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Manchester City
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/27/2010

I was recently asked the question concerning City's 25 man squad. There has been a lot of wild press speculation about the number of players that would have to leave and this seems a good time to get a handle on the situation.

As I understand it these are the rules that need to be followed. Each club must have a squad of 25 players of which 8 must be considered "home grown." Home grown means that a player has been registered with an English or Welsh club for three years between the ages of 16 and 21.

It's English and Welsh teams rather than also Scottish and Northern Irish, because two Welsh clubs play in the English leagues.

In addition any player under the age of 21 in January of 2010 does not count against the squad total. Which means for example, Mario Balotelli is in the City first team squad but is not part of the 25 man squad for rule requirement, but can still play.

Also crucially the 25 man squad is only an issue for Premier League games. The FA Cup and Carling Cup are not impacted by this ruling.

City have 28 players, not counting 4th string goalkeeper David Gonzalez, who are in consideration for the 25 man squad. Of these 28, two of them Shaleum Logan and Kelvin Etuhu are fringe players and frankly I don't believe they make the squad.

This leaves 26 including Caicedo, RSC and Robinho all of whom it has been suggested will be playing somewhere else as of next week. Therefore unless I am mistaken the wild hysteria in the press about City needing to make massive cuts has been just that, wild hysteria.

Here's how it breaks down

City's 26 players
Shay Given, Stuart Taylor, Joe Hart, Jerome Boateng, Wayne Bridge, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong, David Silva, Adam Johnson, Michael Johnson, James Milner, Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira, SWP, Emmanuel Adebayor, Felipe Caicedo, Robinho, Jo, RSC and Tevez.

Of those 26 players, Taylor, Hart, Bridge, Lescott, Richards, Barry, A. Johnson, M. Johnson, Milner, and SWP are considered home grown which is two more than the minimum. Curiously if Caicedo had joined in the summer of 2007 rather than January of 2008 he also would be considered home grown.

City also have 9 first team players who are under 21 for the purposes of the regulations. They are Boyata, Cunningham, Mee, Vidal, McDermott, Balotelli, Ibrahim, Nimely and Poole. All of these players are eligible to play in the Premier League at any point during the season without counting against the 25 man squad regulation.

If, as appears to be the case, Robinho joins AC Milan then City are effectively in compliance for the season.

What strikes me about this is just how young of a squad City have. Boyata, Balotelli and Boateng are all 21 or younger. Richards and M. Johnson are 22 while Hart, A. Johnson and Jo are 23. There's a core group, Kolarov, Kompany, Silva and Milner aged 24 while Zabaleta and de Jong are 25. Which leaves the strike force of Adebayor and Tevez at 26. Throw in Small Berries at 27 and this is a squad that could really grow together over the next 3 years or so.

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Posted by jak on 08/27/2010

At last, an article that is correct. Mancini knows exactly what he is doing.

Posted by gaz on 08/27/2010

agreed jak its taken time! we are fine, If Robinho leaves lets get the KUN? Caicedo is not good enough and Michael Johnson will prob miss the 1st half of the season (premier league) due to fitness and the squad can be re-listed in jan transfer window with a new list.


Posted by paul on 08/27/2010

some of the comments are wrong boetang m johnson do not have to be named in the 25 man squad as they were under 21 on the 1/1/10 we have currently only 24 players to name and out of those robinho and caicedo are about to leave taking it down to 22 and speculation that more players may leave ie given and santa cruz will reduce the squad further i can see more players coming in

Wallace Reply I don't believe so. Boateng's birthday is in September and he is currently 21 so would have been 21 on January 10th. Michael Jonson was 22 in February so again was 21 in January.

Posted by zulfiqar ali shah on 08/27/2010

no no this cant be!!!i am expecting Ibra or Edin dzeko and gourcouff in this least add one of those two strikers if not gourcouff.....

Posted by mats on 08/27/2010

Gourcuff went to lyon, ibra to milan, dzeko overrated..

Posted by CJB on 08/27/2010

For sure, we definitely have no worries about the 25-man squad.

However I shoulda add that Marwood went on record today reminding that Robinho and Adebayor have contractual obligations and that if they do not leave they will be in the 25-man squad.

Not to mention Milan have practically signed Ibra so Robinho will likely stay.

Posted by PJS on 08/28/2010

Just a few points to add. Given is also considered "homegrown" for the Prem League rules because he was at Blackburn between the ages of 18-21 i.e. the 3yr period.

With Logan, he is indeed a fringe player and perhaps will not make it onto the pitch at all. But the UEFA regulations are a little more strict in that 4 out of the 8 homegrowns need to be "club trained". At the moment we only have SWP, Richards, MJ and one of Logan/Etuhu that can be named for this purpose. Hence why SWP and Richards were not sold and why Logan remains on the UEFA squad (also MJ despite being unable to play)

The complication arises in that foreign u21 (eg. Balotelli) count towards the 25 and the unlimited u21 players not inlcuded on the UEFA list must be club trained (eg. Boyata, Cunningham).

What this will mean is that to account for Logan in Europa, we will likely have to drop one man from the Prem League list, it would be a tough call. Perhaps if both Robinho and Croque leave, it wont matter with 24

Wallace Reply Well spotted on Given. Mentally I had him at Celtic during those years, but that was before.

As you surmised two players did in fact leave allowing Logan to remain.

Posted by PJS on 08/28/2010

One more point on Robinho. Reports from Italy suggest he was a backup option for Ibrahimovic but they actually want to take him as a longer term replacement for Ronaldinho, who's contract expires in 2011 and as yet has signed an extension (a few weeks ago both parties said it was a formality but you never know).

Given the amount of money Milan need to complete the Zlatan deal, this Robinho to Milan deal cannot happen before the end of the window. It is more likely that Robinho will stay with us until January (no clubs want him and the ones that don't he doesn't want to join) when Ronaldinho's future at the San Siro will also be clearer (he could negotiate a Bosman move if he hasn't extended).

Robinho won't be cup-tied in Champions League if Milan are still there, but i've mentioned on another forum that maybe we should try to get Ronnie the other way. We may as well fill the spare spot that Robi vacates when he leaves, and Ronnie is still a bigger name and superior player.

Wallace Reply A waste to sell Robinho. Would much rather have seen him sent to AC Milan on loan for the season.

Posted by Trojan on 08/29/2010

City lost to lowly Sunderland! How predictable! last week beating liverpool and this week going down to sunderland! I told u Mr Wallace, you are not a team. Chlesea will crush you when next time you guys meet and will score 6 goals.

Wallace Reply I don't think I've ever claimed City are the finished article. There's a reason I project them to finish 6th this year.

Posted by G on 08/30/2010

Still don't understand how we're still not going with 2 strikers...

Milner, despite being a grate player, we overpaid, already had a few good men in those positions and forces a gun player to the bench...

De Jong, despite being a rock in front of the Defence needs to hit the bench or Barry, to make room for some more creative/attacking footballers.....

Especially after the game against sunderland, its even more evident of hard tevez has to work...

we need to go with a 42211

the normal back 5

with Yaya and either barry or De Jong (Not both because there is zero creativity)
Silva Milner

AJ to come of the bench in the 60th min game because he is Lethal against tired defenders late in games. AND still plays well off the bench despite not having the time to work into the game

I was hoping the team against Tott was just to get a draw and to work the team together

But Mancini has decided to play negative football when we could be dominating in attack


Wallace Reply We can't really judge the Mancini formation until Boateng and Kolarov are back in the side. Then I think we'll see a diamond rather than the formation with one striker that we are saying at the moment.

Posted by Trojan on 08/30/2010

Mr Wallace?! You didn't post my comment about your loss to sunderland?! That is soo bias, grow some spine lad and post my comment.

Wallace Reply lol... patience young skywalker

Posted by Mark on 08/31/2010

The "hysteria" was never about whether Man City have the numbers right, it's which of those 25 are prepared to sit out large slices of the season, wnad what that does for morale. Deal with the whole question, sir.

Wallace Reply Going to disagree with you on this one. I kept seeing articles about how City had all kinds of issues because they had 38 first team players.

Posted by Chris Restall on 09/01/2010

Hey Wallace,

I'm a regular reader and really enjoy your perspective on the happenings at city. Was just wondering if you had any inside information on what's going on with Michael Johnson. A few years ago I thought he was future England material, but it appears with a number of injuries and cities investment his dropped off the radar. I also heard a report that his had a number of personal problems and will probably never reach the heights which were initially predicted. Just wondering if you know anything more than I do. Thanks Wallace

Wallace Reply Johnson is a sad case. Too much too early seems to have been what happened and there were far too many stories floating around about Johnson being a bit big headed for you to dismiss them out of hand. Whether they were true I don't know. When healthy and partnered with Hamann, Johnson looked like a sure England international and his late runs into the box, along with Stephen Ireland, were quite effective.

Johnson needs to get healthy and fit and then be sent out for a year on loan to get back into playing football regularly. Unfortunately botth Owen Coyle and Ian Holloway are in the Premier League this season because a loan spell at a club in the Championship that plays open football would do wonders for the lad.

Posted by jack swager on 09/01/2010

In the last paragraph, you say City can grow in the next 3 years... I think city will have at least 5 new players next year. NO growth, just Buy (not to mention that mancini will be fired before December (for losing 4 matches by then!!! he's already lost 1!!!!)

Wallace Reply Mancini was hand picked by City's owners, unlike Hughes whom they inherited. While it is possible at some point that Mancini will leave he will be given more than enough time to succeed because to do otherwise is to admit that the owners go their first big managerial decision wrong. You see this in the regular workplace as well. Whomever a new manager hires first is golden for at least 18 months because even if they are completely clueless to fire them is to admit that the first significant decision that the new manager (read new owners here) made was a mistake. So Mancini will stay until at least the end of the season.

Posted by mayuwa stephen on 09/01/2010

Is a serious mistake to allow Robinho to move away from the club, especially going to a near future possible champions league rivals. Please Mancini learn to manage stars that is a key to good management.

Wallace Reply I'm the minority on this but I happen to agree with you. World Class talent is hard to find, and Robinho was one of the better players at the World Cup, while managers come and go. I would have much preferred that City loan Robinho out for the year so that if Mancini fails City would have such talent available to them. Scolari for example would be able to work with Robinho.

Robinho has his faults, but there are maybe a dozen people on the planet who could have produced that chipped goal against Arsenal. I'd prefer to try and figure out how to harness such talent.

Posted by micky-2-times on 09/03/2010

well I for one and glad to see the back of Robinho. He wasn't a team player and was rightly shown the door. I hope Mancini doesn't sign players like him who don't want to play. We need more team building and less title buying!

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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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