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VIEW FROM THE PRESS BOX: IAN CHEESEMAN GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON MANCHESTER CITY

16 February 2018

Ian Cheeseman, XS Manchester host and former Manchester City reporter for the BBC gives us the latest on Pep Guardiola's side.

  • Get the opposition press box view ahead of Latics v Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup.
  • Ian Cheeseman tells us his tales of covering Manchester City and his affinity to Wigan Athletic.
  • An insight into how Manchester City could set up and more on Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders.

Read more from XS Manchester host and Manchester City vlogger Ian Cheeseman in Monday night's match day programme. Buy your copy now here.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COVERING/FOLLOWING MANCHESTER CITY?

"I was a little boy when I went to my first game and I’ve been watching City for 48 years now. I’ve attended over 2,000 matches, first as a supporter and now as a professional reporting on games.

"My first match was the 15th April 1970, the semi-final second leg of the European Cup Winners’ Cup against Schalke and City won 5-1.

"During my time following City I’ve worked for the club as a commentator and hosting various events, and I’ve now covered the team for 25 years as a journalist, the majority of that being for the BBC and now I work for myself and various other outlets such as XS Manchester and the Manchester Evening News.

"The biggest thing for me at the moment is giving an alternative view of the events on my YouTube channel.

"WHAT ARE YOUR BEST MEMORIES FROM THAT TIME AND WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYERS/MANAGERS?

It’s got to be the (Sergio) Aguero moment for me. Commentating on the day that City first won the Premier League was incredible. It had been so long since we’d won the title in the top flight of English football and to do it in that style by coming back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in stoppage time was incredible.

"It’s something I’ll always remember, not just because of what it meant to me as a City supporter, but because my commentary partner Nigel Gleghorn took us off air as I was in mid flow describing the winning goal. I can’t blame him for jumping about because it was such a special moment.

"It was a very dramatic day and even though there have been plenty of other highlights, I’m sure a lot of City supporters will be with me on this one.

Sergio Aguero Premier League Title Manchester City

"In terms of managers, I always loved Kevin Keegan as a City manager, and Pep Guardiola now is a whole level of his own. I don’t know Pep personally, but from watching how he works and what he believes in, it’s clear to see why he is held in such high regard.

"As a boy growing up my favourite player was Colin Bell and I actually got to write his autobiography, which was the biggest thrill you can imagine when you do that for your hero. In this era Yaya Toure and Kevin De Bruyne are wonderful players to watch, but there are so many of them in this team."

YOU’VE WITNESSED KEY MOMENTS IN WIGAN ATHLETIC’S HISTORY AS WELL, WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF THE CLUB?

"I’ve always had a strong affinity for Wigan Athletic, people at the club have always been very kind to me and I have a lot of respect for the club.

"Obviously covering City, I was at the 2013 final. If City were going to lose the FA Cup, and of course I wanted City to win, but if it was going to be anyone to beat us, I was very happy for it to be Wigan Athletic.

Wigan Athletic FA Cup 2013 Trophy Lift

"I was so pleased for the staff at the football club who I knew very well, and for my BBC colleague Paul Rowley who has been reporting on Wigan for years and I consider to be a really good guy.

"It was a very emotional day because I wanted City to win, but I was also really happy for Wigan Athletic and I’m glad that the moment happened for the club."

TACTICALLY, HOW DO YOU THINK MANCHESTER CITY WILL LINE UP?

"I think there will be changes to the back four and the goalkeeper. Having won so comfortably against Basel last Tuesday and with the strength of the squad at Pep’s disposal, I don’t think there will be many surprises in the team, the exception being that we might see young Phil Foden in midfield.

"It’s difficult to pin down a formation for City this season because beyond the defence and the sitting midfielder, everything is fluid, and that’s why they’re so dangerous up front.

"All of the players in front of that six, and especially if Pep doesn’t play Aguero through the middle, everybody else then becomes extremely fluid. The whole of the attacking intent from City rotates during the game, that’s why teams are finding it so difficult to defend against them."

MANCHESTER CITY’S QUALITIES ARE OBVIOUS FOR ALL TO SEE, BUT IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE PLAYER OUT AS A STAR PERFORMER, WHO WOULD IT BE?

"It’s got to be Kevin De Bruyne. He’s on another level at the moment. If City were to win the Premier League and the Champions League this season, then De Bruyne could be in serious contention for the Ballon d’or in my eyes, that’s how well he’s playing at the moment.

"It’s so hard to pick a player out because the quality throughout the team is so high this season, but as a key player it would have to be him.

Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City

WHAT IS YOUR PREDICTION FOR THE GAME?

"I get asked so many times to give predictions on football matches, but I won’t do it, I won’t predict an individual game because there are so many variables.

"I know what I want to happen. I want it to be a great game, won by City by the odd goal, and for Wigan to put on a great show like they have been doing all season.

"Because of my affection for Wigan, I want it to be a great occasion and one that the club can walk away from with their heads held high, whether they win the game or not.

"I’d love to see Wigan Athletic get promoted this season, so I’d love to see them go toe-to-toe with City on Monday and use it as extra motivation in League One."

FOLLOW IAN ON TWITTER @IANCHEESEMAN AND IAN CHEESEMAN – FOREVER BLUE ON YOUTUBE

Wigan Athletic v Manchester City Tickets 


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