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Manchester City
January 30, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/30/2010

Still all quiet on the transfer front. Yes I know the press is frothing at the mouth about a possible move for Parma's Kenyan midfielder McDonald Mariga but nothing has actually happened. It's all speculation. I don't understand the clubs at this time of year. The transfer window closes at the end of August and teams have four months to figure out what they will need at the club when the January transfer window opens. And what happens? Nothing.

January 29, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/29/2010

January is nearly always an anti climatic transfer window. The best players simply do not move mid season. Yes of course there are exceptions, Arshavin comes to mind as one, but there have to be compelling reasons why a team gives up a player mid season. Sometimes it is financial as we are seeing with Portsmouth. Occasionally it is a breakdown between a manager and a player. This year with it being a World Cup year I was hopeful that there would be more movement than normal. Internationals who want to be in South Africa need to play every game to maintain their fitness and show their National team boss that they should be in the squad.

January 28, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/28/2010

For the moment let's put aside that it was City. What a fabulous Cup tie. Over two legs that was ebb and flow, passion and guts, more than enough story lines, a goal at the death and not a Fergie Time minute in sight. It's a cliche to say a great game for the neutrals, but wow.

January 27, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/27/2010

Looks like a 4-5-1 with Bellamy, de Jong, Zabaleta, Barry and SWP across the middle. Petrov and Ireland on the bench... United with a similar 4-5-1. Howard Webb is the ref!

Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/27/2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the semi final second leg of the League Cup. City, the so called noisy neighbour, appear to have got well and truly under Ferguson's skin. And to be honest I'm rather surprised.

January 26, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/26/2010

Name the last Brazilian to make a major impact in the Premier League? Not a slight impact, a true significant contribution. A player who did it year on year; one of the best players in the Premier League kind of impact. I can think of only one, Juninho at Middlesbrough. Juninho was revered at Boro, still is to this day. Wore his heart on his sleeve, gave everything for the club and helped them to a League Cup.

January 25, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/25/2010

Tournament favourites Ivory Coast, and Kolo Toure, have been knocked out of African Nations Cup by Algeria. This immediately brings up the question as to when Toure could return and more interestingly given the play of Boyata and Kompany would Mancini risk dropping the City Captain straight into such an important game as Wednesday's second leg of the Liquid Cup?

January 24, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/24/2010

The news today will be about the uncertainty over Robinho, is he staying or is he going? And as predicted City faced a good Scunthorpe side who for the second time this year are unlucky with a scoreline that flatters City. Don't get me wrong, City deserved to win both ties, but wins by three and two goals have given a generous scoreline. But I'd like to start with Dedryck Boyata.

January 23, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/23/2010

Fourteen FA Cup Fourth Round ties in the books and three additional Premier League teams are out with three facing replays. Two all Premier League match ups, Everton vs Birmingham and Portsmouth vs Sunderland meant that two were out for certain although Birmingham and Portsmouth going through was probably the opposite of what most thought prior to the matches.

January 22, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/22/2010

Sergio Billy Bob Costa-Rodriguez-Chevalier-Smyth has been tearing it up recently for FC Athletico Sporting La Bayer VFL Wanderers SV

The Papers announce that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Inter, Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in him.

If the player is French so are Arsenal, if he's Spanish or Hungarian so are Liverpool.

January 21, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/21/2010

City striker Jo has joined Galatasaray on loan until the end of the season. Around the net I'm seeing Jo described as a flop and while he may well end up to be less than advertised Jo is one of the symbols of the Hughes regime. It would not surprise me to see the Brazilian round in to excellent form because of the presence in the Turkish side of a certain Elano Ralph Blumer.

January 20, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/20/2010

Normally I would have posted straight after the game yesterday however I wanted to wait and give some thought to the game. I'm still not sure what to make of yesterday's semi final. A victory is good and it came against a strong United side but I found myself uneasy.

January 19, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/19/2010

Bill McLaren has passed. If you grew up in the 70's he was the voice of Rugby. There was no live football wall to wall. Match of the Day on a Saturday evening and then if you were lucky The Big Match on a Sunday (although those of us in the North East invariably had the mind numbing "Shoot") was the best you could hope for. And no internet of course. The first you knew of a result if you weren't at a game was on the tele printer at 4.45!

Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/19/2010

There's a game tonight. And "everyone" it seems is getting into a right tizzy about the fixture. Except me. I honestly couldn't give the proverbial rodent's rump.

January 18, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/18/2010

Various press rumours last week that Spurs have identified City's Jim Cassell as the man to rebuild their youth development. Cassell moved into a new job last year involved with international youth development at City but there were a few stories that said he and Hughes didn't see eye to eye and the promotion was more about moving Cassell out.

January 17, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/17/2010

I'm disappointed in the results this weekend. With Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa all dropping points this was the perfect opportunity for City to add a psychological hammer blow to the proceedings. You'll read a lot of twaddle elsewhere about how the Everton result doesn't matter because all of City's competitors stubbed their toe etc. and they are wrong. When your competitors are losing, or in this case drawing, winning is the most important thing.

January 16, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/16/2010

All good things come to and end and the magic of Mancini and his phenominal start at City did just that with a resounding thud. If there is any doubt let me be very clear, a 2-0 score line flattered City. When you step back and look at this objectively that was an awfully impressive win for Everton. There wasn't a single weakness in their team and this in a side with Phil Neville!

January 15, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/15/2010

Everton up next and this will be the first real test of the Mancini era. A month ago this looked like a pretty easy fixture as Everton were still slumping and while relegation never looked on the cards, a continued struggled certainly did.

January 14, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/14/2010

It is possible that we are seeing a perfect storm. City with the ability to spend more than any other club, Liverpool handcuffed by the incompetence of Benitez, a reported 20 million pound contract for the Liverpool manager and the presence of the best striker in the world in Fernando Torres.

January 13, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/13/2010

Today's non story finds various press outlets trying to make hay out of Adebayor wearing an Arsenal polo shirt while giving an interview in Togo. Most disappointingly is that some City fans are ripping the former Arsenal player in posts around the internet. For crying out loud, the man was just in a terrorist incident where colleagues were killed and others seriously injured. I'd give him slack if he was wearing a United shirt at this point never mind an Arsenal one.

January 12, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/12/2010

I liked Joe Royle as a manager even though I thought he was, and is, a limited boss who is capable of getting a team out of the Championship but finds the Premier League a step too far. Keegan I adored. No defense, all attack, lets win the game 5-4 if necessary. Great entertainment and the mind boggles, just boggles, at what he could do with our owners money. Stuart Pearce was probably a bit over his head although honestly was in a no win situation and that he got the club close to Europe was a fairly commendable achievement. I mention all this because I'm aware I've not been a fan of the club's most recent managers.

January 11, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/11/2010

A Carlos Tevez hat trick, 4th place, four goals scored and the first Roberto Mancini era tactical mistake. What a fabulous night for City with so much to talk about. But first I'm going to call out Benjani. I roasted the Zimbabwean striker, rightly so, for a terrible performance against Middlesbrough. Tonight in the first ten minutes Benjani showed more hustle, passion and commitment than he did in the entire Boro match.

January 10, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/10/2010

As suggested we were treated to numerous rumours and misinformation concerning the Togo African Cup of Nations attack. Now that the tournament has started there seems to be a final accounting of the base facts. Togo, after what must have been rough internal discussions, have left the tournament. As much as the players will have wanted to honour their fallen colleagues the team was on a hiding to nothing if they had stayed. Two members of the Togo party were killed in the attack along with their Angolan driver. Reserve goalkeeper Dodo Obilale is at last word seriously injured and in a South African hospital.

January 8, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/08/2010

Reports are coming in that the Togolese team bus was attacked by Angolan rebels today prior to the start of the African Nations' Cup. City's website is saying that Emmanual Adebayor is unharmed in the attack. There are reports that a couple of players have been injured, but this is unconfirmed at the moment.

Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/08/2010

Patrick Vieira is officially Roberto Mancini's first signing at the club. An interesting signing on a number of levels and signals, if there was any doubt, the move away from Mark Hughes' template of building the team up with younger players with Premier League experience.

January 7, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/07/2010

With most of the country shut down from the impact of the weather there is little City news. Today I'm going to ask for your indulgence. Soccernet asks me to write about City and the Premier League. It also gives me the opportunity to share some other thoughts occasionally. For those of you who only are interested in reading about City today I look forward to discussions of Vieira tomorrow. For the rest I hope the following maybe jogs you into making a call or a visit.

January 6, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/06/2010

Today's none story is the "loss" being posted by City. All kinds of negative comments being posted. Wake up! The club is owned by billionaires who have sunk huge sums of money into the club to pay for players and new facilities. Of course it is technically "losing" money but unlike teams like Liverpool or Manchester United there is no debt to service, no inability to enter into the transfer market in a meaningful way. Instead the owners essentially just write a check to pay for their investment because that is what it is, an investment.

January 5, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/05/2010

If there is one issue that ticks me off more than any other it is the stupid transfer rumours that we see all the time. You get the impression that the national media just make up transfer rumours for fits and giggles and to see if they can be more outrageous than the next newspaper or website. Honestly I have no idea what their criteria is. Do newspapers set minimum standards? Must the information come from a source within the club, or from a player's agent for example? Or do the journalists nip off to the pub for lunch and ask the locals who they'd like to see playing for their club?

January 4, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/04/2010

For the second time this year City will play Scunthorpe in a cup competition after being drawn away in the 4th round of the FA Cup. It is easy to be overconfident given the 5-1 victory in the Liquid Cup, but realistically City should be in the 5th round draw after the games the weekend of the 23rd-24th.

January 3, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/03/2010

A job well done. In terrible weather, a minuscule crowd and with one of the strangest line ups you are ever likely to see from City, Roberto Mancini's side maintained its unbeaten start under his stewardship and still has yet to allow a goal. That being said, if you've read the reports and the player ratings I have to wonder if they watched the same game I did.

January 2, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/02/2010

I'm more than willing to be proved wrong but I have a bad feeling about the game against Boro in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The reasoning is simple. Everything points to a City win and football is very rarely that simple, especially in the FA Cup.

January 1, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/01/2010

As we reach both the start of the new year and half way through the season it seems like a good time to look at the August pre season predictions and how good, and bad, they were.

Wallace Poulter Wallace Poulter is an award winning video game producer, designer, industry consultant and writer. He has been a football fanatic since the day he moved in next door to Brian Clough. "Cloughie" being the acknowledged genius that he was promptly moved out and went to manage Derby. A serviceable senior school left-back in his youth, Poulter played one season of Sunday league football as a striker proving conclusively that he was a serviceable senior school left-back! Today Poulter remains involved with football as a licensed referee and most recently as a consultant on a Football MMO.

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