The City View
The Eagles take a break from the stresses and strains of the Premier League to entertain Manchester City at Selhurst Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup. We had a chat with City fan Craig Perry to find out more about their season so far.
Q. The last time we met, City left Selhurst with a narrow win. Perhaps you could share your thoughts on the game?
Obviously, two months have passed since we last met and in the football world that is an eternity. The thing that sticks in my mind from that game, is the return of Yaya Toure and his dominance in the game having shed a few pounds, returning with a hunger to win. Palace were in the worst form I’d seen for a long time, and although you had your chances and only narrowly lost, the lack of organisation in the back four was obvious to see, and a clear indicator of Alan Pardew’s incompetence.
Q. How has the season gone so far for City?
It’s been a roller-coaster ride so far. Some games we have looked like world beaters, others we look destined for relegation. Overall we are where I expected, and I see us improving in the run in.
Q. Is Pep Guardiola finding Premier League football tougher than he expected?
Yes to an extent. He’s an incredibly intelligent man though, and I fully expect him to adapt and dominate the league given time. This year was always going to be a transitional season for us, with so many ageing players, and deadwood we need to address.
Q. Are you expecting much from the transfer window and if so, what areas need to be addressed?
I was hoping we would make a move for Virgil Van Dijk. We desperately need a competent centre half, with Kompany missing and Kolarov not good enough to play full back, let alone centre back!
Q. Much has been said about poor officiating this season but do you think the standard of refereeing is getting worse or do they need more help?
I think it has been on the decline for years. The time has come for video intervention. Perhaps two challenges a half which can be used for goal related incidents, such as penalty claims and offsides. Reviewing challenges is a grey area, with so much left to interpretation, so I’d just stick to goals.
Q. Does the FA Cup still have the same attraction for clubs that it once did?
It does for me, but it doesn’t have the same magic as it once did. This is mainly down to greedy television companies deciding to air all Premier League clashes for revenue, instead of potential giant killings.
Q. What is your view on Palace so far this season?
You’ve had a shocking start, mainly down to Pardew, but I think you will turn it around. I thought you may go for Jermain Defoe or another forward to partner Christian Benteke and make runs off him.
Q. Name one player from each team that the opposition should be concerned about?
For us, I’m going to say Raheem Sterling. Such an intelligent footballer. More than just a pacey forward/winger. He needs to sort his finishing out, but he creates lots of space and goal scoring opportunities.
For you, normally I would say Wilfried Zaha, but I think Benteke will be an issue. His aerial ability will cause Bravo and our defence a lot of problems.
A repeat of the last result, 1-2.
Q. And finally, the floor is yours to promote any projects that you are currently working on.