Monday, 16 June 2014

Southampton’s new manager – a chance for Guidetti?

I might be putting 2+2 together here and coming up with 13.62...and it may even be far too early to say – The Saints haven’t even finalised the signing of their new boss yet.

But if the announcement of their potential new manager runs to completion then it could be good news for both John Guidetti and Manchester City.


The Feyenoord connection…

Basically, Southampton are about the announce the replacement of Mauricio Pochettino in the form of ex-Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman…and the former Dutch Defender / Midfielder was in charge when ‘our John’ went out on a VERY successful loan period.
I think it’s safe to say that Ronald will, therefore, have more than a passing interest in a player who banged in 20 goals in 23 appearances – as well as several assists - and so IF John is fit to play next season (I know that might be a big “if”); I recon there’s more than a 90% chance that the Southampton boss elect will make some enquiries.


Just what he – and we – need

Manchester City fans having bee crying out for John to show what he can do in the Premier League; they want to know if the outstanding Feyenoord season wasn’t just a ‘freaky one-off’. And, they will quite rightly tell you, of course the Dutch League is certainly no English Premier League by any stretch of the imagination [in terms of quality-standard].
“A season in the Championship” are other cries from Blues fans – a Bolton Wanderers, a Derby County, a Wigan Athletic
But then we held our breath as former Manchester City Manager Mark Hughes made the call to bring John to the Britannia Stadium. It seemed right; Mark, a former striker himself, bringing a player to a team often criticised for their style of play (no matter who the manager might be) but one that often likes to pump the ball up to the strikers quickly on counter attacks. And so then there’s John; strong, holds the ball up well, creates and scores.

So what went wrong?

The short answer is that I just don’t know. Did he, perhaps, ruin his own chances when just 12, flippin’ days into his loan he was gobbing off about restricted chances under Mark Hughes? At the time I recall thinking that he might-well get his marching orders back to the Etihad and then, presumably, a humbling ‘ticking off’ from some Blue official.
He does seem to have a strange way about him that I just can’t quite put my finger on. I remind myself that John is still only 22 and I also have absolutely nothing against a person with confidence.
But, superguidetti, a (still-young) man not shy of posting videos of himself either just talking, commentating on one of his own goals and even signing (very badly) on the Internet is also, as we’ve seen, not shy in voicing his relatively inexperienced opinions quite forcefully.
He has…’an air about him’.
I recall the words of warning from a friend, sadly no longer with us, who was quite close to the Club; and he often spoke of John’s father having a certain arrogance and presumption about him too. Someone who also watched a lot of EDS games; of John he thought he was a selfish player on the pitch / in front of goal.
But John wasn’t given the ‘big hook’ from Stoke back to City and, instead, he saw out the season; where in 4, long months he made just 6 bit-part appearance…scoring none.
Aside from a stomach bug early on, was John, perhaps, showing other signs of injury and / or a lack of fitness? Did Mark Hughes, therefore, listen to advice from his own medical staff and / or were Stoke City under instructions not to push John if they were only 80 / 20 about his physical ability to take part?
Whatever the reasons these facts remain about the Swedish, 22-year old:
-        He’s played 10 times for a Swedish team and scored 3 goals;
-        Played 5 times for Burnley and scored 1
-        After his amazing Feyenoord season he gets a few minutes ‘here ‘n’ there’ for Stoke with no return in front of goal.
-        Prior to - and in between - all of that (apart from my mate, God rest his soul) he was having mostly favourable reports from the EDS; often getting on the score sheet more than once per game.
In short, the question still remains:
1. Do we have an awesome player on our books looking for a break from injuries; where it’s only a matter of time before he joins Aguero & Co. in an attacking, free-scoring City side?
2. Do we have a Valeri Bojinov; a player who most certainly LOOKS the part but who, after a frustrating number of injuries and illnesses, will never fulfil his once-potential at the top level?
I for one hope it’s not the latter, of course, and not just for the unfortunate lad himself. It would be great - and only right - to see our 6-years of persistent efforts of working with John pay off; a lad Sven-Goran Eriksson spotted and signed at the age of (home-grown) 16.
So yes, please come knocking Mr Koeman and give John a chance to shine in the Premier League for a season. Hopefully his time in red & white stripes THIS season will be more fruitful and beneficial than last season. But please, City, for our sake; stick a clause in there whereby we can recall John any time from January onwards, just in case we start to get some mid-season injuries to our strikers again, hey?

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