honest, are you confident ahead of the game?
I am still quietly confident. We have the quality there is no doubt but there is a feeling that teams have been adapting and evolving their play against City and that we have not moved up the necessary gear in response. It ain’t easy but we will have to learn quick or the title may well be beyond reach.
What do you make of our season so far?
You’ve had a bit of a dip in the last few games but prior to that were making good progress I feel. Certainly your Points per Game over the past two months (1.80) is a great improvement to the start of the season. In August & September it was 0.50 which is relegation form. I can see Norwich staying well clear of the relegation battle if they keep that form up (after this weekend of course!).
Last season you made light work of beating us, what were your thoughts of our team then?
Last season’s result caught me by surprise and seems an anomaly. We took our chances well that day and I think there was the ‘Tevez factor’ – his return after his self-imposed exile and a burning desire to work hard. We also scored an early goal which always helps. Just wish we could do that more often as I think it would solve a lot of the difficulties we’ve been facing this term.
Which of our players are you worried about for Saturday?
Snodgrass for one. I will be quite nervous if we concede any free kicks around the penalty area. Bassong has proved useful also and might well be a threat at set pieces. Odds now on a Bassong headed winner from a Snodgrass free kick?!!
Where do you think we will finish?
If you keep up the current form you’d end up with around 59 points. Last season that would have put you in 10th so I’ll stick my neck out and say I think you’ll end up between 10th-12th. I’ll have to keep an eye out now to see if I’m anywhere close. Would like to see Norwich stay in the PL.
The only thing I’m certain of is that we`re not likely to see a repeat of last season’s 1-6. Our form is not great also and I can see this ending in a 1-1 draw.