August 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.
January 1, 2012
It's that time of year again, the silly season when the January transfer window opens and clubs wait until the last five minutes of the final hour before deciding that they need to sign a crucial player who is either stuck somewhere on the M1 or reportedly just landed at a regional airport.
July 5, 2011
In other news, the sky is blue, the grass is green and Andy Murray didn't win Wimbledon. One word.... Whatever.
Seriously. Couldn't give the proverbial rodent's rump on this one. Regular readers of this column have known that I believed Tevez would leave this summer and I have been saying so for over a year. Not even a slight surprise.
December 31, 2010
City have already been liked to a dozen players. Likewise Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Therefore a little dose of reality before the January transfer window kicks off. Rarely do great players move in the January window...
December 30, 2010
It worries me when I agree with Old Purple Nose... The stories concerning Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko have heated up over the last 24 hours, but was Ferguson correct to take a pass last year?
December 13, 2010
I was planning to write about the West Ham game as the absence of Carlos Tevez created in some ways the first true example of the Mancini diamond in action. However fairly obviously that is a column for another time as the transfer request from Tevez has created something of a furor. There are, I believe, at least three different issues that are fueling the situation.
June 13, 2010
There's an interesting trend appearing in a number of the rumours associated with the club. That is of players been traded as part of potential deals. Such deals are not unheard of, Keith Gillespie's move from United to Newcastle in the Andy Cole transfer might be the most well known from the Premiership seeing that it represented the largest English transfer deal at the time and just last year Samuel Eto'o was added to a 46 million Euro deal that saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic move from Inter to Barcelona. However it certainly isn't the norm.
February 9, 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.
February 2, 2010
Hmm.... not sure what to make of deadline day in the transfer window. With three players in play City picked up a former U-21 England international who plays the same position as one of the clubs better performers; Somehow thought that a Kenyan would get a work permit and when that didn't work apparently ran out of time in picking up another South American from Real Madrid.
January 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 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
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 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 8, 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 6, 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
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?
December 18, 2009
Media speculation has immediately suggested that Matthew Upson will be a target of City in January. It's possible that this will be the case and that other Premier League talents will be targeted in a continuation of the trend this past summer. That being said Hughes has a tremendous record in finding high quality players in Germany and I think this is the more logical choice in the transfer window.
September 1, 2009
No blockbusters this year and I think we can thank, or blame depending on your perspective, City for this. The Big Four all made their transfer moves well in advance of the transfer deadline and in retrospect it is easy to see why. Last year Chelsea had Robinho lined up before the last minute move by City and the club also forced United to match the evaluation of Spurs for Berbatov. Given the ability of the club to hijack literally any significant move by their rivals all four of the Big Four closed up shop well in advance of the deadline.
August 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 8, 2009
I've always liked Everton fans. Some of the most knowledgeable in the Premier League as I think I've said in the past. And Friday in a friendly they stepped it up a notch by cheering Joleon Lescott throughout Everton's pre season match against Malaga. There's no right or wrong way to react when a player is a transfer target, but if there was any hesitancy in Lescott's decision making I'm pretty sure it is gone now. I'll be very surprised if the Everton central defender leaves Goodison Park.
August 6, 2009
I'm sure the press will have a field day with the 3-2 loss to Rangers, but in this case I don't see it as a big deal. There should be no way that Dunne and Toure are the starting central combination for the game at Blackburn or if they are then the negative results will be inevitable. So nothing really learned that the club and the fans didn't already know.
August 2, 2009
Strong fighting rearguard action from David Moyes as it appears that City are about to go in for Joleon Lescott for a third time. The general consensus seems to be that if the Everton defender asks for a transfer then that will force the issue. Moyes is unhappy with the club's tactics and to be honest I can't blame him. It's different with other clubs where they complain about offers upsetting their players and then turn around and use the exact same tactic. However I can't ever recall Everton under Moyes pulling such a stunt.
July 30, 2009
Quite simply the most stupid move that City have made in the last decade. Galatasaray have signed Elano and as you would suspect I am beyond annoyed. On a day when the City faithful should have been celebrating the arrival of Kolo Toure and the long term commitment to Nedum Onuoha we instead find that the team's only quality dead ball specialist is off to Turkey. Unbelievably stupid.
July 27, 2009
Good. John Terry isn't coming. No need to repeat my reasoning from columns past, but long term I believe we will look back and consider ourselves fortunate that we didn't sign the Chelsea captain to a five year deal. The off season has seen the club, other than the Eto'o flirtation, target established Premier League stars. Fairly transparently this is because Hughes doesn't have any more time. He has to achieve the top six target of the Chairman and as such has little time for players from other leagues to find their feet.
July 21, 2009
The other shoe has dropped, as we suspected it would, and having been left at home for the South African tour it is now pretty obvious that Elano is on his way out of the club. I am really annoyed at this. It is everything that is wrong about Hughes and lends credence to the opinion of many that Hughes is incapable of managing superstar players. I'm sorry, I don't care how many great players we bring in from different countries if a player starts for Brazil and can't make it into the line up at City the presumption until proven otherwise is that it is the fault of the manager not the player.
July 20, 2009
July 19th 2009. Mark this day down. This is the day the universe changed, or at least the footballing world as we know it.
This isn't about the signing of a player, or two or five. City fans are a resilient lot. We take the good and the bad generally with a wry smile. There's a history to the club, a pedigree, and most of us fully acknowledge the barren silverware period that the club has endured these past 33 years. City have for most of our living memory always been somewhat of a punch line, the glory days of the 50's long gone.
July 19, 2009
Various reports today that Chelsea are going to report City for tapping up John Terry. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black or have we forgotten the SWP and Daniel Sturridge pursuit by Chelsea. I have no problem with them filing such a claim as long as City can retroactively file for the previous two players. Frankly I wish the FA would throw the book at Chelsea. Do we have to point out, again, that it was Chelsea not City that chose to publicize the bid that City made in private.
July 18, 2009
I find the moves and the proposed moves in the transfer market rather interesting. The top six clubs in the Premier League at the end of last year were Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa. We have acquired Carlos Tevez from United, been linked at one point with Xabi Alonso, gone hard after John Terry, said to be close to signing Emmanuel Adebayor, have apparently put in a bid for Joleon Lescott and signed Gareth Barry and Stuart Taylor.
July 14, 2009
You know, I don't know what is more interesting. That City have signed such a talented striker as Carlos Tevez or that the fans of Real Madrid's feeder club are going absolutely apoplectic online at the news. Acting almost as nuts as the Liverpool fans when Owen signed for said same outfit.
July 12, 2009
I've got a sneaking suspicion that City are going to end up with John Terry. I can't give you a specific reason, just this nagging feeling. So let me go on record before it happens. I think this is a really bad idea.
Let me also quantify this. I understand, or at least I believe I understand, what Mark Hughes is looking to accomplish with the signing. It is a statement of intent.
July 7, 2009
The John Terry saga rumbles on and if possible makes less sense today than it did yesterday. New Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was unveiled and announced that John Terry is at Chelsea for "life." Ok great, but the entire media episode has been manufactured by Chelsea posting a notice that they had turned down an offer for Terry. At no point has City even acknowledged that they made a bid for the England captain.
July 6, 2009
The phrase lull before the storm is an over used one at the best of times, but I don't think I'm the only one who has the sense of impending madness. All indications are that Carlos Tevez will finally make his oft talked about move and the chatter continues about Samuel Eto'o and John Terry with occasional Joleon Lescott murmurings! Love the bit in The Sun that says that Mark Hughes and Terry were in the same hotel for their holidays. That will keep the conspiracy theories going for at least another week.
July 5, 2009
Two of the players who I've talked about more than most on these pages left the club earlier in the week. Dietmar Hamann was, along with Michael Johnson, the key to the fantastic start the club had under Sven and the failure of Mark Hughes to realize that remains one of my biggest complaints about the manager.
It spoke volumes to me that Nigel de Jong was such a vital signing last January, specifically to fill the Hamann role. Given the capture of the Dutch international it was inevitable that Hamann would leave. A class player and we wish him well.
June 30, 2009
An old school pal of mine was in town this week. He had, coincidently, just returned from a business trip to Barcelona. And the question was asked of his football fanatic hosts. How about Eto'o? And the reaction was universally negative. Surprisingly so. They loved the idea of City, or anyone else, taking him off their hands and generating enough funds to bring in another striker. Interesting reaction.
June 29, 2009
Just about every website and newspaper is talking about Samuel Eto'o joining City all on the basis, it would appear, of an article in the News of the World. You can create your own joke about the validity of such a source, but for now we'll play along.
Fundamentally I don't understand such a move. If, as has been hinted, City are going to play a 4-3-3 (or 4-1-2-3) then the front line is Robinho, RSC and Tevez.
June 26, 2009
Today I saw the first indication that Carlos Tevez may indeed become a City player. The Sun, of all people the Sun, have an article about Tevez enrolling his daughter in a private school in Cheshire. And, as the logic goes, you don't do that unless you are planning to stay in the north west.
June 25, 2009
I'm feeling nostalgic today. Wimbledon fortnight is upon us, the favourite time of my late Mum. Classically she'd complain all year about the amount of football we'd watch on tv and then attempt in the space of two weeks to watch enough tennis to equal our football watching 50 other weeks of the year! My Mum also bought The Guardian every day without fail when it seemed to be at the height of its "Grauniad" reputation for typos.
June 24, 2009
I'm really pleased with the acquisition of Stuart Taylor today. An experienced Premiership keeper who is still young enough to learn from Shay Given and the coaching staff is a phenomenal piece of work by Mark Hughes and his team.
June 23, 2009
The world has gone mad. An 18 million pound transfer fee, four and a half times more than was paid for the player a couple of years ago for a player with one good year in the Premier League.
No, I'm not talking about Roque Santa Cruz, but Liverpool's move for Glen Johnson.
June 21, 2009
I would love to be proved wrong; I would love to see it announced tomorrow that Tevez has joined City but I keep thinking that he will end up somewhere else.
This is in part due to the public comments that are being made. Tevez wants to play in important games and to be the first choice striker. City can certainly offer him the latter but let's be brutally honest, the club is going to have no important games this year.
June 19, 2009
Latest speculation is that Richard Dunne is off to Sunderland... or maybe Spurs... or maybe he's staying. Me? I remember at the start of the transfer discussions that City were very clear that they were going to bring in players first before making decisions on who could leave.
June 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 16, 2009
All quiet on the signing front. Lots of newspaper speculation, but nothing of substance coming out of the club. I take this as a positive and hope that the team is plotting a swift move in a similar fashion to the Gareth Barry acquisition.
Glen Johnson is apparently heading for Liverpool and I've yet to see a shred of evidence that there was ever a possibility that he might come to City. Joleon Lescott is again linked and he's another that I'm not sure about.
June 15, 2009
It's silly season. Really silly season. And the transfers of Ronaldo and Kaka prove that no one is untouchable which means that the speculation has become even more insane than normal. If anyone can be sold then everyone is fair game for a rumour. Even a player that returned to his club in January after a failed transfer last summer. Bizarrely Tottenham captain Robbie Keane is a name that is seeing time in the press.
June 13, 2009
Javier Saviola, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Gabriel Heinze and Rafael van der Vaart have something in common other than that they all play at Real Madrid. They have all been recently been mentioned as surplus to requirements as Galactico: The Next Generation (henceforth known as GTNG) begins to take shape.
June 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 6, 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
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
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
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
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
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 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 4, 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.
February 3, 2009
I suppose it speaks to the expectations of the fans these days that I can say that I am rather disappointed with City's work in the transfer window. Wayne Bridge, Shay Given, Craig Bellamy and Nigel De Jong. Do you consider that a good month's work in the transfer window? Even taking into account that De Jong's acquisition effectively creates five new signings with Kompany moving into the back four.
February 2, 2009
The Rambling view from the City perspective
The Club have announced that Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given has become the 4th signing of the transfer window.
Shay Given is a quality goalkeeper. He's better than Joe Hart, indeed better than just about every other goalkeeper in the Premier League. In fact you could argue he is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League and it would be a reasonable argument.
February 1, 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.
January 22, 2009
The Rambling view from the City perspective
City are taking a lot of flak for signing De Jong in the January transfer window when he had an out clause in the summer for approximately one tenth of the transfer price.
A couple of comments on this. First value is defined by the need that you have for an item not the perceived value.
January 21, 2009
I have watched the last few days with quiet bemusement. To watch so many people tie themselves in knots was quite funny. It was as if the supporters of the Big Four were two-year-olds and they'd had their rattles taken away. Poor babies.
And to make it even more amusing pangs of unvarnished jealousy from Dave Whelan at Wigan and Al-Fayed at Fulham. Even more curious, the head of the PFA Gordon Taylor jumped in on the side of the Big Four.
January 14, 2009
The Rambling view from the City perspective.
You see the pattern?
Pre transfer window the word is City will be buying numerous world quality players.
Then once the transfer window opens we in order are, interested in a player, have a bid rejected and the mainstream Rag press go all negative again.
Now the latest. A mass frenzy in the press about Kaka, a bid supposedly made, now a bid supposedly rejected and jibes in the press about how City can't attract the players even with all their money.
January 11, 2009
This just in. According to reports, City are going to start to look abroad for players because of the high prices being quoted by Premier League clubs. No! I'm shocked!
And all sarcasm aside, really, Eastlands is starting to look like a bad Keystone Kops comedy.
Why were bids for players only submitted after the start of the New Year? If Real Madrid can line up the players in advance, why can't City?
December 15, 2008
The Rambling view from the City perspective
Today Hughes tried something. A 4-4-2 formation with Vassell playing up front and Ireland out on the left. That it ultimately didn't work is unfortunate but here was something I had been looking for. A search for something different, to shake up what obviously hadn't been working so far. Much will probably be made of Elano not making the trip but given the formation choice that made perfect sense to me. Hang on you are saying, Hughes played Vassell and Elano didn't make the squad? Why aren't you going completely nuts based on your previous posts? Because City can't win every week but, today at least, logical decisions were made.
The board, the owner and the Chairman have a choice to make. If the decision is to keep Hughes then it isn't for days or months or until the end of the year. If Hughes stays then it's with a commitment to back him to the hilt through the end of the 2009-2010 season allowing January purchases in the transfer window, a full summer transfer activity and then to see the results of that work. I'm on record as believing that would be a mistake but to a certain extent it's a bit like refereeing. Right or wrong you have to be emphatic and be in control. The worst you can do is be wishy washy. The Ownership need, in my estimation, to make a forceful statement. Either Hughes is gone; and my choice would be Michael Laudrup, or Hughes will be backed even if the unthinkable were to happen.
It appears that the Portsmouth defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra will be joining Real Madrid rather than City. Diarra is an interesting case. Many is the time I watched a game with Hamann or Claude Makelele playing and was immediately drawn to their play; appreciating the subtleties of breaking up an attack or the short pass to start the flow going the other way. I can honestly say that I've not watched one Portsmouth game and been struck by Diarra enough to go back and watch the entire game just focused on the one player - which is something I do if a player looks useful to me. It is quite possible that I've missed something with him, and Real Madrid certainly think so, but not a loss that troubles me at the moment other than his knowledge of the Premier League.