ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Manchester City
soccernet blog
Manchester City
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/12/2012

Some 18 months ago I did a podcast, here at Soccernet, where I was asked about the players I would be interested in should I be given the keys to the vault. One player I identified as a major target was Everton's Jack Rodwell who I believe is one of the great upcoming talents in the English game.

So imagine my surprise and delight this morning after no transfer activity all summer and a lack of any meaningful rumours, that City snapped up the midfielder. Absolutely, stunningly, brilliant news. While Mancini has been quoted regarding his ability as a midfielder, I'd love to see Rodwell tried as a central defender. The 21-year old has all the tactical awareness to be a superb defender with the ability to then move out quickly into midfield to help initiate the attack.

However, for the moment, let's consider him as a midfielder and I think City have a player who can provide cover for Yaya Toure and yet also be counted upon to play the defensive midfielder role if needed. Throw in the fact that he is English, which will help with squad requirements and this is easily the best transfer City could have pulled off.

Unbelievably good news. Bring on the start of the Premier League!

Follow ESPNsoccernetFC on Twitter


Posted by Cody on 08/12/2012

hey wallace, welcome back. i love this transfer, i sign rodwell all the time in fifa as cover for yaya and i think thats what he will be until he takes over for yaya. hes big and strong like yaya and fast too. just needs to learn the technical side of the game and yaya and silva will help with that.
another reason this is a great signing? he won't be able to man handle silva when we play everton next time! :)

Wallace Reply Really surprised United didn't go after him as a long term replacement for Ferdinand.

Also with the African Cup of Nations happening again in January, as it shifts to avoid the World Cup year, Yaya will be gone again.

Posted by Parker on 08/12/2012

I wish you would write more Wallace I love your posts. I'm glad that finally someone else sees it my way about Rodwell. Hes perfect. He can play in both the positions we need, and he's English. Its nice to have another England international in the squad. Especially one that could end up replacing Lescott or Yaya.

Wallace Reply I've been a huge fan of Rodwell since he first broke into the Everton squad. He's had his share of injuries, but this seems like really good business. Sets up the interesting possibility of a four man English midfield at certain times as well.

Posted by Ian on 08/12/2012

Maybe off topic, but here goes...last May I was on holiday in Bermuda for the QPR game. On the final day my wife surprises me by organizing a snorkel trip, so I'll miss the game. No problem I thought, City have this in hand and I can watch the replay. As it turns out the weather was too rough to swim, so I hike myself as fast as I can to the pub with the biggest TV's. Only 15 minutes left in the game! My jaw drops when I see the scoreline...(2-1 QPR) this in a bar with 85% Man U supporters and a scattering of Arsenal fans. I was dying with every minute that passed, Was it worse to be watching the game or to be tortured by MU fans? But I couldn't turn away, so I just watched and hoped. It felt like an eternity, but when Aguero scored my wife was screaming and clapping, but I was sitting there in blissful can watch sports every day for decades and never see a moment like that, that means so much to the fans. As you said, bring on the start of the season!!

Wallace Reply Not going to lie. It still seems weird to hear that the Champions are going to defend their title and then realize it is City. But to beat United to the post, and by goal difference, still seems surreal. But I'll take it.

Posted by Stan on 08/12/2012

Delighted to see Rodwell signed. He should learn well in training, and I think he'll be a vital figure in YaYa's absence due to the African Nations Cup. City's slump last season seemed to coincide with YaYa's absence. The big guns are stronger this year, so City can't afford any kind of extended slide.

I'm worried about the defense. Savic still seems well out of his depth, and Richards' injury further exposes that frailty.

But the rest of the squad appears to be strong, so I'm hopeful of a repeat Prem title. It sure won't be easy, since I expect van Persie to move to ManU.

Like you, it still sounds weird to say Premier League champions Manchester City...but one of these days I'll get used to it. Let's hope I get to do that often in the years to come.

Wallace Reply Obviously I've been saying since the club were once linked to John Terry - and aren't we all glad we missed out on that idiot - that the team needs a world class centre back. Still do, but everything else is in place.

Posted by Rick on 08/12/2012

Welcome back Wallace! I always remember your posts about City not needing huge signings, just time to let their talent gel.
That being said, do you think they will bring anyone else in? I hope it is someone in central defense. Who would you like to see come? Do you think anyone will be leaving?
One last question. Do you like what these rich clubs like PSG, Chelsea, and City do to bring in talent to their clubs? Would you like to see some type of capped structure to even out the playing field?

Wallace Reply Fans need to remember that this is the first off season where Aguero and Nasri have been with the rest of the tean and that will make a difference.

I miss the days when clubs like Ipswich, Crystal Palace and others could make a dent in the top flight. Heck I remember Carlisle leading, however briefly, the old first division. The problem with a capped structure of any kind is that it works in a situation, such as the NFL or NHL, where there is only one league. When you have multiple leagues in different countries throughout the world, ultimately the best players will go where there is the most money. So you can't cap the Premier League if PSG is free to spend, nor can you cap Europe if the Chinese can create a super league. I wish there was a solution, I liked the old system better.

Posted by Rick on 08/12/2012

Hi Wallace!

I thought Nasri and Milner played really well today. Will Milner see more action this year? Do you think the 3-4-2-1 formation will be a fixture for City this upcoming year? I can't wait for another great year of reading your posts!

Wallace Reply I was fascinated to see the new City formation today and am kicking around some thoughts on it at the moment.

Posted by David on 08/12/2012

Wallace, what do you think of the 3-5-2 worked on in the preseason?

Wallace Reply Really interesting and potentially brilliant. I need to get my head around it a little more, but it was fun to study it.

Posted by anthony vdv on 08/13/2012

great to see a post wallace :)
what are your thoughts about more players coming in? any realistic targets to look forward to. perhaps agger? and also what do you think of the 3-5-2 formation who plays on the outside of the 5 and outside of the 3? for the 5, kolarov is solid but we dont have another proper wingback so do we choose a midfielder or fullback. for the 3 do we play three centerbacks or fullbacks such as zabaleta and clichy. finally how and when will this formation be utilized

Wallace Reply Not a huge fan of Agger and this new formation makes things more interesting. Richards would seem well suited to playing in it. I need to see this in action more to really get a handle on it because it seems to me that City could get caught out...

Posted by Johnny on 08/13/2012

Do you see City making any more waves in this transfer window? If so, where do you think the team needs additions? A center back or a winger are the only two that I could think of and Rodwell can double as a center back.

Wallace Reply I don't think City need a winger with the squad that the club currently has. I remain convinced that the club does need to strengthen in the middle of the defense, but have been saying that for at least two years now!

Posted by Ste on 08/13/2012

Hey Wallace,

Couldnt agree more with your Rodwell sentiments. He is versatile and talendted enough to operate in a Barry or Yaya type role depeding on others fitness.
What possibly excites me more is the combination of the 3412 formation and Rodwell. This formation will be a natural choice in tougher matches and against European opposition (I think Mancini might have been influenced by Napoli last year). In this formation I, like you, could see Rodwell playing the centre of the three as a kind of sweeper/libero crossover a bit like De Rossi did for Italy at Euro 2012. That way he can use his natural strengths to read the play and build it from the back.
In contract against so called easier teams we can revert to type from last year to keep as many people up top as possible to try and break through tightly packed defensive units.

Posted by John on 08/13/2012

Hi Wallace,

Really chuffed to see Jack join us. Quality addition with so much potential!

Wallace, where do you see Silva and Nasri slotting in to this 3-5-2 formation?

Does Dzeko have a future with us?

What are your thoughts on Tevez staying, I know you mentioned in your "Champions"post that you thought for certain he would be gone this summer...

Wallace Reply I suspect Tevez showing up super fit has eased some of the issue with him at the club. He's one more pout from being offloaded, but I think Mancini has figured out how to use Tevez, Aguero and Nasri at the same time - which is brilliant.

Posted by jon on 08/13/2012

Hi Wallace,

Nice to see you posting again, I love the tactical insight and am excited to see what rodwell can do to improve the team. If Mancini was inspired by Italy's 352 I'd have to imagine he has danielle de Rossi on his radar, who was quite fantastic at the euros, although his massively long contract as well as his loyalty to Roma might make that quite difficult.

I am curious by one of bacon faces signings and that is Shinji Kagawa. I think he is a sublime player, but he has been playingin a Dortmund 4231 for the past few seasons to magnificent effect, but United have never really used a CAM but with Shrek dropping deep and United having a plethora of wingers, what do you think Kagawas role will be at United.

Wallace Reply Haven't had a chance to check out United so far this pre season. His goal average per game was impressive in Germany, but as you say he and Rooney would appear to be destined for the same area of the pitch as Rooney comes back to the ball. I wonder if United might try a Christmas tree formation with Rooney and Kagawa playing off of Wellbeck in some games.

Posted by Connor Hill on 08/13/2012

Hi Wallace
I completely agree with your opinion on the Rodwell signing but do you see this cooling interest in De Rossi. Also do you think city with offload one or two strikers like Dezko, Adebayor, or Guidetti.

Wallace Reply Adebayor is never going to get back into the City team, which is curious because I actually think he'd work well with Silva. Guidetti needs to step up a level of competition after impressing in the Dutch league. Dzeko was brilliant at the start of last season, but it would not surprise me if he left in January.

  Post your comment
Email Address:
characters left
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.

RSS feed

Recent Posts