Our next View from the Enemy on our final day is with Jon Owen from Why Delilah who has spoken to us about the highs and lows of last season.
Scott the Red: Were you happy with your team’s performance last season?
John Owen: Very. It was disappointing not to finish in the top half, but it was another season of progress for us. Winning 5-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final is something I’ll never forget. It was stunning. Reaching Europe for the first time in 30+ years was also a great achievement.
STR: After such a great semi-final, where did it go wrong in the final?
JO: Injuries to key players (Etherington and Huth) and a lack of squad depth caught up with us. Man City weren’t great, but they looked fresher than us and deserved to win.
STR: Who were your most important players?
JO: Robert Huth in defence was outstanding throughout. Jon Walters netted 12 goals and proved a lot of people wrong – he obviously knows where the back of the net is. The most important, for me, though, were the two wingers Matty Etherington and Jermaine Pennant. They gave us a different edge and caused teams no end of problems. We looked a different beast when they both played.
STR: How has your team done in the transfer market this summer?
JO: Not too much to report here. We have bought in Jonathan Woodgate on a free from Spurs. If he stays fit he’ll be a good signing, but that’s a big IF isn’t it?! We traditionally don’t do our business until the end of the August transfer window, so I’m not too worried with the lack of signings, yet.
STR: After a cup final last season, what are your aspirations for this season?
JO: More of the same. I reckon we’ll be mid-table again, anywhere from 14th to 8th. And that’d do me! A good cup run would also be nice.
STR: How do you rate your manager’s ability to take the club forward?
JO: I have every faith in him. He’s proven people wrong time after time, and I can’t see any reason why he can’t take us another step forward.
STR: Where do you think you will finish this season?
STR: Which player do you think will most important in helping you achieve this?
JO: Etherington/Pennant. We need them both fit!
STR: Which two current United players would you most want at your club?
JO: The front two, Rooney and Hernandez. Rooney has so much ability and Hernandez will get even better. I think their partnership will be even stronger up front this season.
STR: Who will finish in the top 4? Who will go down?
JO: Top Four: Manchester United, Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool. To go down: QPR, Norwich, Swansea.
STR: Do you think Shawcross will stay for life?
JO: That’s a difficult one to answer! Every player has their price and Shawcross could easily play for one of the top four. He’s as good, if not better than Gary Cahill.
STR: Anything else you’d like to tell us?
JO: We need to get off to a good start and end the season much better. We lost our first and last three games of last season, which ultimately cost us a top half place.
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