Monday, 5 October 2009

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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Confident win from the blues: City 3:1 West ham.

An enjoyable game overall last night, with strong performances through out the squad.

The defence looked allot more solid. Pablo Zabaleta really delivered in the right back role and will make it hard for Richards to get his place back. He won ball, passed well and was disciplined! Bridge was in good form last night also. He looked like the Bridge of old, at Southampton, skipping past players and having a pop at goal himself. Toure and Lescott looked more comfortable together, although again we conceded from a set piece. Carlton Cole was free from the start and was able to move where he pleased. We actually miss Adebayor at set pieces, he has been impressive on the post reaching headers and clearing the ball!

The midfield looked more functional with just Barry and De Jong. NDJ had another stormer, he was pretty much everywhere and was my Motm! Petrov looked like his old self, never one to get stuck in, but lighting quick and has a deadly left boot. He should really have scored a couple, but he should be pleased with his performance, he just creates another headache for Hughes! SWP didn't have the best of nights, not through lack of effort, but it was just one of those games where he failed to finish of a move or take on the last defender. I would like to see Hughes make more use of his subs, especially when we have a 2 goal buffer, we have a big squad and we should use it. Players like SWP, Tevez and Bellamy work very hard and sometimes a rest does them good!

Tevez was in top form against one of his former clubs! It was nice too see the warm welcome he received from their support! He could of really scored 6 goals , but did net 2 for his efforts. His work in providing the link between the middle and upfront will be vital this season, he's a very clever player!
Bellamy once again caused havoc for a poor West Ham defence and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet with a couple of extravagant efforts!

The most pleasing moment from the night is seeing the return of Michael Johnson and a debut for Roque Santa Cruz, who could of. perhaps should of had a debut goal! It will be a while for both to get full fitness, especially Jonno, but it adds more quality in depth to the squad!

West Ham, for me were really disappointing. Some brief moments in the second half, they mustered some decent attacking verve, but defensively they really are weak. It's something you wouldn't expect from a Italian manager. It's early days and they have had a tough start to the season, they are sure to improve. But it was obvious, the difference in ability and confidence on the pitch!

Another solid win at home. The next test is Villa away. I think that could be a tough game that we could really get something out of. Adebayor tribunal is on Thursday and hopefully he will escape with a ban. If not, I'm sure the club will launch some sort of legal battle for victimisation and he will be cleared to play against Villa!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Monday Madness. City take on the Hammers!

Sorry, not been around for a bit, since the derby really. i was going to write after the cup tie, but it was too dull!

With a decent display in the derby despite missing key attacking players, City can count on a makeshift front force still producing the goods. Pretty impressive!

Well the news from the training ground is Johnson, RSC and Kompany are ready to take jump into the season. RSC looks the most likely to feature at some point tomorrow with City really lacking some height upfront! Johnson apparently needs a few games to get sharp and looked really rusty, which is understandable! But the odd cameo appearance on the bench will ease him back into the game!

The only worry is Stevie Ireland who took a worrying trip to hospital, he was cleared fit, but it's not a nice thing to read. He hasn't been great this season, and i thought it in the second half at Fulham we saw glimpses of the old Ireland!

The biggest project for Hughes at the moment is getting the defence to function better than it has been doing. Despite Givens best efforts, we shipped easy goals at United and at home to Arsenal! Toure and Lescott have to develop an understanding pretty quickly! Zabaleta should get the go ahead in front of Richards, hopefully he can cement his spot in the side!

West Ham are a good side, Zola has them well organised and skillful side. City tend to play better against these sides, being allowed more space and allowed to press forward and do what we do best! It should be a good game and i am confident of a win. 3-1

Saturday, 19 September 2009

It Begins: United Vs City, Manchester/Salford Derby!

Derby day is amongst us once again, Mark Hughes men have their toughest opponents this season, Arsenal obviously an easy win at 4-2! As usual the war of words has started between players, managers and between fans, I’ve already received a few ‘rag texts’ this week! I obviously really hope we win, so I don’t have to keep quiet for a few days after the game, I want to gloat!

It’s a tough task! United have a strong side, albeit without Ronaldo who they will certainly miss. Expect to see Granddad Giggs and Scholes feature at some pint, the ageing twosome are still performing relatively well this season! Hopefully Cletus the slack jawed defender will miss out through injury as they are certainly better team with him in it! Rooney (proven in the Nike advert to be half chimp!) is no doubt the man to watch out for, on form this season, he is sure to be the real threat already netting 5 goals this season!

I am expecting a scrappy game! Hughes knows how to play united, proving an all too difficult opponent at his times at Blackburn. Without star man Adebayor who is actually suspended believe it or not. We need to take a solid approach towards the game to suit the squad available. Taggart slated Hughes for Blackburns methods at the Swamp, but i expect some of that grit tomorrow. With De jong, Bellamy, Tevez, we have the right work ethic to compete and cause problems. De jong and Barry will be key in controlling the middle! As United will certainly be physical!
Taggart and Hughes don’t particularly get on anyway, the press battle between the two has been some what entertaining! The ‘Tevez’ poster is still grinding the gears of Taggart with him outrageously slating City as ‘Cocky’! Oh well!

At the moment City have more injury problems than Michael Owen. But according to the helpful daily training reports on Bluemoon, Tevez HAS trained three days in a row, and I have sneaking suspicion he will play! RSCrock has also started full training, although lacking in fitness, may have a surprise spot on the bench! The defence as norm, the midfield will likely feature Ireland, Barry and De Jong. Ireland really must improve on his season form, providing the link between striker and midfield and show his ability! Without Adebayor we lack that edge up front, but Bellamy did have a fine game Vs Arsenal and should prove a nuisance for the United Defence. A fit Tevez would be a Brucy bonus! I hope Hughes will give Petrov the go ahead, he looked good the other week and has real class, he too has pace which always give defenders a headache! We still have a pretty decent side, we could have the beating of United. Mind you, we won with Vassell and Benjani so anything is possible! Bad knees Benjy could be another one in line for a spot in the squad, although I’m not sure if he is fully fit!

Expect a scrappy game, probably not a great one either. Few goals, if at all! Is a draw on the cards? It wouldn’t be a shocker if it were too happen, but fingers crossed City will come out on top tomorrow 1-0 with a goal from Lescott!

Also, may i say happy Eid, Eid Mubarak: to our Owners for tomorrow!

+ check out TLDORC recent interview on a rag site, yes he's been fraternising with the enemy, but it's a good read!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Life Sentence for Adebayor!

Patrick Barclay from the times has finally come up with a fair opinion on the matter, not the vast over reaction in the public hanging of Adebayor! We know the Fa will buckle under any media pressure ban him more than needed!

At the end of a beautiful yet bestial weekend that epitomised what is right and wrong with elite English football, we could not celebrate the glorious exuberance of matches such as those won by the Manchester clubs without acrimoniously debating side issues featured on television, notably the dismissal at White Hart Lane of Paul Scholes, which Sir Alex Ferguson and others deemed harsh, and the continued presence of Emmanuel Adebayor on the City of Manchester Stadium pitch after his boot drew blood from the face of an outraged Robin van Persie.

In some quarters of the moral maze, this was not the worst of Adebayor’s afternoon and the apology he made in front of the cameras concerned his expression of joy and relief after scoring a crucial goal for City against Arsenal. That he ran, ignoring missiles, to face the visiting fans who had spent most of the previous season at the Emirates Stadium abusing him was stupid and undignified, no doubt, but I thought this a relatively trivial matter.

Fans lose their right to be offended when they go on the offensive. If they cannot take it — these miserable products of a sick society who consider a player’s family fair game for the vilest insults and yet, because of their numbers, are allowed to continue to serve as football’s audience — they should not give it. Adebayor did say sorry and the implication that he will take care not to repeat an offence for which he was rightly shown a yellow card by Mark Clattenburg should be the end of the matter.

The Van Persie incident was different. The Dutchman accused his erstwhile colleague of a “mindless and malicious stamp” that might have endangered an eye and Clattenburg, when he is shown the video, is expected to confirm that he would have shown Adebayor a red card had he discerned it. This, under the FA’s simplistic disciplinary rules, renders Adebayor liable to a three-match suspension. Thus the same punishment would be applied as if Van Persie had merely had his shirt tugged while running through on goal.

But the rights and wrongs are a lot more complicated than that. Check the video again and you will see that the challenge by Van Persie that preceded Adebayor’s dig was itself a red-card candidate. As was the potentially leg-breaking assault, masquerading as a tackle, for which Scholes was shown his first yellow card against Tottenham Hotspur.

Van Persie is also culpable for shouting profenities at the city fans after he scored, but that hasnt been deemed worthwhile to print in the media! Lets not forget this is the same RVP who kicked FC Thun player in the face, or elbowed Keiran Richardson without punishment or vilification in the press!

Hughes has come out also in defence of Adebayor.
“Emmanuel Adebayor sustained a tremendous amount of personal abuse from the kick-off but strongly maintains that there was no malice intended in the challenge on Robin Van Persie and apologised to him when he hugged him on leaving the field of play at the end of the game.

“The referee had a great view of the challenge from Ade and the one that preceeded it by Van Persie and deemed at the time that neither were worthy of either a yellow or red card.

RVP press statement was a pre meditated move to put Adebayor in the dock, it was in far too much detail for a man who was facing the ground when the incident took place! Adebayor will get a deserved ban, but i hope Arsenal will be punished and RVP for their part in spoiling what was a great victory for a weakened city side!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

City crush Arsene's whingers!

Great result, odd game, full of goals, controversy and hypocrisy!

City started poorly in both Half's but generally defended well until we went 4 up! Richards and Bridge looked very impressive! Lescott despite having a Dunne moment played pretty well making some top well timed tackles. Kolo once again the best at the back!

Nigel De Jong at last got a chance to shine this season. He is a top class player and provides the necessary grit that we haven't yet had this season. The ball winning skills of him and Barry should be treasured by Hughes! Steven Ireland was again anonymous, coasting through the game leaving us 1 short in the middle! When he was finally removed, City finally found it's best shape!

Bellamy had a stunner and should of been MOTM! He lacks the final ball to be really effective on the left as a winger, but his work rate and effort made him undroppable! As soon as he shifted through the centre, we looked better organised and balanced! Everyone has mentioned Robinho struggling to get in the team, well i think Ireland will struggle, he has yet to perform this season.

Arsene Whinger once again relies on stats to finish another game in a ungracious manner, despite Arsenal not troubling Given at all in the 1st half! Perhaps he should of set his team to go out and win instead of getting one over Adebayor. Ade was marked with about 4 players on average and victim to the continued barrage of low grade fouls that Whinger claimed United are guilty for, but never Arsenal. I thought their fans were also disgraceful, their conduct towards their own players has always been poor. Deeply unpleasant taunts on Adeabyor all game, it was quite amusing at the time to see him sprint the pitch. The reaction from the away fans was simply out of order. When Robin Van Persie scored and ran to city fans screaming 'F*ck Off' i didn't notice anything been thrown at it him, will he get punished for that?

He probably did stamp on Van persie who took him out with a reckless and malicious tackle. I thought it odd that he saw so much of the incident with his head pointed towards the ground! I expect the witch hunt to go on for sometime, and perhaps Ade won't get away with it like Rooney or Ronaldo! Clattenburg was stood in front of the challenge, so expect the Fa to ignore it's own laws and have another trial by TV. Van persie has shown himself to be classes hypocrite, with a provocative press release and his conduct on the pitch with the fans and Adebayor! Not a great way to end a great victory, we don't really want to lose Ade for a few games either. hopefully RSC and tevez will be back soon! City gave a strong performance and took our chances well! Great confidence boost for the united game!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Manchester City Vs Arsenal: Preview

Quick preview of today's game:

Today's game will be the hardest test to date this season, with city recording all their wins with the lower achieving sides of the league! Disappointing news coming from the international break, Tevez and robinho both unavailable through injury although robbie might make the bench! Having read reports from training this week, it appears Hughes will pick a midfield trio of De Jong, Ireland and Barry supporting the wings with Bellamy and SWP and of course fronted by ex Arsenal Adebayor! Not ideal, being without our strongest line up for the biggest task of the season so far, but we should still present a quality side!

The defence with be under most scrutiny today being the weakest link in the side so far this season, despite not conceding! Given has been impressive this season and will hope to have a little more support from a more settled and skilled back line! We have to expect big performance from Lescott today along side Toure as we cant afford to have any defensive slip up against quality team like Arsenal!

Two ex gooners will have something to prove today after being sold by Wenger! The much maligned Adebayor left Arsenal( despite a fantastic scoring record) the fans got on his back and he felt it time to leave! He's scored a goal a game so far this season and will hopefully continue today. Toure spent around 7 years at Arsenal and moved to City for a fresh start. He has been most impressive this season and we need him to establish a strong partnership with lescott very quickly! With both players having something to prove, it goes for arsenal as well. Wenger will want to justify his decision to sell two top class players and not replace them.

The game should be entertaining at least! City like to press forward and attack at home, I am happier with De Jong and Barry sitting back as it allows Ireland to play his best game! Ireland will gave to be on top form today to combat Fabregas who unfortunately returns to the Arsenal side! I can't really judge today's game, but it certainly will be difficult for us. A draw would represent a decent result at this stage of the season! But we could quite easily lose this if we are not sharp!

Fink Tank Predictor:

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Renne jump on the Fifa Bandwagon!

It's been all go this week on English football, Platini will be rubbing his hands together. It's coincidental it's three French clubs that have caused trouble for the premier league! City have apparantly been reported by Renne over the deal to sign defender Jérémy Hélan ( who looks a very good player!)
Manchester City were drawn into the threat of a transfer window ban last night, as the French club Rennes declared that their signing of the prodigious young defender Jérémy Hélan had been unlawful and presented a more clear-cut case for reprisals from Fifa than Chelsea's move for Gaël Kakuta.

Hélan, now 17, who captained the French Under-16 side a year before Kakuta and is another product of the nation's famed INF Clairefontaine academy, was a player Manchester United wanted to buy in 2008 before the French club dug in their heels over his departure. City then moved in, to the indignation of the Ligue 1 side, who insist that Hélan's pre-contract agreement, which he signed as a 13-year-old, tied both the player and the club to a contract if he represented France at youth level.

Chelsea have been severely punished for their deal with Gaël Kakuta, Lens had made a complaint at the time of the deal, which has only come to fruition now. But why has it then, taken Renne 6/7 months to complain or indeed Le harve with United, it suggests to me at least that these teams are jumping on the recent media to gain more income! Or perhaps we truely are at fault!

It was then that City moved in – without any contact according to Dreossi, who insisted yesterday that the ITC provided by the French football federation for the player was delivered in error. The player arrived at City in February.

This in particular bothers me and may be a potential flaw in the Lens complaint with Chelsea as well. City, it states received the international trade certificate (ITC) which suggest the deal was cleared correctly! If it was in fact delivered in error, can the blame be put on city, but instead surely on the French football federation and Renne!

I don't know enough to comment sufficiently, i can only speculate. But i think allot more will come of this int he coming weeks, more complaints from French clubs and legal challenges. I think the chelsea deal will also be reopened if they present a legal case, which they should do! It all looks a bit of a mess! I'd prefer it if we didn't have a transfer ban!

City have denied offering inducements to player this morning on BBC radio Manchester!
City told BBC Radio Manchester that no inducements were offered to Helan to break a contract with Rennes and that the transfer was totally legal.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

What is the value of Garry Cook to city?

Cook has become some what an enigma at city, often vocal in his opinions on club matters (good and bad). He has become the main man in terms of City’s development on the ground! He has a fondness for marketing jargon ….buzz words. But with his recent bad press, what value does he actually have to the club?

Cook spent 12 years working for Nike in mostly the USA before taking his role as chief exec under Thaksin replacing the bean counter Alastair Macintosh! In January 08 he was made ‘President’ of the Nike Jordan brand, one of Nike biggest brands, it’s an extremely impressive role! Cooks ability is in Marketing, spreading Brands in the global market! This is what he brings to the club. He has great pedigree in the business and that should stand the club in good stead. Cook already attracted another marketing manager from Nike, ex Arsenal winger Brian Marwood along with David Pullen the marking manager who has a glittering CV in TV, Magazine brand growth and Chris Kay from Fallon (one of the top ad agencies around). So the majority of the City exec team are from marketing/ad background that has to reflect in the policies of the club!

Much or Cook’s rhetoric reflect his background (obviously), But does this translate well into football. Recent comments from Richard Dunne have exposed the lack of leadership at the top and perhaps reflects the evolution of the club if it is to become a Global brand!
"All he wants is big-money players,

He doesn't understand the core loyalty of the club and where it begins.

For him, I was probably a bit of a nuisance. I found out things that were going on behind my back and I wouldn't speak to him. Every time I came around he probably felt a bit uncomfortable.

It just needed people to be honest with me. I was getting phone calls from people saying Garry Cook was trying to sell me behind my back, two months after me going to him and saying if he has any problems to come and deal with me.

I'm disappointed with people who say one thing and then do the other. I'm not a baby, I'm not going to cry if the club want to sell me, but just don't do it behind my back."

These are worrying remarks from Dunne as it doesn’t reflect well on the club or Cook who in the words of Michael Jordan
“demonstrates tremendous leadership in the global marketplace”

Those comments don’t reflect what has transpired at the club. Cook has long seen Dunne a part of the old city. He has discussed in length ending the ‘typical city’ mindset from players and fans and saw Dunne as a part of that! In China he gave some indication of desire for change,
“No disrespect, Richard Dunne doesn’t roll off the tongue in Beijing.”

Dunne isn’t marketable player, he doesn’t have a global image that the club can use to sell itself. The club pursuit of household names or ‘marquee signings’ is the key to the clubs image progress. Cook would argue there is no room for sentimentality and he acted on behalf of the club to help it grow. City is a brand that he is in charge of spreading globally to boost our income and success, the players are simply a commodity in Cooks game plan! The treatment of Dunne shows Cook is taking an aggressive policy in managing the club, ruthless but he would argue necessary approach if we are reach our aims quickly as possible! However it should have been dealt with in a more respectful manner, Cook and the club have come under some degree of scrutiny over transfer policy and actions like this represent a lack cohesion and respect from executive! Cook insistence on retaining the traditions of the club have been neglected in this instance! The club cannot not afford to be too ruthless, there has to be some balance, this deal could have been dealt with far more diplomatically, which is a weakness for Cook. Last season Kaka deal ended in Cook blaming the Milan elite of wasting City’s time. I thought this to be an ill advised move especially for a marketing man! Diplomacy and respect are needed in a business where people are the commodity, it reflects well on the club and it’s dealings!

Cook talks a good talk and has the right acumen and skill to drive to club to a position where the owner want us to be in! He will feel he has take whatever steps that are necessary to achieve this, if that means stepping on a few toes on the way to the top, then so be it! It’s not the most pleasing of policy’s and something we don’t want to hear about in the press. Hopefully this is an aberration and the club gets it act together and makes sure it doesn’t happen again. Cook is the man to lead us forward, as he is running the club on a day to day basis. What he has brought to the club already looks impressive! The development of the ground, club website and shop, Umbro deal and the aggressive marketing campaign ie the infamous 'WELCOME TO MANCHESTER' poster with Carlos Tevez! It's all very impressive and hopefully more is to come, with the academy's abroad, more lucrative pre season tours, and more developments of club facilities.

City should be in good hands and if Cook is good at his job, Dunne type incidents won’t happen again!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

England Duty

This season City are well represented in the England side. Lescott, Barry, SWP and of course Bridge(almost forgot) are in the squad to face Slovenia today! This a very good showing from City and we should be looking to add more. I would hope Micah Richards has a significantly better season and recaptures the form than initially got him into the England squad. Also Nedum Onouha, arguably the better defender of the two is also eligible for England. It's unclear yet if he will bide his time or join his country of birth Nigeria. But as U21 captain he impressed highly at international level, i hope he chooses England because he is still young and can take advantage of an ageing senior squad back line!

As for today's game, Bridge is almost certain to be on the Bench as a replacement for Cashley! But there is a good chance that Lescott could be in line to start with Terry as Cletus Ferdinand is still injured, although he does have competition from Upson!

Barry has become a regular in the England side providing the right compliment to either Lampard or Gerrard who have, so far failed to be a productive force together! Swp could also be in line for a start, with his only competition coming from Aaron Lennon. So City could well be well represented in the starting line up tonight!

City this season have a real strong English core, which i think will be vital in providing the right atmosphere and mindset in a international squad. It's good to see city players holding prominent roles in the England side!

The likes of Tevez and Robinho will be battling it out (vs each other) during the international break. Bellamy has been recalled as captain to Wales. Martin Petrov and Shay Given are all involved in International fixtures!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Cheers Dunney!

Richard Dunne has finally had his deal to join Aston villa confirmed!
TLDORC gives a pretty good summation of Dunnes city career and how the club has developed, perhaps beyond Dunne, it was a good time for him to move on! I won't repeat what has been written, but I'm sure there will be plenty of Dunne article on forums and blogs alike!

He has been a loyal servant to the club and has been a rock during some difficult periods in the clubs history. We have seen a decline in Dunne's form and reliability in the past two seasons. Clearly Hughes noticed and reinforced with two premier league heavyweights. There was little chance of him competing with Toure and lescott of even Onouha who excelled last season while those around him failed to impress. City are challenging at a different level this season and simply didn't fit the new model!

We will next see Dunne in a Villa shirt which will be an odd site, i hope he gets the reception he deserves as a genuine City legend. A new start for him may refresh his career, but hopefully not enough to stop City putting a few past him.

Cheers Dunney!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Has the deal been Dunne?

As the transfer window finally shuts. Richard Dunne's future still remains in the balance! It still appears to be a disagreement over a loyalty payment to Dunne on leaving the club. He has agreed personal terms and passed a medical at villa, but there has yet to be any confirmation! Sky can not confirm anything as of yet!

City again are involved in another after the window deal, hopefully it wont last as long as the Benjani saga!

Petrov has remained at the club, which is very pleasing, Hughes made the right choice keeping him. It keeps quality in depth that city will need this season!


Andy Burton the transfer man on Sky sports news believes the Dunne deal has been completed in time, but it yet to be confirmed!

No Bentley Deal

Brian Swanson from Sky Sports News has reported the Club have officially stated Bentley will not be joining the club in this window on either a loan or permanent deal. We have finished our transfer deals for the window!

With little news on Petrov as well, i would hope Hughes would hang on to him at least until January. Although there are some reports he is already in London!

Benjani has been linked with Sven's Notts county on a loan, which would be a great move for them, he should score for fun at that level!

Tal Ben Haim Leaves the Club!

So Ben Haim, one of Hughes 1st signings at the club has departed ways after what can only be described as one disappointing season. He spent half of the last term away on loan at Sunderland but did little to impress. Having said that, it doesn't make him a bad player, his form at Bolton brought him to chelsea on a Bosman under Mourinho! With the likely hood of 1st team football at Pompey and their physical nature as witnessed on Sunday should suit his style of play! Hughes has used him a fair bit during the pre season, perhaps to put him in the shop window, as city fans have been expecting him to leave for some time.

Who's next?

Benjani's proposed move to Hull seems to have collapsed, Sky suggest personal terms, but perhaps Hull despite their lack of luck in the transfer market, are not willing to gamble on a player who's knee's are at crumbling point! I would expect one or two premier league sides (pompey) to be in for the experienced striker before tomorrows deadline!

Petrov is still very much linked with move to join 'arry' at Spurs! He hasn't featured once this season after an outburst during international duty. Hughes has preferred the skill lacking bellamy rather than petrov as a robinho replacement! I wouldn't sell to rival like spurs this season, why reinforce their squad and leaving us without a team member who can cross!(although it appears just one decent cross in 90 mins seems to be enough to earn the managers praise.)

So would Bentley be involved in the deal? Bentley the spurs flop, who promises allot but often delivers very little. They call him 'Becks' at spurs. I presume it's down to his inability to take any on, rather than his passing, which isn't near good enough to be compared with Beckham's! Bentley obviously peaked under Hughes while at Blackburn, so Hughes might be tempted to reunite with another of his former players! He can at least take a decent corner! He 'apparently' ( so my lawyers told me to say) enjoys the 'big time' fancies himself as the next best thing, Hughes can obviously control him and take him down a peg or two! He has decent passing ability and adds an all be it over rated set piece specialist!

Dunne's deal still remains in the balance! It's not clear what the hold up is, although some press report his asking for a bonus to compensate missing his ten year testimonial. Hopefully this untrue, the modern premier league player doesn't need a testimonial therefore doesn't need a bonus for service despite how long they have been at the club. It would be a major move for Dunne, relocating his family, there is a lot to take into account. There is still a strong chance he will remain at least until the January window!

So departures are certainly going to be more likely than arrivals. There are no solid rumours flying around about big last min deals, so all we can do it wait it out!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Portsmouth 0:1 Manchester City: Good form continues...

Another Away wins equalling last season’s dismal record already! An obvious difficult tie today disregarding our previous Fratton park form, Pompey had strengthened their squad quickly before the game and was an unknown quantity.

City took the game in their stride and outcome somewhat mirrored the efforts Vs Wolves. Dominating the 1st half and scoring yet again from what i had come to regard as rare, set piece! Adebayor is looking the World class striker that we have desired, 3 goals in 3 has made him an instant hit!

Hughes made one change to the squad today, resting Robinho for a more workman like performance from Bellamy. Hughes was impressed with Bellamy i was less so, one decent cross in the game was about all he could muster, his final ball was generally poor and one dimensional in terms ability in taking on players (it’s simply pace), he also offered very little defensively. We didnt look more solid with him on, or a better attacking side. I was surprised (well maybe not!) either Petrov or Robinho didnt replace him to achieve that elusive 2nd goal!

Once again Steven Ireland failed to get to grips with his new role, started his passing game poorly but improved. Yet he is still not fulfilling the needs of the side in the middle, positional sense and effectiveness! We didnt even see him surge forward often today, something he is so good at, i find it really disappointing that we not getting the best out of him. If Elano had performed like that last season, he certainly would have been dropped and slated on fan sites and forums! It’s time to change things around and either use Steven to his best ability or swap with De Jong!

Portsmouth looked pretty toothless upfront today, arguably best attacking options were sat on the bench. In 90 mins they only really challenged Given once with a poor hit from ex-Preston striker David Nugent! Michael Brown claimed they deserved a draw, which i simply can’t agree with considering how limited they were in the final third. Brown was lucky to stay on the pitch, he must of committed of 7 fouls without getting booked, he perhaps should of been followed off the pitch by Richard Hughes who also seemed to deem this a chance to kick City stars off the park. The refereeing in general was very poor today, some really bizarre decision not least the Micah Richards goal which clearly wasn’t off side, with Barry in no way interfering with play. If only Fifa would allow the most effective form of refereeing with goal line technology. Goals are more valuable than ever in the modern game with the amount of cash available. Ignoring what essentially would make the game fairer simply doesn’t make sense to me!

But overall we looked pretty good, Lescott had an OK debut a couple or errors but looked decent along side the ever present Toure. Tevez worked extremely hard and will hopefully have more time to work with Robinho as they could prove very exciting. Barry was once again the midfield core and our season will revolve around him! The international break hopefully won’t upset our good start to the season as City now have Arsenal and then United, two really tough games that will give us a real good gage at the level of squad development into a top side! I thought both sides looked very beatable on Saturday and hopefully we will take full advantage!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Portsmouth Vs Manchester City:

Toady's game will be the unveiling of City's third kit from umbro! It should also be a day where City equal last season away win record! Hughes likely to field the same side that feature in the cup tie midweek, with pitch time being vital for the side to gel as quickly as possible!

Portsmouth have been poor this season and have seen a mass Exodus of quality players leave the club. But the arrival of new owner the Peter Kay Esq Dr sulaiman Al Fahim ( he isn't a Dr either.) Pompey have had an influx of 5 players including ex-blue Michael Brown! So they will be a rather unknown quantity today. City should not fear today game, in previous season we have struggled at fratton Park. This season has seen city already banish some daemons and hopefully we will have the strength and character to really put this game to bed.

Hughes has spoken about our striking ability, we are ready to really punish a side. With both Tevez and Adebayor already registering their scoring accounts, we need Robinho to find some confidence in front of goal. Robinho has been under some unfair criticism this season ( a very small minority), but last match vs Palace, he played with a great work rate and was unlucky not to score. He is a very unselfish player and is great holding on to the ball and bringing it forward, something some fans take for granted.

My biggest worry is the strength of the midfield. With Ireland playing a more refrained deeper role in the middle, his game is restricted to something he isn't suited too. In the Palace game we saw the best and worst from Ireland, most of the game he struggled to match Palace physically. But as soon as he breaks ranks and burst forward, he's completely different player, and that's the Ireland we want to see.

Fink Tank:

So The odds suggest City are either set for a draw or a win, which is indeed pleasing. I am holding out for a few goals today. 3-0!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Dunne in Talks with Villa

'RICHARD Dunne is poised to complete his £6m move to Aston Villa.

The Blues' longest-serving player and captain was at Villa Park on Thursday night completing a deal which ends his nine-year stay at City.'

We have to wait and see what happens in the next 24h as i have read mix reports from City and Villa about how far this deal has developed! It was inevitable he was set to leave after the arrival of Lescott, but it Will certainly a sad day when he leaves as he is a genuine City hero!

Ex city star and defensive partner of Dunne, Sylvain Distin has moved clubs today from Pompey to Everton, which is obviously the dunnsters former club!

More to follow!

Crystal Palace 0:2 Manchester City: Cup result at last!

City have put last season poor cup run behind them with a good win at an impressive young Crystal Palace side. The game was hard thought and it was city's superior finishing quality that eventually won us the game!

Crystal Palace played the game from start to finish at a high tempo, and playing decent football too. The well known youngster Victor Moses gave a disappointing Micah Richards a very hard time! Clyne also looked impressive going forward but was stretched a few time by a hard working Robinho!

City worked hard but didn't go through all the gears. Hughes was right to pick a full side, it's a new side that needs to play together. It's not much more effort with City not being in European competition! Joleon Lescott look decent in his debut although looked like he had never played with team before (obviously), but his ability on the ball is impressive! I look forward to him developing a partnership with Toure who continues to impress.

It was great to see Tevez get on the score sheet, i just didn't expect it to be a head! SWP finished well to put us in rhe links well with Adebayor!

The biggest worry for the side is in the middle of park. The main culprit is Steven Ireland. When Ireland was able to press forward and attack he was impressive, but sat deep in the middle he is simply a passenger, physically not good enough to do the role. We simply are not solid enough in the middle. If we look at spurs the form side at the start of the season, Huddlestone partners Palacios allowing the flair players around them to do their business, but with both player being capable of going forward as well as defending. I would like to see De jong take the role for the time being.

Hopefully we have a good cup run this season, possibly win something! Portsmouth next, another TV game so hopefully we can impress with some good football again. Our breaking ability with Tevez, Robinho and Adebayor is very impressive!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Lescott Is a Blue ( city blue)!

I had given up for the night, but the Deal has been confirmed on the OS!

From Mark Hughes:
"I am absolutely delighted to welcome Joleon to Manchester City. He is an England international who has proved his Premier League ability during his time at Everton," said the Blues boss.

"In bringing Joleon to the Club I feel we have recruited a defender of the very highest quality. He can play in a number of defensive positions, and I’m positive he will make a significant impact for us."

I looks like the papers did get it right, some one obviously sneaked an early sms out to a Journo!

Joleon has also broken his silence and expressed his delight at signing for city

Lescott said:
"I'm over the moon to get the move completed, and I'm looking forward to training with the lads as I've not trained for a few days.

"I know some of the lads already - I'm close friends with Shaun, we've played against each other since we were 16 or 17. The way this club is moving on, I'm really looking forward to being a part of that."

He will be unveiled tomorrow at a scheduled press conference for 11. presumably with Sylvinho who trained with the squad today!

Lescott Deal Done?

We await the announcement from the OS tonight, but the Telegraph have shot head and have been 1st to claim that the deal is finally complete after 24 hour legal discussion over payments.
City had hoped to unveil Lescott officially at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, but talks relating to fees owed as a result of negotiations resulted in the planned unveiling being shelved.

Manager Mark Hughes is now due to hold a press conference on Wednesday lunchtime, however, alongside Lescott and free transfer signing Sylvinho.

I will be keeping an eye out for the SSN yellow bulletin bar for confirmation!

Allot has been discussed and written about with the transfer deal, but the deal being finalised will come as relief for City, so we can get on with our business! I have been reading all day that City have over paid for Lescott, but i disagree. The fee is indeed large, but his value to the club is very high! Having a left sided centre back is of vast importance, we never replaced Distin! He is a top quality player, who can play numerous roles, grab a goal and hopefully form a great partnership with Kolo. City fans could become blasé over the fee's paid for players with our wealth, but we have needed to take these expensive strides to establish our selves as a threat in the league! The club have had to find a balance in terms of fee we are willing to pay, knowing that it is certainly going to be over the odds. Were paying these fee's now will basically be cost effective if we our to be successful. The lescott deal is steep, but certainly worth it!

Monday, 24 August 2009

We've Got Sylvinho!

Hughes has snatched up ex Arsenal and Barcelona left back Sylvinho! I am very pleased with this signing, he was extremely impressive in last season Champions League final and will provide a great back up for Wayne Bridge! A well seasoned left back who has experience at the top level and importantly in the premier league! With the Lescott deal set to be complete any time today, City should now have a complete back line. Next step will be the departures!

Garrido is obviously one player who looks to be on his way out! Hughes decided to use Zabaleta at left back than rather pick him vs Barcelona! He will probably head back to Spain. Tal Ben Haim is another who should be on his way out, spent half of last season on loan, i wouldn't be too surprised if Blackburn make a move for him! And of course Richard Dunne, the legendary city centre back will now be marginalised by the imminent arrival of lescott, he has already stated his desire for 1st football before the World cup. He is sure to have a few suitors in the league.

(image from

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Lescott all but signed!

Announcements today suggest Joleon Lescott is ready to sign in the next 24 hours, presumable as the FA office opens after the weekend, we can assume the deal is all but done.

The deal will come as an obvious blow to Moyes ambition this season, he already has a small squad, but he is now able to reinforce with several players, due to the over inflated fee they will receive for Joleon! There is some rumour that Everton are to complain about an illegal approach from city, but i see this as mostly hot air, it was Everton in fact who 1st published the bid on their Website!

This is a major coup for Hughes and at an important time. Two games into the season, city has generally started well, but there is still a key flaw at the back and perhaps in the midfield. Richard Dunne was less than impressive Vs Wolves and will struggle to get into the side with the arrival of Lescott. There is also great competition for places form Onouha who was arguably the best of the batch last season and the returning Vincent Kompany who is capable of playing both in midfield and centre back. Dunne will want to play 1st team football, which will become increasingly unlikely at city, so is he set to leave the club?

With Lescott set the be the 7th major signing of the season do city have any thing else lined up to surprise the fans like last season with Robinho!

‘And then there are the ones that got away, who did not fall under the spell of City’s wealth. Xabi Alonso was not interested, preferring Real Madrid (City will pursue a passing central midfielder once they land Lescott)’

Guillem Balague made a passing comment on his blog that Hughes was chasing Xabi Alonso who eventually joined Real Madrid from Liverpool, but he is still interested in signing a passing midfielder. Perhaps Hughes 1st signing from abroad this transfer window could be a top quality midfielder!
Today press reports have linked the club with ageing Argentine star Juan Román Riquelme, but i can’t see that happening. Also linked are Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben, along with two other Dutch stars Vander Vaart and Sneijder. All three would do nicely! With only ten days left in the window competition for top player will be at an all time high, with Big clubs concealing their deal from City for as late as possible. The fear being City could financially trump any club, like we did with the Robinho deal!

What is clear is City are moving in the right direction, Hughes has brought premier league experience with seasoned pros who are at the top of their game! Lescott would be a great addition, the fee is high, but of course less than what united paid for Ferdinand! The addition of a left-sided centre back is the biggest blessing; we failed to replace Sylvan Distin in that regard! We will be a better and more balances side for it!

Manchester City 1:0 Wolves: Two in two!

Another win to kick start our season.

Today gave city fans a clear view of where the team stands at the moment in terms of quality. The two half's could not have been more different. Improvements are still needed in the side, but their is also great promise from the side, hopefully with more games and fitness we will see something special this season.

The 1st half could really have finished with City being 4-0, Wolves could not have complained. Efforts from Robinho, Adebayor should have put the game beyond Wolves. The 1st goal was again nicely worked. Great skill on the wing from Robinho, vision from tevez and top class finishing from Adebayor. Gareth Barry impressed, often cleaning up the free ball, aiding City in dominating the half. The flair and ability in our attack should excite city fans, as we look extremely good going forward, hopefully finishing will improve next time!

The Second half saw Wolves make two changes, and start the game with more energy and verve then we had seen in the 1st. Kevin Doyle provided a quality target man that they will need this season. Despite Wolves possession and opportunities, they rarely challenged the city goal, given only forced to make one top save, the cross bar providing the other save. City's defending was poor. i found Dunne in particular to be very unimpressive and distinctly lacking in leadership! Richards positioning towards the end of the game didn't make sense, all too often we were left empty on the right, with even Adebayor having to track back and make tackles. Wayne Bridge has improved greatly this season, he is looking fitter!

The midfield caused worry for me today. It was simply non existent in the second half, Hughes decided to move SWP into the centre leaving the right completely open. Despite some decent touches in the second half, i thought Ireland was very poor, he is not suited to the deeper role, he simply doesn't have the physical presence to impose himself. Hughes should of used De jong allot earlier and removed ireland not Robinho, who was causing problems on the brake late in the game!

The win is of course pleasing, Wolves are well organised, they come to play football, which suits city and allowed us the freedom in the 1st half. It's early days for city, but the signs are promising, the defence should hopefully we stronger with the imminent arrival of Joleon Lescott. I personally would be looking for another midfielder, but who knows if Hughes is still the the market after Lescott!

Two in two, lets hope it can continue!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Manchester City Vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sell Out!

The 1st home game of the season is hours away, i would be more excited if it wasn't for Sultanagate, but I'll cope! The other pies are meant to be pretty good.

After our good start at Blackburn, this is a great chance to kick off our Home form. Wolves are obviously a new side to the premier league this season and should be their for the beating. Mick McCarthy an ex-blue (before i was born) has already dismissed City's chances of top 4 season, but then who hasn't! It's something the team have to get used too, every opposing manager will seek to build pressure on city in the build up to games. Mick has tasted the premier league before, but also tasted failure with Sunderland, so expect his side to be well organsised and full of effort! They perhaps lack quality in depth, but they will be buoyed by their 1st win of the season midweek.

After the confidence boosting win at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, expect to see a city side in full spirit backed by a sell out crowd (despite the balti pies). Tevez has declared he is ready to play, so hopefully he can partner Adebayor if both are fit, Bellamy likely to be the fall guy!

Is Hughes likely to field the same tactic that he used away from home? With the squad available, he has numerous options open to him. Hughes has to get used to squad rotation. Martin Petrov staked his claim on Wednesday, Nigel De Jong has yet to feature after an impressive international appearance for Holland. It's going to be interesting to see who eventually fall into our best 11.

Fink Tank Predictor

The prediction for tomorrow is 3-0 to city, very confident! As with the Blackburn game, i am going against the Fink tank as city's new side changes the whole balance, previous form can be ignored.

(pic from

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Barcelona Friendly and other news...

With City not featuring in European cup competitions this season, one extra game, especially of this calibre is not too much of a worry! Playing the European Champions provides city with a good early season test, and also a chance for Hughes to try some squad rotation. There is little to report on tonight's game, but rather a chance to enjoy a game with no pressure and see how quickly the squad can gel. Hughes is likely to give Mcgivern and Weiss and other fringe players a run out and perhaps brief cameos from star performers.

The game is free to watch from the MCFC site tonight, It kicks off at 9pm UK time!


Today's news...

Premier League
The Premier League transfer window has been extended to close at 5pm on Tuesday 1st September, due to the Bank holiday at the end of August, this obviously great news for Everton and any other team trying to conceal their targets from City.

Lescott's bad attitude!

Yes it finally happened, Moyes has used Jolean as the scape goat for Everton poor start. Sky sports earlier today reported Lescott was not training with the Everton 1st team, with Everton refusing to comment on the matter. Moyes has now confirmed he is being left out of their Europa League tie with Sigma Olomouc.
Joleon's attitude has not been right these past days, he has disappointed me and he has disappointed his team-mates. He is not in the right frame of mind,

He wasn't (right) before Saturday's game and he told me that. But I took the risk and chose to play him. But now the time is right to leave him alone until things are sorted, and hopefully that will be after the deadline.

Despite this, he was one of Evertons better players in the Arsenal tie! This is yet another twist in Moyes bitter feud with city and now his own player(for now!) Moyes has branded city as disgraceful and now slammed his defender for his attitude, who fault is it next?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Pride comes before a fall: Moyes!

David Moyes recently blasted the 'disgraceful' bullying tactics of Mark Hughes over the desire to sign Lescott from Everton. It's a bizarre complaint from a manager who has done himself or his team no favours with this arrogant stance. Moyes has made it all about himself,
I make the decisions, they have not talked to me and the player has been consistently told he is not for sale.
I'm not sure the board will agree with him. His complaint being Hughes didn't ring him up over the transfer deal,but instead got in touch with the powers that be in the Everton hierarchy, as in modern football, managers don't do the negotiating it's done by professional at the club ie, Garry Cook and co...Hughes has stated this in public, city went through the right channels making a bid for Lescott which we and any one else are in their right to do, it's now clear the player wants to leave Everton. It was in fact Everton who made the deal public on their website, so it astounds me where Moyes feels it right to label the clubs dealings as 'disgraceful' or 'lacking in respect.' There has been no tapping up, no underhand dealing, City simply approached Everton for a player during the 'Transfer Window.'

£20 million is roughly what is on the table for Everton if they cash in on Jolean, who is only worth about half of that. It simply doesn't present good business for Everton if Moyes digs his heels in to simply get one over city, while retaining a unhappy player in the squad that upsets the morale and balance of side. He could use that cash wisely to reinforce before the window close with several players. Yesterdays result with come as a huge psychological blow for Everton, we can only speculate if recent events influenced the side, but it's surely not worth keeping a player who does not want to be there.

Roberto Martinez came with a measured response to the exit of Lee Cattermole from Wigan
The fee is a good one, it is far more than the club paid for him last year and the third highest in Wigan's history.

The speculation about Lee has refused to go away over the last few weeks and this has been very unsettling for him and for our players.

It became clear over the past days having spoken to Lee that he wanted to leave and it is very disruptive to the group when a player is clearly unhappy,

Moyes could learn a thing or two from Martinez....

Blackburn Rovers 0:2 Manchester City: Good start.

A very satisfactory start to the new season. The bonus of an away win at Ewood park, which is never an easy ground to visit. It wasn't the best performance from city, but winning 2-0 with a performance like this is big step for city, we would of lost in the same situation last season.

A fantastic start to the game with Adebayor starting finishing a fine move with top class finishing. He was extremely impressive today. His ability to hold of the ball, his movement and passing just shows a player of a completely higher calibre to what we have been used to upfront.

City switched off after the 1st goal, with some less than convincing 1st half displays from the left hand side of defence. Bridge, Dunne and Barry all made errors in the 1st half. Yet on the right Toure and Richards started strongly and were impressive through out the game.

The second half brought through a vast improvement. Bridge started to like himself of old, tackling was better, but his confidence taking on players and going forward was very impressive. Dunne started to dominate the defence, coping better the with physical and aerial threat from the Blackburn side. Shay Given made three top class saves that kept Blackburn out of the game.

Attacking wise, Swp played very well, he was very level headed holding on to the ball waiting for Adebayor in the 1st goal, he had a fine game taking on Warnock.
Robinho had a neat games, some good shooting, we can take for granted his ability to run froward and retain possession.

Bellamy provided the catalyst in the second half, the midfield was not as effective as it should of been, but with his work rate and pace, winning ball and breaking forward encouraged others to raise their game.

It was good to see Tevez take part, he certainly looks the part and nearly got himself on the score sheet. I would like to see him play with Robinho because they should compliment each other in their style. Hughes must also get used to squad rotation. I hoped he would give Petrov a run out yesterday to show he was still in the managers plans.

Steven Ireland was the least impressive yesterday. His midfield presence was almost not existent for most of the game. The middle was generally ineffective the 1st half, with Barry vastly improving in the second half, we were more combative.
Ireland did take his goal well, he kept a cool head and finished confidently, but not the best start from superman! Gareth Barry showed how to win and retain ball in the middle, he improved as the game went on. He will be a key part in our progress this season.

A good start and to settle the nerves. It eases the pressure in the press. Our next target is to sign Lescott and irritate the arrogant Moyes.

(image from

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Blackburn Rovers Vs Manchester City: It Begins....

This is where it starts. City's new look squad is ready to start the new era at Ewood park, not an easy place to start. Big Sam sides are very physical with David Dunn already warning about kicking us off the park, which is no surprise with Blackburn's brand of football ( even under Hughes!) City will need to show their quality and be up to the physical challenge, Nigel De Jong has to be in the side for today!

The aim today is to start well with an away win, which came such a problem for us last season. It's very important that we get over the mental barrier that hindered our progress. I mentioned earlier about growth in experience and leadership qualities in the side that will hopefully give the side more character. City never came from behind to win a game last season, hopefully we will see a new spirit in the side.

Team News: Despite the obvious injuries to Johnson and Santa Cruz, we should only be sweating on Adebayor's fitness, but i feel he will be fit. Tevez, barry and toure all set to start. What i can't predict is what formation will Hughes go for. Having missed most of the close season i can simply guess at what he will do. Does he go two upfront or use the same tactic from last season? Who partners Toure at the back?..

FinkTank Predictor!

Obviously with our previous form away from home, the odds are against us, but i am personally predicting the a win for City today. 0-2

anyone have 2 tickets spare? thought not!

Friday, 14 August 2009

New Season: blog return!

The season is about to start tomorrow, i have to returned to restart my blog for a very exciting new premier league campaign.

I have been out of the country for most of the summer, so have managed to avoid the hysteria surrounding city's spending. I was in and around South Africa during the Vodacom challenge and wasn't too impressed with city's defensive displays. Our pursuit of Lescott is extremely necessary to stiffen a leaking back line.

I have been impressed with our transfer signing so far. Hughes has gone for Premier league experienced players with the ability and experience of top level sides. There are risks of course, player don't always settle well at new clubs, Robbie Keane is a prime example of that last season, but hopefully we can settle the squad quickly! I won't go through each signing because it's been done by everyone and repeated everyday on Sky sports news when they have nothing new coming in!

Our general aim this season is to finish as high as possible ( like every other season), but of course with new expectation from the owners, management, and squad. We have players that have tasted success at the highest levels and have the desire to continue decorating their careers, so it must translate to how city perform this season. The pressure is enormous on Hughes, the press and opposing managers want to see city fail. Most pundits have sat on the bench and predicted city finishing top 6, this is of course the absolute minimum. We now have a squad with calibre to challenge a champions league spot this season.

We must start well this season, an away win at Blackburn settles the nerves and dismisses the demons from last seasons woeful away record. It's a chance to see what Hughes has planned for this season, tactics wise and personnel wise. It's also a test of character, we lacked leadership and drive last season. Having influential, spirited players up and down the pitch does a team wonders. The top teams like Chelsea have a wealth of experience and strong leadership in their squad which gives them an edge. We are very much an unknown quantity at the moment, with a generally disappointing friendly run in, it's difficult to predict where the squad is in terms of development. We simply can't afford for the team not to gel quickly, Blackburn will be a real test that i hope were ready for!

Can't wait...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Chelsea 1:0 Manchester City: More of the same!

It was all wrong today. The team, the approach and substitutions.

Chelsea were the better side, deserved the win but essien finish was very fortunate. He could of never hoped to finish to well with his shin. Onouha had a great game today did very well (with a bit of help from the post) to keep the Chelsea down to 1 goal . He rivaled Essien today for MOM.

City were at heir lacklustre worst. SWP seemed to find the form that kept him out of the Chelsea 1st team. Ireland without the protection of De jong and Kompany was never going to be able to cope with Essien, Lampard and Ballack. We really missed our two defensive men against some of the best midfielders in the world.

Elano was good today, he seemed to be the most composed on the ball. Passing and tackling kept city going. I have no idea why Hughes replaced him with Etuhu, and neither did Elano. Very poor decision.

Caicedo worked hard, put often isolated and overwhelmed by terry and Carvalho closing him down. Robinho offered him little or no support. He still did his part and we looked worse when Evans came on. He offered very little apart from needless fouls.

Substations are meant to strengthen a side, they didn't today, we went down a gear. A very unimpressive performance.

Robinho was extremely frustration. You would expect him to raise his game for Chelsea, so why was he so poor. Elano should be more annoyed that he was removed instead of him. He looked the lowest i have seen him this season. It was nice to see Bojinov. I'm sure all our hearts stopped when he limped away from a shot. He offered allot in a very little time. When is he ready for more than 10mins?

The goal was farcical. The captain Dunne should organise his defence and keep a grip. Confusion set in as he called Zabaleta away from Essien and then Bridge moved. It was ridiculous.

We came blame injury's and and congested schedule. But it doesn't excuse the poor performance we put in today. We didn't raise our game and hopefully it won't do too much damage to our confidence.

I wouldn't of picked Robinho today, i would of put either Gelson or Garrido in the midfield and have a much more balanced side. Aalborg next, lets hope our European form gets us through!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Manchester City 2: Aalborg: Last 16 win, still no fans!

The last 16 tie, still not enough of a pull for City fans to watch their side. 24 thousand yesterday and again the third tier empty. I don't know why the club don't offer cheap tickets and get the ground full for a game like this. It's embarrassing that we have been pining for a good Euro campaign for years, now we have it, barely anyone turns up!

A good performance tonight. The attacking play again was excellent. Elano, Ireland and SWP were exceptional times. Robinho looked in good form, but still goals shy which is a worry.

With only 1 defensive mid, we were open at times to some good attacking play from Aab, but the defence coped well. Dunne and Nedum continued their partnership and a good performance Richards is very encouraging.

We created plenty of opportunities yesterday, but again failed to kill of the game. It could and should of been 4 or 5. So it puts some pressure City to get an early goal in Denmark to get a clear advantage. But not conceding was vital and very pleasing. Frustrating at times, but a generally good performance.

Good to see Kelvin back from injury, he gives us yet another option. I hope Platini took notice how many academy players featured last night.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Manchester City Vs Aalborg: Preview.

An important clash tonight with Aab. They have been in good form in Europe this season, putting up a decent fight to earn a draw with United in the Champions League and most recently stuffing a poor deportivo side 6-0. City of course have the ability to ease past Aab, it's vital we put our selves in a advantage position for the away leg.

Allot of team news.

Vincent Kompany is set to miss the tie, with his toe problem. He has been playing with this injury for some time. But he is likely to be rested for Sundays clash at Chelsea rather than tonight.

Robinho is fit after his trip home and should feature. Micah Richards is also set for a return which would enable Pable Zabaleta to cover the midfield. Erratic mad man Gelson could also feature in the middle if Hughes feel the team need two in the middle.

The question arise over Elano, does he feature after his top class performance last week. Does is play with Robinho upfront. Or does Caiedo or Evans get the nod upfront.

An exciting tie in the last 16. It should take city a step toward Istanbul tonight. It has to be our best chance of qualifying for the Europa league next season. As the last English club in the tournament we need to continue this English domination seen in the Champions League.

David Villa Talks Confirmed!

Much has been made of Valencia financial troubles, i was somewhat surprised they didn't sell in the January window. Both Villa ans David Silva will remain huge targets for the big clubs of Europe. Vice-president Fernando Gomez has confirmed City have been in contact their star Spanish striker.

Villa would be the perfect assets to the squad. At 27 he has plenty of time left in his career. He is a natural goal scorer and be able to convert and create plenty of chances.

This news has been expected for sometime. But of course it means very little until we actually make a bid. Barcelona and Real Madrid are extremely interested in Villa and a move to another Spanish club is favoured by the Valencia striker.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Manchester City 2:0 Aston Villa: SWP back to his best.

Huge Sigh of relief when the second the goal went in yesterday, cheered like i hadn't cheered for some time. Brilliant win that alleviates the pressure we put on ourselves after the let down at West Ham.

It's been a frustrating season, Yesterday win frustrates me even more. I felt we had a pretty strong squad at the start on the season. Certainly worthy of a top 8 side. With huge investment, we now have a top squad that should really be above the likes of Everton and Villa. It's more frustrating because we know how well we can play and the squad has pretty good depth. But when turn out in our next away fixture it's as though we are a completely different side.

The 1st half yesterday was absolutely brilliant. The team needed a change and refreshment, too long we have relied on Robinho to try and get us going, it's a massive burden. The same can be said for Bellamy, we seemed to persist with lobbing the ball forward for him to run on too, it's fine now and again but not as our main tactic. Elano sat behind Caicedo which gave the two engine room players in SWP and Ireland the ability to drift around the pivot of elano and the Big man upfront. This worked with great success. It elevates allot of pressure on Ireland as he is free to roam and he has the pleasure of receiving inch perfect passes from the Brazilian. Swp was on fire in the 1st half, he gave Luke Young a torrid time and was only let down my some poor finishing and lack of luck. Elano finished the penalty with pin point accuracy and gave us a well deserved if not disappointing 1-0 lead at half time.

(quick issue on Caicedo. I was pissed off some imbeciles booing him when he went off. He had a decent 1st half. The team didn't perform in the second half and he was much more isolated competing for high balls with the giant Zat Knight. He too is young and i don't want him to get the same treatment as Jo who turned in another decent performance yesterday for Everton. If he was from he academy people would be much more lenient. Evans came on yesterday and gave a brilliant lay off too Elano. He certainly puts himself about, which is great, but he lacks any composure on the ball with some quite erratic shooting. He is still young, So is Caicedo!)

It was obvious what was going to happen in the second half. Villa would step up a gear and we would cruise and look like a different side. The loss of De jong created an unbalance in the midfield. Gelson came on performed in his erratic and unhelpful manner. He is like an excited puppy, he has to be anywhere and everywhere, but doesn't stick around long enough to do anything right. Hughes needs to stick him with De Jong and train him to settle down, because he isn't a bad footballer! We came under some decent pressure from villa, but were didn't have that much trouble to deal with. Dunne was in full form and Nedum was outstanding, he is living up to ability and staying injury free. He had no problem dealing with Agbonlahors? pace. Ched came on and put himself about and generally got involved. Another appearance form Bojinov was very pleasing, he had a hand in the goal, although credit goes to Ireland and SWP who finished with supreme confidence.

The defence was great. Bridge seems to have settle in the past two games and isn't making the same errors. Zabaleta was outstanding and to me put's Richards right out of the team. The partnership of Nedum and Dunne is developing into a good one. Pace and power is proving a treat. Dunne in the past has struggled with the likes of Heskey, but had no problems yesterday. The defensive Mids enables the three attacking midfielders to play their own game, thats why i have been crying out for Elano, who now has the cover to play the game at his pace. I hope soon enough Bojinov will be able to start becaushe he gives us skill power and experience upfront. It's like a new signing.

It's was a good win for the Fans as it gave us some confidence and the Atmosphere wasn't bad at all for less than full capacity game. It should give a boost to the players, playing with out the gifted and the gobby, we looked a more organised side.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Marwood and Co Join City!

Brian Marwood officially joins up with ex-colleague Nike colleague at City. Garry Cook has stated he has wanted Brian at the club for sometime. He will join as 'Football administration officer.'
he will be responsible for supporting boss Mark Hughes by building an infrastructure which will meet the manager's requirements in terms of academy liaison, overseeing of medical, sports sciences and performance analysis, talent identification and player support.

He leaves his role as UK Sports Marketing Manager for Football at Nike. So like Cook who was Nike main man for their Jordan brand, both marketing men that can take the club brand forward.

Two others have joined:

Graham Wallace, Chief Financial & Administration Officer

Responsible for leading and managing all Club financial matters in addition to overseeing the Information Technology, Human Resources, Legal and Administration functions. He joins the Club from IMG, where he is Senior Vice President of Finance for IMG’s worldwide Sports Media and Entertainment businesses.

David Pullan, Brand and Marketing Officer

Responsible for growing the Club’s supporter base. He joins the Club from Aegis Media, where he was President of Isobar Global Client Management.

This is the next step in City's growth to have an infrastructure and staff suitable to take the club forward in commercial terms. Now they need to get it right on the pitch!

Manchester City Vs Aston Villa: Preview.

Injury crisis hits City at the worst possible time. Bellamy is injured, imagine that! And it's a knee injury again but apparently not related to his many other knee injuries. Robinho is also out after limping off at the end of the game at West Ham. Richards is doubtful after barely playing 15 mins last match. He was receiving heavy treatment before the game, you would think that would give some good indication that he wasn't fit.

Villa of course are having a good season, their last result left them with something to prove. Not a good time to play a side who's desire to win is proving valuable.

Not sure what Hughes has up his sleeve for this one? The options range from Caicedo, Evans or an unfit Bojinov upfront. The midfield slot could be filled by Elano, Etuhu or Birmingham's answer to Pele, Darius Vassell.

Tomorrows Fink Tank Prediction:
Home win 42.5%
Away Win 32.8%
Draw 24.7%

I can't predict this one. I am hoping we can sustain this home form, but without our top goal scorer and our most inform striker it doesn't look that good. 3 points would do us the world of good confidence wise, we can't afford to slip down the table at this time in the season.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

West Ham 1:0 Manchester City: No London Pride!

Our second trip to London this season has seen City continue the poor form that has dented our 100 million pound season.

Well deserved result for West Ham, Zola has built his foundations on technically good players rather than fitness based, Zolaisation perhaps. They play good football and looked sharper than us today. Individuals like Di Michele, despite his lack of stature and speed is able to play his game with a big strike partner aiding his game.

We flattered at times today with a performance that wasn't necessarily poor like the Portsmouth game, but still lacked the drive and edge needed. Caicedo and Robinho both had two good chances each and should of converted one at least each!
Our midfield didn't function all too well, Kompany perhaps not firing on all cylinders, and Ireland in a below par performance drifting in and out. Bellamy failed to live up to the hype today, his final ball was generally poor! His injury was only a matter of time, He has a long problem with his knees and it's blighted (amongst other things) his career. Scott Parker of course can the game today, gave us endless trouble.

Elano came on helped city go up a gear, although often maligned, his does has great ability and he gave the team chances, which sadly couldn't be converted. But, perhaps if he came on earlier he would be the ideal candidate to blame for the goal.

Again our defending for goal left allot to be desired. Savio slipped through and troubled Given who pushed the ball out poorly. Bridge failed to react and they scored.

It was of course nice to see Bojinov return after completing 60 and 90 mins for the reserves. Although I'm not sure what the merit is of playing for 2 mins if not just to prove your alive to the fans. We were losing after all, i thought a change might of come earlier!

Richards, Robinho, Bellamy all injured? Not good news for the Villa game!

West Ham Vs Manchester Ciy: Preview

Bellamy returns to another old club, which bodes well for city as he will be more determined than ever to score!

City look to be reaching some sort of form, although i don't know if our Uefa up performance will be mirrored in the league. The Liverpool game isn't as important as this. It seems silly to say, but it's easier to raise your game for a big club, hopefully we get a win today at West ham.

The welcome return of De jong will join Kompany in the midfield, with zabaleta covering for the suspended SWP. I expect a pretty similar side to the Liverpool game.

Today's Fink Tank predictions:

Home win 43.4%
Away Win 32.9%
Draw 23.7%

The Highest percentage is on a 1-1 draw today being at 10.8%, so i am backing that for my prediction today! I think it would be a good result. The problem with city this season if we have lost too many games that we should of been a draw! Optimistic we don't produce a typical city performance and cut down on defensive errors!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Manchester City v FC Copenhagen: City hit the Mark!

So it's back to Denmark in the next round to play Champions League drop-outs Aalborg who stuffed Deportivo in both of their tie.

Ticket's On Sale as from 9am today!
UEFA Cup – Round of 16 (First Leg)
MCFC v Aalborg Thursday 12th March 2009
Venue – City of Manchester Stadium
Kick Off – 7.45pm

The result tonight was a pleasing one and a convincing performance to compliment. Today saw the resurgence of the unfairly maligned Brazilian star Robinho. He simply is brilliant in full force. The manner and style in which he reads the game is beyond most premier league players ability! He was unlucky tonight not to score, but generally had a hand in all that was good tonight and set up a goal.
Bellamy was good tonight, caught off-side too often, perhaps unfairly on occasion. But Off-sides are no bad thing, they show an intent and your more likely to win from having for off-sides than corners! We perhaps rely too much on the quite crude tactic of knocking the ball long in hope that Bellamy pace will enable him to get on the ball, i don't want to see it all the time, but tonight it got us a goal and can't really be complained about.

Steven Ireland does seem to the Off-side gene, he doesn't understand the rules and was often found waving his arms around in the off-side position tonight. Look up Stevie! Micah Richards also struggles with basics, why he failed to make a throw in, 3 times in one game is madness. I'd have him in training tomorrow doing nothing but throw-ins!

Solid performance from the midfield today. Kompany wasn't given the same licence as he had at anfield to get forward, instead he sat back and enjoyed controlling the middle with Mad Pab!

The defence gave a decent display, a few errors here and there. Dunne let Ailton slip a few times, but was pretty comfortable. More amusing was his trip north was spoilt by the off-side flag. Richards gave a more improved performance going forward today played some good balls into the attackers. Bridge, I am still weary about. I am conscious he hasn't really played football for a long time. But his defensive skills are dodgy at the moment and his final ball was less than convincing today.

The 1st half was average. We looked to make life difficult for ourselves and struggled to make an impact. Bellamy chance hitting the post the main positive from the half. We came out in the 2nd more confident and assured and gradually improved. Only a defensive lapse at the end spoilt a decent result.

The fan's from Copenhagen were very entertaining tonight. Loud through out, some good English chants thrown in as well, shame city fan's are not that bothered about a rare Uefa cup run.

West Ham next, hopefully the catalyst of a good performance has got city going for the rest of the season. The talk of changing room unrest hasn't helped, Bellamy and Robinho performed in a very professional manner tonight. Even if only three players congratulated Craig on his 1st goal and a forced bug uncomfortable hug for second with Robinho gave me a slight worry. I only hope they keep up their performances on pitch and leave the rest to the tabloids.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Manchester City v FC Copenhagen:Uefa cup preview.

Didn't report after the Liverpool match for various reasons. But i was happy with the 2nd half performance at Anfield. I hope it was the mark of a side who want to improve rather than simply raising the game for a big opponent, something we saw last season.

An average draw at Copenhagen in the 1st leg saw city struggle in the final third and at the back. Poor finishing and poor marking generally presided over our away form this season. We are lucky to have the Away goal today, so hopefully we can put in a good performance tonight and win comfortably like we should be doing against a side that haven't played much football.

Team wise, Kompany is a major doubt with a damaged toe which leaves us light in the midfield. Hopefully that means we only play one DM at home which would be Zabaleta. Gelson is also still injured so it leaves us with little option. SWP could feature but has a slight ankle injury, but i fully expect him to start.

Shame we can't sell out at home for a Uefa cup run! Hoping for a good performance tonight.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Liverpool Vs Manchester City: Preview

Difficult challenge tomorrow! Of course our away form will fill most of the discussions. But i hope the challenge of playing a Big, football playing side will motivate the team and produce a performance deserving of our support.

Our Uefa form does not seem to translate across to league form. The midweek game wasn't the best performance, but certainly an improvement on what we have produced this year. We were still calamitous at the back and failed to capitalise in the final third.

SWP is suspended for some bizarre reason, but Richard Dunne returns. So i am hoping Hughes will either give a chance to Felipe Caicedo upfront or see Zabaleta move to the right wing, which he has played before. Kompany retains his midweek role in the midfield and Dunne returns to the defence.

This is a game that we shouldn't expect anything from, that's why i am hoping we can pull something out of the bag. We have a horrible record Vs Liverpool. The Fink Tank predicts only 12.1% chance of winning and only 19.2% of a draw. Not a promising statistic.

Highest odds on a 2-0 loss. I hope otherwise!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

FC Copenhagen 2:2 Manchester City: Typical City.

An unconvincing performance tonight. City flattered at times, but failed to show any real quality in the final third. Another poor showing at the back meant we failed to capitalise on some poor defending.

Our first goal was extremely fortunate. The goalkeeper made a serious error to which gave Nedum his second goal for city. Amusing at the time, but considering it was one of our best chances on goal, highlights our lack of quality in the final third. The Second goal, taken competently by Steven Ireland, but was again made easier by poor defending and a rare good ball from SWP.

We created a few other chances, but poor finishing let us down and we eventually paid the cost through typical city defending. The return of Dunne clearly didn't do us any favours, there seemed to be a competition at the back of who could make the most errors in 90 mins. Both goals coming from set pieces raises the question about what we are actually doing in training. Two free headers is very poor.

Bellamy spent most of the game off side whilst Robinho dipped in and out of the game. I am worried about our home form if he continues to fail to find the net. He has been vital to our home form this season, we can't afford that to end. The lack of substitutions worried me. We have a big game on Sunday and we were not playing particular well. Gronkjaer came on and caused us problems at the back, we didn't adjust to this new threat.

Overall i am generally happy because we have the away goal and a draw was pretty much as i expected. An improvement on the Portsmouth performance isn't surprising as it couldn't get much worse. We are in a good position to beat them at home and have an advantage.

Not sure where this leaves us for Sunday.