June 30, 2009
An old school pal of mine was in town this week. He had, coincidently, just returned from a business trip to Barcelona. And the question was asked of his football fanatic hosts. How about Eto'o? And the reaction was universally negative. Surprisingly so. They loved the idea of City, or anyone else, taking him off their hands and generating enough funds to bring in another striker. Interesting reaction.
June 29, 2009
Just about every website and newspaper is talking about Samuel Eto'o joining City all on the basis, it would appear, of an article in the News of the World. You can create your own joke about the validity of such a source, but for now we'll play along.
Fundamentally I don't understand such a move. If, as has been hinted, City are going to play a 4-3-3 (or 4-1-2-3) then the front line is Robinho, RSC and Tevez.
June 26, 2009
Today I saw the first indication that Carlos Tevez may indeed become a City player. The Sun, of all people the Sun, have an article about Tevez enrolling his daughter in a private school in Cheshire. And, as the logic goes, you don't do that unless you are planning to stay in the north west.
June 25, 2009
I'm feeling nostalgic today. Wimbledon fortnight is upon us, the favourite time of my late Mum. Classically she'd complain all year about the amount of football we'd watch on tv and then attempt in the space of two weeks to watch enough tennis to equal our football watching 50 other weeks of the year! My Mum also bought The Guardian every day without fail when it seemed to be at the height of its "Grauniad" reputation for typos.
June 24, 2009
I'm really pleased with the acquisition of Stuart Taylor today. An experienced Premiership keeper who is still young enough to learn from Shay Given and the coaching staff is a phenomenal piece of work by Mark Hughes and his team.
June 23, 2009
The world has gone mad. An 18 million pound transfer fee, four and a half times more than was paid for the player a couple of years ago for a player with one good year in the Premier League.
No, I'm not talking about Roque Santa Cruz, but Liverpool's move for Glen Johnson.
June 22, 2009
A quick word on something that I saw in the Mirror today. Now, yes, it's the Mirror so grain of salt and all that but one of the comments was that Hughes was planning to buy both Santa Cruz and Tevez because he wanted to go to a formation with one central forward and two on the wing in support. Similar it would seem to Chelsea under Mourinho the first year when they were entertaining and devastating.
June 21, 2009
I would love to be proved wrong; I would love to see it announced tomorrow that Tevez has joined City but I keep thinking that he will end up somewhere else.
This is in part due to the public comments that are being made. Tevez wants to play in important games and to be the first choice striker. City can certainly offer him the latter but let's be brutally honest, the club is going to have no important games this year.
June 20, 2009
After losing Ronaldo and Tevez Manchester United have been thrown into chaos with the revelation that the club has plummeted to 13th in the Premier League in the latest table published this week. With Zero points United are perilously close to falling into the relegation zone with West Ham, Wigan and Wolves. Typically Spurs are off to their now traditional slow start and find themselves nestled in 17th just outside the relegation places.
June 19, 2009
Latest speculation is that Richard Dunne is off to Sunderland... or maybe Spurs... or maybe he's staying. Me? I remember at the start of the transfer discussions that City were very clear that they were going to bring in players first before making decisions on who could leave.
June 17, 2009
The joy of selective quoting. City Chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak is quoted on the official club website as saying that the club will look for another "four to six" players in addition to Gareth Barry. So just about every headline you read this morning talks about how City are bringing in six more signings and in some cases this is six more big signings. Er... No.
June 16, 2009
All quiet on the signing front. Lots of newspaper speculation, but nothing of substance coming out of the club. I take this as a positive and hope that the team is plotting a swift move in a similar fashion to the Gareth Barry acquisition.
Glen Johnson is apparently heading for Liverpool and I've yet to see a shred of evidence that there was ever a possibility that he might come to City. Joleon Lescott is again linked and he's another that I'm not sure about.
June 15, 2009
It's silly season. Really silly season. And the transfers of Ronaldo and Kaka prove that no one is untouchable which means that the speculation has become even more insane than normal. If anyone can be sold then everyone is fair game for a rumour. Even a player that returned to his club in January after a failed transfer last summer. Bizarrely Tottenham captain Robbie Keane is a name that is seeing time in the press.
June 14, 2009
I make a habit of blasting the print press, mainly because they're silly and their coverage would have old time journalists turning in their graves. Occasionally however you get a good little interview. Such is the case with Derick Allsop in the Independent this Sunday as he talks to Mark Hughes.
June 13, 2009
Javier Saviola, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Gabriel Heinze and Rafael van der Vaart have something in common other than that they all play at Real Madrid. They have all been recently been mentioned as surplus to requirements as Galactico: The Next Generation (henceforth known as GTNG) begins to take shape.
June 12, 2009
So when I said that we should start to see some movement in the transfer market after the internationals on Wednesday I can assure you that an Â£80m bid for Ronaldo from Real Madrid wasn't what I was alluding to!
Wow! That just blew next season wide open. Ronaldo's a petulant diver, but the guy can play.
June 11, 2009
I only got to see the first half of the England game, but the difference in the two games for right back Glen Johnson was rather interesting. On that performance you can see why clubs are sniffing around him. I'd be curious to see what would happen if, rather than playing at full back, a team tried him as a right winger or right midfielder.
Been thinking about the England squad and have to say that I think it's bad news for a couple of City boys unless injuries occur.
June 10, 2009
All rumour no substance at the moment which is true for most teams. City just happened to get things off with a bang with Barry, but the lack of announced deals feels unusual even if I don't have specific data to back up said observation. The general consensus seems to be that Joe Hart is off to Birmingham on a year loan.
June 9, 2009
I'm looking forward to PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor putting out a statement today condemning the move of Kaka from AC Milan to Real Madrid. Similarly at UEFA headquarters in Nyon Switzerland where I'm sure President Michel Platini will be pontificating on the social responsibility of clubs to not spend vast sums on transfers.
June 8, 2009
Oh dear. After praising the Manchester Evening News they appear to have then fallen victim to the latest Elano speculation. Here's what we know. Late on the 5th of June the Daily Mail - yes them again - carried a quote from Elano claiming that either he would get a new contract from City or he was off. Now the problem with all of this is that there doesn't appear to be a specific source. Was the Daily Mail actually at the Brazilian training camp? Or was it reported by some other source and if so who?
June 7, 2009
Not a particularly impressive performance by England even if there can be do complaints about the result.
As much as Wayne Rooney prefers to play as a second striker it is readily apparent that Steven Gerrard completely disappears when he is playing on the left wing. If Gerrard is to play for England he must play in the second striker role that he plays at Liverpool.
June 6, 2009
The daily game of rumours continues as it does every day. A couple of interesting articles for different reasons take centre stage. First up is the Daily Mail quoting Elano as wanting a new contract or he will leave. The Daily Mail also just finished up a Top 50 Footballers of all time feature and didn't include Duncan Edwards so their credibility registers in negative figures at the moment. And regarding Edwards, you know my position on him. I don't care if he was a Rag, best player... ever.
June 5, 2009
More fallout today from the Gareth Barry signing with the news that Spurs tried to sign him but that City offered more in a transfer fee and wages, No surprise in the latter but interesting that the reported 12 million was more than Spurs or Liverpool were prepared to pay.
June 4, 2009
Curious. The Gareth Barry transfer was done in relative secrecy. The news only breaking when Barry was at City having a medical. Contrast this with the public statement from Hughes concerning an interest in Tevez. I wonder if we are sophisticated enough to be gaming Manchester United when it comes to the Argentinean striker.
June 3, 2009
I have to say that I am stunned, utterly delighted, but stunned by the signing of Gareth Barry. For reasons that I'll go into below the England international was the number one player I would have picked for City to sign.
June 2, 2009
The silly season has officially kicked off and while players can't move yet that is not the case when it comes to Managers. Stray thought, would be fascinating if Managers were restricted in movement the same way players were...