Tuesday, 28 April 2009

No transfer negotiations, or is there?

Wide spread reports suggest that City have been in talks with Barcelona for the transfer of Samuel Eto'o, but is that the case?

City have admitted that talks have been held with Barcelona, but insist that the meeting was not about Eto'o or any other player. City claim that the meeting was set up to start building a relationship with Barca and say that they will try to do this with all the elite clubs.

Hughes said........

"There has been speculation about players all year.''

"It is something that we accept and has become predictable.''

"The meeting was not about individuals but how both clubs can help each other.''

"As a club, we are trying to get relationships with clubs who would not previously have passed the time of day with us.''

"Now, because of Sheikh Mansour, they want to have a relationship and talk about plans that would benefit both clubs.''

"We are aiming to have this kind of relationship with all top clubs in Europe."

It is more than believable that we would want to strike up partnerships with all the big clubs and I am sure it is something we will look to do, but I am still not convinced that this meeting was solely about building a relationship.

If it is true that it was Joan Laporta that came to meet Garry Cook to talk about something like 'building a relationship' then I would be surprised. Laporta is Barcelona's president and from a documentary I watched about the running of Barca a few years ago I know he is the main man there. I am not convinced that he would come to England the day before his club play in the Champions league to talk about something that could be considered unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

As well as being the driving force behind Barca Laporta has his own law firm to run, a family to look after and then on top of that he has things like death threats to worry about, something that he regularly receives from Barca hooligans that he stopped from going to the Nou Camp. So when I take all that into account I am convinced that he was here to talk about much bigger business.

I am hoping that the meeting was to talk about the transfer of Eto'o, he is one of the best strikers in the world and would surely be a great addition to our squad.

What do you think would Eto'o be a good signing?

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Everton 1 - 2 Man City (Robinho 35' Ireland 54', Gosling 90')

If you watched us today you would never have guessed that we have struggled away from home this season, we played well today and beat a very good Everton team.

City's first goal came when a superb pass by Elano was picked up by Robinho who then put the ball through Tim Howard's legs and into the back of the net. We made it two nil when goal scorer turned provider, Robinho putting Ireland through to slot the ball home. Dan Gosling pulled one back for Everton late on but it wasn't enough and City won the game.

We had a fantastic win today and proved a lot of people wrong, almost everyone had us down to lose. There is certain people that will get picked out from our win today particularly Robinho and Elano who were both fantastic, I wanted to praise our whole team though. I think as a team we were much better today, we kept our shape, we held the ball, we worked hard and we didn't give up.

I don't want to make it sound like we were better than we were today, but there was never really a point in the game where I was worried about Everton scoring. When Everton had possession today our team seemed very comfortable in letting them have it, City gave you the feeling that they were in total control and it was probably the least nervous I have been whilst watching City all season.

Now I have to mention Robinho and Elano, these two players are different class when on form, today they were both big reasons why we won the game. Robinho was playing with confidence and had the Everton defence rattled, any time he was near the ball he would pull at least two Everton players towards him, his goal and assist were well deserved. As for Elano he seems to be getting his act together, he hasn't been close to the Elano that we seen give us dazzling performances last season, but that looks like it might be changing. A hard working display was topped off by a wonderful ball to send Robinho on his way to scoring a goal.

I also have to give credit to two other people from today's game. First of all I have to say Mark Hughes got everything right today, his tactics were spot on and I think by asking Elano to drop back and cover the right back position after Richards went off injured showed that he isn't afraid to make bold decisions. Another man from today's game who deserves some praise is Wayne Bridge. If you read my blog regularly you will know that I am not a fan of his because of how poor he has been, but I am not one to get on someones back for the sake of it and I have to say that he played very well today. His defending was much much better and going forward he is getting more confident as games go by, he also made a couple of important interceptions today and was for the first time an asset to our team, I hope it continues.

Lets hope that we can keep up the good form and maybe just maybe we will snatch 7Th place.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Everton vs Man City - Sat 25Th Apr 15:00pm

City face the tough task of going to Goodison Park this weekend and in an ideal world need to come away from the game with at least a point.

With us still chasing 7Th place Goodison Park is not a preferred destination at the moment. Everton are certainly in the running for the best team I have seen come to Eastlands this season, so for City to come away from Goodison Park with a result will be difficult.

If you have watched Everton this season then you will know that they are a very very good team and if we are to get anything from the game I think we will have to focus on work rate. Everton work very hard and we will have to at the very least match them in that department, if we don't then as far as I'm concerned it is certain defeat.

We will also need someone to stand up and lead us and organise us against Everton. I think a big reason for our poor defending lately is that there is nobody constantly organising the team, Dunney should be the man leading by example but he just doesn't do it. At the same time though good teams are built on teams of people who want to take control, so it would be nice to see a few other members of our team open their mouths.

Ever the optimist, I do believe if we put the work in that we can get at least a draw from this game. I know that all season we have all been saying City have the quality to win these kind of games and it might be getting boring to hear, but it is true. I don't think it would be wise to underestimate what we are capable of, when we attack in full flow there is not many better than us in the league. I think if we can find that balance between hard work and good attacking football tomorrow, then we could come away from Goodison Park happy enough.

City team news:
Bellamy (knee), Wright-Phillips (ankle) and Zabaleta (hamstring) are all definitely out of the game. Nigel De Jong hasn't trained all week due to a thigh injury and a decision on whether he is fit enough to play will be made on the day of the game. Bojinov is expected to return to the squad after playing for the reserves in midweek, Micheal Johnson is also in contention after he also played for the reserves in midweek.

Everton team news:
Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka and Marouane Fellaini all look set to return to the starting line up after being rested in midweek. James Vaughan and Louis Saha are both in contention to start up front for Everton, with Jo not being allowed to play against his parent club.

Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, De Jong, Kompany, Ireland, Elano, Robinho, Caicedo.

Possible Everton line up:
Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Fellaini, Pienaar, Cahill, Vaughan.

My prediction: Everton 0 - 0 Man City

Worth a bet:
The game finishes a 0 - 0 draw, a 1 - 0 City win is also well worth a bet at 9/1.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Martin joins Burton Albion on loan

It has been confirmed today that City reserve team goalkeeper Richard Martin will join Burton Albion on loan.

Burton have been hit by injury to Kevin Poole and have turned to Martin to help ease their problems. Richard will join up with Burton on emergency loan until the end of the season.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Man City 4 - 2 West Brom (Robinho 8' Onuoha 21' Elano 56'(pen) Sturridge 90', Brunt 37',54')

With the Sun beating down on Eastlands City thought they would make us sweat a bit more, they set about winning the game the hard way.

We started off ok today nothing spectacular but we were playing good enough, after taking the lead through a Robinho volley and then an Onuoha header in the first 21 minutes we began to take it easy. The team were very laid back and didn't seem to have anything to worry about but as soon as the game went to 2 - 1 the team totally fell apart, we lost our shape and West Brom were taking advantage of us. Not long into the second half West Brom scored again to level things up and they probably deserved it as well, luckily Elano managed to win a penalty and then went on to score it to make it 3 - 2. The game was finished off by a Daniel Sturridge goal in the closing stages.

The score line from today's game will look good on paper but City scoring four goals is not a fair reflection on how we or West Brom played. We were treating the game like a training session after we went 2 up but as soon as West Brom got a goal back we were at panic stations, I understand that they might have been worried about a good attacking West Brom team getting an equaliser, but for professionals to fall apart the way they did was pathetic.

I knew West Brom could give us problems after seeing them in other games, they were very well set up and strong in midfield, its hard to see why they haven't picked up more points. Of course we made them look slightly better than they are today, we left ourselves wide open on the flanks and they were constantly exploiting us, why it wasn't changed to stop it happening is beyond me.

Our defence has been a big problem for us lately Bridge and dare I say it Dunne have been shocking, they are both players with quality but for some reason they are not showing us what they are made of. Where there is bad we have good as well, Nedum Onuoha is an absolute star for us at the moment. He is such a calming influence at the back and if he wasn't playing we would be in big trouble, surely his form will be rewarded with a senior England call up very soon.

I will try to look on the bright side of a bad performance, we got three points, the threat of relegation has surely gone, there is still a possibility of qualifying for Europe and Robinho scored his first goal of 2009.

Just a quick mention about the atmosphere today, where did it go?

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Man City vs West Brom - Sun 19Th Apr 15:00 pm

Next to visit Eastlands is West Brom, although its unlikely they will escape relegation I am sure they will keep fighting to the end and will pose a threat to us tomorrow. If City don't win we could find ourselves in our own relegation battle.

This is quite a big game for us tomorrow, if we don't win we are going to have the threat of relegation hanging over us, never mind the fact that we will have no chance of making Europe. Honestly though I can't see us doing anything but winning, West Brom are not a terribly bad team but I think we are so so much better than them, if we don't win then it could really make our owners have a serious think about what action they will take come the end of the season.

Hughes has been blaming poor performances on fatigue lately and quite frankly the team wasn't playing well enough to be feeling tired, saying that after all the effort they put in against Hamburg it is a big possibility they might be feeling some strain now. I hope that is not the case though because we really need to stay in good form and make a really big push going into the last few games of the season, especially considering our hopes of 7Th place are seriously hanging by a thread.

It is going to be slightly interesting to see what team Hughes puts out tomorrow, I think we would all like to see two up front but I doubt Hughes will do that. It is beyond me why he won't play two up front but he seems to like having only one up top. If he is relying on Caicedo to be a target man that is not going to happen, he likes the ball at his feet and because Hughes uses him the way he does, Caicedo is receiving some undeserved flack from the fans. One player we are surely going to see tomorrow is Elano, he was different class against Hamburg and must have earned himself a second consecutive start, if he doesn't start the game that would be another strange decision. Someone I am hoping not to see play is Wayne Bridge he just isn't good enough, I didn't point it out on my post match after the Hamburg game because it would have been unfair, but what was he doing for their goal. As well as his obvious lack of ability he doesn't look interested most of the time and I think he should be dropped.

Instead of letting them gather dust why not bring the flags and bananas back to Eastlands tomorrow and try to make the atmosphere we created against Hamburg a regular thing.

City team news:
Bellamy is expected to miss out with a knee injury. Wright-Phillips may return from an ankle injury and De Jong and Bojinov should return to the squad after being ineligible for the Uefa Cup. Zabaleta may miss out after picking up a knock against Hamburg, Kompany may be rested after playing through injury on Thursday.

West Brom team news:
Shelton Martis is out with a groin injury but Gianni Zuiverloon seems to have recovered from a minor injury. Roman Bednar is hoping that he has shaken off a hamstring injury in time to make the squad.

Possible Man City line up:
Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, De Jong, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Elano, Robinho, Caicedo.

Possible West Brom line up:
Carson, Zuiverloon, Meite, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Dorrans, Brunt, Fortune.

My prediction: Man City 3 - 0 West Brom.

Worth a bet: Elano and Robinho score in a 3 - 0 City win.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Can it not be like that every week?

The team and the crowd were absolutely exemplary against Hamburg, so why can't it be like that all the time?

I know the game against Hamburg was particularly important but surely we hold every game that City have in just as high regard, I know I do. The atmosphere was amazing against Hamburg, the City fans really showed the rest of the world why we are the best when it comes to supporting a football team. It was also very enjoyable, bananas, flags, scarfs it was great. So take into account that it was enjoyable and made us stand out as fans let alone help our team perform, why can't every home game be the same? We could turn Eastlands into a fortress every week, also to be the only team in England to have such an overwhelming atmosphere would be great and a lot of fun in the process.

The main and most important thing that the atmosphere helped to do was make our team play to their maximum, we gave our best and they returned the favour. Taking all those points into account are we as City fans willing to commit ourselves to the team like that every week?, I know I'm in.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Man City 2 - 1 Hamburger SV (Guerrero 12', Elano 17'(pen) Caicedo 50' Dunne s/o 75') (Hamburg win 4 - 3 on agg)

Its over, our dream of lifting the Uefa Cup has gone, it just was not meant to be for us.

There is some negatives that I could highlight from tonight's performance but I am not prepared to do that, it would be majorly unfair not to give our team anything but the praise that they deserve.

I am not going to say a lot, I am gutted about the result but I am not close to being as gutted as I thought I would be, because of the way we played. We have given the team and the manager some flack lately, well tonight they all deserve praise. We were absolutely fantastic tonight, every single player gave their all and wore our shirt with pride, I am an extremely proud Manchester City fan and any other City fan should be proud of them as well.

It just wasn't meant to be for us tonight, we had numerous chances to score goals including shots that hit the bar and post. You also have to give some credit to Hamburg, they are a very good team and made it hard for us over both legs of the tie.

I hope every single City fan has their head held high, they did us proud tonight and could not have gave us anymore than they did. If we play the rest of the league season like we played tonight we may still have European football to look forward to next season and if we don't have European football next season, we will just have to win the league instead. CTID!

Are we ready!

There is still hours until kick off, but already I am preparing myself, my shirt is sitting along side my scarf and my head is going wild with thoughts.

I don't know what to expect tonight but I think apart from winning two nil of course, I just want to see the team give us 100%. If I have to sit and watch a lacklustre don't care performance, I think I will be angrier than I have ever been in my life. Lets hope that is not the case.

To go back to my headline, are we ready for tonight? There is many things we need to be prepared for tonight, most importantly we need to be ready to give everything we have in way of support to help the team give us everything they have. We also have to be ready for defeat, if we go out of the competition it is going to deeply hurt us. On the flip side if we win, which we are more than capable of, we need to be ready for overwhelming joy and maybe the odd heart attack. As for our team and Manager they will have to be ready to, because if they lie down and accept defeat tonight, there is going to be a huge amount of calls for heads to roll.

Finally, I believe we can win tonight and I am not just saying that as a City fan. I think we have enough quality to score two goals, it just depends if the quality shines through.

It makes me feel better getting a few of those things off my chest, I am sure that there is other City fans like myself with many things going through their head, please do let me know how you feel about the game tonight, I am sure it will make you feel a bit better as well.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Man City vs Hamburger SV - Thurs 16Th Apr 19:45 pm

A European Cup quarter final at the home of Manchester City, doesn't sound to shabby when you say it like that. What would sound even better in a sentence is Man City and European Cup semi final, can we do it, lets hope so.

This game today is going to be a real sign of our squads mentality, win or lose. If eleven players go on that pitch and fight and then fight even more for us I will go away form Eastlands satisfied, if they don't give their all there is something wrong.

This is such a tough game to turn around and although it is very possible to score two goals I don't want to get my hopes up, all week I have been telling myself to just enjoy watching City in a quarter final what ever happens. I am finding it hard to convince myself that I am bothered about enjoying it though, really all I am bothered about is City winning.

So, one of the big and simple questions is, can we win the game two nil, the answer for me is, yes we can! The other question is if we do win, can we win two nil? We will have to wait and see. We all know that we could very easily score two goals at home, what we don't know is if the team will try hard enough to score two goals.

There is some huge weight on the shoulders of every one of the team and coaching staff today, as you can imagine, but I think we as fans have to take some of that weight on our shoulders. We can play a major part in the fight for some pride today, if nothing more. It is a must that we are singing, waving bananas, flags and scarfs for 90 minutes, our team needs to know we are behind them and that our disappointment with them is fuelled by our love and passion for them.

City team news:
We are badly struggling with injuries and look set to be without a number of key players. Wright-Phillips(ankle), Kompany(hamstring), Bridge(hamstring) and Zabaleta(groin) are all facing a race against time to be fit. Bellamy is certain to miss out with a knee injury. Bojinov and De Jong are ineligible.

Hamburg team news:
The visitors also have a number of injuries.
Bastian Reinhardt, Thimothee Atouba, Romeo Castelen, Maxim Choupo-Moting, Guy Demel and Collin Benjamin are all set to miss out with injury. The decision on whether Alex Silva is fit enough make the Hamburg team is yet to be decided. David Jarolim returns to the team after being suspended for their last league game.

Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Garrido, Zabaleta, Ireland, Elano, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Sturridge.

Possible Hamburg line up: Rost, Mathijsen, Gravgaard, Jansen, Jarolim, Tavares, Boateng, Pitroipa, Aogo, Olic, Guerrero.

My prediction: Man City 2 - 0 Hamburg

Worth a bet: City win 2 - 0

^^ ^I know, but I want to be and have to be as positive as possible.

We must all still believe, come on you blues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Only a young player of the year nomination?

Stephen Ireland's fine season has seen him rewarded with a nomination for the PFA young player of the year award, did he deserve more though?

Stephen Ireland has been brilliant for us this season and being nominated for young player of the year is great, but I think that maybe he should have been nominated for the full PFA player of the year award.

When I look at the list of nominees for PFA player of the year, I can't help but think that there is at least one player on there because of who he plays for, so did Ireland unfairly miss out or does a young player of the year nomination reflect a good return for the way he has performed this season? Have a look at the nominees for both awards and let me know what you think.

PFA young player of the year contenders:
Gabriel Agbonlahor - Aston Villa
Jonny Evans - Manchester United
Stephen Ireland - Manchester City
Aaron Lennon - Tottenham Hotspur
Rafael - Manchester United
Ashley Young - Aston Villa

PFA player of the year contenders:
Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United
Steven Gerrard - Liverpool
Ryan Giggs - Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United
Edwin van der Sar - Manchester United
Nemanja Vidic - Manchester United

Call me biased but I think Stephen Ireland easily wins the young player of the year award, I will back Gerrard for the full player of the year award.

Monday, 13 April 2009


Man City 1 - 3 Fulham ( Ireland 28', Dempsey 50', 83', Etuhu 59')

First of all I am sorry that my post match is later than normal, but yesterday I was so angry that there would have been a big possibility that I may have said some bad things in temper.

We started yesterdays game very flat and to quote a favoured word of Hughes we didn't look one bit dynamic enough. When we went ahead, although we were not playing very well we were comfortable enough. Thankfully we went into the break leading, now I can only guess that Hughes's halftime team talk consisted of him telling our players Fulham were going to come and play at us and try to get a goal, I then think he must of followed that up by telling our players to let them do that, because that is what happened.

Fulham are a good team that's for sure, but getting beaten and letting yourself get beaten are two different things. Our team didn't look like they were bothered if they win or lose, we keep hearing all the right things being said after a poor performance but we never see any action taken to rectify these things and now it is starting to wear thin.

Yesterday's game has turned a lot of fans against Hughes and I think it is more than deserved at the moment. He does something good and then cancels it out by doing something stupid, for example yesterday I was quite pleased to see Kelvin Etuhu starting, he was rubbish but I am a big believer in replacing players like for like, I hate to see us plug gaps by playing people out of position, something we like to do a lot. He then follows that up with a poor decision, only playing one up front at home all the time is not acceptable, you just can not play that negative all the time and that was one major difference between us and Fulham, they had two strikers constantly troubling our defence.

I still feel Hughes can be the man to build a good strong squad but he needs to stop these stupid things he does. Dropping Robinho did not come off for him yesterday, I think a lot of people realised what he does do for our team, because we missed him. There was nobody dropping off and picking the ball up, something that Robinho does regularly, he also brings invention and movement, he is even adding work rate to his game lately. I think that because he hasn't scored for a while that we were getting distracted away from his other qualities.

To finish off I want to talk about Garrido, Garrido has looked dodgy in his last few appearances lately and I have said it is because he just needed to get back into the swing of things, that seems to have been the case going off yesterdays performance. I thought he was really good and is clearly a better left back than Wayne Bridge, his defending is better, he reads the game better, he is better going forward and he is quicker. Garrido should never have been dropped in the first place for Bridge he was just coming in to his own when Hughes decided to replace him, I hope he carries on playing well and keeps Wayne Bridge out of the team because I don't think Bridge is good enough.

Lets look forward to the Hamburg game now, maybe we have got our recent run of bad performances out of the way and we will stuff Hamburg, well we can all dream can't we?

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Man City vs Fulham - Sun 12Th Apr 16:10pm

Our second big game in the space of a week sees us entertain Fulham at Eastlands, if we are to make a push for 7Th place this game is a must win.

We go into this game with two possibilities of making the Europa league next season, if we are to keep the option of qualification through the league open, this is surely a must win.

This game for me is an absolute must win, if we don't win it I think we should wave bye bye to the possibility of playing in Europe next season, via the league at least. I know we have a lot of injuries at the moment but we come up against a Fulham team that is as bad as us away from home, having won one away game all season.

This will be a tough game for us I have watched Fulham enough to know that they are a good side, if we take them to lightly we may be sorry. Although it should be a tough game I am not worried to much and think we should be able to beat Fulham, we all know how good we are at home and I really expect that theme to carry on today.

I have no proper idea what kind of team we will put out against Fulham, but I do know who I don't want to see start the game. Sturridge is definitely someone that doesn't deserve to start after being very poor against Hamburg. He was sloppy and didn't show us any work rate what so ever and for someone asking for a massive contract that isn't good enough, I am hoping to see Bojinov start. I would also love to see Petrov start today and well a start might be to much to soon, I hope to see him for at least 45 minutes.

If Petrov does start today it could be one of the most balanced midfield's we have fielded all season, providing injuries don't get in the way. We could possibly see us start with two wingers in Petrov and SWP, a creative mid in Ireland and then De Jong as our holding midfielder, sounds good to me and it is also a definite option for Hughes. I do think it would be a perfect line up and it would also be a good way of playing Petrov and Robinho together, by giving Robinho a free role across the front behind the striker and having Petrov on the wing, it could prove effective.

City team news:
Benjani (thigh), Bellamy (knee) and Wayne Bridge (hamstring) are all likely to miss out, although Bridge is still in with a slight chance of playing. Shaun Wright-Phillips is carrying an ankle injury and Vincent Kompany is carrying a hamstring injury, a decision on the fitness of both players will be made on the day of the game. De Jong returns to the squad after being ineligible for the Uefa Cup and Martin Petrov is back in the squad for a league game for the first time in a while, after a long lay off with injury.

Fulham team news:
Both Zoltan Gera (foot) and Toni Kallio (virus) have not trained all week but Roy Hodgson expects them to both be fit for the game at Eastlands.

Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Petrov, De Jong, Ireland, Robinho, Bojinov.

Possible Fulham line up:
Schwarzer, Hughes, Hangeland, Pantsil, Konchesky, Murphy, Davies, Etuhu, Johnson, Zamora, Dempsey.

My prediction: Man City 2 - 0 Fulham.

Worth a bet: Robinho scores in a 2 - 0 City win.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Hamburger SV 3 - 1 Man City (Ireland 1', Mathijsen 9', Trochowski 64'pen, Guerrero 79')

It started off so well, our name was already being etched onto the Cup and then it all crumbles, the team, the result and our dreams.

Could you have asked for a better start, Ireland puts us one up within the first minute after a great piece of play, the Irish man starting and finishing the move. We allowed Hamburg to equalise from a corner, their second came from the penalty spot, after the ball was played back into the box Micah Richards for some unknown reason came charging out with his hands in the air and Hamburg were awarded the penalty which was put well away into the corner to Given's left. The final goal for the home team was scored from close range, Guerrero left all alone at the back post to shin the ball in.

Where do I start, it all started so well, Hughes had put a team out with two strikers and then we scored in the first minute, it was the kind of stuff I normally dream of. I was soon woke up after Hamburg equalised, then once the game settled down and I realised that Wright-Phillips was playing centre mid and Bellamy was playing on the wings, add to that our defence being rubbish and us giving Hamburg corner after corner, I thought I was asleep again but not dreaming, It was like having a nightmare.

We did alright in the first half in the midfield and going forward but our defence looked shaky, in the second half things got worse, our defence was all over the place and there was no attacking threat. I have no clue why he didn't play people in the positions where they are most effective, Bellamy would have been a lot more effective had he been playing down the middle, same goes for SWP had he been playing down the right wing.

I think in the end we were out played by a better team, but for the most part we let them be the better team and let them outplay us. The second leg at Eastlands is important and do I think we can still go through, well I have never felt so heartbroken after a City game in my life as I do right now, so my emotions are all over the place, so honestly can we still go through, I'm not sure.

We just have to dust ourselves down now ready for the six pointer with Fulham at the weekend.

Feeling nervous?, need inspiration?, then read this!

In my article on Tuesday named Anybody else feeling nervous about Hamburg game? one of my many valued readers left a comment and part of it really settled the nervous feelings I was beginning to have about the up and coming Hamburg game. So with the Hamburg game a matter of hours away your nerves might be creeping in, read this quote particularly the second half of it, it makes you remember what it means to be a City fan and any anxiety you may have turns into optimism.

''Years of gut wrenching, heart stopping, right to the wire cliff hangers have made us all the same, but I love being a City fan and I love our club for all those good and bad times. The best thing is that whatever happens when we get knocked down we get right back up again, and if football ever does die City fans will be standing in the rubble ready to rebuild it.''

Thanks to a very valued reader of my blog Ian Conway for that inspirational comment, it settled my nerves down quite a lot. I hope it can do the same for any other City fans that are starting to feel the tension in the last couple of hours leading up to the biggest game in recent times for City.

Come on you Blues!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hamburger SV vs Man City - Thurs 9Th Apr 19:45 pm

So here it is, the biggest game in the recent history of Manchester City Football Club. I am nervous and fearful that Hamburg could put the tie to bed tonight, but I am a City fan so bring it on.

First of all to be writing a City preview for the quarter final of European competition is great, the only bad thing about it is that I am getting more anxious by the minute.

I am not going to go into to much detail today about the match tonight because I don't think things like our formation or line up matter to much in this game. At this stage of a European competition away from home, it is mainly basics that matter. We know we are struggling with injuries so we must do the simple things well, if we work ourselves into the ground, pass well and defend well, we should hopefully still be able to go into the second leg able to win the tie.

If there was ever a game that we need every player to stand up and be counted in, it is this one. If we were to get beaten tonight it will take me a good few days to get over it, but if every player gives us their all it will make it easier. There is no reason why they shouldn't give their all and when you think about it if they do we are more than capable of winning, but it is City we are talking about so you never know what will happen.

City team news:
Kompany is out of the game with a hamstring injury and De Jong and Bojinov are ineligible. Stephen Ireland and Wayne Bridge are both in Germany but are still doubtful due to injury. A bit of good news is that Martin Petrov may play some part in the game. If Elano, Richards or Zabaleta were to be booked tonight they would miss the return leg due to suspension.

Hamburg team news:
Hamburg will be without Bastian Reinhardt, Thimothee Atouba, Romeo Castelen, Maxim Choupo-Moting, Guy Demel and Alex Silva who all miss out with injury. Paolo Guerrero and Collin Benjamin could play after being out injured, both returned to training this week.

Possible/hopeful Man City line up:
Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, Ireland, Elano, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Bellamy.

Possible Hamburg line up:
Rost, Mathijsen, Gravgaard, Jansen, Jarolim, Tavares, Benjamin, Pitroipa, Aogo, Olic, Guerrero.

My prediction: Hamburg 1 - 2 Man City

Worth a bet: Wright-Phillips and Robinho score in a 1 - 2 City win.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Anybody else feeling nervous about Hamburg game?

So I was sitting there earlier watching shameless and I couldn't concentrate, thinking about the game against Hamburg is only thing occupying my thoughts.

I get nervous over every game that City are involved in but this game against Hamburg seems to have sent me to a new level of anxiety. It is such an important game and apart from the division two play off final, it is the biggest game City have had in my lifetime.

There is a lot of ifs, buts and maybes going through my head about the possible outcome of the game, when the thought came in to my head that we could be beaten out of sight away to Hamburg, it was an unbearable thought.

It is clear that Hamburg are a very good side and one major sign that they have a great team spirit is that they have lost Kompany, De Jong and van der Vaart, yet they are still having a great season. Hamburg are also very confident and don't seemed to be at all worried about facing City, it looks like the pressure is more so on us.

Although I am very nervous I do think that we are capable of coming home from Germany with a good result. I know a lot of City fans that really don't give our squad enough credit sometimes, I know that we are very inconsistent but when we turn up, we are a very good team.

Maybe the hope I have that we can go through this tie is due to me having my City tinted glasses on, I just hate the thought of us losing and going out after we have made it this far. Perhaps we will go all the way, perhaps we won't, we will soon find out and either way I think we can be proud of how far we have already come in this competition.

I'm glad I have got that off my chest, I just wanted to share my thoughts and hear the feelings of fellow City fans on what is surely our biggest game for sometime.

Petrov returns!!!!!!

Mark Hughes has confirmed that Martin Petrov is travelling with the squad for the game against Hamburg.

Hughes said...........

''The plan was to give him 45 minutes'' - reference to reserve game -

"He came through that and looked impressive.''

"You forget what quality he can produce, and he looked in good nick.''

"He was blowing a bit, which is fairly obvious given how long he has been out. But he is an option for us.''

This is fantastic news, I hope he isn't being rushed and I am sure he probably isn't, I am so glad he is back. We have more than missed him this season and with his quality returning to the team we have a better chance of reaching 7Th place in the league and progressing in Europe. I also think if Petrov and Robinho play in the same team it could benefit Robinho, having a player like Petrov dominating the left wing with his direct play will mean that defenders will be dragged towards him. With two players of such vast quality playing down one side, there is no way that any defence will be able to mark both of them out of a game.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Finally Robinho is cleared!

Today the West Yorkshire Police have finally confirmed that Robinho will not face any charges after being accused of a serious sexual assault.

The West Yorkshire Police made this statement.....

''Following a report of a serious sexual assault that occurred at a nightclub in Leeds on January 14, 2009, the matter was investigated and the man was arrested and released on police bail.''

''A file was submitted to the CPS, who decided that no further action should be taken."

Robinho's adviser Chris Nathaniel has also commented on the outcome............

"I am pleased to announce that Robson de Souza has been cleared of all allegations of rape.''

"He has maintained his innocence throughout the police interview process and I am delighted that all charges have been dropped.''

"Robinho is a hard-working family man, who is extremely passionate about football. He now wishes to focus his attention on Manchester City to help create a successful end to the season. ''

"Robinho will be making an official statement at a later date. In the meantime, he wants to pass on his sincere thanks to all his family, friends, fans and Manchester City colleagues who have supported him through this terrible ordeal."

It is about time the burden of these stupid allegations have been lifted off Robinho's and our Club's shoulders. It was becoming increasingly obvious that Robinho had not committed rape, any evidence would have been found within days. I am so glad that this is over now, it is very annoying to me when our club has to worry about non footballing matters.

I now look forward to hearing what Robinho has to say on the matter, once he does release his statement that should be the end of it and he can concentrate on his football.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Arsenal 2 - 0 Man City ( Adebayor 8', 49')

So an away game and an away defeat, I think we are used to it now, aren't we?

Today's game looked more or less over after Adebayor scored in the 8Th minute, on Grand National day City just didn't look like they were at the races.

Where do I start, the summary of this performance is the same as after any other away game, poor. We approached the game really negatively and didn't look up for the game from the first whistle.

Arsenal's first goal came when a free kick was delivered into our box, our defence left Adebayor all alone to head home. Arsenal's second goal was also poor defending on our behalf, Adebayor again being allowed way to much space before putting the ball in the back of the net.

I have to start by questioning Hughes I think. First of all why on earth did Wayne Bridge and Vincent Kompany start the game? They couldn't have been fit, Bridge on only lasted 17 minutes and Kompany only lasted 38 minutes. Not only that but when he had to make the changes, I felt he made the wrong ones. Gelson Fernandes was brought on for Bridge and although he had one of his more composed games, I thought that considering the game was flat and we weren't creating anything, Elano should have come on for Bridge. Kompany then makes way and Elano is finally put on the field, I felt if Elano had previously been brought on that we could have put a striker on for Kompany. It was all to negative for my liking, Hughes had been talking about our attacking threat this week yet he doesn't make us play attacking football away from home,why isn't he just sending us out to do what we do best, which is counter attacking football.

We looked tired today and maybe the International break took its toll a little but not enough to make them play with no passion. I think the trend in our squad seems to be if one player is playing bad another one takes it easy and so on, they can't all be having a bad day on the same day every away day, can they? - That was not supposed to be a Cat in the Hat inspired piece -

Of all the quality we have in our squad there is one player in our team that has really been bugging me lately and that is Shaun Wright-Phillips, he is so frustrating. He has bags and bags full of ability but he just isn't churning out these exciting attacking performances that we know he is capable of. When I watch him I see the Shaun Wright-Phillips that played for Chelsea creeping in a lot of the time, he gets the ball and moves it on instead of doing what he does best. I'm not getting on his back I just want the real SWP to come out of his shell, which will mean getting rid of the style he has picked up at Chelsea.

I thought a good thing to take from today's game was Robinho's performance, he didn't do anything spectacular but his commitment could not be questioned today. He tried his best to get back and help out and was making tackles at every opportunity, he was obviously determined to prove people wrong. Honestly it was quite pleasing to see and it was a really encouraging sign, I just hope he keeps stepping it up each week from now on.

All in all I think Hughes approached the game in the wrong way today and chose the wrong personnel, I hope that we can get our heads up in time for the Hamburg game and that Kompany and Bridge are not to badly injured so that they can play against the Germans.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Arsenal vs Man City - Sat 4Th Apr 15:00 pm

After an International break the Premier League is back with a bang for City, with a tough game away to Arsenal up next for the blues.

I am hoping that we will go to Arsenal with the belief that we can win. It will be difficult to get a win though, Arsenal are unbeaten in 16 league games. The last time they were beaten though was when City gave them a masterclass at Eastlands, I am hoping we might have some sort of psychological edge over them.

This could be a really interesting game today, both teams like to play attacking football. I hope we sit back and wait for them to come at us, kind of like we set out to do against Aalborg away, this time I just hope we don't end up sitting far to deep. I think with the defencive capabilities in our midfield we should have enough to shut Arsenal's attack down, then with our attacking quality we will hopefully be able to counter attack.

I am not sure what team Hughes will pick tomorrow, if Bellamy is injured I would love to see Hughes play all three of our defensive midfielders with SWP, Ireland and then Robinho as a lone front man. That is quite a strange team to pick but I feel it could work and would love to see how Robinho handles the burden of playing down the middle on his own, maybe it is time to see if he can really stand up and be counted. I also think with Kompany, Zabaleta and De Jong in our midfield that we wouldn't have to worry about Arsenal's midfield to much, then with Ireland, Robinho and SWP attacking Arsenal's defence which can be calamitous at times, I think that we could break them down.

City team news:
Bellamy is likely to miss out after aggravating his knee injury whilst on International duty. Wayne Bridge should be fit after being out with a hamstring injury and Robinho should also be available despite picking up a knock while playing for Brazil. Valeri Bojinov picked up a knock when he was training with Bulgaria but should make the squad. Michael Johnson, Martin Petrov and Didi Hamann are all on the comeback trail but will not be ready to face Arsenal. Daniel Sturridge and Benjani are also returning to fitness and whilst they are still doubtful, there is a chance the pair may be available for the game at the Emirates. Update, it has been confirmed this morning that Stephen Ireland is likely to miss the game with an ankle injury.

Arsenal team news:
Robin Van Persie misses out with a groin injury picked up while he was away with Holland, Abou Diaby is struggling with a thigh injury and Eduardo picked up a groin injury on International duty. Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott return after knee injuries, Emmanuel Adebayor is back after a hamstring injury and Mikael Silvestre has recovered from a calf injury. Nicklas Bendtner is a doubt having picked up a knee injury and will face a late decision on his fitness, Samir Nasri has a virus and should miss out and Carlos Vela may be rested after only getting back from International duty late on Friday. Tomas Rosicky is still recovering from long term injury.

Possible Man City line up:
Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, De Jong, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Caicedo.

Possible Arsenal line up:
Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Denilson, Arshavin, Bendtner, Adebayor.

My prediction: Arsenal 0 - 1 Man City

Worth a bet: I have a feeling about our scorer so here goes..... De Jong scores in a 0 -1 City win.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

City sign Loris Karius

According to the players father and his agent, City have signed Germany Under 16 International goalkeeper Loris Karius.

The 15 year old goalkeeper is rated as one of the brightest prospects in Europe and after a lot of interest from clubs all over Europe, particularly the Premier League, City have won the race to sign him.

His agent Klaus Gerster said............

''Loris signed a three-year contract in Manchester last week, We had many offers from England and Germany - 70 percent of Premier League sides wanted Loris.''

''Loris has great talent - if he didn't, there wouldn't have been such massive interest in him - but football is all about performances.''

VfB Stuttgart who the player currently plays for are not happy about him signing with City.

Stuttgart's youth coordinator Thomas Allbeck said.............

''There was an exorbitant amount of money involved,
On the one hand we cannot afford this and we are also unwilling to keep up with this.''

''That amount of money was well out of proportion.

''All the sporting and educational aspects will not matter when a young player has got it made financially in just a few years time.''

Sounds like we have signed a good young player. Although we are wealthy now, he might save us a few quid in the future.