It was a great performance from Paul Merson as an English footballer, who is clearly in need of a new job because he left Manchester United and then won the League Cup in the process. But he is getting old, and not too good. He’ll end up back in the Under 17 side in England after next season.
It was an exciting first round with Chelsea and Southampton, and then Bayern Munich. There’s no doubt that English players were hugely influential, but there is little doubt Manchester City, as well as Chelsea, had a big impact, as well. I’ve always thought the derby, as a sporting spectacle, has got little to do with the outcome, but it is certainly an important thing to the overall storyline.
I think that what you want to see with your football team is a certain blend: players who play well together, and players who play badly. Maybe not in a single game but in a series of matches.
What have you got to give in the next Derby?
It’ll be very difficult. We have a fantastic manager. He’s put his team in, and he’s brought a lot of energy and passion into it.
I don’t know what to expect from him—it’s a different style of game than the one we played at this stage (last year). He will make it very difficult, but I love playing in the Derby: I loved coming up against it and we played great football. It’s something people in England don’t get to see as often as we should; we get to see them against their local rival, and it’s a great experience.
Manchester City’s Paulinho, right, is tackled by Everton’s Paul McShane
Do the fans have to expect more from you and your team?
Yes, there’s a lot of expectation in Manchester. It’s the derby after all, when we have to win at least three games before we have to play Liverpool in the cup. We will try to win every game, but to be honest, you can’t beat Liverpool every week in a derby. A lot of people might want to see us win every game.
There are some fans here who won’t have their eyes on the football but on the city and the club. That’s OK. There’s no reason we can’t beat Liverpool or Arsenal one night (for example)—it’ll just be a game and a couple of players will get injured and you’ll all go home. That happens to