Ahead of the trip to the Etihad this weekend, we had a chat with the guys at the 1894 Group about the season so far, thoughts on the match and much more.
Q. What did you make of the game at Selhurst earlier in the season?
From memory, a straightforward win for us really, game over by half time. I say from memory because the beerwas flowing too well to remember everything that was happening! David Silva – enjoy him while you can.
Q. How has the season gone for you since then?
To be fair, we are not playing badly overall, lots of good performances in the season so far but it has really been defined by the blips, the defeats or draws because Liverpool just have not let up. Wolves did the double over us and we have dropped points against the likes of Newcastle and it all means we are already playing to secure second place.
Q. Will Mikel Arteta moving to Arsenal have an effect on City and Pep Guardiola?
Pep took most of the training and so maybe he will not be as missed at our end as people think. There are question marks as to whether Pep is staying on at the end of the season so maybe Arteta felt it was too big a club to turn down at the time.
Q. How active do you think the club will be in January and what are the needs?
We need strengthening at centre half. The fact Pep has been picking Fernadinho in that position instead of Stones shows you how much confidence he has in some of our players. It does look like we will not be buying in January. Again, if Pep was staying long term perhaps he would be buying because he would be getting time to spend with any new signings. Maybe it is just that they are keeping the transfer budget for the next guy.
Q. The introduction of VAR this season has not gone to plan so far – what is your view of the system and how it is being used?
Wasn’t it supposed to be for clear and obvious errors only? It seems we are just checking every goal for the sake of it. There is no point having a referee at all anymore. Everyone hates it. I’d like to see it used for goal line decisions only. It’s killing all the fun of attending the game now. We attended an FSA meeting last year before it came in and it was mentioned fans in the grounds would have no idea whats going on – not all grounds have big screens for example, it’s just shit!
Q. How will the top four look in the Premier League at the end of the season and the bottom three in your opinion?
Top four – Liverpool, City, Leicester, Chelsea
Bottom three – Norwich, Villa, Burnley
Q. Any academy players that you predict will make a name for himself in the future?
Tommy Doyle, Eric Garcia, Taylor-Harwood-Bellis
Q. Who has shone for City so far this season?
De Bruyne is the best player in the league, Sterling improves with each season, Mahrez now coming into his own as an important player. We’ve still got Europe to play for and Bernando Silva can be our special player in the Champions League.
Q. Perhaps you could share your views on what you expect from Palace this season?
Seems to be lacking goals, don’t see enough of them to comment as to why but Roy Hodgson is doing quite a good job, look at where he started from. You will be safe but with the cup defeat to Derby (on the back of the Colchester League Cup defeat), it is not easy to see how the rest of the season stays interesting. You should be pushing for Europe but instead you will probably end up 13th/14th and slipping down the league a bit which would be a shame.
Q. Your prediction?
Palace put up a fight but 2-1 City