Scott: Are you happy with Chelsea’s transfer business over the summer?
Ramon: Our transfer policy has been a bit like being told to go shopping for a family car and coming back with a 2-seater convertible. It seems to have lacked practicality in the sense that if you asked people what sort of players the club needed – creative, attacking players would rank last on the list, with the exception of a first choice keeper. Schurrle and the potential arrival of Willian are exciting and both players add real quality to the side and depth in a position that was often over worked, but juggling all the players now will truly be a circus act from Mourinho. We’ve still yet to sign a striker and looking at the below average performances from both Torres and Ba, it is a soul destroying image seeing the three in behind create magic, only for one of the two previously mentioned to contribute next to nothing. On the plus side, the signing of Marco van Ginkel may well be one of the deals of the summer and the coming few years. There is an air of Michael Ballack around him, purely from his presence but he seems to have the same assured style to his game and a central midfielder who can add a bit of dynamism and creativity has been lacking in recent seasons. The other big plus in the transfer window has been not loaning out players who can provide something for the team, Kevin De Bruyne looks excellent and if Michael Essien was good enough for Real Madrid, how could he not be good enough for us? Bizarre that was. Overall, I’m delighted at the players we have brought in but it would have to be deemed a failure if no striker arrives.
Scott: What do you make of your start to the season?
Ramon: Efficient. There was the twenty minutes of unadulterated brilliance from Hazard, Oscar and De Bruyne, albeit against Hull which had it continued for a full 90, there could have been a double digit scoreline. Since then it has had odd moments of flashy football and intricate interchange but it has perhaps been more conservative than most expected. You can’t really complain with two wins from two games, they haven’t been the most impressive of performances, making hard work of Villa certainly wasn’t in anyone’s plans but getting out of it with a win was important. I think this is when I say “That’s what champions are made of”.
Scott: Who do you think will be your most important player?
Ramon: Petr Cech but I tend not to factor in keepers in these sort of questions, it seems an easy escape route. That being said, at the start of the season I thought it would be Eden Hazard, judging by the first two games and how instrumental he’s been to almost everything good, I’m going with Oscar. He’s a genius that boy. To have such awareness, vision and composure at his age is frightening. Mourinho seems to have identified that playing directly behind the striker is where he will thrive, a fact that a certain someone didn’t seem able to grasp. Hazard may be the human highlight reel come the end of the season but Oscar is the conductor here. You just watch the way he glides past players and is always in space, it is reminiscent of Kaka at his best, I know that is perhaps a painful image for most Manchester United fans but he’s going to be really special.
Scott: How keen are you to sign Wayne Rooney?
Ramon: It has got to the stage where I’d be delighted to sign Wayne Rooney. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fantastic player, but when you’ve spent two seasons being linked with Cavani and Falcao, for all intents and purposes looked like signing one of the two, Wayne Rooney is a bit of a downgrade in that regard. He is certainly an upgrade on what we currently have though but I can’t imagine United selling him to Chelsea, we’re in desperate need of a striker to be on the end of all the creative talent that is in the side. Effectively, United would be forfeiting the trophy in my eyes, unless Chelsea are crazy enough to hand Mata over in an exchange deal.
Scott: Do you think Mourinho has behaved in an ethical way?
Ramon: Yes. I’m sort of in the Michael Laudrup camp over here, you know the transfer window is open to a certain date and clubs are well within their right to do their best to sign players from other teams. At the end of the day, whatever method is used to try and lure the player, whether it is a ‘derisory’ opening bid, a constant claim of ethical values, it is all part and parcel of the game (Unless you kidnap him, that isn’t cool), a game that doesn’t ground itself in ethical values. If you asked me has Mourinho been hypocritical? Yes, he has tried to speak about Wayne Rooney earlier in the window but I don’t see that as a breach of ethics.
Scott: If you could have one United player, who would it be?
Ramon: Well, this is easy, Anderson.
In all seriousness, I think every club has to have the same answer to this question. Robin van Persie. Ohhhhh, what I’d give for him to be our striker, it would be a beautiful marriage. I don’t think I need to elaborate too long on why, but as mentioned earlier, we need a striker, one that scores goals and can play football, in the Premier League, there isn’t anyone better.
Scott: What do you think of United’s decision to appoint Moyes instead of Mourinho?
Ramon: It is unsurprising. Although it still remains in doubt whether he was appointed ‘instead’ of Mourinho, who judging by City’s and PSG’s search for managers had accepted that was an impossibility given that he had seemingly agreed to come back to West London. He was also David Gill’s recommendation, one that wasn’t taken on board it would seem given his impending departure back then. I think it is a decision United might come to regret though, I understand his image wouldn’t exactly go well with the decor already at Old Trafford, but there is no denying he is one of the best, if not the best manager around right now. Moyes possesses the capibility for a stable manager the club want post-Ferguson but whether he has the necessary quality remains to be seen. I think a barren few seasons and there won’t be much consideration about needing stability over success, unless of course, the club want to be an Arsenal mkII. He obviously has the benefit of a squad with a winning mentality and that can’t be understated, Avram Grant managed an FA Cup win, Champions League final and second place in the league with that alone.
Scott: What are your predictions for tonight?
Ramon: Goals, goals, goals, goals… Goals I do adore. United will score, Chelsea will score and then there will be more – I hope everyone likes my rap.
Every time the sides meet now I can’t imagine it being a stalemate with all the attacking options both teams possess. All the United strikers tend to have an obscene ratio against Chelsea, so I don’t look forward to them adding to that. On the other hand, before taking the lead against Swansea, there was so much space offered to the Swansea midfield which if done against Chelsea doesn’t bode well for De Gea. I’m going for the same prediction as last year though, if I remember correctly, a 3-2 Chelsea win (as long as the referee is a bit more impartial this season).