Sunday, 21 July 2013

Exciting times, sad news and strange goings on…

Outside of the 90-odd minutes of a game I always try to stay level-headed when it comes of all things Manchester City. Rarely will you see me go ‘over the top’ with positive predictions and/or go ‘chest beating’ in public - I'll leave that activity to those of the red persuasion. However, I won’t lie that with the capture of Negredo AND Jovetic linking up with the likes of Aguero, Dzeko, Guidetti, Fernandinho, Milner, Nasri, Navas, Silva & Yaya; it’s left me with a fluttering heart to say the least.

Incredible attacking options

There are too many formations and possibilities to go through; besides which, I’ve done them in previous posts and I’m sure most of you have done similar.

But nevertheless, we now have SO many attacking options that I would have to be made of cold stone not to get energized and ‘fired up’ for the coming season. With, hopefully, Lescott and Richards signing new deals soon; I have to say that our back line looks (mostly) good enough to both start and endure the season too.

In Pablo and Micah we have two right-back options.

Micah again being able to perform in central defence along with Kompany, Nastasic and Lescott; 4 should be enough...with youth options (and Garcia & Rodwell) behind those.

In Clichy too with have a very good left-back indeed. But – and this won’t surprise regular readers – our only weak link in my opinion is cover for the Frenchman in the form of the totally inept Kolarov ("...yeah but he’s good at free kicks". SO WHAT?!).

Keep our defence as tight as possible (with one of the best goalkeepers around behind them) and our attacking potential is enough to frighten anyone in England and abroad.

RIP Bert

I was very sad to hear the news that Bert Trautmann had passed away on 19th July. What a goalkeeper and a man who has had to endure many-a-hardship and heartache. If you’ve not read his Biography by Alan Rowlands then I would say to all fans of football, as well as those interested in recent history; to go and get it.


I was fortunate to have met Bert at one of his book signings in Mary D’s pub near The Etihad about 8 years ago. It was in the large, back room early-to-mid one Saturday morning before it filled up with fans for a home game. I was kind of nervous and it wasn’t helped by the fact that I got there early...and was the only one there apart from the great man himself, his daughter and the author Alan Rowlands.

As I approached him I recall saying that I was very pleased to meet him. Then - and I sort of now-cringe at my next, unplanned line - I said, “My dad was called Bert”. I only cringe now because I don’t know whether he couldn’t understand my quivering voice…or just wasn’t interested. Either way, he didn’t react at all beyond a little grunt as he signed my book. I’ve never been able to shake the feeling that he was, in fact, a little embarrassed and/or grumpy; that at the start of the 1-hour book-signing session there was just one fan there…me.

Anyway, it was still a huge honour to meet the great man; my dad wasn’t alive but he would have been chuffed to bits for me; that I’d met the man that my dad often talked about with great fondness. Before I left I spoke to Alan Rowlands briefly and left him with a free copy of a fanzine that I used to help run and write for, ‘A Million Miles Away’. I never did hear from Alan with an offer to join the Author’s fraternity…

And in other news…


Manyoo’s persistence in the pursuit of Cesc Fabregas is certainly an ambitious one; I can certainly see why they’re going for him - he’s a very good player indeed and they’re desperate for at least one decent midfielder. But it smacks of desperation rather than ambition to me. There’s even a rumour that they will double his wages in order to reel him in (oooo…careful now; Rooney won’t like that!)

I believe Cesc when he says he doesn’t want to leave Barcelona. It was his dream move when he left Arsenal and he’s not been there that long. And for those who say (and I've heard them), “Yeah but it’s not really worked out for him in Spain…”, I say, “60 appearances and 20 goals from midfield for one of the best teams in the world packed with megastar players. Really? It hasn't worked out?”

And…don’t Arsenal have first refusal? Surely even the overly-prudent Wenger would at least make a bid to bring him back to the Emirates

And the Rooney debacle rolls on. From a City point of view I hope he stays with the ever-so-slowly, listing ship. Despite the fact that he’s still a fine player and massive goal threat (I like him for his ability); an unhappy player who clearly doesn’t get on with Golum and where most of the fans dislike him to say the least will do JUST FINE for me…


Well it would appear that Benteke and his agent have brilliantly manoeuvred themselves to get the big man a new, extended contact to 2017 at Aston Villa. He comes out of it with an extra £28,000 (now £56,000) per week too!

One minute the Belgian was being - most likely and if so understandably - berated by the Villa fans on chat pages for showing a lack of respect after their Club and punted £7M on the relatively untried and unknown player and then, what? One good season in a struggling side and he apparently ‘wants away’ from the midlands club.

He was even, by all accounts, wanting a move to be secured before he had to face up to his colleagues for pre-season training. Then all of a sudden, new contract and a quote from Christian saying,

"I am very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract.

"This is a great club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my team-mates and the fans who have always been right behind me."

What? Watford or Udinese?

I thought I was hearing things the other day when I heard that Watford has signed 7 (SEVEN!) Udinese players. I was even more perplexed that they’d done so following a club transfer embargo; preventing them from, presumably…signing any players.

Not keeping up with all things; Hornets the seemingly bizarre episode form the Twilight Zone soon became a little clearer. They are, apparently, owned by the same people – the Pozzo family – and so Udinese & Watford are understandably operating as sister clubs. The embargo, it turns out, is due to the previous owner’s misdemeanours and the League 1 Club are allowed to sign players with the scrutiny and permission of League officials.

Phew! I thought I was going a bit dippy there for a moment…

Back to all things City

Two quick words on our pre-season tour of South Africa:

Fitness (&) publicity.

Four words on Maicon:

Goodbye and good luck.

Considerably more words about our trips to China, Bayern & Helsinki:

Key players back; looking forward to seeing the shape of our side develop.

A few more words for the boss:

Hope your mum gets well soon. (Update: Since this post, news that Manuel Pellegrini's mother passed away last weekend came though. I would like to join others in passing on my sincere condolences).

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