Saturday, 17 October 2015

What a difference 2 weeks makes!

All change at Sunderland with Dick Advocaat being swapped for Sam Allardyce (I just knew big ol’ Sam couldn’t resist that one) and, likewise, Brendan Rodgers heading out of the exit door at Anfield; being swapped just as swiftly for Jurgen Klopp.

David Dunn too has taken his place on the rapid-rotation seat at Oldham Athletic; signing an “interim contract” and replacing Darren Kelly, who lasted just 9 matches in charge after signing a 2-year contract in May 2015.

Between the Black Cats & Latics they have had 416 managers in just 5 years! I exaggerate ever-so-slightly of course…

Doncaster Rovers have also just confirmed the appointment of Darren Ferguson and I’m sure they’ll have been some more ‘changes at the top’ that I’ve missed in the last 14 days in the crazy, crazy world of football.


But what about us in that ‘all change’ fortnight?

Oh well of course it’s NO change for us…in that we’ve suffered, yet again, key, fff…lippin’ injuries!

If anyone can tell me of a period of time in the last 30 years where we’ve had not-only so many injuries in general but injuries, also, to our ‘key men’ / spine of the team then PLEASE let me know…

Of course - and I’ve said this before - we are going to get NO sympathy whatsoever from non-City-affiliated people. And I can sort of understand that; we’ve assembled a terrific squad of expensive & talented players who, should THEY be able to stay fit, should-then be able to step up / in and fill the void very well indeed. I say terrific squad; I am still bemoaning the status quo with regards to our left-back department [despite some promising performances from Kolarov in the ‘last 6’ of last season and ‘first 4’ of this] and am changing my mind slightly on us not signing another striker in the summer too…

But it’s the ‘spine of the team’ hammer-blows in particular that we’ve been suffering with for the first 2 months of 2015 / 16. Most notably Hart, Kompany, Silva, Yaya & Aguero all suffering periods of time out that spans the majority of games so far this season AND, which, have overlapped each other’s injury periods; leaving Pellegrini with little opportunity to play his preferred, ‘starting 11’ most of the season so far.

I think we’ve got to add also that when some of those players HAVE been on the field of play they’ve being doing so when at only 70 to 80%...

Not a great situation at all…and so, really, we as City fans should be very pleased indeed that we sit at the top of the Premier League going into this weekend and having progressed via a, fair enough…struggling, Premier League club away from home in the League Cup and have also picked up an away win in the Champions League…albeit [the latter] just about.

Sure it stung a little at the time – and still does somewhat - when it felt like we’d chucked away such a very fine start / early gap in Premier League when we experienced that ‘wobble period’ of two back-to-back league defeats, following the 2-1 home loss to Juventus. But, I repeat, we also won at the Stadium of Light 4-1; beat Wolfsburg 2-1 ‘on their patch’ and then SMASHED Newcastle at home 6-1; largely thanks to a 5-goal, Etihad EXPLOSION from Sergio!

October – optimism replaced by some pessimism?

Well as the injury news on both Sergio & David filtered in, that’s what was happening slightly in my head – two unanswered, gloomy-sounding texts to fellow blues are testament to that…and [being unanswered] left me with a feeling that they felt similarly-deflated to a degree.

With a sense of almost disbelief, October read (and still does of course)

Newcastle United (H) – Premier League
Bournemouth (H) – Premier League
Sevilla (H) – Champions League
Manyoo (A) – Premier League
Crystal Palace (H) – League Cup
Norwich City (H) – Premier League

An opportunity to REALLY stamp our mark not-only in the league but also in two cup competitions, we were all saying to each other or, at least, were thinking I’m sure. And that might still be the case of course - I’m not going too ‘Mr Doom & Gloom’ on you…

But the news that we're to be without Sergio for at LEAST a month covering all those fixures and, perhaps, a few into November and David for around a fortnight and, therefore, most of those games is certianly of some concern; even for a squad of our quality in depth.

v Bournemouth


Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…

4-5-1 come 4-2-3-1 come 4-3-3:



___________________De Bruyne__________________





In front of Joe and with no recognised left-back available without dipping into the EDS players; we’re likely to see right-back Pablo fill that side of defence, with Bacary stopping in his usual role on the right. Not such a bad thing at all really. Although clearly irked by the Belgium manager’s decision to play our Captain despite City sending a report that he should be deemed not quite right to play; I doubt very much that our manager will take it out on Vinny himself. And having thankfully COME though the midweek game for his county unscathed, I think he’ll partner Eliaquim in the middle of the defence.

Fernandinho is the only real central midfielder with no injury or [recovering] fitness issues and so is a ‘sure starter’. Although Yaya has only just recovered from his niggly issue I think he’ll get the go-ahead to partner the Brazilian.

An attacking trio of Raheem, Kevin & Jesus is 'highly likely' and still very potent [without David] and Wilfried gets an opportunity to shine ‘up top’ in front of those creative 3 (I hope for our sake of course that Navas has a fairly rare good game).

A very strong bench (excluding Willy?) there. In addition to £30M, central defender Nicolas Otamendi; Martin Demichelis is ‘in there’ to provide, I'm sure, a dual-cover role that includes defensive midfield should Yaya break down / not last; George Evens also on the bench in case needed in the middle of the park. Fernando, like Yaya, might not be 100% but should make the 'side 7'; Nasri similarly has just recovered too but should provide a creative change-option. The recently recovered [also] Kelechi as our striking option from the side-line.

Notable absences: Gael Clichy (injured), Aleks Kolarov (injured), Fabian Delph (injured), David Silva (injured) and Sergio Aguero (injured). Whisper it, but the list is finally getting a little shorter…

Result? Without two, very key players down our spine and [still] with others not perhaps at 100%; this could have been a tricky one against a side managed by a young, well-respected manager.

However, any little concerns for me were eased slightly when I learnt that as well as the MASSIVE blow a few weeks ago in-losing their hot striker Callum Wilson; their Captain, Tommy Elphick, and a number of others players purchased in the summer are also out injured (Tommy being out until at least January following surgery).

All that said, this should be a fairly comfortable home win.

A quick word on Jose Moanrinho

Once again Jose has been fined and, once again, he has received a ban; a one-game stadium bad this time which has been suspended for the time being. Why has he been hit for the umpteenth time? Well, of course, for gobbing off again; for making suggestions about referees an’ what-av-yer.

So this time, fed up with it, I’m sure, and perhaps feeling particularly ‘down’ ‘casue his team are doing pretty-awful this season so far; he’s decided to ‘put it out there’ at least in one interview that I’ve half-seen on the BBC; that the English Football Association don’t like him and, he says, treat him differently to all other managers. He’s feeling really sorry for himself and, I’m convinced, is starting another ‘mind game’ in the hope of, somehow, turning “fortunes” around for the rest of the season.

I’m also convinced that he’s approaching ‘cracking up’ stage and that if he DOES last the season he’ll be leaving Chelsea (again) in the summer of 2016; despite him saying recently that he’ll never walk [he’d have to be pushed]…

So he thinks he’s being treated differently and feels that he’s suffering excessive fines & bans from the footballing authorities?

Well I think he needs to attempt the impossible, which is to strip away his ego for a few moments, look in the mirror and try to recall that above ALL other managers (even the likes of Nigel Pearson, Alan Pardew, Neil Lennon and to some degree an even bigger egomaniac in Louis van Gaal to name just four managers) his IS ‘The Special Case’.

Forever seemingly having a pop at other managers - most notably poor ol’ Arsene [himself-also] Whinger - in the build-up to games either in a direct or not-so subtle way; often doing likewise post-match if that manager then gets the better of his team. Forever bemoaning ‘decisions against’ and questioning referee performances – NEVER in his mind does his team deserve / not deserve something during a match…NEVER!

Setting aside that he’s a decent manager, particularly in the first two seasons of his often 3-to-4 year tenure of a team; he’s a graceless, egotistical, whinging **** head who deserves all he gets for his stage-managed rambles & rants.

What was it the other week? That’s right…in a post-match interview the Sky Sports fella asked one question and Jose painstakingly went on for 7-½ minutes before walking off side stage before a second question could be asked.

In the interview with the BBC yesterday he said that he’s not going to comment when asked a specific question about his thoughts on being treated differently by the F.A. (the flippin’ subject matter!)  Instead he said he wants the BBC to do a study to see if their findings backed-up his claims. That’s another trick of Jose – attempting to pull-in others in order to somehow generate an army of support to his claims.

If I didn’t dislike you so much I’d be embarrassed for you. It’s all getting boring, Jose, please go away…

Coming soon...


I've not included these in this already, fairly-long blog-piece but there are two pieces of City news perhaps worthy of comment on very soon.

One is regarding a possible change of club badge in the near future (surely next season at the earliest) - where a section of Manchester City supporters are apparently being given the opportunity to have some input - and the other is regarding a fairly exciting and somewhat wise opportunity (if true) of getting a [then will be] 34-year old, pure-class forward on loan for the rest of the season in January...


  1. Hi Steve
    I think once the season has started there should be no international fixtures. They should be played at the end of the season. They could have a 3 week window at the end of the season last 3 weeks of May/1st June where they could play all the qualifiers that way clubs who pay wages are not put out. They could play 4 games Fri, Tues, Sat/Sun then Weds etc.
    As for the badge got be the Coat of arms plus the actual words Manchester City FC and not MCFC for me.

    Chris fm wk

    1. Hi Chris! Hope you are well and nice to hear from you.

      Anything like your suggestion that helps clubs I would welcome. I particularly loath international friendlies that take the top, TOP stars away from clubs. Meaningless in many ways (although I'm sure the international management team would disagree with me).

      I also believe that the rule about not playing for one through injury meaning that you can't then play for the other SHOULD run both ways, as Pellegrini more than suggested.

      As I was telling a mate the other day, I've not given the badge much thought at the moment - I'm actually a little shocked that we're changing again after just 18 years; the last one we had for 25 and it FEELS like we've only had this one about 12 years.

      But the Coat of Arms and full "Manchester City FC" wording sound spot-on ideas to me too.

      Nice to hear from you, stay well (and thanks for continuing to read Chris!)