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Manchester City
August 14, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/14/2012

I've never understood why City picked up Samir Nasri. City already had David Silva and needed a good backup rather than another starter. Occasionally Nasri shined last season, but invariably at the expense of James Milner, which seems a complete waste. And then I watched the Community Shield and simply put, Roberto Mancini is a very smart manager.

May 14, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/14/2012

Some 24 hours later and I'm still numb. This is the one that matters. I couldn't give the proverbial rodent's rump about the Champions League. Never have. But the league; this is something a little special.

May 1, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/01/2012

And frankly got exactly what he deserved, a City win and a wide open title race with two games to go. Win both and City are champions, simple as that, although with City nothing is ever as simple as it could be.

March 4, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/04/2012

If the Spurs win at home back on January 22nd was the most important one of the season, the victory over Bolton on Saturday might be the second.

January 23, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/23/2012

Mario Balotelli will get all the headlines, but James Milner played one of his best games for Manchester City to help the club to beat Spurs 3-2.

December 14, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/14/2011

You have to laugh at the gutter press. Defeat to Chelsea and City have failed their big test and will now struggle to win the Premier League.

November 27, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/27/2011

Here's the thing... If at the start of the season you'd said to the average City fan that the club would take four points combined from their trips to United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal I suspect most would have taken it quite happily.

October 24, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/24/2011

A dozen hours after the game I am still stunned at the result. But my pre-match point is still as valid now as it was when I made it. You still only get three points for a win whether against United or Stoke. But still...

August 15, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/15/2011

Sergio 'Kun' Aguero made a fantastic debut, scoring twice, as City recovered from a slow start to demolish Swansea 4-0. On that performance, Carlos Tevez will be sitting on the substitute's bench once he returns.

Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/15/2011

Roberto Mancini provided all the ammunition that his detractors could possibly want with a baffling team selection and formation to start the first game of the season.

May 28, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/28/2011

Watched the game, made some tea, kicked around the odd thought and I'm just not seeing the same game that apparently everyone else is.

April 26, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/26/2011

Twelve minutes… Twelve minutes that may have secured Champions league qualification… Twelve minutes when Roberto Mancini, finally, got it right.

April 16, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/16/2011

Roberto Mancini is a very lucky boy, Paul Scholes can consider himself ever so slightly harshly done by and that has to be the most ridiculous 5 extra minutes ever added to a match.

April 12, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/12/2011

There's a saying "never drive when angry." To add my own Poulter twist I try to make a point of never writing when angry. Hence a 24-hour cool down before I started even thinking about the Liverpool game. The sheer utter ineptitude was staggering and more importantly it flew in the face of everything Mancini has been trying to do with City all year.

February 28, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/28/2011

After deploying a three man attacking formation of Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli against Aris Salonika in the Europa League the question was asked if City would be successful in using such a formation in the Premier League. On the basis of the match against Fulham the answer is a resounding no.

February 25, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/25/2011

A couple of good results for City with the 3-0 victory over the Greeks of Aris Salonika following on the 5-0 win over Notts County in the FA Cup. What caught my attention was the reaction to the win over County coupled with Manchester United's win over Crawley. And yes this is going to be another of those pieces where I say something positive about Old Purple Nose.

February 13, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/13/2011

A troubling 2-1 defeat should be a concern to City fans. The game against United? No, that ended as expected as City still do not match up well with their neighbours. I'm referring to Tottenham travelling to the North East and taking all three points in their encounter with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

January 10, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/10/2011

It would appear that Noel Gallagher and Serge Pizzorno knew what they were doing when they celebrated drawing out their favourite teams against each other in the FA Cup 3rd round draw. What a cracking game. It's a cliche to call it a "proper cup tie," but I'll go ahead and do just that. End to end action, Leicester giving a good account of themselves and City showing the occasional flash of class that led to both goals.

January 6, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/06/2011

Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. I mean, parked the bus, boring as a spectacle and at least a month's worth of ammunition for the anti City brigade, but nonetheless a very educational match. Throw in a stone cold penalty, a terrible referee performance and Arsenal hitting the woodwork a couple of times (Walcott was offside for the third) and this was by far the most interesting and informative match of the season.

October 25, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/25/2010

Oh dear. Ten man City fell to a rampant eleven man Arsenal after a fairly brutal performance by referee Mark Clattenburg. The decision to send off Dedryck Boyata for a foul on Marouane Chamakh in the fourth minute changed the nature of the contest. The talking heads, the media and even the match report on Soccernet all talk about how Boyata was sent off for being the last man. And they are all wrong.

September 28, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/28/2010

If proof was needed that it's Champions League or bust for Roberto Mancini and City this year, fans of the club were given all the evidence that was required this week with a pitiful team selection against West Brom in the Carling Cup followed by an enthralling victory over Chelsea at Eastlands.

August 24, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/24/2010

A quite fascinating 3-0 victory over Liverpool last night. If Mancini did what I think he did then I'm not necessarily in awe, but I'm damn impressed. City looked awful against Spurs at the weekend and part of the problem was Tevez coming back into the Attacking Midfield Centre (hereafter AMC) spot and taking up the same space as Silva. And yet Mancini loves the midfield diamond with the three ball winning midfielders* So how to keep that formation and free up Carlos Tevez?

August 19, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/19/2010

Over the past couple of years City have had five really good players. The Stephen Ireland and Elano of two years ago, the Craig Bellamy in the first half of last season, Shay Given and Carlos Tevez. Ireland and Elano are gone, Bellamy out on loan, Given almost certainly the same and Tevez quoted as not enjoying his football and considering quitting in a couple of years.

May 5, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/05/2010

The first thing to do is congratulate Spurs. Over the course of the season they have been the better team and deserve their place in the Champions League. Moreover, in beating Chelsea, Arsenal and City at the end of the season, Spurs in my mind truly earned the place.

April 18, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/18/2010

Gutless, spineless capitulation with no ability to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them. City? No, Arsenal surrendering a 2-0 league and any hope of the League title in allowing a remarkable ten minute turn around by Wigan who emerged as 3-2 victors.

April 17, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/17/2010

Derby day and it has to be said that I leaning towards United as the victors. No, I'm not a secret red and no I haven't turned in my City supporter membership. Styles make fights is a saying in boxing, but it is equally true in Football. City, on paper, do not match up well with United. Of course I'd love to be proven wrong.

April 12, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/12/2010

Now that was something of a surprise. There was a sneaking suspicion that Birmingham would prove difficult to crack and that City would be lucky to come away with a hard fought odd goal victory at best.

Really I wouldn't have been surprised if the game had ended in a draw. Therefore a 5-1 hammering and, in the best cliché mode, it wasn't that close, was a very pleasant turn of affairs.

March 30, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/30/2010

You can't keep a good cliche down it seems. The latest chestnut to be rolled out is "at this time of year it is the result that matters rather than the performance." Er... no. Still the same number of points awarded in March for a win as in August. Ultimately it's the result that matters any time of the year.

February 28, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/28/2010

Got a good observation from regular reader Martin in today's feedback and this seemed an excellent time to start an occasional Q&A feature.

February 27, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/27/2010

Been an interesting couple of weeks. The Mancini honeymoon has been well and truly over, although you can lay that directly at the feet of a lack of player acquisition in January, the Red Tops and associated low lives were starting to agitate for Mancini's removal and then this... Chelsea 2-4 Manchester City and it wasn't that close.

February 10, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/10/2010

Lots of comment on the internet today about the victory at Bolton. Generally folks seem to have been underwhelmed by the performance. There are times when I really do wonder if I watch the same game as everyone else. This was by far the most interesting performance of the year under Roberto Mancini.

February 9, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/09/2010

I've been grumpy the past few days. Really grumpy. I was so disappointing in the January transfer window and the lack of movement by City. I know that I have repeatedly counseled that January is not a time for major players to move and therefore expectations were low. However in a World Cup year there are enough players that are on the fringes of a first team at the major European clubs that City could have and should have made a move.

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

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 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

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 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 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 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.

December 17, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/17/2009

I wonder if I am just contrary by nature. While the blogs this morning are full of anti Hughes rhetoric I find myself not particularly fussed by the loss to Spurs. It was thoroughly predictable and I don't mean that as some kind of attack on Hughes. Given that the entire left side of City's midfield and defense, Bellamy, Bridge and Lescott was out through injury and suspension and that Spurs are at their most dangerous attacking down their right flank I honestly couldn't see any other outcome regardless of the quality or effort put out by the players.

December 15, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/15/2009

The large crashing sound that you hear is the result of a huge number of fans jumping off the bandwagon the week after the Chelsea victory had them clambering aboard. Ironic really because I thought the battling draw against Bolton, specifically coming back after Bellamy was sent off, was everything that is right about the Mark Hughes regime. No, I haven't suddenly turned into a Hughes apologist. I've said time and again that when appropriate I will compliment and this was the case this weekend.

October 28, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/28/2009

"It's well documented in official records that the City's original name was 'Snottingham', or 'Home of the Snots', but when the Normans came, they couldn't pronounce the letter 'S', so decreed the town be called 'Nottingham' or the 'Home of the Notts'. It is therefore easy to understand why this change was resisted so fiercely by the people of Scunthorpe."
The late, great, Humphrey Lyttelton in one of his opening monologues for BBC Radio's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, 1999.

October 19, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/19/2009

I look at the table and I shouldn't complain. I look at the result against a team that beat Chelsea last time out and I shouldn't complain. I look at a gritty rear guard action by 10 men and I shouldn't complain and I look at Petrov getting a run in the side and I shouldn't complain.

And yet.

September 29, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/29/2009

City win 3-1 and maintain their excellent start to the season with a game in hand over their rivals.

June 7, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/07/2009

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.

April 16, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/16/2009

The Cup is half full: City beat one of the better sides in Europe and were dominant.
The Cup is half empty: City's best chance at silverware in years is gone.

The Cup is half full: Robinho and Elano both started and played well.
The Cup is half empty: Richard Dunne got sent off, again.

April 13, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/13/2009

It would be very easy to get all upset at Mark Hughes after today's 1-3 home defeat. Easy, but wrong. Because tactically Hughes got it right. Hang on you are saying, how can he have got it right but City lost 1-3. Read on...

April 12, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/12/2009

For today's game against Fulham

Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Garrido, Etuhu, Zabaleta, Ireland, De Jong, Petrov, Bojinov. Subs: Hart, Robinho, Elano, Fernandes, Evans, Sturridge, McGivern.

Pretty ballsy lineup from Hughes, Robinho and Elano who both start for Brazil let us not forget, are on the bench while Etuhu plays.

March 17, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/17/2009

Three interesting results for City; home victories against a faltering Aston Villa, and yet another Danish club in the UEFA Cup before the expected loss to Chelsea away.

If you read the papers after the Villa game, City were brilliant. Best half of football by City all year and there should have been a hatful of goals. All good stuff and a great read. Now I'm pleased with this because I get to use one of my old Gran's favourite words. As in complete and utter twaddle!

February 20, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/20/2009

Friday October 25th 1415 a vastly outnumbered force of Englishmen utterly destroyed the cream of the French nobility at the Battle of Agincourt. The French, frankly, have been pissed about it ever since. How else to explain yet another ludicrous attack on the Premier League, and specifically this time on Manchester City, by Grand Supreme buffoon of UEFA Michel Platini.

December 11, 2008
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/11/2008

The Rambling view from the City perspective

You have to laugh really because it probably isn't good for your health to react in any other way.

Poor old Darius Vassell must wonder how much worse it can get for him. The symbol, through no fault of his own, of Mark Hughes' bizarre team selection and even stranger tactical decision making the former England international comes on for an unfit Robinho and City promptly lose all three points to Tim Cahill and Everton.

Seventeen days to January, repeat after me, seventeen days to January...

Really I'm somewhat at a loss for words. What can I say after a match like this that I haven't said until I'm sick in the face, never mind you the readers.

For whatever reason Hughes will not play the formation that Sven used to great success at the start of last year. I go back to my comment of a few weeks ago. Hughes, based on his record at Blackburn Rovers, can only win when he brings in players that fit his preferred system.

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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