Vital Football

A Red Devils point of view

A Red Devils point of view

Zae - from Vital Manyoo answers some questions ahead of the Pompey v Manyoo game this weekend.

Fairly early days I know, but are you happy with how your season is going so far?
It could be worse but could be much better. Being five points behind Chelsea at this point is not a disaster, considering that we would have deserved at least a point at Stamford Bridge but the overall performance level is not good enough. The team looks a bit blunt, there is not enough focus and concentration...

What is it like without 'the winker' playing for you now - are you better or worse without him?
I think the squad needs strengthening because though it's got a lot of long term potential in its current state it's weaker than Chelsea's and isn't ready for another assault on Europe. And, though Ronaldo was a hate figure for other teams' fans, he was also quite a character. He made the Premier League and United more exciting, more colourful - his arrogance was really entertaining sometimes! That is something I miss a lot, that feeling of having the best and possibly most arrogant and self-confident player in the world in our team. And I also miss the fear that was apparent on many defenders faces when they were confronted with Ronaldo in full flow.

Are the club treating the fans well, or are they fleecing you?
The current Manchester United is a corporate monster. Ticket prices are steadily rising, the stewards at the stadium are a little... too efficient, in a way. And I don't think that any fan of any Premier League club can escape the feeling that they are just pawns of respective the merchandising departments...

Not that you made many really, but who do you think has been your best summer signing and why?
Not much of a choice, really? Antonio Valencia lived up to my expectations so far: he's quick, he's direct and he started scoring goals. Looking forward to further improvement from him but he's the best signing of the three. Albertan has shown promise and Owen won us the derby - I'll be grateful to him for that moment, though it seems he won't do much else here...

Could you have done with more arrivals - if so in which areas and maybe even who?
Oh, yes. Central midfield depends on Anderson's improvement and Hargreaves's fitness: if both perform to their true abilities we are well-covered in that area. On the flanks... Nani is stagnating, Tosic seems to have no chance, Park is an honest, useful but limited player, Obertan is a dark horse and Giggs is 36 - so we have plenty of players there but little real quality. Adem Ljajic, due to arrive in January, could be one for the future but right now I'd sell Nani and Tosic and get a quality wide man. Up front we are desperately thin as Macheda and Welbeck are still far away from first-team quality while Michael Owen offers very little. A bit of a defensive cover would be useful, too, with the constant rumours about Vidic and with Rio's persistent injury problems.

What were your expectations, or hopes before the season kicked-off? Have they changed since?
Hopes? I hoped we would be able to win the league for an unprecedented fourth time in a row. I'm still hoping. Expectations? Top three finish, Champions League quarter-finals and possibly a domestic cup. These haven't changed as they are entirely realistic I think.

What about Pompey, what do you think we should expect or hope for now?
No offence meant but the current bunch is not good enough for survival. If you'll have money to spend in January you can stay up as Avram Grant is actually quite a good manager who suffered at Chelsea for not being Mourinho even though he got closer to winning the Champions League than either Mourinho or Guus Hiddink. Wolves, Hull, Rovers and even Burnley: these teams are not exactly unbeatable, they can be overtaken if you stay in touching distance till January.

What is more important to you - the league, champions league, FA cup or league cup?
The league, then the league, the league and the league. But of course the league is also very important. But seriously: the league title is always the number one aim for me, even if Fergie might not agree, with his obsession with the European Cup. But winning the league is something that never gets boring, that never loses its gloss for me, it's just fantastic. To do it for the fourth time in a row? I would be ecstatic.

Who is the real Manyoo danger man that Pompey need to watch?
Must be careful here or I'll jinx our men. I'll suggest Valencia: he's desperate to prove himself and seems to be improving all the time. Cue him having a stinker tomorrow!

If you could take any Pompey player and put him in your squad who would it be and why? Clearly you would want to do this, bare in mind you can ONLY have one though!
Erm, well, if I can only pick one: I have a soft spot for Jamie O'Hara though I would not pick him ahead of Darren Fletcher. But he's a lad with a bright future.

Is there anyone that you would like to send Pompey's way?
If we get a proper winger you can have Nani: he's got fantastic skills but very little brain. Still, a change of scenery might bring the best out of him...

Go on, it is a forgone conclusion that you will lose, but who do you think will win at the weekend?
Well, a new manager always lifts a team but I think our experience and quality will see us through. 2-0 United, with goals from Rooney and Valencia.

Questions answered by Zae from Vital Manyoo.


Bookmark and Share

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Saturday November 28 2009
Time: 12:05AM


Yes, haha! This man has "chutzpah," as Avram might say. I will enjoy it all the more as we eeke out a 0-0 draw.
28/11/2009 00:50:00
Come on Avram, get that away win!!!
28/11/2009 05:54:00
You're aware that the game will be played at Fratton Park, JT? :-)
28/11/2009 09:21:00
Our current 'bunch' of players are not all that bad really - obviously there's a few exceptions to that, and we need natural goalscorers. But overall performances haven't been that bad, so I don't agree they're not good enough to keep us up. We need to score, we need to strenthen a couple of positions, we need more tactical nouse from the bench, and we need some luck!
28/11/2009 10:01:00
Well Zae, I'm hoping we're going to knick a point off you guys. Of course hopes can be dashed. And if they are so be it. As long as it's a good game and we put on a show, that'll do me. Pompey are more than underdogs for this game, so there'll be no losing face.
28/11/2009 14:49:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

Another Fratton disappointment

That 2nd half on Saturday against Notts County was woeful - absolutely awful wasn't it. The first 15-minutes or so of it was like a pre-season friendly to pre-season!

Match highlights - Pompey 1-2 Notts County

What a disappointment that was! The 1st half wasn't bad, in fact large chunks of it were good but the 2nd half was just woeful with a soft centred Pompey beaten 2-1 by Notts County.

On this day in history...24th October

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 24th October.

Audio - Cook Talks County Defeat

Manager Paul Cook has been speaking of his disappointment following defeat to Notts County this weekend.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
Editor email
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Notts County MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Sub - Naismith0%
Sub - Main0%
Sub - Lalkovic0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 14 10 2 2 32 12
2 Carlisle 14 7 7 0 28 10
3 Doncaster 14 8 2 4 26 8
4 Luton 14 6 5 3 23 9
5 Portsmouth 14 6 3 5 21 6
6 Notts County 14 6 3 5 21 1
7 Accrington 14 5 5 4 20 1
8 Grimsby 14 6 2 6 20 0
9 Crawley 14 5 5 4 20 -1
10 Morecambe 14 6 2 6 20 -6
11 Mansfield 14 4 7 3 19 1
12 Crewe 14 4 7 3 19 -1
13 Yeovil 14 6 1 7 19 -5
14 Blackpool 14 4 5 5 17 4
15 Colchester 14 4 5 5 17 -1
16 Cheltenham 14 3 7 4 16 -1
17 Hartlepool 14 3 7 4 16 -4
18 Cambridge 14 4 4 6 16 -5
19 Leyton Orient 14 4 3 7 15 -2
20 Barnet 13 3 6 4 15 -4
21 Wycombe 14 4 3 7 15 -5
22 Stevenage 13 4 2 7 14 -3
23 Exeter 14 4 1 9 13 -6
24 Newport 12 1 4 7 7 -8
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Cambridge United (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 12 2016 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Cheltenham Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 22 2016 7:45PM : Luton Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Stevenage (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Grimsby Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

The Vital Football Members League