Date: 22nd August 2010 at 6:46pm
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With City`s fiercely awaited clash against Liverpool approaching fast it was only a matter of time before the talk started. The Editor of respected fans forum Anfield Online John Dowling gives his opinion on the footballing matter.

A club so enriched with your history, trophies and support somehow managed to finish seventh in the Premier League Last Year. After being tipped as pre-season favourites for the title it must have come as a huge shock round Anfield, what factors contributed to such a poor showing?
Seventh place last season was a huge disappointment. There was very little personnel change from the season before when we got our highest ever Premier League points total, almost snatched the title, and put in our 3rd best league campaign in our entire history. Some people say losing Alonso was pivotal, but personally I feel the injuries to Torres, the disappointment at off the field antics and a lack of new players affected team morale. Liverpool last year was less about the football and more about the owners and directors war against the manager.

After Rafael Benitez finally left Liverpool your new managed was unveiled as Roy Hodgson. After such a successful stint at Fulham where do you think Uncle Roy can lead the club?
For me – I have my doubts. His CV doesn’t impress me. I expect an eventual new Liverpool board to install a more succesful manager and I’m sure Roy will go on to manage England at some point. Clearly he was brought in to steady the ship and even fans like me who were slightly deflated on his appointment wish him all the very best.

Roy Hodgson`s first dilemna at Liverpool must have been the summer transfer window. With rumours of Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano leaving as well as no cash fund it must have been difficult to overlook. However, after looking like securing the futures of two of the three aforementioned players and acquiring talents such as Joe Cole you must be delighted?
Joe Cole, if fit, could be a good signing. He was a target for Liverpool since March under the previous manager. We have still lost a number of players in recent years that have not been replaced. We had a handful of proven strikers at one point now we have Torres – a player who still suffers with injuries. Our squad is still paper thin on quality as our bench will prove. Most Liverpool fans are aware that until the debt is lifted off the club then this won’t be rectified.

With Hicks and Gillet still at the club there must have been some serious doubts over the clubs future. Nevertheless, with the owners looking to jump ship and instil wealthier owners in charge optimism must be growing?
The fans are hopeful the present owners are removed as swiftly as possible, primarily for their broken promises. We have had many false dawns about new owners over the past few years so I would imagine most fans will be relieved when the deal has been done.

After looking at City and witnessing what financial support can do to a club in terms of players this could be a serious step forward, but out of all of City`s talented stars which one would you like to see playing in front of the Kop?
Tevez last season would have been a great signing for us. The kind of player we were crying out for. He’s not only got the skill but the physical side needed in the Premier League.

With this talent at our disposal surely City can improve on last season`s finish of 5th, as an opposing fan in which position do you believe City will end the campaign?
Difficult to guess. I’m not sure you’ve got the best manager that your wealth could allow. I would imagine City should finish top four. I can’t see Spurs finishing there again and United, Arsenal and even ourselves are all lesser teams than a couple of seasons ago when we had a stranglehold.

On to the fixture. I`m quietly known as a betting man myself but I`d judge this as a tough game to call, if you were given £5 to place your bet what would you predict
Score draw. 1-1.

Finally, although we might not possess the rivalry of yourself and our distant neighbours there have been some great encounters between the clubs, which memory stands out to you as a personal favourite?
I remember a 6-0 victory back in the mid 90’s at Anfield with Ian Rush and Fowler both scoring twice. The 3-2 win two seasons back was a great game. From being down and out we came back and Kuyt scored the winner at your ground. That fighting spirit summed up what was a brilliant league season for us.

Thanks again to John and if anyone would like a look at their fan site visit:http://www.anfield-online.co.uk/

Stick around tomorrow for a City response.



 

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