Monday, 29 December 2008

Blackburn 2:2 Manchester City. Robinho draws city level.

A bit late...

Well i wanted 3 points, disappointed we didn't get them, but with the manner of the result, i will certainly take a draw.

Poor midfield performance mainly from ireland, swp and robinho. Ireland was awful yesterday which was sup rising, his passing was poor, swp should of scored but otherwise failed to live up to his high standards. Robinho drifted for most of the game and missed an easy chance in the 1st half, but i was delighted to see him get the ball in the box, he was never going to miss.
I thought elano and kompany endeavoured to get the game going, both misfired with some passes, but elano showed himself to be much more robust and created two cracking chances with his vision.

Credit goes to Danny Sturridge another Young star who has staked his claim again for a spot in the squad, i would of liked him to partner big Felipe upfront as it could be quite successful. It was sturridge who changed the game and saved the game...

The defence again was and is a problem. Ball is simply not good enough and can't cope with even the weakest of attacks, I'm not sure what garrido did to warrant losing his place, but he was certainly out performing ball. Dunne was caught for both goals, with a nutmeg and poor headed clearance, he again showed that he is easily bullied by big strikers. Onouha is simply too injury prone, i think his city career is near an end, despite his potential, he hasn't been able to string 5 games together. Pablo Zabaleta again is the only defender who has been reliable this season. He has been a rock this season. his crossing wasn't the best but he still stuck at it and tried to give options in attack.

Joe Hart distribution is becoming a problem, we lose too much possession because of him. He doesn't look like a goalkeeper who can win games. He needs to be sat on the bench and watch buffon or given show him how it's done.

Considering how poor we were before Christmas, i am happy to take 4 from 6. Hughes has pulled it out of the bag and built the teams confidence for January. We are being linked with everyone from the distinctly average scott Parker and Craig Bellamy to the underachieving big headed right midfielder David Bentley. It's important that hughes buys the right people, bellamy shouldn't be one of them! There is an obsession in the press linking us with every striker under the sun. Bellamy some how falls into that category despite the fact that he rarely scores. City score enough goals, the striker problem can wait until we solve the misgivings at the back. Our midfield needs enforcing, the likes of senna could fit in easily (he is of course Brazilian!, although his age may be against him.

It will be interesting to see how quickly we do business in January, knowing city it won't run smoothly, but hopefully with our economic power we can really do some damage in 2009!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Manchester City 5:1 Hull City - The long awaited comeback?

Merry Christmas all! Keep out the doom and gloom for this one!

Today was a nice treat, and it was great to see the players actually put a bit of effort it. We have been waiting for a result like this for some time, i was beginning to question why it hadn't happened! This is our 1st win in December, which meant we have been festering down at the bottom of the table. We are back above spurs now with an extra point and a brilliant goal average.

A win was much needed. Hughes is under pressure and needed to show the squad was on his side today. I noticed pre-game glauber, clayton, evans, ben haim and hamann were being beasted on the pitch, I'm not entirely sure why but they didn't looked like they enjoyed it. The team gathered in a huddle before kickoff which showed there is some unity in the side. I was delighted to see Hughes picked our best squad. Caicedo deserved his chance, he should of been given earlier. Elano was a great addition today, it shouldn't be a problem for Hughes to deal with a player who's only gripe is he wants to play for the club more. He came out today and showed how good he is. I mentioned this early in the season, his role in collecting the ball from the back goes largely unnoticed but it's blessing as it allows us to build up play with our better players. Robinho returned and SWP played out right instead of vassell. Stevie Ireland plays better when he has better players around him, funny that!

The 1st half was great for the fans, we deserved it after some of the performances recently. Big Felipe Caicedo showed the power of having a striker who hold he ball, dribble and shoot. He is a young lad and hopefully will be given time to develop at city along side Henry, Villa and Ibrahimovic. Ireland was inspired today apart from his shooting, they were pretty hard chances but he seem to hit them all the same way. Robinho was Brazilliant along with elano who cam back with a bang, Hughes needs to keep him motivated. Swp was unlucky to score, his 1st effort should of been in, but again a great game. Kompany sat deep and showed why he has been the most consistent top performer this season.

Hull's attacker were sporadic in the 1st half, Ball looked the most vulnerable at the back, with Hart second. Phill Brown gave has side a good going over in front of the hull fans at half time and it did improve their performance in the second half. City were always going to be less than great in the second half, 4-0 there it little motivation to push on. Jo and Onouha came on and we looked awkward.

Our Defence is still the problem. Dunnie had a much improved game today, but he still had shaky moments against king and gives away needless corners through poor clearances. Onouha came on and was an improvement on Richards, he looked up for it and did what he was supposed to do. Zabaleta was great again, he is a quality right back, i think he will enjoy his time in the premier league, he has no time for show pony's. Ball wasn't so great, couple of good tackles, but otherwise he was easily skinned, struggled to deal with the hull attack. We need a excellent left back to replace him not bridge. Joe Hart to looks shaky, I'm not confident at set pieces that his punches work, his distribution is a joke, we must lose the ball most times he kicks it out.

The work starts here. I really hope Hughes can build on this, I've said that plenty of times before. I'm not a fan of Hughes, but he is going to be here for the rest of the season at least, and i want my team to do well. Our attacking play is brilliant at times, Hughes need to be able to harness that and sort out the charade at the back. Picking Elano today, meant Hughes went up in my estimation. He did what was right for the team not for his own ego. Blackburn is next, crunch tie against Allerdyce at Hughes former club. Needless to say, but it's has to be 3 point and nothing less if we are to go into the transfer window with a decent position, it may help our course in attracting someone, anyone, better than bellamy!


Hart: shaky at corners, poor distribution 6

Zabaleta: strong tough tackler, great character. top player 8

dunne: better today, some faults, but create run up the pitch. 7

Richards: only played a half, didn't do much. 6

Ball: wasn't all that great, couple of decent tackles. vulnerable, extra work for dunne.5

Kompany: He is always in the right position, great work rate along with ability.8

Swp: Unlucky not to score today, three clear chances. Great to see him out right, or strongest flank with pablo pushing forward. 8

Ireland: Brilliant performance, great run into the box, got a goal himself. Top effort from him. 9

Robinho Skillful, elegant, could of had more than 2. Can score tap In's as well and beautifully crafted strikes. At his best today. 9

Elano: the carrier in the midfield. majestic passing, 90 mins of class. 8

Caicedo: He much be the most prolific player we have considering he has probably had less than one game in total to score 4. Big strong, skillful, in the right places in the box. A proper striker at last.8

Onouha: good solid, dependable. 7

Jo: The lad looks wrecked confidence wise. Put himself about, goes down to easy but won his fair share. He will need allot of time, city fans are not so forgiving due to his price tag, if he was an academy player he would be given the luxury (like a certain welsh striker). He is after all, only 21, i wont accept that he is shit, he wouldn't of partnered pato at the Olympics if he was. 6

Is this the start of Hughes fightback or another false dawn?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Sell Elano, Buy Bellamy!

Flippant i know, but it gets the point across^

Well the papers are full of it tonight Elano is 1st out this January and i expect JO and Robinho will soon follow, it's clear they dislike Hughes and have had enough of his arrogant little charade.

Last match vs WBA was the embodiment of things to come at city, Hughes reward for those who run up and down the pitch for 90 mins rather than try and play the game with skill and flair. This was most evident against Everton, pretty much the same side that thrashed pompey 6-0 had simply lost interest and under the guidance of Hughes have developed any thing that was good left from Svens reign, ie. the patient football, quick breaks, clever passing and it's been replaced with basic workman like performances. His intentions are clear, city will be reinforced with these types of player in January, Bellamy is liked by Hughes will add work rate to the side. Santa Cruz is big and will a target we can lob the ball up too from defence. Wayne Bridge is another try hard, makes up for average ability.

Mark Hughes may well have modelled his training camp on some of the top team in Europe, but the problem is his own personality. Like Keane they believe that ruling with a iron fist is the only answer, this dictator type role does nothing for Team morale, this isn't a small town club with a low fan base and low expectations. Again like Keane he probably likes to think he is using taggarts style of management, but they are both wrong, taggart does rule a strict camp, but you won't see him punishing Ronaldo for not tracking back! He has the ability and the intelligence (well..) to know foreign players generally don't like to be treated children, and recognise that some of his mercurial talents need to be treated differently. I'm not a big fan of 'appy arry' at spurs, but i'm pretty sure he gets results from player through good managment rather than running the club like the KGB.

Hughes isn't going to get sacked that much is clear, Garry cook hired him under the previous ownership, and has more than the clubs interest at heart in keeping Hughes, he stuck his neck out to get Hughes and has backed him all the way, he doesn't want to be see as failing under the new ownership who didn't hire him. So where do we go from here? Is it really plausible that Hughes can replace all those not performing, ie dunne, micah, all strikers...are Such whole sale changes going to make a difference in the middle of a busy season? Hughes is extremely lucky that he has all this money to spend, because otherwise he would of dismantled a good premier league squad and almost certainly lost his job. The fact that he as to buy his way out of trouble in January is disgraceful in it self. It's going to be a long hard season, Garry Cook better bloody hope he comes good or his head should roll too!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

West Brom 2:1 Manchester City. The Biggest Losers!

The game: Well we lost, although it wasn't the abject displays we have been used to in the past few weeks, there was some degree of work ethic today. An industrious effort from City, but city still lament the lack of ability upfront.

WBA are very much a long ball side that should of been dealt with, we defender fairly well for most of the game. Decent chances came few are far between for city, Benjani effort and gusto showed promise, but his strike partner lacks ability, confidence and despite Vassell efforts he simply adds no threat whatsoever. Plenty of industry, little flair or skills, for me this is a sign of whats to come in the Hughes era (more on this later).

Error prone city once again turned up, poor positioning and lack communication meant we gave away two silly goals. Our combative midfield wasn't effective, if gelson is a defensive midfielder then why is he so poor at it, he's decent going forward and can pass fairly well. Kompany is generally very good but can't do it all on his own.

Attacking wise, Ireland is less effective when played out wide, he came of this game with great respect for his work rate and effort, but perhaps lacked composure in the final third. SWP again has great ability to skip through challenges, had one decent effort but crossing wise is fairly poor. The introduction of the Adrianoesq Felipe Caicedo showed the lad does have great promise, he's more skill full and a better shot than Vassell. His back heel was a good effort, but probably showing too much flare for Hughes liking.

Here is an article on tldorc a very good read, I'm not sure i agree with his conclusion but the article is extremely interesting.

I don’t believe Mark Hughes will be sacked as he says so himself, although I am pretty confident now that I don’t want him at the club. Hughes came to city and has implemented a regime that would have Nazi Germany green with envy!

Small club mentality doesn’t suite city and has clearly pissed off the players. on TLDORC, the writer has highlighted Hughes almost arrogant dismissal of Svens era at the club. His insistence to distance himself from the previous regime and implement a new programme of discipline and extreme fitness has taken it's toll on the players morale and commitment to the club. The demise of player of the season Richard Dunne and Elano who last season, the top scorer and had one of the top assist and pass completion rates in the premier league.

He's taken all that was good from last season, flair, skill and cultured football, ripped it apart to implement mind set of fast paced bully tactics and industrious attacking with little or no flair. Unfortunately for Hughes our players are simply better than that. This team enjoys skillful passing, patient attacks and explosive breaks, the remnants of that ended with our 6-0 thrashing of pompey, it was never to be seen again. Hughes favours the likes of gelson, vassell because of their work rate and effort that they give to the team. This goes someway to explaining his mild success at Blackburn. He got an average side very fit, with low expectations, they came out shocked opposing teams confidence with aggressive tackling and plenty of set pieces to the big men in the box, it was never pretty and very similar to style of current Blackburn manager Sam Allerdyce.

Today performance I saw this as a step towards that tactic, a very workman like performance lacked all the flair and entertainment that got us to 4th this time last season.

I don’t like Hughes, I don’t like what he did at Blackburn, I believe his work was blown way out of proportion. The press often like over inflate British players and managers because of their nationality, I’m rarely surprised when it ends in disappointment. Hughes great in the transfer market? As I covered in the Santa Cruz article, most of his greatest signings have only sustained one season form and flopped. The likes of Samba and Warnock were vastly over-rated at the time and have proven to at the low end of premier league quality. They generally over achieved at a small club with low expectations. Bolton were very similar under Big Sam. He has actually achieved very little, he organised Wales to get a couple of decent results, well Lawrie Sanchez managed Northern Ireland from 124th to 27th in the world rankings, why not get him in aswell. We have all seen how Blackburn played under hughes, what he achieved at Blackburn that much different to what Big sam achieved at Botlon, both qualified for europe once and both had a decent domestic cup run, both played similar football. So what makes him the right man? His obvious great ability to manage a harmonious squad? his tactical nous? or his natural love of skillful, classy attacking football?

A proven British manager would be Martin O'Neil who did great at Leicester than Celtic, winning titles at both before turning Villa into a skilful good footballing side, who have progressed every season. Are we really going to sell the likes of Elano to a big Italian side and then buy Santa Cruz and Bellamy, if that is so, then I’m not sure I want to watch our team become blackburn.

Again I don’t believe Hughes will be sacked, Garry Cook was behind the hiring of the Welshman during the old regime, he has an invested interest that Hughes does well to assure his position with the new owners. This is a terrible situation to be in, Hughes has simply failed, in any other field of management he would be culled I wouldn’t be sorry if he was gone in the morning, but he won’t and there is nothing I can do about it.

For an extra christmas treat Real madrid have signed one of our targets Lassana Diarra, along with Huntelaar they are well ahead of the game in terms of transfer dealings.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

West Brom Vs Manchester City: Preview. Relegaion battle?

The joy of having city on sky again fills me with fear and panic. We always fail to impress on TV, i can only hope we turn up for once. West Brom are in the bottom three, were above with a decent goal average, so this is now a crunch battle at the bottom. it's needless to say, but this is a must win, many believe Hughes won't be around much longer if we don't win.

What can we expect? Hughes has been largely conservative away from home due to our woeful record. Fulham for instance, it became obvious as the game went on, we played for a draw. The likely hood of playing two defensive players will probably mean either Hamann or Gelson partners Kompany in the middle of the park. Ireland and Swp will certainly feature after, well some rest for swp at least. Dunne is will return, along side, micah, pablo and Javier at the back and Joe Hart returning after a poor display from the young Dane midweek. With benjani, Robinho, Sturridge all certainly set to miss out, Jo's fitness is unknown, so it could be a battle between the unimpressive Ched Evans and The 10 minute wonder Felipe Caicedo.

I can't contemplate losing tomorrow, we will be in sorts of trouble is that is the case. I expect Hughes to go out with a winning mindset, as we should be beating a side like WBA. A draw isn't good enough. therefore i must predict a 2-0 win for city.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Hughes to move for the familiar.

It appears a move for Roque Santa Cruz is on the cards again for Hughes. I'm personally not a fan, it's allot of money to spend on one good season form, which he hasn't be able to sustain. He's scored 3 in 13 league performances this season. Benni McCarthy scored 18 goals in his 1st season, he has steadily scored less in two seasons campaign. I can mention similar dips in form for Gamst Pedersen. I'm yet to be convinced that Santa Cruz is a right target. Hughes has told us he doesn't want to be ripped off.

It appears Roque wants out of Blackburn, and of course Hughes is likely to go for whats worked for him before. He's a big target man, but he could be another big disappointment. This deal looks more plausible than David Villa for instance. I'm yet to be convinced, but I'm pretty certain he will be signed considering today's announcement. 17-18 mill for a striker that has averaged around 5 a season at top champion league side, crazy really.

We have drawn FC Copenhagen in UEFA cup, tldorc has a good summary on the draw.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Racing Santander 3:1 Manchester City. Blues fail to turn up in Spain.

Few positives can come from tonight. The big plus point is that we came top of the group, PSG stuffed Twente 4-0, meaning paris finish third in the group with a greater goal average than Santander.

Final Standings:
Man city 7
Twente 6
Paris 5
Santander 5
Schalke 4

A very poor defensive display from the centre backs and goalie, meant Santander could waltz through our defence netting three times. General poor positioning, poor tackling meant we couldn't handle anything they through at us. Kasper was at fault for the 1st half, but he was also let down by a catalogue of errors at the back. A very poor performance, here lies the source of the problem, it needs to be fixed 1st.

Our midfield failed to win the battle, elano dispite what Bailey's written in the MEN, he endeavoured to get the game going, but was in fact the only creative player. Kompany showed how much we need him when he came on, he came on showed gelson how it's done. Ireland added much needed energy but couldn't raise the a downhearted well beaten side. Hamann and Gelson couldn't get to grip of the midfield, gelson's rather erratic style, and hamann's slow legs meant we were outwitted and out ran for most of the game.

Ched Evans can't really read a pass, fairly slow and not really effective. No doubt he'll start Sunday then. The promising Big Felipe Caicedo came on and flashed skills and scored. He is a strong lad and isn't much older than Evans, he should be given a decent chance a city, he's young and talented, he should be given more opportunity's to prove himself. I have mentioned a while back on here, that he deserved a chance, an Ecuadorian adriano. Hopefully Hughes will give him a chance.

I recognise that we didn't have to win tonight, but a bit of effort could of been nice. Robinho is injured again apparently, hope that's a worthy excuse for his performance. Hopefully with our better player back, ie kompany, ireland, swp we can at least muster up some effort for the WBA game.

Good summary on here!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Manchester City 0:1 Everton. Pride in battle?

A dreadful display of lacklustre football. City failed to keep out a side that in fact had no strikers on the pitch. The prevailing message from yesterday game was the evident lack of desire from the city player compared to Everton squad who simply looked better, tackled better, passed better and deserved the result despite what Mark Hughes might think. That's made the result even more disappointing, at home we performed like we usually do away.

Moyes has spent less than Hughes even without Robinho and Jo added to the list. Everton have more injuries than city. Yet we are 7 points a drift at Christmas. How do we account for this. Our tactic of playing one upfront simply isn't working! Yes we have scored allot of goals at home this season, but our strikers have hardly made an impact. Benjani isn't good enough, his 1st touch is woeful and lets him down.

Jo looks disheartened and simply not up for it. I find it all too easy to criticise Jo, he came with a expensive price tag, he's played for his country. Yet he has only had small chance to impress in our side, ched Evans has featured in more games. I believe the manner and time given to Jo by hughes is inappropriate and harsh, I'm not saying the lad is the answer, but we saw yesterday he actually won a fair amount of ball, but there is know one to feed of it. He isn't good enough to play alone and probably hasn't done it before. This is my view of Jo and i know many will disagree, but he hasn't had a great deal of opportunity, and should be played up front with another striker.

The continued decision to play a side in this formation is simply reinforcing failure. It would be interesting to see how many points dunne has actually cost this season rather than saving. I sit to left side of the goal in the north stand and watched dunne all of the second half, he's clumsy, i don't even trust his defensive skills anymore he couldn't handle a couple of midfielders playing up front.

Another question to ask is whether the team is on Hughes side, i perceived our squad yesterday to be one of our strongest, especially without vassell. Yet we were pretty bad. a half promising start slowly ebbed away has Benjai fell over the ball for the third time. Some have been harsh on Elano, but his effort in the 1st half was good, even when losing the ball, he endeavoured to re-claim it. He may have drifted in the second half but who didn't. Ireland simple looked lightweight, he could hack the combative nature of pienaar who ran the midfield yesterday. Swp gave a gallant effort, some good skill to beat defenders but often met with very little options in the box. I'm concerned because we simply looked like a losing side. Everton were certainly more up-for it and performed well. Considering these players are fighting to keep their place for when January comes, such a gutless performance makes you wonder what is happening behind the scenes.

Player ratings:

Hart: a good game generally, one bad punch, but some good saves. 7

Zabaleta: Reckless, possibly should of been yellow carded, but again a good performance and by far the best defender we have at the moment. 7

Dunne: i don't share Chris bailey view, I'm not sure what agenda he has, but he's wrong. a poor performance, struggled against a team without strikers, poor clearance, gave away three corners, one led to the goal. 5

Richards: not at this best, missed the header for the goal, but tackled fairly well. 6

Ball: Decent defensive showing, not a great crosser, but a decent effort. 6

Kompany: He is our most consistent performer. Over-worked, but a good effort. 7

Ireland: should of scored in the 1st half, light weight, not at his best. 6

Elano: very good 1st half, indifferent 2ND half, not combative enough, but should be played behind the strikers anyway. 6

SWP: Always endeavoured to push forward, good to see some one effective on the right again, had a good shot hit the cross bar. 7

Robinho: i forgot about him, not his best showing, only trained the day before, looked unfit, his ankle was strapped up before the game. wasn't effective, still had a decent shot saved by timmy.6

Benjani: couple of good passes, poor 1st touch, poor second touch. 5


Jo: Didn't make an impact, nor did i expect him to, won a fair amount of balls, but know one around him, drifted out wide to receive the ball. 5

Vassell: Well he came on and ran at the keeper, that was about it, that's what he's good at, pointless endeavours. Cheered the fans up. 6

WBA is a must win, will Hughes still be incharge come January?

disagree with anything, feel free to comment!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Manchester City Vs Everton: preview

Short preview today.
Good to have another 15:00 kick off. Team wise, Robinho may be fit, i am unaware if he trained today, hopefully he did and will features again tomorrow. Danny Sturridge has been ill will a virus, likely not to play, garrido is possibly still out too. Hughes staunch support of vassell, assures his prolonged role in the side.

Everton are a decent side, but are lacking firepower at the moment, our home form should count tomorrow and see us through to a much needed victory. It's teams like everton that we need to be able to beat regularly. A good run into the christmas period will push us back up the table away from the relegation spots.

hopefully a decent crowd tomorrow too.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Injury News Update from the Boss.

Some mixed news coming out of city today!

The City boss said on Sky Sports News: "Boj is doing really well. We are really happy. We are hopeful we will get him back for mid-January, if everything goes to plan.

"He has been out training on the pitches looking like a footballer again.

This is great news, Bojinov (or Bozhinov as is should be written) is a cracking player, i was really excited when he signed, sadly he hasn't had a chance to impress with two horrible injuries.

Robinho it appears still isn't fit, Hughes is hoping he will train tomorrow, doesn't seem very promising.

"Gelson Fernandes is training today, Nedum Onuoha is training, Javier Garrido is having treatment and Daniel Sturridge is ill."

Not great news, sturridge has been pretty good this season and a good replacement for Robinho, without both we lack any one with real ability on the left. Garrido has bee in good form and shown great improvement this season, his replacement ball isn't up to standard.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Manchester City news round-up.

Bitter and Blue has an interesting article on city seeking out a new sponsor, mainly Etihad the Abu Dhabi based airline. A move that would see city rival the likes of Arsenal with Emirates and United with the economically unstable AIG. This will be another large step for the club to compete on the world stage.

Two interesting articles in the M.E.N, firstly Mark Bowen has come out to slam reports that Hughes was ready to walk, due to interference from the ADUG board. The sun is mainly responsible, most discerning fan will ignore anything written in that paper.

The next article really irritated me. Mark Hughes believes Vassell is the right man for the job.
He is doing a job for the team and maybe some people, though not the players or myself, are not appreciating what he is doing for the team as a whole."

In my opinion, it appears hughes is having a little dig at the fans, who have shown their annoyance in Hughes persistence to pick vassell. He offer very little to the team apart from work rate. He may well track back, but he's not even good at that, his tackling is poor and often leads to giving away a foul. I believe he's a player who's simply redundant in skill and ability, he simply isn't premier league standard, I'm sure there will be a few who disagree, but I'm sure i wont be convinced otherwise.

Here is a link from the poster below from his correspondent at ESPN about Vassell and his impact on the team and results.

The Final article i found interesting was from yesterday, Vital football believe they have a scoop, they have stated city may have started preliminary talks with Eto'o's representatives to bring him to City. Obviously it's another rumour, but i do enjoy reading some of the big names linked with a move to city, hopefully we will buy some top quality in January.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Match day photo's

I just wanted to bring to light this website i often use for good snaps of home games. I dont know the person running it but, they do a good job, plenty of photo's from seasons past to the present. Bit of non article, but an interesting site. Feel free to check some of my other links, i will be re-organising them soon, but there are some good blogs out there( far better than mine).

last season at carrington

Celebrating the final goal in a 3-0 victory over Arsenal

Action from Uefa cup night Vs Paris St-Germain

Who do YOU want Manchester City to Sign?

Rather than listing the many players linked in the tabloids, which seems to be the only focus in city related news. Who do you think city should be signing this January window? Obviously the likes of Kaka would be wonderful additions, but the likeliness of signing him in January isn't very high, despite what you may read on tribal football.

What are we looking for?
: Another striker to add to list of many, but one of proven quality and perhaps a bit older than 21. City have been keen to gamble on young stars, emerging talents, why not go for a proven top class talent who has proved himself at a top level. Looking at La Liga from Villa, Luis fabiano, henry...even forlan. Or look to Italy milito still rampant in front of the goal. Obviously you can't really rely on early season form, after all Corradi has scored the same amount as Ronaldinho.

: Battling Midfielder is an obvious one. Vincent Kompany has done a great job, but has been isolated at times, and if we lose him through injury or suspension, we are left with poor options, a tiring Hamann or an incompetent Gelson. I personally would love to see Cambiasso at the club, he is an extremely classy player, a definite replacement for Hamann, his positional sense and tackling ability is world class, he's not bad going forward either, he would be an excellent choice along side Kompany. Others i would like in similar moulds, toulalan from Lyon, he runs that team, effective and great going forward. Or we could go for the likes of Lassana Diarra, who is formed in the Makalele type role, he's better than Claude going forward, but is certainly in a similar mould of the psg man. There are plenty of players to look out for in this role, Blaise Matuidi form St Ettiene for me is another star rising in France; he could be a great coup.

: A left back, Garrido has been in great form recently, he could complain about lack of cover from Robinho, but i find he still gets skinned far to easily. He is also a young player and certainly worth keeping. Taye Taiwo is a name heavily mentioned with city and i know why! He is a very gifted player, strong, pacey left back, certainly can get forward, and can certainly shoot if any one saw him playing against Liverpool a couple of weeks back. Other names mentioned, Wayne bridge, who doesn’t get regular football, I’ve never rated him, decent player but on garrido's current form i would say he isn't much of an improvement. The bigger names coming to mind would be Grosso, Lahm... Real Madrid has two youngsters in Drenthe and Marcelo. There are allot of quality left backs, robinho mentioned Kleber at his and elano's former club Santos, he is a highly gifted player and isn’t a kid either at 28.

: Centre back, we haven’t been great at the back this season and our back two haven’t made their positions safe, Dunne has been awful, whilst Micah Richards has struggled to get any decent form. Robinho, who has had unsuccessful times at Porto and dynamo Moscow, has recommended Thiago Silva. He would be a great option, and will be snapped up by a big European team regardless. Kolo Toure from Arsenal has been linked; he is certainly a good player.

: Goalkeeper, Joe Hart isn't the finished article yet, he is very talented but young and naive, he has allot to learn, he has shown at times that he is really quite inexperienced. Again there are allot of really good keepers out there, from the likes of Buffon to the Mandanda's, akinfeevs to the relatively unknowns such as Enyeama, Ochoa.

Who do you think we need to buy this January?

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Fulham 1:1 Manchester City: Average sides, boring football.

We truly are an average side. The defending from the city side is pathetic at best, considering we have some highly rated stars in our side we look like a side that should be drawing 1-1 with Fulham.

Once again Hughes doesn't pick Jo and persists with the inept Vassell and the rather basic Benjani. Once again Hughes decides to utilise Ched Evans, who can only get a game because of his nationality and nothing else. He is a young player who clearly isn't good enough, i wonder what the likes of Jo and Caicedo must think, both vastly more experienced and better players.

This will certainly dismiss any false confidence gained from beating a miss firing schalke and demoralised and heavily weakened Arsenal. We haven’t improved from last season, despite adding several players at high prices, there are still too many weak links in our side, Richard Dunne is one of them. Tal Ben-Haim may not be everyone’s favourite defender but his past few performances have already shown his quality compared to the calamitous Dunne, who couldn't handle second rate striker Zamora.

The midfield is far too weak, for all of Hamann ability and class, he is simply too old and doesn't have the ability to keep up with the game, Kompany works far too hard, he had a mixed game today, but we would be far worse without him. Ireland shouldn't be out on the left, he was pretty woeful today, he may be out of position but that doesn't excuse his poor passing. Wright-phillips didn't look fit and I’m not a fan of him in that position, he is far more effective down the right, as he was against united, he gave a left goo left back a torrid time. Vassell for all his effort and forest gump like running adds nothing to the side, he remains the thorn, and the sooner he is rid of the better.

Benjani is a poacher, but he sure has a poor 1st touch, it amazes me, how often his 1st touch means he has to do something completely different, sometimes it works in his favour. I like Benjani, but he shouldn’t be leading the line for city.

Hart: some decent saves, difficult sun light, difficult to stop bullard shot. 7

Ball: Poor player, he won't last long, Garrido has really made that position his (until January) 5

Dunne: allowed Zamora too much freedom, caught out for the goal, some really poor clearances. Not good enough. 5

Ben Haim: Decent effort, one glaring error, allowing Zamora space, but otherwise covered for Dunne. 7

Zabaleta: His tackle our well times, but today his attacking ability was great, it's a shame when your right back is more threatening than your right midfield, but that was the case today. MOM 8

Hamann: Reliable, class act, but too slow, caught out.. 6

Kompany: some good tackles but got caught in possession a couple of times, good effort.6

Ireland: not in the game, bad passing did very little.5

Vassell: did very little, when he has the ball, turns back to goal, often loses possession, waste of space.4

Wright-Phillips: great effort, not on the ball today, hadn't trained in the week, looked tired. 6

Benjani: Good finish, poor 1st touch, didn't improve anything taking him off. 6

Ched Evans: poor. 2

Friday, 5 December 2008

Manchester City Vs Fulham: Preview

Last premier league result was a 0-1 loss, this is our chance to bounce back. Fulham are not the best of sides, nor the worst. We should be beating them. Hopefully Robinho will come through fit, as he is simply a brilliant player. SWP is also much needed, his drive and ability to drive through defenders is much needed. Micah is also doubtfull. Who is mark hughes going to pick, probably benjani and vassell, despite severall inept performance from the players, hughes seems to want to persist with them and leave out the better players.

worryingly Jo has been linked with a loan move back too russia, crazy, he needs to play football, he's talented and needs a chance, i'm losing my patience with Hughes, he is more than ready to give ched evans more than enough chances, he wont give Jo a far better young star more than 60 mins, how are you meant to get a confident striker if you pick himfor 60 mins and drop him.

Better play well tomorrow, as we are on tv.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Manchester City 0:0 Paris St. Germain: mental fans, rubbish football.

Not much to report on the game, bitterly cold night was made worse by an abject performance from both teams. Robinho accusations of not wanting to win were to clear to see with the efforts from some of the players. Hughes still wont give Jo 90 mins, GREAT man managment mark!!! I thought Elano was quite poor on the night, but re-watching the game on tv, i felt we were much worse without him, his passing wasnt the best, but he is always looking to get the ball moving. Ireland once again dissapointed, a dip in his form should hopefully run out against fulham. Kompany was the star man, brilliant in every aspect, strong, full of effort, great passing and tackling. Once again vassell porved he is a donkey, forest gump style running comes to no avail, as he simply loses the ball at the end of it. Last 20 mins saw some decent effort from psg, guily and talented Reunion man Hoarau caused us some trouble, especially for dunne who was neatly nutmegged. Our saving grace was Tal ben-haim, he gave a cracking performance in defence and was decent going foward.

...bring on fulham, we still need results.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Manchester City vs Paris St. Germain: Uefa cup preview.

Back to the UEFA cup again after a decent result Vs Schalke last week. Robinho yet again may be a doubt for the match, he probably wasn't that fit in the Derby and is still suffering with the same ankle problem. Shaun Wright-Phillips is also a doubt after he has taken out several times last match and was lucky not to be more severely injured. Micah was taken off Sunday due to injury so he isn't likely to feature either. Hughes also says Kelvin Etuhu and Michael Johnson are two weeks away from fitness.

So changes are afoot. We have qualified for the next stage already, our aim now should be to win the group and avoid the better opposition in the knock out rounds.

Paris haven’t been in the greatest form at the moment, I would site them as the perennial under-achievers in the French league. In Europe, they lost to Schalke with a largely weakened side and only drew with Racing Santander. They are set to field another weakened side tomorrow, due to their congested fixture schedule. Most of the big guns will feature, i.e. kezman ( the ex Chelsea flop), luyindula, Rothen. But Le Guen will rest ex-barca star Ludovic Guily and Makelele. The pressure is on psg to get a result.

Hopefully the team will show a bit more grit and desire than they did on Sunday, we need to get a result to keep on top of our European campaign. We can win this trophy and we need to start thinking we can win it.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Manchester City Vs Manchester United:Ronaldo vs Robinho - never happened.

Crap result in the end, pretty gutless response from city. United are obviously the better side, but that didn't excuse their Bolton style of play. Ironically taggart calls for protection on his prancing wimp cristiano, when the player who really needed protection was Shaun wright-phillips who he Scythed down by the petulant Portuguese winger, and rightfully got booked for it.

Basically Hughes got the side wrong, a false sense of confidence in a side that beat a demoralised and heavily weakened Arsenal and a win against a poor out of form schalke side, having real trouble in their own league. Vassell hasn't done anything in a city shirt worthwhile. I dont understand why he gets picked. Hamann is too slow and old. The defence looked far better with Kompany at the back and Zabaleta on the pitch. Dunne isn't the answer to anything, he may leave in January, i for one would be happy with that. I dont know why Chris bailey in the MEN sticks up for him. Garrido 1st half performance was troubled, but he was isolated. Diego Capel has said he is open to a move into the premier league, i would see that as a good player to sign. Wright-phillips is better out far right, he causes more problems for the defence, evra couldn’t handle him and resulted in fouling him. Elano should be playing; he is always looking for players moving, unfortunately yesterday, robinho and Steven Ireland didn't perform. Jo is a really good player; we took him from a side who regularly plays in the champion’s league, why does Hughes persist with Benjani.

Robinho was crap yesterday, he along with cristiano ronaldo, decided they didnt want to do much. Ronaldo's sending off meant little to united because he had done sod all. Apart from wimp out from a corner after the ball boy threw the ball in his face.


Hart: very poor. Distribution more often than not went to the opposition. His spill led to rooney's tap in. 5

Garrido: better in the second half, but too isolated on the left, we need a stronger defender. 6

Dunne: poor distribution failed to deal with a number of attacks. 5

Kompany: by far the best city player on the day. 8

Richards: spent most of the time watching the ball, crouching, but rarely actually tackled, one rash challenge could have got him sent off, if he connected. 5

Hamann: was he on? 4

Vassell: rubbish player. 4

SWP: cracking effort, fouled all game, tried and tried. 8

Robinho: not much work from him, spent allots of time really deep, often found know one moving for him.6

Ireland: couldn't handle it against the big boys. 6

Benjani: Had chances, hit them wide, not good enough, offside allot again.


Elano: tried to get into the game, not great movement, not all his passes work, the again Benjani running speed is abysmal.

Zabaleta: much needed bite and purpose driving forward.

Sturridge: too little too late from Hughes.

Ref Howard Red: awful ref, in bed with taggart in this game, right to send ronaldo off. Taggart is an idiot. Ronaldo was jumping to win a header in the box, why would he use his hand to stop it hitting his head?