Friday, 31 January 2014

Simply awesome…now here comes February!

Tearing teams to pieces is becoming a very enjoyable habit indeed. The 5-1 mauling of Spurs at White Heart Lane on Wednesday night was the EIGHTH time we’ve scored 5 goals or more in a match.

Returning players gives FURTHER boost!

Aside from the slight scare of watching Sergio hobbling off under his own steam and clutching his hamstring (now out for approximately 4 weeks) we’re looking in fine fettle otherwise. Even Samir Nasri is 2 to 3 weeks ahead of his original estimated recovery (of 8 weeks) and could be back in time for the home Barcelona clash (18th Feb) or Stoke at home in the Premier League on 22nd Feb at the very latest.

Negredo – not required to come off the bench last Wednesday – got another rest just to ‘make sure’; make sure, that is, that he can be unchained and released on Chelsea this coming Monday! And we now have Stevan Jovetic – he looks spritely, sharp, completely free from injury and now has a Premier League, confidence-boosting goal under his belt.

All good stuff!

Speaking of good stuff; that was a fine display against Spurs. ‘Champions luck’ [with the penalty/sending off] aside, we looked SO full of confidence it reminded me of how we once played under Mancini; with no fear whatsoever in the last quarter of our title-winning season.

In SHARP contrast to the display against Watford, the defence were back to their very best. So assured were the back-4 that they’ve surely now put in a strong claim to Pellegrini to be the strongest possible back-line-up. Of course, well for me anyway, Clichy, Kompany and Zaba were cemented in there anyway, Demichelis suddenly showed his qualities; not just in dribs & drabs this time but for the whole 90-odd minutes.

Please 'carry on' Clichy

I can’t miss out a mention for Fernandinho protecting the defence as well; a solid 8/10 performance as oppose to what we got from [the always returning from injury] Rodwell against The Hornets or what we usually get from Garcia. Yaya's work rate too was excellent!

Apart from Hart, who had very little to do (not his fault of course), they all get 7s, 8s & 9s for me. But, before his injury, I have to mention Aguero’s display in particular. He looked to be in the best form and goal-hungry mood I have ever seen. The man, who has just made Mike Summerbee’s best City 11, actually looked to have grown physically! Whatever they did to him during his rehab…keep on doing it! In the words of ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’, he looked “better…stronger…faster”.

I actually used the “M” word in the pub on Wednesday night after his goal; Messi would have been proud of that one. Speedy (and long-lasting) recovery Sergio!

However, I have to remind myself that we did so well without him during his last lay-off and, this time of course, we have Jovetic to add to the ranks during this latest absence…and we’ll need him too. February is one HELL of a month! A 6-pointer Premier League game starts it all off before an F.A. Cup 5th round repeat of that same fixture. 3 more Premier League games; a certain Barcelona fixture at home and all before a League Cup final Wembley date on 2nd March! Wow!

The good news is that apart from Norwich City away, 5 from 6 games in February are all at home. In fact there’s a period where we’re playing 4 home games in just 11 days! Even BIGGER WOW!


BIG rumours this afternoon that both central defender Eliaquim Mangala and defensive midfielder Fernando (that would have proven confusing) were landing in a private jet together at Manchester Airport at 3:23pm. Then, within 1 ½ hours, it was all off! Apparently Porto decided that they wanted £40M+ and City weren’t prepared to go above the £40M mark.

That’s a real shame; a 23-year old, crackin’ (by all accounts) left-sided central defender and far better (I would imagine) cover/competition for Fernandinho would have been just the trick. In fact, if we’d have grabbed a bloody good left-back too I’d have been tempted to use the words ‘finished article’!

Anything else happening?

Well we’ve just have signed a 15-year old striker from Malmo called Zacharias Faour but, of course, he’ll go straight into the youth teams / EDS. Has Lebanese links but his nationality is Swedish.

More recent reports puts Manuel Pellegrini himself back at Malaga; the rumour being that he’s looking at a £13M-valued, Spanish defensive midfielder called Ignacio Camacho.

Looking at the Chelsea game…

All fit apart form Aguero, Garcia & Nasri and so here’s my predicted starting line-up…











Subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Nastasic, Lescott, Rodwell, Milner, Jovetic.

Result? Well I went all cautious and put us down for a draw against Spurs and look what happened! Of course Chelsea are a MUCH different prospect, but…we’re at home and just look how we’re flying at the moment! But…we’ve not got Aguero who, I’m sure, would have torn them to shreds (or at least would have proven to be SUCH a distraction that the others would have run riot). BUT…we did so well and scored so many goals without him last time.

Huhhhh…as I did with the Tottenham fixture; a few weeks ago I put this one down as another draw. Yee of little faith (or is it still a hangover from the old Cityitis) is sticking with that draw prediction once again. I hope, once again for the right reasons, that I’m very wrong!

The clock is ticking…

The next few hours and transfer activity will fly by way too fast for me to keep updating with regards to rumours and signing etc. Let’s just hope there’s a turn-around with at least the Eliaquim Mangala aspect of the Porto negotiations or, if not; that we find another way of strengthening that area of the team before 11:00pm (GMT).

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick…

01.02.2014 - Quick technical point and apology: I've just noticed to my horror that despite my intent, hyperlinks were not opening in a separate window (taking readers away from the Blog completely). I'm not sure how far back in Blog-postings this oversight goes but I am in the process of checking; I will ensure that all links open in a separate window from now on and apologise for the annoying anomaly.

Bloody computers... 8- (


  1. Superb performance and result on Wednesday, I think any predictions (like mine, tight 2-1 win) go out of the window at the moment!
    That XI and sub bench against Chelsea will not be far away from the mark, Steve. Mourinho certainly looks rattled, here's hoping we add to that on Monday night - I'm sure we will.
    Good to see we're prepared to wait until the end of the season to add to the squad, and the deadline day has been pretty quiet as a whole.
    What did you think about the Annual Report results?

    1. Hi Colin... Yeah, I thought the same about Jose. He seems to be coming out with wild comments about both his opponents (as with West Ham recently) and Premier League title rivals in general. Apparently we've somehow been...lucky? Definitely seems like he's crackin' a little.

      You're right, I'm glad I only decided to try and predict match outcomes rather than exact scored - I don't think I'd have gotten one right!

      The report looked excellent didn't it? All the hard (marketing) work and astute business with partnership-contract an' the like is really paying off. We have very wise owners and staff indeed!