Ahead of Saturday's game at Cardiff City, we
caught up with Ben
He gives his views on their season so far, Malky Mackay, Peter Odemwingie
It’s been a
fairly difficult start to your first season in the Premier League, has the club
done better or worse than fans expected prior to the start of the season?
We've definitely done better than fans anticipated. We
haven't had an easy run of fixtures playing
Man City, United, Tottenham,
Arsenal and Chelsea all in our opening fixtures, and we've picked up four points
from those games; beating Swansea was also a massive win. In recent fixtures,
it's all fallen apart a little bit. Not scoring goals and the recent loss to
Palace was the worst performance of the season.
has made himself pretty unpopular with some of his decisions since buying a
controlling stake in the club, what’s the general feeling amongst City
supporters towards him at the moment?
The general feeling is one of dislike. The majority of fans
turned against him when he changed the kit from blue to red and showed total
disregard for the club's history and traditions. The rest of the fans turned
against him when he sacked Iain Moody without reason and has refused to comment
on the security of Malky's job. The general feeling ranges from not liked to
press are to be believed, Malky Mackay could be replaced as City boss sooner
rather than later, does he still have the backing of the club’s fans? And if he
does leave is there anyone in particular you would like to see replace him?
He has the unconditional backing of the fans. His stock has
never been higher despite the poor performances. His relationship with Tan has
completely fallen apart. They don't talk and it would all seem that Malky is on
the edge. For many fans, if Tan gets rid, it would be the last straw. Malky is
our hero at the moment.
Odemwingie - How’s he doing?
Well he was doing well. He showed willing to run and take
people on his first few games. Scored a couple of goals, looked bright and full
of invention. Since then he's struggled. Seems to dilly-dally on the ball, loses
possession a lot and doesn't want to track back. If was consistent, he would be
brilliant. As it is, he's not.
player of the season so far?
David Marshall. Over the years he has transformed into a
top-class goalkeeper. He's kept us in many games with world-class saves and his
performance against Tottenham was one of the best performances I have ever seen
and, probably, one of the best the Premier League had seen.
been particularly disappointing?
It's an odd one. It would be hard to pick out players who
have been playing consistently as they've all had their moments. Andreas
Cornelius cost £7.5m in the summer and we haven't really seen him due to injury
and Malky's reluctance to pick him. He could be a revelation but for now, he's a
for City’s season, are you confident of staying up?
If this had been two weeks ago, yeah I would have been. But
now, I'm not so sure. Palace have fought back a little bit and Stoke's win
against Chelsea will give them a boost. The last few weeks have been very
poor and a few more bad results will see us struggling massively.
I think you will finish comfortably in the mid-table region.
I had no idea you had dropped down to just above us. The league isn't as open as
last year and it's making it so unpredictable but I think mid-table is right for
Albion players that impress you?
I've always rated Chris Brunt and his wand of a left foot.
It's hard not to be impressed by Berahino up front. Sessegnon is like a modern
day Jason Koumas; will do nothing all game and then conjure some magic out of
Any memories that stand out from previous
Albion v Cardiff games?
Yeah, it was 2005/06. You'd just signed John Hartson and he
was a particular villain amongst
Cardiff fans due to his undying
love for all things Swansea. We'd just signed an unknown defender from Wycombe and it
was a bit like David vs. Goliath. Except Roger Johnson, from Wycombe, was the
big man and Hartson was kept incredibly quiet.
Arsenal. They blew us away two weeks back and were
incredible. Their passing was slick, their team-play was a sight to behold.
Ramsey was unplayable. Ozil was meek but still assisted two. If they can keep
their form up, they will win the league at a canter.
Palace, West Ham and Fulham. Perhaps I'm reaching for Fulham
but I don't want to say we will get relegated.
If I am being optimistic, we will win 2-1. We need a win
desperately and Malky will have been so disappointed with Palace. If I am being
pessimistic, you will batter us.