Date: 4th November 2009 at 9:24am
Written by:

Vital Burnley’s main man Turfmanphil takes the hot seat for the latest edition of this popular series and it’s a belter..!

1. Despite going into this one in a Champions League place beaten only once, there is a degree of anxiety around SportCity after some stuttering recent Blues performances. The squad will be anxious to win, and win well against a Burnley side who dare we say it, are thus far enjoying their Premier League experience in 10th place. Without wishing to in anyway patronise, are you defying your own expectations and how is life under Owen Coyle and the current set up?

‘It is safe to say we are thoroughly enjoying life so far in the top flight! If you would have said to me that by the end of October our ‘ickle club would be 10th just three points behind Liverpool I would have called for the funny men in white coats to take you away!

‘We are doing so well based on the ‘Fortress Turf Moor’ effect and the atmosphere is breathtaking but of course we have yet to get a point on the road this season. We have suffered some heavy maulings at the hands of Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs and I would be happy if we could at least avoid a tonking on Saturday.

”Owen Coyle is God’ you know, but whether he can work anymore miracles especially against a moneybags side like City with such depth of quality in the squad is debatable and it is certainly a big ask.

‘We have probably the smallest squad in the Premier League, with players earning the smallest salaries and yet the camaraderie and team motivation is phenomenal but we have to be realistic when just one of your multimillion pound players is worth more than our whole squad put together!

‘We have boxed clever with our signings though and not brought old, big ego Premier league players to the club. Most of those would quite happily sit on the bench or not even be selected whilst being content counting the ££££££££’s going into their bank accounts! We have bought young, eager players to the Turf typically from the Scottish or lower English leagues and if we do go down, then we will be better placed to go back up rather than lose players we can no longer afford and find ourselves in dire straits.’

2. It can be a long, tough, uncompromising winter in the top flight as Hull discovered to their cost last season. There’s no margin for error. Do you expect that you can secure your status by next May?

‘If our home form continues, I think we will be safe but we do need to start picking up a few points on the road. There is so much pressure on winning every home game at the moment. I like to think we could be the new Stoke but playing more attacking, entertaining football. Trouble is our defence keeps getting caught out on the break and the blistering pace of the top quality Prem players is scary! We might need to start grinding out results away from home, it might not be pretty but it could mean survival. I don’t think though Coyle has the word ‘defence’ in his vocabulary.’

3. Which result so far this season has given you the most satisfaction?

‘Probably the one that gave you the most satisfaction too – Burnley 1-0 Manchester United. At long last I can shut up Reds fans in our local pubs! I have the Blake goal on my mobile just to rub it in!’

4. ‘Shot by both sides:’ The Dangermen. Who should The Clarets and in turn City, be paying close attention to at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday?

‘Your whole bloody team will be a danger and we will need to be on our guard in all departments!! I hope your former defender, Stephen Jordan will be on his toes for us at left back. Chris Eagles has been in impressive form recently and the master magician Robbie Blake still has what it takes.’

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, increasingly boring procession of ‘The Big Four’ – Can it be done?

‘I very much hope you can, it would be a breath of fresh air. Whether you can or not, I am not sure, but if you can make sure you start after Saturday!’

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

‘I would answer that by saying c’est la vie.

‘I will also say being a supporter of an unfashionable club with no money, if you do manage to win anything or achieve success a la our Wembley play-offs victory, the feeling is ten times better I should imagine than being a fan of a Big Four(or 5 or 6 whatever it is now) club where the expectations are so much higher.

‘You have to be realistic, the Premier League is all about money and if you have it, there is no point in others complaining. There will come a time I am sure when there will be a European Super League and the rest of us will have to fight for what’s left in the national game.’

7. And so to battle. Your match prediction?

‘Do I go with my heart or my mind? My mind is saying another bloody tonking and my heart, come on, we have to get a point sometime away from home and Jimmy Greaves always said it was a funny old game!

‘If we do lose and the odds are we will, I hope its just by say 1-0 or 2-1, I could live with that! What the hell 1-1 draw, now where have those funnymen in white coats gone?’

Turfmanphil is the Vital BFC Editor and a Clarets Trust Board Member.

Very many thanks to Phil and the team at Vital Burnley for this superb interview.

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
Wigan Athetic: Worbo
Fulham: Andrew Joyce
Scunthorpe: Luke Thornhill
Burnley: Turfmanphil


Vital Manchester City was the fastest growing Independent City Website last season and has a membership now standing at over 1900 strong. We’re targeting 2000 members by the turn of the year. There’s more to come – Get on board and join the debates in the VMC Forums as City aim to consolidate their place in the top four.