Editor Alex Timperley kindly took the time to give us his thoughts on City’s season, PSG and the tie itself.
1970 PSG: With a League Cup already in the bag, how would rate your season thus far?
Typical City: Our season has been the very definition of “6/10”. There have been high points such as the thrilling League Cup win but overall it has been a bit of a disappointment. As always, it is the knowledge that things should have been so much better which is the real kicker. Failing to beat a Top 6 team all season is unforgivable. If we’d won even half the games against the Top 6 then City would be running away with the Premier League.
On the other hand, we’ve got further than ever before in Europe!
1970 PSG: Your challenge for the Premier League title has dwindled since you won the League Cup at the end of February. Why is this?
Typical City: As mentioned above, it’s the total failure to beat any good teams all season which has done the damage. Some terrible bad luck with injuries has been a significant factor but City have also tactically self immolated repeatedly.
The lack of a settled defence all season has been unfortunate as well. Vincent Kompany’s injury record shows no sign of improving and Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi just have not settled at all.
1970 PSG: Has the news that Pep Guardiola will be taking over at the end of the season played a part in this do you feel?
Typical City: I don’t buy into the theory. It would make sense to me if all of the problems seen since the announcement hadn’t been apparent all season. The fact is that people can go on about abstract concepts like motivation as much as they want but over the whole season, City have been poor. The Guardiola announcement threw it all into the open but City have been rubbish all season. Blaming it on a press conference is avoiding the issue.
I am looking forward to Pep very, very much though…
1970 PSG: Pep making the move to City will of course bring to an end Manuel Pellegrini’s three year tenure. How would you rate his time at the club?
Typical City: I honestly don’t know at the moment. I’m naturally against eulogising the man before he’s even left but I can say that it will be a strange exercise when the time comes. Pellegrini will leave as one of City’s most successful ever managers in terms of trophies but also as a slight disappointment. He was brought in to calm the post-Mancini storm but has arguably gone too far the other way and created too much of a relaxed feeling. He has taken us further than anyone else in Europe but was unlucky to run into a sensational Barcelona team twice in succession.
Manuel Pellegrini is clearly a complex man and it will take some time after the dust settles to be able to answer this question properly. Sorry.
1970 PSG: Who would you say has been your star performer this season?
Typical City: I’m going to pick a few who have been great this season as I always feel it is unfair to single out one person and ignore the rest!
In no particular order:Sergio Aguero, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Bacary Sagna, Joe Hart.
All of them have either been a revelation or just confirmed what we already knew, that they are some of the best players in the world. Apart from Joe Hart who is injured, I’d expect all of the above (including possibly Kelechi) to have a say this week.
1970 PSG: And the most underrated?
Typical City: Joe Hart remains our most underrated player. I don’t understand why people can’t see he’s one of the best ‘keepers in the world. Maybe it’s an English thing? He seems to be much more respected on the continent.
Either way, he’s brilliant and only 28 which is no age for a goalkeeper.
Also Yaya Toure. People seem to be under the impression that he’s lazy and I don’t understand why. I hope very much that he is fit for the match!
1970 PSG: City making it into the last-eight is huge for the club and the progress in Europe has been steady over the last few years. Has there been a key difference this time around and is there a sense of belief you can go further?
Typical City: Yeah there’s been a big difference – we got a knockout draw which we actually had a chance of winning. Likewise, PSG will be a very tough test but it’s actually winnable. Watching Barcelona is incredible but it gets repetitive seeing City get knocked out by them in consecutive years.
Reaching the quarter finals for the first time is massive for the club, definitely. It’s worth noting here that the fans remain unconvinced by the competition and UEFA as a whole, a situation which has recently been exacerbated by the club’s high ticket prices. The City faithful are not happy and there is a good chance that people will vote with their feet rather than pay a huge price for a tournament still ranked below the Premier League by the majority.
1970 PSG: This will be the first meeting between PSG and City for eight-years. Both clubs are completely different entities this time around and we are sure to be in for a spectacle. What have you made of Paris this season?
Typical City: Honestly I’ve not watched much of PSG. The French league is more of a formality/procession than a competition so it feels pointless to take the time ad watch it.
I saw your two games against Chelsea and you looked a proper team with some seriously good players. The team look to be pulling in the same direction and I’m looking forward to seeing them at the Etihad.
1970 PSG: Is there a particular threat from us that concerns you?
Typical City: Ibrahimovic, obviously. Also Di Maria and Verratti. All of them are scary players and your team as a whole will be desperate for Champions League success.
1970 PSG: If there is one PSG player you could take to the Etihad, who would it be?
Typical City: Definitely Verratti, every time and without question. What a great player he is, and he’d fill the whole in midfield we are going to have in the very near future with at least one of Toure and Fernando destined to leave when Guardiola arrives.
1970 PSG: Finally, what is your prediction for the first-leg at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday?
Typical City: 2-1 to PSG. As long as we get an away goal I will be happy as I’d bet on us at the Etihad in the return leg.