Thursday, 21 March 2013

Review on Everton Match, Latest Transfer News

"Not thoroughly prepared"
That's what Roberto Mancini said after the defeat against Everton last season. Lame excuse but I accepted it and hoped he will not make the mistake again. After all, everyone deserves second chance. How wrong I was...

Funky feeling that I had prior to this match. Obviously absent of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany would be a big factor but that was not my main concern. It was the formation that Mancini brought out, which is not suitable against Everton.

Sure three at the back works fine, as we saw time after time (at times, it was a game changer). But, if Mancini did his homework and prepared thoroughly enough towards this match, he could easily spot out that Everton have a good pair of full-backs that could threat both City flanks. With only one player on the each flank, I could easily see City's liability lies there and Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines made sure my worries to become true. (I will not go into Mancini's absurd substitutions as it will be discussed in my next post)

Besides tactical mess, there were just no assertiveness among City players. Especially in the first half, when City were dominated by Everton, link play between David Silva and Edin Dzeko were poor and, at midfield, City seemed to be swamped and unable to pull strings to deliver quality ball to up front.

With Utd's victory against manager-less Reading, now the gap is 15 points and there just seems no way back to retain the trophy that City craved since 67-68 season. With nine games to go, I should not expect too much but a strong finish with FA cup in the trophy cabinet. But is it too much too ask for current City team?

Transfer Mills

  • Marcos Reus and Ilkay Gundogan has been the latest target for City. Watched by many City supporters, Reus was sensational against City in the Champions League tie last October and he seems to be the player that could add spark to the City attacking department. Source: The Sunday People

Likely or Unlikely? Unlikely, as both of them look happy in 'die Schwarzgelben' and not many German players leave their country to play their football abroad.

  • Aguero has been a target for Real for a while. Resilient forward, who has been a main talisman for City, has struggled with injuries during this season. With Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain not performing, Fiorentino Perez wants to add new signing to spark competition within the squad by signing the Kun. Source: Daily Star

Likely or Unlikely? Very unlikely. He has been centrepiece of City's forward. Why on earth would we sell him?

  • Yaya's contract talk is stalled. The talk began six months ago but it seems nothing could get agreed as he felt that City members did not give enough respects to him, according to his agent, Dimitri Seluk. Real Madrid and Chelsea are lurking around to sign him. Source: The Sun

Likely or Unlikely? Even chance. Yaya is aging and still has African Cup of Nation duty, which undermines the City midfield for short but crucial period of time. But is there straight replacement for him?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Lamela, Pjanic? Zabaleta on Tevez Incident and Others

Transfer Mills

  • Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic were caught under City's radar recently, when Roma beat Genoa 3-1 last week. City Football Development Executive Patrick Vieira was here to check them out and, according to Talksports, two players will strengthen their attacking department behind Aguero and Tevez.
  • Out-of-favour Alexis Sanchez has been rumoured to move anywhere after his below-average performance at Camp Nou. City are amongst many other clubs, who are rumoured to sign him. 
  • Edin Dzeko's potential move to Dortmund was muted by their general manager, Hans-Joachim Watzke. He said on German broadcasting station Sport 1: Anyone who really believes that a player from Manchester City would be transferred to Borussia Dortmund hasn't understood the BVB business model." He added: "Our motto is to develop young players."
  • UAE sensation Omar Abdurahman is staying put, at least for now, after finding out some difficulties on obtaining work permit. Mentioned in the winter transfer, I think, he was star in the UAE Olympic team last year and seems to have a great potential in him to succeed at this level.

Internal News

  • Pablo Zabaleta took a moment to look over last year's brawl between Roberto Mancini and Carlos Tevez and believes Tevez has gone back to his best. Quoted from the Daily Star, Zabaleta said: ""It's been difficult for Carlos, for Mancini, for the club. From something small, it grew so big," He continued: "After it happened, everything went crazy and it was so difficult.
        "Everybody makes mistakes. The positive thing is Carlos came back again and the
         commitment for the club and team has been 100 per cent, so that is well done by 

         "Is he as good as before? Yes, definitely. He got a fantastic goal against Chelsea 
         and he's been great all season."
  • Jack Rodwell, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero are all doubtful to play against Barnsley this weekend. Rodwell injured his hamstring again and expects to be sidelined for one month. Meanwhile, Aguero got his knee injured in Monday's training session and Kompany's calf injury is unlikely to be healed in time for the FA cup tie. 


  • Diego Maradona urged his son-in-law, Sergio Aguero to move to Real Madrid. Hmmm... I don't think so Hombre. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

MATCH WEEK 28 v Villa (Villa Park, KO 2000)

Closing gap is never easy. This season, in fact, it seems mission impossible for the Blues to overtake United, as they look to be enjoying their life with their talisman RVP.

But City have to march on. Even we do not retain the title this season, there is FA cup up for a grab and surely securing second place will consolidate our stature in EPL. Not as prestigious as last year but at least we have something to play for until the end of season.

Match against Villa at their home has been patchy for City. Apart from last year’s win, all thanks to Lescott, City were not able to get an easy win at Villa Park since City started financial maneouvering from 2007-08 season (Recording 1W 2L 2D). Especially, after the crashing defeat at St Mary, it seemed anything could happen.

Game started with surprisingly live Villa side trying to dominate the game with some fluidities in their play. But with young and inexperienced side like Villa, this was not a good sign as it empirically showed that this can not be sustained over whole 90 minutes. Especially, after Benteke’s towering header from corner blocked off from the line, Villa seemed to be on the slippery slope.

The match came alive ironically when Rodwell was substituted for Dzeko, for his left hamstring injury. Silva’s pass to Zabaleta found a space for the flying Argentine to take shot, which was brilliantly guided towards the post by Guzan. Minutes later, another fine effort was made by Tevez from outside of the box and once again it was Guzan who palmed away our Apache’s shot.

Eventually, the deadlock broke by persistence of Dzeko, as he hustled Clark to dispossess in their own half to regain possession for City. He then found Tevez in the space, who managed to wriggle through Villa’s defense to find back of the net, his ninth goal of the season. 

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston villa v Manchester City - Villa Park
Courtesy of Guardian 

Second half was not much different from the first half. Villa tried to regain their early dominance but almost conceded another one when Dzeko dispossessed Villa defense in their own half once again and managed to find Tevez with a good angle to work on. Only this time, Tevez could not find back of the net to settle the nerve of away fan.

There was a startling moment for City when Lowton blasted a fierce shot from way out but it was no match to Yaya’s instinctive shooting around the box, which rattled the right hand post of Guzan.

Dull performance overall and it was expected, considering how both of the clubs has been playing throughout the season. Routine performance dully delivered from City and left Villa at the bottom three. Final Score: Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1