Monday, 26 April 2010

City make emergency loan request!

With the disappointing outcome of City being without their two 1st team goalkeepers with Given's shoulder and Taylor's knee injury. City have been forced into calling up 3rd/4th choice reserve keeper Gunnar Nielsen into the 1st team, with the other reserve keeper David Gonzalez Giraldo is also injured. This leaves City without any other options other than to use Academy keeper as backup.

City have requested the FA to grant the club to approach other clubs to loan a keeper for the last three games of the season. An emergency loan isn't an unusual thing, all they need is permission from the Governing body. The loans can only be domestic, so we are not allowed to borrow from foreign clubs. It's unclear whether it will be granted.

Daniel Taylor has reported City's interest in signing Martin Fulop from Sunderland, a player at one point this season was ahead of Craig Gordan. This would be an obvious disappointment for Nielson, who is no doubt looking forward to his first premier league start. But i think it would a wise move to reassure our defence in the final run. Fulop has performed pretty well this season when called upon, and is likely to be more reliable than the unproven Faroe Islander. We wait and see if this move comes into fruition.

I have read, but haven't seen for myself, reports that David Gold former Birmingham owner on SSN. Apparently he suggested City were in the process of offering Birmingham compensation in return for the club terminating his loan contract. Due to loan rule restrictions City can not ask for Hart back, the move would have to be initiated by Birmingham and presumably have the authority of the FA. I don't know this legality of this matter, but I doubt it will happen. I think we only see Joe Hart next season!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Arsenal 0-0 Manchester city: Review.

Reading most reports, people found today's game a real bore draw. I, on the other hand enjoyed watching City's defensive rigour and discipline. For 90 mins City limited Arsenal, stifled their attack and gave Given/ Nielsen very little work to do. I understand most will dispair at performances like this, But I prefer a 0-0 with top class defending rather than a 3-3 with poor defending.
Mancini sacrificed Adebayor who hadn't trained all week for an extra man in the midfield. In the 1st half, we set out to limit Arsenal playing. And generally our midfield looked good enough. Barry and De Jong continued their good form. It was real concious effort from the side to not let Arsenal build pressure. Bellamy worked especially hard in defence to aid Bridge/ Zabaleta.
It was no surprise, shortly after the break Adebayor would step into the fray. His introduction required a change of shape, removing the extra midfielder. This move allowed an isolated Tevez drop deep and get much more involved in the game. The added spice of Adebayors involvement raised the atmosphere in the ground and gave the game a better tempo. Still City didn't really do a great deal in the final third, barely bothering Fabianski. Our final ball, one again letting us down. Johnson didn't impress today, if it wasn't for the forced goalkeeper sub, it would of been likely he would of been replaced.
The defensive display was of real quality. Toure and Kompany put in their best partnership performance this season, a strong and confident performance, maintaining the concentration until the end of the game. Zabaleta also looked in form, playing both left and right. I didn't quite understand why Richards was selected ahead of Nedum, but yet again Richards let him self down through his lack of discipline.
The real negative aspect of the game came from a speculative shot from Diaby on the City goal. Given saved the shot with ease, but on hitting the ground, managed to dislocate his shoulder. Given has had a great deal of trouble with shoulder in the past, according to Dr Kevin Keegan and will now miss the end of the season. This is going to be quite damaging to our ambitions of finishing in 4th place. Gunnar Nielsen, our Faroe Islands keeper, signed by Hughes from Blackburn looks most likely to finish the season as our first choice. Ex-Arsenal keeper Stuart Taylor is still out with a knee injury. The only other option i can think of is David Gonzalez Giraldo, a Colombian keeper City signed on a free. He's 27 and has 2 caps for his country. I don't know what his situation is at the club, He was never officially declared signed by the club, but is apparently apart of our reserves. Who ever it is, they need to raise their game and perform to a high standard.
With Spurs losing to united, we missed an opportunity today to return to 4th, especially against a weak and deflated Arsenal, but a point is still valuable. We are only 1 point behind Spurs with a better Goal Average. There is only one way we can finish 4th, that's winning our last 3 games. We now have to look to attack teams with more purpose and tempo...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Derby Disappointment

Yesterday was a terrible day for City in footballing terms. Apart from the obvious disappointment losing to United in the last minute, the hurt was compounded by Spurs beating an under performing Chelsea. City have not only lost their advantage for 4th spot, but slipped to 5th and 2 points behind Spurs. An all round terrible day. The race is not over of course, Spurs have to play United next and us, hopefully we can move on from the defeat and finish the season in impressive fashion.

Losing in the last minute was gut wrenching, but not surprising with our previous form. City didn't play badly, but we didn't play that well either. The lack of tempo in attack was frustrating. Considering how well we played in previous games, we lacked the same venom and edge. Bellamy and Johnson were not in full form, Bellamy struggles with his final ball for most of the game. Tevez and Adebayor worked hard , but couldn't find any inroads, the lack of concrete chance caused great frustration.

The midfield didn't function well, despite Barry and De Jong performing to a high standard. The loss of De Jong in the game, may well of cost us the game. The two midfielder's sat too deep allowing United a lot of time on the ball, and space to press forward. I thought it an odd tactic, as it allowed United to shoot from distance, with players like Scholes and Gibson, that's a strange risk to take.

The defence wasn't at it's best, Kolo Toure looking the most dominant and confident at the back, is stark contrast with Kompany who looked like a bag of nerves, making several silly mistakes. Bridge continues he spectacular ability in not being able to cross to a City shirt this season. I find it hard to believe that Terry once said he was the best crosser at Chelsea.

The negative impact of the substitutions can take some blame for the loss. SWP came on beat Evra twice but failed to deliver a quality final ball, and ultimately gave the ball away that led to the United goal. Ireland arrival in a position behind Tevez, i thought would be positive, but he continued to show the lack of interest and effort that has limited his chances this season. Ireland stood by in the box and watched Scholes run past him to take an easy unchallenged header. I wouldn't be surprised to see either player leave in the summer.

A bad result, yes, but our season is not over, i hope there will be more twist in the final four games for our sake! The City fans were brilliant yesterday, and the players performance didn't match our efforts. We are owed a performance at Arsenal.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Maicon goal- worth seeing!!!

Just seen this on 'Dirty Tackle'

Inter Brazilian fullback Maicon with a brilliant goal, from the control to the finish. You just have to watch it!

Take a bow son!

Hopefully Tevez will hit one like that tomorrow!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Derby Day: City squad.

Tomorrows 'local derby' against the Salford 11 has become a game of real importance. Spurs beating a hapless Arsenal has heightened the importance of maintaining our advantage in the fight for fourth place.

City have been replenished in the break between games. Zabaleta returns from suspension. Bridge, Ireland and Vieira all free from injury and ready to return to the side. So our bench will be much stronger than it was against Birmingham. Santa Cruz also had a good run out in the reserves to build some match sharpness.

An added bonus from last week was De Jong not picking up a suspension and now being 'unleashed' for the derby. Roberto Mancini has also escaped touchline suspension from the FA after his confrontation with Moyes, Which is good news of course.

I don't think we need to look into what squad the others will bring. All that is relevant is City are in top form. Adebayor hasn't featured against United this season and is looking formidable in front of goal along side Tevez. United are very beatable as proven already this season. We go into this game with just as potent an attack, if not more than it was at the start of the season. We are more sturdy at the back showing some real defensive rigour.

The line up is likely to be very similar to last match! Zabaleta or Bridge coming in for Garrido is probable. It will be interesting to see if he goes for just two in the middle, or brings Vieira/ Zabaleta into the middle to battle along side Barry and De Jong. I wouldn't favour this as it means Johnson or Bellamy miss out, something we should try to avoid on current form.

Lets keep the momentum going blues!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

City to sign Boateng?

Sky this morning have reported Jerome Boateng has agreed a deal to sign with City in the summer!

The 21-year-old Germany international has long been linked with a move to Eastlands and has reportedly agreed to the switch which will cost City approximately £11million.

The deal would represent the 1st bit of business from the 'Player Acquisition Group' involving Mancini, Marwood and chief scout Mike Rigg. Boateng has long been a reported target for City. It's not clear who has been the driving force behind this 'acquisition' but I fully support it. Young talented footballers, ready to take up a challenge of the premier league.

Boateng is a young German International defender who I presume is being signed to play right back, although he is a very versatile player. At 6 ft 3 he is a natural centre half, but does play full back and even Defensive mid. I believe he also equally adept with both feet. Boateng would be the third signing from Hamburg along side Kompany and De jong. ( get you FM scouts on it) He has recently developed from a regular u21 performer to a full international for Germany and is likely to go to the world cup. So signing him before hand may prove wise!

Boateng has apparently a release clause in his contract for around 11 million, which HSV have been trying to re-negotiate the contract. So the Deal isn't complete, with no confirmation between both clubs, but it looks as though we are in pole position to finalise the deal.

The transfer dealings this summer will be of great interest, as City will now have to build a squad of only 25 1st team registered players, according to next seasons premier league rules. Interestingly players under 21 do not have be registered in the 25 man squad, so we may see more young' developing' stars.

Not a great video, or interview, unless you speak German. Most Youtube clips dominated by his brother Pompey player Kevin-Prince.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Manchester City 5:1 Birmingham City: Review.

Expectations have risen after the 1-6 thrashing at Turf moor, so there was a sense of disappointment around the ground today, when the game had reached the 7th minute, we were yet to score. Little did we know, we would finish to the game with 5 goals to our name.

Birmingham arrived at COMS after two very good draws Vs Arsenal and Liverpool and have become a side considered 'hard to beat'. After our last home win at Wigan, which was hard fought but not entirely convincing, I was expecting more of the same. Mancini set out pretty similar squad to that used at Burnley, with Garrido replacing the injured Sylvinho and a late swap with De Jong for Vieira who hurt is his knee in the warm up.

The game started is very much the manner expected, City with more possession but only creating the half chances. Adebayor and Tevez looked good, but couldn't create anything clear cut, an all too familiar format this season. The turning point came with Stumpy squat ref Phil Down who gave a somewhat soft penalty, triggering a manic goal rush before half time.

Tevez dispatched the 1st goal, a penalty with confidence and ease. The second came from a set piece, something City have really improved upon recently. Nedum Onouha managed to get good pace and power on a header past Taylor, but after seeing MOTD it may well be awarded to Tevez. Birmingham struck back with immediate effect, McFadden was allowed to 'jink' a ball across the box by Toure to Cam Jerome, who drifted back post with out challenge from Garrido. This was a disappointing lapse in concentration, we were not really under any pressure. City responded again, with a real poachers effort from Adebayor! The goal was very important in keeping the initiative with our side.

In the second half, Birmingham, as expected came out with more purpose and shape, creating a few half chances, but never really putting Given under any sustain pressure. Some nervous moments on the pitch, with city failing the keep hold of the ball in middle, was reflected by the atmosphere in the ground, we needed another goal to settle the nerves.

The goal wasn't expected to come from Onouha, who managed to score a somewhat comical but brilliant goal. Bouncing one pass off a Birmingham defender then laying on a pass, which only he was quick enough to reach and finishing with in style with a slick finish! The final goal fcame from a great individual run by Adebayor finishing in similar manner to what he did at Burnley. He looks in top form along side Tevez.

We continue to cement our claim for 4th spot, improving our goal difference, so we are now ahead of both Liverpool and Spurs. We are ahead in points, with Pool drawing at Fulham and Spurs facing Arsenal, we start our difficult run in with a real advantage. It's unclear the extent of Vieira injury today, but i did notice in his absence Tevez coming much deeper to collect the ball, and start attacks, bridging the gap between a defensive type midfield and the attack. Another positive from today is De Jong yellow card slate is wiped clean, so no suspension for him and Zabaleta will return from his suspension for the Derby. We go into the final 5 games in fine form, full of goals, Johnson, Bellamy, Tevez and Adebayor all looking sharp. We have a formidable attacking threat, so I say Bring on United!

(I believe that Tevez is now on 22 goals in the league this season, after he's now claiming two goals for today. That puts him 4 off the current leader: Wayne Rooney! Another minor battle in the final 5 games of the season to look forward too.)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Burnley 1:6 Manchester City: Review

I have been saying for some time that the flood gates would open and City would batter a side. I didn't expect it to happen in 7 mins. It was a great start to the day already, with United losing at home to Chelsea and then Spurs being beaten by Sunderland, in a game where Darren Bent should of had 4 goals to his name. We are now in the strongest position in the battle for 4th. Narrowing goal difference, ahead on points. The 4th spot is ours to lose over 6 tough end of season games!

Who expected such a start? The Burnley defence were statue like with Johnson, Tevez, Bellamy and Adebayor bursting through gaps with little challenge. City started the match with verve and venom needed to secure the game quickly and in an assured manner. The result was brutal, 3 quick goals in 7 mins led to an exodus of disgusted Burnley fans. Two more goals on the 20th and 45th min finished the half 5-0 up. It may be ludicrous to suggest this be, we should be a little disappointed that it was only 5. With some poor final balls and and unlucky shot of the post from Tevez it could of easily been 7 or 8 goals! The team looked good, Vieira looks better suited to playing along side Barry and did himself the world of good after the Wigan game. He dominated a very pedestrian Burnley midfield, and his passing ability is of great value to the side.

What can be said about the second half? Rain, rain rain is the best way to put it. The pitch quickly turned from premier league to Sunday league with large puddles forming all over the pitch. Burnley came out with more fight and energy, helped by awful conditions, the game was less than exciting in the second half, But the players effort was what their fans deserved. City were inevitably first to score again with good header from Kompany. But Burnley also managed to get a goal back, with a nice finish from fletcher. This goal was perhaps a blessing, as it proved that goals still could be scored with the heavily saturated pitch. Despite the Burnley managements best efforts to press Mr Friend to cancel the game, Wiley, the most experienced ref was given a good enough excuse to let the game run it's course. I couldn't enjoy the second half at all, with the fear of abandonment, but only with City can you be 6-0 up and be nervous!

Credit to those Burnley fan's who stayed, they were in full voice and good humour as you have to be in these circumstances. As a city fan I can remember a drubbing from Arsenal where the fans reacted in a similar matter.

City now primed for the challenge for 4th spot. Four out of the next six games are at home, which is of great benefit to city. I don't fear Spurs, I think they will struggle in the run in, I feel the much discounted Liverpool have the easiest run and may sneak up the table! Our destiny is in the our hands, which is a good thing. We simply have to win more games than Spurs, Liverpool and Villa, or at least equal them!