soccernet blog
Manchester City
April 30, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/30/2012

Let's get one thing straight. There's more of a chance of Rachel Weisz growing bored of Daniel Craig and giving me a call and of Lenny Henry becoming funny again than City repeating the 6-1 victory over United.

January 22, 2012
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/22/2012

I made the point before City played United that regardless of the outcome it was only three points. That was true whether City lost or in that case won 6-1. It's still true and yet today's game against Spurs feels like more.

October 27, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/27/2011

I get asked quite often why I haven't commented about the Carlos Tevez situation. Really it boils down to my one word reaction to the whole debacle... "And?" However, with the recent comments of former City manager Mark Hughes and the revelation that Tevez may sue Roberto Mancini over the whole incident it is unfortunately obvious that this story will have legs.

October 23, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/23/2011

Nigel de Jong starts on the bench as City have gone with Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and the in-form James Milner in the middle. It's a gutsy move by Mancini as the control of the midfield has always been the key to the Manchester derby the past few years.

October 22, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/22/2011

Really it is. Beat United or Stoke and the same three points are awarded. At the end of the season there isn't some asterisk that gets posted on the point total that improves the league position because a club beat United. And City need to approach it as such.

September 27, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/27/2011

Surprising as it sounds I'm pleased to see United's fast start and that of Wayne Rooney. No, once again I'm not a secret Red, but rather United's fast start has blunted some of the coverage of City and Sergio Aguero. Had United started slowly, say like a Tottenham or Arsenal, then the pressure and hype around City would have been immense.

September 8, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/08/2011

Part Two of a look at the best summer transfers in the Premier League concludes with the top ten. Matthew Upson/Jonathan Woodgate, Owen Hargreaves, Roger Johnson, Zoltan Gera, Samir Nasri, Mikel Arteta, Jordan Henderson, Davide Santon, Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam made up the first half of the top 20. Who's number one? It isn't who you think...

September 6, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/06/2011

Time for my now traditional annual look at the transfer window. It’s a measure this year of the quality that moved into and/or around the Premier League that when I first started to analyze the transfer window I had 27 names that stood out and those did not include Wilson Palacios, Jay Bothroyd, Daniel Ayala, Yohan Cabaye, David De Gea, Alexander Doni, Bryan Ruiz, Raul Meireles, David Ngog, Alan Hutton or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

June 26, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/26/2011

It's been a couple of weeks since the season ended and time to fully ruminate on what we saw. Time to hand out those coveted Machester City blog Awards...

May 30, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/30/2011

Funny how things turn out. This next season is shaping up to be a very interesting one and the spectre of Jose Mourinho is going to hover over the Premier League for the entire season.

May 22, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/22/2011

Carlos Tevez played his last game for Manchester City on Sunday. Fact? No, at least not yet. But I'd be stunned if the Argentinian is in English football by the start of the next campaign. Tevez is a fabulous football player; he's been part of a magical season, helped City tweak United when it was useful to do so and would be welcome on any team in the world. I'm also convinced that he's done with City.

April 7, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/07/2011

Apparently common sense isn’t as common as you might think. Then again we are dealing with the FA where a lack of common sense appears to be a pre requisite. Once again the FA has the appearance of making things up as they go along.

January 7, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/07/2011

I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that Roberto Mancini is taking the FA Cup seriously this year and has vowed to take the strongest squad to Leicester. I loved the FA Cup third round draw when Noel Gallagher and Serge Pizzorno drew their own favourite teams to play each other. Great television. This being said, pupil against mentor is never an easy game and I can easily see Mancini losing out tactically to Sven. Cue a thousand headlines about City's millions.

November 28, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/28/2010

The difference between winning, and in this case drawing, can be thin. It's a cliche often rolled out that good teams know how to win even when not playing their best. And for a few minutes on Saturday it looked like City might just do that. Alas, a Matthew Etherington goal got Stoke a point in the dying minutes and fair is fair, no more than Stoke deserved.

November 10, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/10/2010

Which should seem obvious as a Man City fan. However as regular readers will recall in the past I have consistently suggested that United would win these contests because their team happened to match up well against City, particularly in midfield. Tonight should be different if City have the team and tactics in place that I suspect.

October 26, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/26/2010

The Rooney saga it seems rumbles on. While the imminent departure of the England striker from United has been negated by the new five year contract, the backlash is starting to ramp up. Rooney's trip to Dubai is apparently, according to the tabloid media, an affront to the average working bloke in the street. Curious the way the country builds up their "heroes" only to take delight in tearing them down. I resisted commenting on Rooney at the height of the speculation for one simple reason. Rooney to City never made sense, yet it would seem almost disingenuous to suggest that City could not use a quality talent, regardless of his more recent form.

September 3, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/03/2010

Nikola Zigic , Aleksandar Kolarov, Dan Gosling, Kenwyne Jones, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Martin Petrov, Jean Beausejour, Laurent Koscielny, Yossi Benayoun and Jerome Boateng comprised the first half of the Top 20 Summer Transfers. Now in the concluding installment are those from #10 through #1

September 2, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/02/2010

The general consensus in the media seems to be that this summer's transfer window has been something of a let down with only City splashing the cash. However initial impressions can be deceiving. While there may have been very few blockbuster transfers there have instead been a lot of quality moves, often for reasonable prices. Normally it is a struggle to list a good top 20 summer transfers. Not this year. When Sebastien Squillaci, Stephen Ireland, Martin Jiranek, Ivan Klasnic, Nascimento Ramires, Moussa Dembele, Raul Meireles, Asamoah Gyan and Sandro Raniere don't make the top 20, it's a very good year.

August 14, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/14/2010

Remember last year? Everyone and their dog had Liverpool winning the title. This year it seems those same "everyone" are picking Manchester United to struggle with some even suggesting that Fergie's boys will finish outside the top five. Therefore without further ado my pick to win the Premier League this year is

July 31, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 07/31/2010

Former City manager Mark Hughes has returned to the Premier League taking the place of Roy Hodgson who departed Craven Cottage for the "warmer" climes of Merseyside. I'm pleased; I think it's an excellent fit for the former Blackburn and Wales manager and the current Fulham squad has enough quality to survive the first season of the Hughes Revolution.

March 29, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/29/2010

One of the more annoying cliches in sports is the idea that games are somehow more vital than each other. You hear this all the time, how a game is a "6 pointer" or some such nonsense. The reality is that if you win any of the 38 league games in the Premier League you receive 3 points. It's as true on the opening game of the season as it is against Wigan tonight.

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 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 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 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 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.

December 23, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/23/2009

The fall out continues over the Roberto Mancini press conference and Garry Cook. Been a while since Fleet Street has had so much collective fun as they take each and every sentence and spin all kinds of nonsense. Whatever. I grow bored of it already. Bottom line remains; Right move, wrong time and in the wrong way.

December 21, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/21/2009

City dominated the headlines this weekend, obviously, and yet lost in the excitement of the change at City there was a very curious weekend of football. For the second week in a row Liverpool and United lost while Chelsea drew and Arsenal and Villa won. I suspect it has been a very long time since United, Liverpool and Chelsea got one point between them and to have it happen in consecutive weeks speaks I think to the impatience of the City ownership. There really is an opportunity this year.

December 16, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/16/2009

One of my favourite quotes is "Great minds think alike" not for the first part of the quote but for the second part that usually goes unquoted; "But Fools seldom differ." I was reminded of this when I came across the article in the Manchester Evening News by Paul Hince which advocates that City acquire Torres and Gerrard in the transfer window. Regular readers will recall my October 21st column that suggested the exact same thing and for the exact same reasons.

November 12, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/12/2009

Once more the issue of the Old Firm, Celtic and Rangers for the uninitiated, joining the Premier League has been raised and subsequently shot down. Not surprising really as it is not exactly in the self interest of the majority of the Premier League clubs to add two more clubs into the mix that could divert revenue even if this time the idea was broached in the context of adding a Premier League 2.

November 10, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/10/2009

I've received a couple of polite enquires from long time readers about recent results and my thoughts. My infrequent posting is not a lack of opinion, far from it, but just an overwhelming sense of frustration. I'd much rather post positive thoughts about the team winning and players playing well than harp on the negative issues which have seemed so obvious to me for so long.

October 26, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/26/2009

The focus will be on City losing a two goal lead and a couple of points at home, however I was more interested in the first half tactical decision that had Martin Petrov start on the right wing. Given that Petrov is quite possibly the most one footed person on the planet and it is his left foot I just don't understand this. City had a selection dilemma with the return of Bellamy but in this case I would have preferred Petrov to stay on his natural left side - which is what happened at the start of the second half.

October 21, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/21/2009

Sad to see what Liverpool have become under Rafa Benitez. Always been my brother's team and during the 70's were a sight to behold as I was forced to watch every time they were on! Liverpool played the game right, in many ways the Arsenal of their day with the exception that they won a lot more often than Wenger's boys.

October 20, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/20/2009

Nine games into a season, eight for City, but nine for most is a good point to take stock and see what trends are possible to detect. As such I was taking a look at the league table. There are a couple of truisms that I've found to be useful especially relatively early in the season.

September 12, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 09/12/2009

In the first of an occasional series we talk to a fan of an upcoming City opponent. Kicking us off is Dr. Greg Zeschuk mild mannered co founder of the Edmonton Canada video game company Bioware by day, but rabid Arsenal fanatic by night. Greg put aside playing the upcoming Dragon Age: Origins just long enough to answer our questions

August 26, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/26/2009

I'll leave it to others to analyze and talk about the Joleon Lescott signing. Instead I've had this crazy thought running through my head for a week now. Really crazy. I've written it down, kicked the tires as it were and gone back and forth and here it is. With the signing of Lescott, do City now have the best squad in the Premier League?

August 19, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/19/2009

One game does not a season make and I'm certainly not going to get carried away with my Arsenal predication. I know one very prominent Arsenal supporter who thinks United will win the league so you never know. I was curious however to see the reaction of the Everton fans. Dear me. Everton manager David Moyes is considered by many observers including yours truly to be one of the better managers in the Premier League, but you wouldn't know it reading the Everton boards.

August 15, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/15/2009

Another Premier League season is upon us. This season is shaping up to be quite fascinating.

The Big Four - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool

It will be held against me if it doesn't come to pass, but my surprise pick for the title is Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has spent the past couple of years blooding the most impressive bunch of youngsters in recent memory. However the crucial addition didn't happen this transfer window, but instead was the capture of Zenit St. Petersburg's Andrei Arshavin this past January. Kolo Toure was quoted earlier in the month that Arsenal lack leaders and he was right these past few seasons. But not any more. The Russian forward is going to lead by example and become a true icon of the Gunners. Notwithstanding Fabio Capello's fairly idiotic statement that Jack Wilshere could go to the World Cup, England have more than enough midfielders it is the striking options that should be of concern, the Arsenal youngster should have a breakout season. Experience plus addition by subtraction and the loses of their challengers equals an opportunity.

August 4, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/04/2009

August 4th 2009. Mark it down. Liverpool lost the title today. Certainly they will bring in a replacement for Xabi Alonso but that's it, game over. Must be a strange feeling to know, with an absolute certainty that your best chance in years to win the Premier League is gone. In Rafa we trust is going to sound pretty hollow now. You know how much I hate that Elano left City? This is ten times worse for Liverpool.

August 1, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/01/2009

As you will have seen, my column concerning the departure of Elano has generated some interesting comment both agreeing and disagreeing with my position. Took me a while to figure it out but I have finally concluded what is annoying me so much about this move. Who is going to pass the ball?

July 31, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 07/31/2009

Sir Bobby Robson February 18 1933 - July 31 2009

Player, England International, Manager, England Manager.

A Winner and a Gentleman in a day and age where both are seemingly beyond most.

Geordie Legend.

June 20, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/20/2009

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 17, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/17/2009

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 14, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/14/2009

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 12, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/12/2009

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 £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 10, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/10/2009

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
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/09/2009

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
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/08/2009

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 6, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/06/2009

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
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/05/2009

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
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/04/2009

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
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/03/2009

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
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/02/2009

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...

May 31, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/31/2009

The Daily Fail is at it again. Once more City are being linked with Kaka and other world superstars. Enough already. Stupid papers with stupid rumours showing exactly why it's a failing business. We all know the script. City get linked to a hundred players in the off season, sign a number of quality players that are appropriate to our squad needs and then the club gets ripped in the press for not signing the superstars even though we are "the richest club in the world."

May 27, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/27/2009

Last game of the season and I didn't watch. Typically City won leaving them agonizingly close to a Europa League spot. And what was I doing? Well I've noted in the past that I grew up in the North East. In many ways Newcastle mirror City. A club with great support, fabulous tradition especially in the 50's. Great players and managers - and I don't find it a coincidence that Keegan has managed both.

May 20, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/20/2009

The Club has released an official statement saying that despite press reports today City have not placed a bid for Lionel Messi. Bit of a slippery slope in that once you start denying one transfer rumour if you don't deny all of them then the press will see this as confirmation that there must be some substance to the rumour.

That being said, I'm not sure the club could have done anything else as the constant harping by the rag supporting press leaves the impression that City have approached dozens of players all of whom have turned down City.

May 10, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/10/2009

Funny the way things turn out. Normally for City the Derby is the biggest game of the year. Win it, especially sweep as Sven did, and City fans are a fairly content lot. Completely outplay United as was the case a couple of seasons ago and a warm afterglow permeates the summer off season.

And this year. Doesn't matter.

May 4, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/04/2009

You have to feel for Mark Hughes. Here City are on a three game winning streak and everything should be focused on the last few games of the season.

Instead the issue of Elano is once more to the fore.

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...

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!

March 3, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/03/2009

I'm bored. Last three games; a rather credible draw against Liverpool, an efficient win against the Danes and a predictable loss against the Hammers. And I'm bored.

With any kind of decent away form the club could end the season with its best Premier League finish ever. But I don't see it. City could win the UEFA Cup, somewhat bizarrely we are both the only English club left in the competition and now considered the favourites.

Personally I happen to think Werder Bremen are the best team left in the competition but yes City on their day, and let me repeat that phrase, on their day are capable of winning the UEFA Cup. But do you have confidence that the best City team will show up for each game that is left in the competition? No, neither do I.

February 26, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/26/2009

Still no word from the FA as to when they will charge Ronaldo for kicking an opponent in this weekend's tie against Blackburn. Nor frankly do i expect that to happen even as City are still dealing with the loss of SWP for three games. We know, deep in our hearts, that the FA and Premier League are not corrupt but time and again the appearance is given with uneven dispensation of disciplinary matters.

February 1, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/01/2009

The Rambling view from the City Perspective

An unfortunate loss against Stoke after a positive result mid week against Newcastle. Same team each time, with a very interesting Zabaleta/De Jong midfield anchor partnership and the team playing a 4-2-3-1. Good. Yes I know we lost against ten man Stoke, however this was Hughes maximizing the resources he has available to him given injuries and suspensions.

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