A Talk With; CityWatch | Manchester City (A)
To prepare for the game against Manchester City on Monday night we spoke with Jordan from Man City fan group “MCFC Watch” to give their opinion on the upcoming season, John Stones, Everton and the game ahead.
Well Jordan after Man City’s 2-0 away win against Brighton last Saturday how optimistic are you feeling for the season ahead?
The Brighton game was tough – as it should be when you travel to any promoted side on the opening day of the season. Thankfully, they showed very little attacking intent and it always looked likely that we would be able to break them down, despite their resolute defensive work.
In terms of the season ahead, I’m very optimistic. We’ve had a brilliant summer, clearing out the deadwood and bringing in players in positions which desperately needed strengthening. I have full faith in Pep Guardiola to deliver the goods this season.
Is there any players in particular you think will have a standout season?
Kevin De Bruyne was my early prediction for Player of the Year. He looked razor-sharp in pre-season and is one of the few City players guaranteed to start every game when fit.
Gabriel Jesus is another who looks set for a big season. He showed glimpses of his class after arriving in Manchester from Palmeiras in January, but missed a few months through injury. If he can form a strong partnership with Sergio Aguero, rivals should be very worried. In fact, I think Pep actually prefers Jesus to Aguero. He’s that good.
Stones spent 3 years at Everton and made over 90 appearances
Let’s talk about a player familiar to both sets of fans, John Stones. What have you made of him since signing him for £47.5M last year?
I have a lot of sympathy for John Stones. He is constantly weighed down by his price tag – something which he had no control over. Furthermore, he was playing next to Nicolas Otamendi for the majority of last season, who, as we know, is far from a calming influence.
Make no mistake, though, this is a massive year for Stones. He needs to take it up a notch. The early signs have been promising, but a lot will depend on whether Vincent Kompany is able to stay fit. Kompany makes those next to him play better, whereas Otamendi does the opposite.
What have you made of Everton so far this season?
Well, you can only judge so much after one game, but I think the Toffees looked good against Stoke. It will take time for all your new signings to get settled and gel as a team, but I think the club have bought well. £45m is a lot of money to pay for Gylfi Sigurdsson, mind. But as us City fans have been saying for years – “Who cares? It’s not our money!”
I have a lot of time for Everton. It would be nice to see them finally end their trophy drought and I think you now have the players to do it.
Is there any player you would have at Manchester City from the Everton squad?
Jordan Pickford was excellent for Sunderland last season and carried on his form against Stoke last weekend. We were sniffing around before Everton signed him, and given our goalkeeping problems last season, I would have taken him. I have been impressed with Ederson, though, who we signed from Benfica earlier this summer.
I also enjoyed watching Dominic Calvert-Lewin for England U-20s this summer, though I don’t want us to sign him anytime soon as his development wouldn’t be best served by coming to sit on our bench / play for our EDS.
Let’s move onto the game, how do you see City lining up?
I think Guardiola will stick with the three at the back formation that we saw against Brighton. One of our best performances last season actually came during our 1-1 draw to Everton at home, in which we played a back three. How you managed to take a point from that fixture, I’ll never know. We missed two penalties and it could have been a rout on another day. So for those reasons, it will be some variant of 3-5-2
How Jordan expects City to line up on the night
With Sané, Sterling and Bernardo Silva as options off the bench if we wish to change system.
Who should Everton be looking out for as City’s danger man?
I tipped Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus to have great seasons earlier, but to be honest, I can’t single out one danger man.
Let’s not beat around the bush – our attacking options are sublime, and I would not be at all surprised by any one of Jesus, Aguero, De Bruyne, D.Silva, B.Silva, Sterling or Sané being our best performer. We are truly blessed with attacking talent.
Finally what’s your predictions for the game?
There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and Wayne Rooney scoring against Manchester City. He’s actually scored the most goals against Manchester City of any player in the Premier League era.
As I said earlier though, I’m optimistic for the season ahead and this game is no exception.
I’ll go for 3-1 to City. Goals to be scored by Wayne Rooney, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones.
Good luck for the season ahead!
We’d like to thank Jordan and you can find him at @JElgott and @City_Watch on Twitter