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!