Date: 2nd October 2009 at 9:56pm
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Vital Network legend The Fear takes the stand for our seventh pre match interrogation of this exciting season. Great reading…

1. A bouyant City head to Villa Park in fine form for their second consecutive Monday night ESPN televised game. The Blues are handily placed in 5th position whereas Villa are also nicely poised in 7th spot. Despite an early Europa League exit and a couple of blips against Wigan and Blackburn, Villa can point to a satisfactory start to the season with Liverpool away a noteable scalp. So what’s the Villans vibe? Are you disappointed or happy with your season’s start?

The honest answer to that chaps is I don’t know! The Liverpool result was a GREAT result after what can only be described as a woeful performance against Wigan. I’ve never seen such a worryingly lacklustre start to a season than that so to pick ourselves up and win at Anfield was great. The synical side of me does remind me often that Liverpool missed three great chances before we got going but hey, we won, you can’t argue with that, misses don’t count!

Our other wins have also been welcome but we certainly don’t look anywhere near top form and some of our players haven’t started the season yet form wise. Now if we have another gear to step into – Blackburn away suggested not…! – then this could be another good season where we push the top four and fight with you, Spurs and Everton for the 5-6 positions if nothing else transpires.

So the vibes? Split I think, some are very optimistic about MON and his style of play, others are on the fence and some are very much doubting his reign will see us any higher than 6th. A good win v City would certainly be most welcome but I don’t think you can ever really assess until you’ve played at least 10 games!

2. What are your hopes and aspirations for this season and how do you feel the summer transfer window went for you?

We were second only to you guys spending wise, we’ve brought in some solid (I hope?!) defenders but still lack the wow factor. Maybe Downing will bring the flair required when he is fit. I was shocked we didn’t go for another striker as Heskey is a striker who doesn’t score and John Carew can blow amazingly hot and cold. As for Gabby, well this is a big season for him and he has started very well… hopefully he’ll show us why we didn’t break the bank for the likes of Darren Bent?!

Aspirations? Who knows league wise, the top four have been solid for years but maybe there are cracks showing, we have to fight not only them but you chaps with all your filthy money (LOL), Spurs and Everton. Tough league for sure. Would love to see us have a cup run, that is what MON’s reputation was built on so hopefully this season we can take them seriously and fight to lift some silverware, been a long time (96 was the last League Cup win) so it is overdue.

3. Ricardo Dunne. How is he settling in after his long service at City? Do you rate him and will he play a major role in your campaign this season?

Bit early to tell yet really, had a penalty given against him at Blackburn Rovers for having his hands over his head but to be fair, the overhead kick was head height so that could have been a free kick our way as well. Not sure there was that much else he could have done. He has looked quite solid though and James Collins is looking good by his side, in fact he might turn out the better of the two buys. Time will tell. Dunne no doubt will play a major role in the team this season and I think Curtis Davies might well struggle to get back into the team when he returns from injury (he is out for around 5 months after having shoulder surgery).

4. ‘Shot by both sides:’ The Dangermen. Who should The Villa and in turn City, be paying close attention to at Villa Park on Monday night?

We’ll have to pay attention to the player you nicked from us… yes, I’m bitter! ( Are You Going To Boo Gareth Barry? ) and Bellend if he plays always causes problems. Tevez is also good on his day although for his price and reputation, he doesn’t really score as many as he should does he? Wish I’d not said that now!

As for who you should watch out for. Gabby is on fire, he is certainly our dangerman at the moment although you should never write off John Carew IF he turns up and is interested. On his day he is unplayable, hopefully Monday will be his day!

Ashley Young has yet to hit form, when he does he is a very useful player and James Milner is proving more than a handful for the opposition this year, I do like Milner, he looks class but gets stuck in as well, not like some of the ponces prancing around the Premiership these days! lol

5. Everyone at Manchester City from pitch to state of the art turnstile are very publicly aiming to take on and destabilise the seemingly endless procession of ‘The Big Four’ – Can it be done? You lot have come pretty close.

Liverpool rely on two world class players, if either of them get injured then they won’t be infalable, we’ve beaten them and they looked rocked that night. Arsenal, will Wenger really build yet another great team from his youngsters? It isn’t a given is it? Man Utd and Chelsea both look very strong still to me though, I think the top two are there already… so hope to be proved wrong.

It can be done, at some point it will be done and we did come so close last season, if not for the fact we were short on numbers and didn’t make any major and VERY needed moves in January + MON moved away from a winning 4-5-1 formation to fit in Emile ‘I don’t shoot so I certainly won’t score’ Heskey we actually could have held on and done it and we’d have kept Barry then!

6. Are The Citizens guilty of ‘ruining football,’ one of the more hysterical charges levelled at the club throughout 2009?

Yes. No different to what the Champions League and Abramovich have done though. The money is too distorted, the wages are obscene and the field isn’t level anymore. We all used to start a season with at least 10 clubs knowing they had a chance of winning the league. We now talk about finishing 4th. FOURTH… that used to be 3rd loser. Worst thing to happen to the domestic game is that bloody Champions League !

So yes, you’ll have a contributing factor in ruining the traditions of the English leagues, but you haven’t instigated it, it is already well under way. Some will love it, others will get bored of the over paid prima donnas on the pitch. I’m split. I agree with MON who was quoted in the summer that in some ways it is interesting to see the money spent and who is coming to the Prem but in another it is disheartening to be trying to build something without a ridiculous budget (and yes, other clubs would look at Villa as big spenders and say maybe we are doing similar) only to get blown out the water by the latest show ponies looking to franchise out our football.

Time will tell what becomes of the Prem, hope you guys enjoy the ride though, much like Villans and Toffees, you’ve known you are a sleeping giant for many a long year and had to watch others come along and reign at the top, so why shouldn’t you enjoy whatever comes your way, just make sure you are ready for the snipes from other fans who would love to be doing the same!

7. And so to battle. Your match prediction?

We are going to thrash you 23-0 in the most shocking Premier League game ever, the Tevez run of 10 own goals will go down in the record books and the fact that Gareth Barry takes our penalty for us after forgetting who he was playing for gets him in hot water.

Realistically – and I don’t often say this – I fear a loss.

You should now be very afraid, because it is rare I say that and when I do say it, we usually win.

Up the Villa!

Very many thanks to The Fear and the Vital Villans. An excellent interview! Consider yourselves well briefed Blues!

Deadly Sinners so far this season:

Blackburn Rovers: Mikey D
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Akela
Portsmouth: pompeyrug
Arsenal: Paul Mustchin
Manchester united: Nobby Allcock
West Ham: Rossy
Aston Villa: The Fear


Vital Manchester City was the fastest growing Independent City Website last season and has a membership now standing at 1800 strong. There’s more to come – Be Here Now and join us on our Live Match Day Thread in the Vital Forums on Monday night. Meantime, get in amongst all the big match build up predictions and debate this weekend: VITAL MC MATCH DAY FORUM