Sunday, May 11, 2008

Normal Service Resumes at City

Well now, it just goes to show that it probably doesn't make a huge amount of difference what regime (and I use the term advisedly) is in charge at City, there is just something inherently flaky and chaotic within the very fabric of the club that we are able to self destruct so spectacularly and with depressing regularity.

Just cast you mind back a short while to those heady pre-christmas days when we were riding high with 'nited looking up at us in the table and all was well with the world. Well, what a difference a few months makes.

It's difficult to put your finger on quite where it's all gone tits up and in which direction the club is heading now. Just w.t.f happened this afternoon, I mean being thrashed 8-1 by 'Boro - that really is rock bottom and captures in a scoreline the current gloom at Eastlands.

I'd like to think today was just a complete abhoration, and it probably was, but what was Dunny thinking of and why was there just such abject chucking in of the towel by the rest of the team in the knowledge that it was more likely than not Sven's last game. If Shinawatra had been wondering whether to hang on to Sven, any doubts he had must surely have evaporated at the Riverside.

Yes, I know we were stuffed today and our season has tailed off, but when you think about it, we have in Sven, one of the few managers with the gravitas and respect of the footballing world to be considered as a potential manager of Madrid, Inter & AC Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea and dare I say even United and we are just about to show him the door - the world has gone mad.... or is it just me ?

And just to rub salt into the deepening wounds, Taggart won another League title with the Rags this afternoon.

Thank Christ it's the cricket season already !

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sign Up to Save Sven

If you haven't seen this "Save our Sven" petition already, you might want to add your support.

Hopefully it's not just City fans who will sign, but also all football fans, irrespective of their club loyalties who will have been saddened by the rough treatment being handed out to Sven and will want to register their views about the almost certain departure from the Premiership of a fine manager and a genuinely nice guy.

Sven deserves better than this !

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Return of the old Citeh !

At the end of one of City's better seasons in many a year and during a nine month period since Sven took over when it has been difficult to find anything of substance to moan about, we have news today that the owner is about to shoot the club in the foot big-time, and dare I say score a massive own goal if reports of the imminent sacking of Eriksson are to be believed.

This is the stuff long suffering Blues have been waiting for, as it has been a sort of uneasy season when you just knew deep down that despite an upturn in fortunes, somehow it was unlikely to last long and this news marks the return of the Citeh of old that's seen us reeling from one crisis to the next.

I've a lot of time for Sven and I thing given a chance he could well have done great things with the Club, but it looks like now, we'll never know what might have been under his managership.

Shinawatra is obviously a clever guy, but it seems to have escaped him and his advisors that clubs who have found a good manager and stuck with him, have by and large enjoyed long periods of stability and success.

Just this evening we've seen Taggart take the Rags to another Champions League final, Wenger has transformed the Gooners over the last decade and even Moyes up the road at Goodison has been given time and has done a great job within a tight budget.

I have a feeling the full story behind Sven's departure has yet to emerge and I'm sure there will be endless speculation about it. However, in the blink of an eye, Shinawatra has managed to alienate a large proportion of the City fans with what looks like a misguided and badly advised course of action.

Sven's replacement will need to be a galactico of a manager to appease the fans and nothing short of someone like Mourinho will go anywhere near to making amends. Would even the "Special One" be that much better than Sven.... I doubt it very much, but I'd like to see him have a try.

Nice one Frank !

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bluesology Update

In response to the many requests I've had (both of them, and one of them was from my Mum) to post some articles, I would just like to apologise for the relative inactivity in recent weeks.

Unfortunately, I have a day job and at the moment am struggling to find enough time to spend with my family, let alone write articles.

I will be posting sometime soon though and will keep this Blog going..... things at City are almost getting sufficiently depressing at Eastlands to drive me back into action, so I could be back sooner rather than later.

Keep the faith !

Friday, February 22, 2008

City's Reverse Striker Issue Conundrum

Talk about famine and feast, it wasn't so long ago that City's firepower looked like it was going to have to rely on academy lads still green behind the ears and not well acquainted with the daily bathroom encounter with Mr Gillette or Mr Wilkinson.

Now, by a combination of new signings and players return from injury, Sven has got quite a problem choosing his best strike partnership from what now looks almost like a bottomless pit of forwards.

I say strike partnership, but Sven's favoured formation so far has been one up front, which if he sticks that line-up will make the problem of what to do with all the forwards much more acute. Strikers tend to be a highly strung lot by nature and none will relish the prospect of keeping the bench warm.

By my reckoning, the following are now all vying for two or maybe just one place:

- Bojinov

- Mpenza

- Benjani

- Vassell

- Caicedo

- Castillo

- Sturridge

Add to that list the strikers out on loan and you have the likes of Bianchi, Samaras, Dickov & Corradi, plus the precocious talent of academy graduate Ched Evans, who to me has top premiership striker written all over him, and you get a sense of scale of the issue City now have. Oh, and I forgot Etuhu.

Granted, some of the loan strikers are unlikely to return, but nothing is certain and City will have to do some serious thinning out of the herd in the summer, especially if Sven fancies other players during the transfer window.

I guess, after all we've been through over the last few years, it's a nice problem to have for a change, however, we've still yet to find our regular 20+ goals per season striker. Once we do that, I think we can start talking more realistically about trophies and a successful European campaign.

It'll be good to see City adopt a more attacking formation for the rest of the season, now that we seem to have an abundance of riches up front. Let's park the 4-5-1 formation and go back to a 4-4-2, maybe even throw the boat out and try a 4-3-3.

As for the best strike partnership, I haven't got a clue, but Sven needs to find it quick and stick with it. Any ideas ?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Time To Resume Normal Service

It's been a strange couple of weeks.

All the rubbish media hype about the inevitable disruption to the minute's silence by loutish City fans never materialised, much to the disgust of the gutter press who I'm sure already had articles penned in advance about what a load of low-life scum all us City fans are..... well, we're not, but we knew that anyway, and now that whole world knows it as well.

I've got to say I felt a bit more emotional about it during the event than I thought I would. For me, the lingering shot of Bobby Charlton's face captured the moment with his obvious pain, and from what he's said about it himself, lingering guilt about how he survived yet others around him didn't. It's clear that the passing of half a century has done little to heal any of his emotional scars judging by the sadness etched in his face - it was very moving indeed.

Anyway, going back to the strangeness thing. First of all doing the double over United is pretty strange enough - I'd just entered my teenage years the last time it happened and had almost forgotten what it was like. I hope I won't be drawing my pension before the next time it happens!

Then there has also been this recognition in the ranks of some United fans that City played well and actually deserved to win, with absolutely no suggestion that the referee had cost them the game; dare I say it, but we heard grudging admiration of what City achieved on Sunday.... and rightly so.

I don't know, all this appreciation from United makes one feel slightly uncomfortable; it's not something we're used to. I must admit it was nice to see our lads being applauded down at the Stretford End after the game - that must be a first !

Now that it's all thankfully over I'm just looking forward to getting back to normal service with the re-instatement of that peculiar Mancunian rivalry in all its incisively brutal cruelty yet at the same time affectionately humorous splendour - long may it continue !

Finally, for those of you who haven't seen this explanation of United's performance, click here ..... it's a classic !

Sunday, February 10, 2008

City Give Reds The Blues

Well, what can you say ?

After all the media specultion about whether City fans would or wouldn't be respectful to the memory of the victims of the Munich tragedy, the team confounded everyone, including themselves probably with an unlikely, but yet typically City victory against all the odds.

I could write volumes about the game, but all that really needs to be said is that the players and the fans were just magnificent and every Blue can be immensely proud of their Club tonight.

As it was a wonderful all round team performance, it's a bit unfair to single out individuals, but Dunny and Richards were simply a different class today. In many ways, we did to United what Arsenal did to us at home last Saturday and played a tactically smart game for which Sven and the rest of the backroom need to be given a lot of credit.

Nobody gave us a chance today and it was expected that we'd just turn up to be fodder for United in this higher-profile than normal derby game, but I think we've stunned the world today. I'm sure the various media will be disappointed about the fact we won and that our fans did us proud, but 'twas ever thus !

Well there you go, we've taken six points off United this season and it doesn't get much better than that !

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Final Word on Munich

So much has been said and written about the Munich disaster and as a result the emotion levels surrounding the Manchester derby on Sunday have already gone up a few notches - god knows what it'll be like just before kick off time.

I haven't got a ticket for the match, but like the vast majority of City fans, I will be respectfully observing the silent tribute to those poor souls who perished so tragically half a century ago.

I'm absolutely sure most Blues at the game will behave impeccably during the minute's silence, although it does seem likely that there will be a few mindless idiots (not necessarily City fans) who will try to hijack this very public event - worryingly it happened during the tribute at Wembley this week where the minutes silence was brought to a premature end by the referee to avoid an embarrassing situation.

I must admit, It'll be a big relief when they whole thing is over. However, I got to say what crass stupidity it was by some anonymous football bureaucrats to schedule the Old Trafford Manchester derby to coincide the the Munich tragedy. Of all the dates it could have been played, what on earth made them pick that date when it's obvious events and emotions could trigger something very ugly.

I'm really sad that if there is an incident by some idiots, then all of us, as City fans are going to be tarnished with the same brush and our Club's reputation will be rubbished all around the world; we ( and United ) should never have been put in this situation.

Lest we forget, there also the small matter of a football match to consider on Sunday and our best response will be to let the players do the talking on the pitch.

To all City fans, please show silent respect to the occasion, but once the whistle goes, let normal service resume... somehow I just feel a draw would fit the occasion.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Benjani Training At Carrington

My spies at City tell me that Benjani Mwaruwari has been seen training at Carrington today.

The Club have just announced that he has been signed for an initial fee of £3.87m, which looks a whole load better than the £7m+ quoted as the transfer window closed.

Benjani is likely to go straight into the squad for this weekend's emotionally charged derby against United where he is desperately needed up front to sharpen up City's currently depleted forward line.

Welcome aboard son..... just do the business at the weekend please and stay fit please?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

City Still A Class Apart

City 1 - 3 Gooners

If a reminder were needed about just how far City need to develop before becoming one of the regular Premiership "Top Four", it was evident on today's performance.

Now I've always had a loathing for Arsenal, but not just because they play in red and white. I guess it goes back to the boring and dirty sides they had during my formative years in the late '60s and '70s. Those of you who were around will know exactly what I'm talking about.

However, I've got to say that at the moment Arsenal play some wonderful stuff with pinpoint passing and silky-smooth touches and were miles ahead of City this afternoon in every department (including time-wasting !).

As is becoming worrying familiar at the moment, City keep on giving the ball away sloppily time after time. Arsenal however kept possession with ease, but more impressively always looked so comfortable on the ball with time and space to pick their passes.

Despite another awful performance by the referee, there was no question that the Gooners didn't deserve to win; quite simply they were a class apart. Lets hope that City will have watched and learned and apply themselves in the same way next week the other side of town.

It's fair to say that despite a great start to the season, City have hit a bit of a wall since before Xmas and our lack of quality in some positions is beginning to hurt us badly. The unbeaten home Premiership record is now gone, but being unbeaten at home until February is something none of us would have believed this time last season.

The transfer window hasn't really been kind to us and it's difficult to see what difference a 19 year old, swiss based Ecuadorian striker is going to make to our season, but let's wish
Felipe Caicedo all the best when he pulls on a blue shirt - if he scores the winner against the Heathens from Newton Heath next week he'll be a legend before he hits 20 !

On the plus side today despite a toothless first 20 minutes, City battled back and almost looked comfortable for long periods of the game without ever really looking threatening - the propspect of Vassell & Mpenza aren't going to give many defences sleepless nights, although Sturridge did show tantalising glimpses of class even though he's miles away from being match fit.

Fernandes probably had his best game for City so far and Elano's contribution was a lot better than is has been for quite a few weeks. It's still baffling that Geovanni is keeping the bench warm most of the time, because whenever he comes on he give us a bit punch and guile; the fans know it and their calls for "Geeeeeeoooooohh" were answered swiftly in middle of the 2nd half, but by then it was really too late to make a difference by then.

The next two games against United and Everton will be a tough test for City and for Sven's managerial and motivational skills. On recent performance, it's hard to see where the points are going to come from in those matches, but City being City are just as likely to confound everyone (including themselves) and pull a surprise or two out the bag. Studying Arsenal carefully in a tape of today's game would be a good starting point.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

City Nearly Ticking All The Right Premiership Boxes !

This was passed to me recently and is a letter from a City fan sent into a newspaper.

I'm beginning to understand it all now.

...and he's quite right, we are almost there ;-)

Apologies about the image quality, but if you can't make it out, here's a translation:-

As a Manchester City fan, I finally understand what a club needs to thrive in the Premier League:

  • A billionaire owner
  • A foreign manager on a 5 year contract (or 3 English managers per season)
  • A new sponsored stadium
  • Season ticket prices at a minimum of £700
  • Two foreign goalkeepers
  • Two players (preferably strikers) whose names end in " i " or " o "
  • At least four players who wear gloves in all games from October to March
  • Two or three squad members who qualify for the England, Wales of Scotland U-21s (for Carling Cup duty only), and finally...
  • As a ready made excuse for not making the top four, at least four players who will be away on duty for the African Cup of Nations
We are getting there !