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...