Sunday, 29 March 2009
The tickets go on sale at 9am in the morning and are still available at £5 for adults and £1 for children.
I imagine that you can count on your hands how many tickets are left and would suggest the best thing to do is get your tent out and get to the ground hours before the ticket office opens. You can of course phone up or go online to buy a ticket, I think the safest bet is to get down to the ticket office and be first in the queue.
If you can't get to the ticket office and want to try your luck on the phone then you will need to ring this number 0870 062 1894 and select option one. If you want to try getting a ticket via the online ticket office then you can click this link www.mcfc.co.uk/tickets.
If you haven't got a ticket yet and are going to try and get one, good luck.
Friday, 27 March 2009
Maybe I'm reading into it to much but some things that Garry Cook and Jon Stemp had to say made me think that this is possibly the start of us being able to boost our stadiums capacity.
Garry Cook said.......
''Our review into our facilities and our planning for the future of the stadium, led us to taking this step and Sheikh Mansour has fully backed us in this decision.''
''By relocating our staff into fit for purpose offices, not only do we give ourselves the opportunity to enhance the supporter experience inside the stadium but we can also give our staff at the ground a working environment they can be proud of."
Jon Stemp, the chief officer of infrastructure development said........
''City is about more than football, it's about the fans and our community, and we want our stadium to reflect that.''
''Expectations have moved on since the stadium opened in 2003. The ultimate aim is to provide the world's best supporter experience inside the ground. We need to decide what the supporters need and then make it happen.''
''The first step in that process was to release the space we will need to improve the City of Manchester Stadium for the community in partnership with Manchester City Council.''
Well it is clear that they are moving the staff that currently work inside the stadium to free up space, they don't actually say what they are making room for. I think to carry out all this work must mean that they want the space free to boost the stadiums capacity, surely that is the only sensible reason. If they are freeing the space up for something else that will improve the stadium, what could that something else be?
Thursday, 26 March 2009
The transfer window for loan signings closes at 5pm today, Gunnar's loan move to Wrexham probably means that any lingering hopes Kasper Schmeichel might have had about securing his own loan move are now gone.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
I have just got back from buying my Hamburg tickets and I have to say it is the first time in a long time I have had to queue up to purchase cup tickets.
On arrival at the box office today there was a steward telling people that unless they were a season card holder the game is sold out, basically as it is very very likely that every season card holder will buy their seat, the game is a sell out.
I am not sure why they have put tickets on sale in this manner with no structure to who gets tickets and when, but I am guessing there will be some disappointed people.
City have opened the door for people to jump on the bandwagon and get a cheap European Cup quarter final ticket, I really hope that nobody who has been going to the Uefa Cup games regularly misses out on a ticket.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
The 25 year old Fiorentina midfielder could be considered a bit of a journey man having had seven senior clubs in seven years, but after an €8 million transfer to Fiorentina in the summer and a first call up to the Brazil squad in January, the player clearly has talent.
On City's interest he said.................
''I know that Juventus, Arsenal and Manchester City have expressed positive comments about me. I can’t be anything but pleased, but they will deal with my agent. I only think about playing.''
As well as being a City fanatic I am a football fanatic, so I have seen this guy play at least ten times. When I have seen him play he hasn't blown me away, he is a good player but certainly has never looked like a great player. He is obviously getting better as he progresses through his career and has been rewarded with a Brazil call up this year. So if Hughes sees fit to buy this guy I would trust that it would be the right decision, especially considering nearly all of Hughes's buys have been good.
Monday, 23 March 2009
It is obvious that Robinho hasn't been in the same kind of form that he was in at the beginning of the season, but why have some City fans jumped on the back of a man that has given us some really memorable moments this season.
He has done some poor things in recent games most notably the terrible penalty against Sunderland, but in my opinion he is getting way to much flack from some quarters. I am not sure why a lot of City fans have turned on him, maybe they are getting carried away and forgetting how fortunate we have been to see this genuine superstar in a City shirt.
He is obviously lacking in confidence at the moment and I think City fans should get behind him and help him to return to the great form we have previously seen from him this season. What do you think?
It remains to be seen whether SWP will be able to report for International duty after he picked up an injury against Sunderland.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Our current team certainly like to go about things in a dramatic manner, they kept us biting our nails for ninety minutes yet again today. We started off quite well today and it looked like we were going to breeze through the game, it didn't quite pan out like that.
There was a few important flash points today that could have changed the game. There were two big misses today, from two players I said in my pre match need to do better. First Shaun Wright-Phillips missed a glorious chance after going through on goal, then after Micah Richards was brought down by Malbranque in the box, Robinho missed a penalty in horrible fashion. Something that went for us today was Sunderland going down to ten men after fifteen minutes, George McCartney was shown a red for tugging back Shaun Wright-Phillips.
After all the early drama a goal was scored and we could slightly calm our nerves. A rejuvenated Micah Richards headed home from inside the box after Elano whipped in a good free kick. Micah Richards really deserved his goal today, he played fantastic and was probably our best player. He hasn't played to the high standards we have come to expect from him for a lot of this season, but in the last few games it seems like he has got his confidence back and it is proving beneficial to the team.
Along with Richards we had another couple of players that played well today. Nedum Onuoha was great again and is becoming a major part of our team, after seeing some of the rubbish called into the England squad, I am surprised Nedum didn't get a look in considering how good he has been playing. I also thought Nigel De Jong was very good today, he is excellent at breaking up the play in the midfield, isn't scared of a tackle and very very rarely gives the ball away when he is in possession. Last but not least I thought Bojinov put in a good performance up front, his movement is very good, he is strong, he can find a pass, he can shoot and he works very hard. I just hope he can stay fit and continue to impress.
It was another frustrating performance today from City, we weren't particularly bad but we should have cruised through the game, Sunderland were a poor team. Main aim was completed though, an important three points in the bag and hopefully a catalyst to push for that 7Th place.
After City left us all on the edge of our seats in the last game, against Sunderland I think we would all appreciate a nice and simple win. A win against Sunderland today would represent a good three points, we are in a strange position at the moment in the league. If we don't win today we could definitely be looking at getting dragged into a relegation battle, if we do win we will hopefully drag ourselves back into the battle for seventh place.
We will have to be prepared for a tough game today, Sunderland are only three points above the drop zone and will come out fighting. I am not worried about Sunderland to much though, they may show some fighting spirit but they lack in quality, we should be able to absorb any kind of pressure they put on us. We have more than enough quality going forward and against a poor defence I am hoping we can more or less win the game in the first half today. If we can wrap up the game early on it would also mean that we could take some of our senior players off, for what I am sure would be a welcome rest.
I am expecting better performances from a couple of our star players against Sunderland, Robinho and Wright-Phillips have been in erratic form since the beginning of the season. It is becoming rather frustrating especially Robinho, he has so much quality it is untrue, yet he is putting in either average or below average performances. Wright-phillips is a little less frustrating than Robinho, we at least get a few good games before we get a couple of bad ones out of him, but still its not good enough we need our better players to set an example of consistency to the rest of the team.
City team news:
Nigel De Jong should return to the starting eleven after being ineligible for the Uefa Cup, Bellamy may also make a return after being out with a knee injury. City are sweating on the fitness of Vincent Kompany, Stephen Ireland and Wayne Bridge, Kompany has been struggling with a toe injury for the past few weeks, whilst Ireland and Bridge picked up injuries against Aalborg.
Sunderland team news:
Anton Ferdinand and Nyron Nosworthy were back in full training this week and both may make a return to the Sunderland defence. Teemu Tainio is set to miss out with a knee injury, Kieran Richardson is suspended and Tal Ben-Haim is not eligible due to the terms of his loan from City.
Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Garrido, Zabaleta, De Jong, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Bellamy.
Possible Sunderland line up: Gordon, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Leadbitter, Reid, Jones, Cisse.
My prediction: Man City 3 - 0 Sunderland
Worth a bet: Robinho and Wright-Phillips score in a 3 - 0 City win.
Friday, 20 March 2009
Draw in full: Hamburger SV vs Man City, Paris Saint Germain vs Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk vs Olympique de Marseille, Werder Bremen vs Udinese Calcio
The quarter final first leg ties are set to take place on the 9Th of April, with the return leg scheduled for the 16Th of April.
The semi final first leg ties are set to take place on the 30Th of April, with the return leg scheduled for the 7Th of May. The Final is set to take place on the 20Th of May.
We got a tough draw that's for sure, I am not worried though I think when we are on our game we are at the very least as good as the teams we have been drawn against. We are also away in the first legs of the quarter final and the semi final(if we get through), I think that is a good thing because whatever happens in the away leg we will know what we have to do to win the tie by the time the second leg comes around and in that situation home advantage is a big plus.
I would prefer it if Bojinov didn't go playing for his country so soon after coming back from injury, but I am sure he will. I just hope they don't expect to much from him, the last thing we need is for him to aggravate his injury.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
I can't believe what just happened, I am not sure there is any other team in the world that would go about things the way City just have. I can 100% say that there is no other team in the world that puts their fans through such torment, that is for certain.
We started off so well tonight and during the first 20 minutes it looked like we were going to breeze through the game. The game plan seemed to be right, we were sitting back and waiting for them to commit men forward, at the same time we posed a genuine attacking threat. But as the game progressed from the 20 minute mark onwards, we got poorer and poorer.
The whole second half was particularly woeful, we came close to scoring once when Robinho hit the cross bar. I am not sure what Hughes said to the team at half time but nothing got better, things only got worse. We sat so deep it was untrue, because we sat so deep we were more or less begging Aalborg to keep attacking us.
After the dreadful showing by City throughout the game it came down to penalties. Evans, Elano, Wright-Phillips and Dunne all scoring for City to help win the Penalty shootout. Our penalty takers did their job but Shay Given was the main reason we won the shoot out, he kept out penalties from Augustinussen and Shelton to secure our place in the last eight draw.
Although we were poor I did think that Aalborg were fortunate to score two goals against us, for their first goal Luton Shelton clearly controlled the ball with his arm before scoring. I also thought that the penalty they were awarded was harsh because Evans didn't control the ball with his hand, I suppose they can be given or not given depending on the ref.
The most worrying thing about our bad performances is that nothing is introduced to make a positive change when things are going bad. I think Hughes needs to think of a plan b, c and d if he wants us to be successful, at the moment we just don't seem to have any kind of back up plan. If we don't think up some new tactics it is certain that against the better quality teams that are left in the Uefa Cup, we will be punished.
All the same we are in the draw tomorrow and can look forward to another European tie.
In the draw with us are: Shakhtar Donetsk,Olympique de Marseille, Dynamo Kiev, Udinese Calcio, Hamburger SV, Paris Saint-Germain, Werder Bremen.
The draw to find out our next opponents takes place tomorrow, it is scheduled for 12pm and can be viewed on Eurosport or followed interactively on www.uefa.com. I would suggest tuning in early because the Champions league draw is before the Uefa Cup draw, if that finishes ahead of time the Uefa Cup draw may start early.
The first game will see the squad travel to Sandefjord to take on Norway on the 27Th of March, they then come back to England to play France on the 31st of March at the City Ground, Nottingham.
Ex City boss Pearce is using the games as preparation for the under-21 European Championships that take place in Sweden this summer.
The first game from this double header is set to be played on the 28Th of March at the Fenix Stadion, Belgium, with the second game being played on the 1st of April at the Bilino Polje, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
In the first leg of this tie City played really well and stopped Aalborg, a team that has proved themselves to be a good side, from playing their game. I still think we will have to be careful not to be complacent tomorrow, Aalborg will have to come out and play at us and they do have players capable of causing a threat.
At the risk of being over confident, I don't think we have anything to worry about tomorrow night. We were clearly head and shoulders above Aalborg in the first leg and I expect us to be able to hold out at the very least tomorrow, if not win the game. So fingers crossed quarter finals here we come!!!!!!!!
City team news:
Vincent Kompany is in the squad after suffering from a toe injury, but it is still undecided whether he will start or not. Hughes has chose not to rush Craig Bellamy back from injury, so he did not travel with the squad. Nigel De Jong and Valeri Bojinov are ineligible.
Aalborg Bk team news:
Aalborg will have four players missing from their squad when they face City tomorrow night. Dutch defender Steve Olfers, Norweigen defender Kjetil Wæhler and Danish forward Jeppe Curth, all look set to miss out with injury. Danish midfielder Thomas Enevoldsen is suspended for the home team.
Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, Zabaleta, Elano, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Robinho, Caicedo.
Possible Aalborg BK line up: Zaza, Bøgelund, Wæhler, Beauchamp, Jakobsen, Risgård, Augustinussen, Caca, Johansson, Due, Shelton.
My prediction: Aalborg BK 0 - 2 Man City
Worth a bet: Robinho to score in a 2 - 0 win for City.
It was disappointing to watch our lads get beat tonight, but they do have a lot of quality in the squad and I am sure this tie is far from over as far as City are concerned.
The first goal of the game tonight came from Alex Nimely-Tchuimeni. Boyata managed to get the ball to Trippier after some neat defensive work, Trippier then sent a long pass over to Nimely-Tchuimeni who charged into the box and put the ball into the back of the net. Arsenal didn't give up and came back with two goals. Jay Thomas was their first scorer after heading home from a Wilshere corner, Gilles Sunu got the second Arsenal goal when he hit the ball across the goal keeper and in to the bottom corner.
City now face the battle of trying to overturn the result in the second leg at the Emirates on the 22nd of April.
Man City starting eleven:
Clegg, Trippier, Cunningham, Wabara, Boyata, Tutte, Benali, Ibrahim, Mak, Nimely-Tchuimeni, Chantler
Subs: E Johansen, Tse, (Helan on for Chantler 86), (Elabdellaoui on for Nimely-Tchuimeni 75) , (Redshaw on for Mak 86)
Arsenal starting eleven:
Shea, Eastman, Cruise, Frimpong, Bartley, Ayling, Watt, Coquelin, Sunu, Wilshere, Thomas
Subs: Evina, Mann, Deacon, Freeman, Atobe
If you haven't already got your tickets they are on sale at the ground tonight and will cost £5 for adults and £2 for concessions. City are also providing free car parking in the the North car park.
Please make an effort to get down and support the lads tonight, it would be great if we could retain this Trophy and the support really helps the boys performance.
''We’re in a no-lose situation with Jo,” said Hughes. “He needs Premier League football because he’s a young kid.''
''He is doing well now and next season you would expect him to be even better.''
''That was the thinking behind it and there is no deal on the table to sell him to Everton.''
''He understood the reasons why we sent him on loan, and he wanted to play.''
''I think the intensity of the Premier League took him back when he arrived. He was struggling to cope with the physicality of it.''
''Technically he’s got enough, but he has to understand the intensity of the football and withstand the physical challenges a bit better.''
''I think it’s hard for forward and wide players coming to our football from abroad to hit the ground running.''
I personally believe new players should be given time to settle, especially when they are so young. I hope Jô does get the chance to come back so he can try and prove himself to the City faithful.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
As suspected people focused more on what the shirt looked like, rather than something that is on the shirt.
The shirt has Etihad Airways on it as the sponsor, this is not surprising as they have been touted as being our new sponsor for some time now and it looks likely that they could indeed take over from Thomas Cook.
Etihad Airways is a big airline that is based in Abu Dhabi, obviously another opportunity for our owners to advertise where they come from. It is being said however that the deal could be lucrative and maybe even shatter previous sponsorship deals, so whats the problem?
Well the quite big problem is that Etihad when translated into English, amongst other things means United. Now I don't have a problem if our shirts are ugly, to plain, not plain enough and so on, but having United on the front of our shirts whether it's in a different language or not is surely a no no for most if not all City fans.
I would like to think City would not do such a thing, but it is City so you never know. Like I have said previously I will always wear our clubs shirt no matter what, but surely it is not just me who won't like knowing that they are walking around in their City top that has United sprawled across it.
Can we as City fans see past it?, I am not so sure we could.
Stefan Andreasson said..............
''When you look at the market, he is obviously one of the names that keeps coming up, but Kasper is not interested''
For someone to turn down a loan move that is suppose to be desperate for first team football is strange, I wonder if it was Kasper's decision and not the clubs.
Make your own mind up.........
Monday, 16 March 2009
Ched Evans has also been called up to the full Wales squad for up and coming World Cup qualifiers against Finland on the 28Th of March and Germany on the 1st of April.
Schmeichel is reportedly not happy with City's decision....... ''Of course it is disappointing. But I can't say more''
I can only imagine City are reluctant to let Schmeichel go out on loan because they are worried about being short in the Uefa Cup. If Given were to get injured that would leave us without any experienced back up for Joe Hart.
Toshack is hopeful he will be fit though and had this to say........
''We have talked to Craig. The initial fear was that he could be out for several weeks, but it now seems the initial damage was not as bad as first thought.''
''Craig is always very wary when the injury involved his knees. But I believe he is hopeful he will be OK.''
''There is a possibility that they could be involved this weekend for their clubs, but we will just have to wait and see.''
Sunday, 15 March 2009
City were very lacklustre today in their general play and our attacking threat was non existent. The goal we conceded summed up the way we approached the game. Michael Essien was left all alone on the edge of the box, Lampard then found him from a Chelsea free kick and he just simply helped it on to send the ball looping some what fortunately off his shin over Shay Given.
There were a couple of obvious reasons why we didn't get anything from today's game, we 110% missed De Jong and Kompany after clearly losing the midfield battle and the other thing, Chelsea were simply more competent when they were on the ball than we were. It still doesn't excuse our sloppy passing and lack of fight, we didn't look like we wanted to win the game and we looked scared of Chelsea.
I am not sure what the problem is when we go away, but there is hardly ever a hint of the attacking game on show that we play so well when at home. A lot of our players seem to go hiding and do not play to their strengths, as well as that our creative players are getting no service what so ever. So how we are ever going to win away from home playing like that I do not know.
I wasn't impressed with what Hughes had to say again after today's game either, he seem to just be looking for excuses. He analysed why we were poor quite well, but then he went on to say that we looked a bit leggy and that Chelsea had more time to prepare than we did, poor excuses and poor reasons for another away performance in which most of the players didn't look interested.
There was some good points I want take from today's game:
. Our defence was good again, although they were a little more unorthodox at times today than they have been, overall they were good and did well not to concede any more goals.
. Elano looked like himself more than ever and was continuously looking for the ball so he could try and make things happen, why he was taken off is beyond me.
. Bojinov came through another 10+ minutes of play since coming back from a long term injury, I think he should start in our next league game as he is clearly our best striking option.
. We got battered at Stamford Bridge last season, so getting beat 1 - 0 and only because we fell asleep has to be progression.
Next up for City is Aalborg in the Uefa Cup, where hopefully we will all be able to come away from an away game feeling extremely happy, for a change.
Saturday, 14 March 2009
This game is going to be a massive test for City and we will have to be on our best form if we are to take anything from the game. Chelsea are unbeaten since Guus Hiddink took over, if you mix that with their progression in the Champions League and return to form of key players namely Drogba, they are going to be brimming with confidence.
Regardless of how good Chelsea are though, I still think we can prove more than a worthy match for them. We too should have a lot of confidence in the camp, after good results against Villa and then Aalborg. It just depends which City side turns up, if the City side that has shown us how good they are go to Stamford Bridge, then Chelsea might get a bit of a surprise.
I hope City stay calm tomorrow and make Chelsea come out and play at them. I think if we do that and keep are shape we can deal with their attacking pressure, then we can hopefully do what we do best and counter attack them. Chelsea have a good defence but when City are attacking in full flow we can be unstoppable.
City team news:
Craig Bellamy misses out with a knee injury. Our midfield duo also look certain to miss out, De Jong is suffering with a knee injury and Kompany doesn't look to have been able to shake off his toe injury. Valeri Bojinov comes back into contention after being ineligible for the Uefa Cup game in midweek.
Chelsea team news:
Michael Essien may be rested after only just returning from injury, it also looks like it will be to soon to give Ricardo Carvalho a starting birth after he too has only just returned form injury. Salomon Kalou is pushing for a return to the starting eleven.
Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, Elano, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Caicedo.
Possible Chelsea line up: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Alex, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Ballack, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka.
My prediction: Chelsea 1 - 2 City
Worth a bet: Wright-Phillips first goal in a 2 - 1 City win
Friday, 13 March 2009
We have performed really well this year in the Uefa Cup and after another victory last night I am thinking maybe it is our time. We have so far played 13 games in our quest for European glory 9 of which we have won, it makes good reading.
On top of our good form in Europe this year there is another reason behind my thinking that our name might already be on the Cup. Now what I am going to say next a lot of people will just write it off as silly superstition, but here goes...
Back in 1968 a bit before my time, Malcolm Allison declared “We’ll terrify the cowards of Europe”, after City won the League title. Unfortunately City were knocked out of the European Cup - now known as the Champions League - in the first round by the then unknown Fenerbahçe S.K..
So what has this got to do with it being our fate to win the Uefa Cup, well this seasons Uefa Cup final is being played at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium or for those who don't know the home of Fenerbahçe S.K..
This got me thinking, maybe we are destined to win a European Trophy on the ground of the team that ruined our chances of glory all those years ago, you hear these kind of story's all the time. Mix that with our good form in this competition and maybe just maybe we are destined to win it.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
City were great again tonight and were worth more than a two nil win, we had a glow of confidence about us and when we are all out attacking I'm not sure there is a better team to watch at the moment.
We started brightly tonight and right from the first whistle Aalborg had no answer for our attacking threat. Our early pressure was rewarded with a goal on eight minutes, Felipe Caicedo muscled the defender before turning and putting the ball in the back of the net. City continued to put the pressure on and deservedly doubled the advantage on the thirty minute mark, Shaun Wright-Phillips unleashing a superb shot from around 22 yards to beat Zaza in the Aalborg goal.
There was many more chances we should have put away tonight, most notably SWP putting wide when it looked easier to score. We also should have had a penalty tonight, Robinho was fouled after he baffled the defender with his trademark step overs, a poor decision by the referee meant the penalty was not given.
I was more than happy with the way we played tonight and overjoyed with the result. Shaun Wright-Phillips, Robinho and Stephen Ireland are absolutely brilliant to watch when on song, they created countless problems for Aalborg throughout. They were by no means the only reason we won tonight though, our defencive unit was very good again and the Dunne and Onuoha partnership continues to grow. In the midfield I thought Elano had a poor first half and didn't contribute much, in the second half he stepped his game up a lot and worked really hard. As for Zabaleta he will surely be getting that phone call from Maradona he wants sooner rather than later, as he continues to impress in both defence and midfield for City.
Only thing I was really disappointed with tonight was the attendance, 24,596 for the last 16 of European competition is a disgrace. There always seems to be thousands upon thousands moaning about wanting us to play in Europe and then when it comes they don't turn up. It is their loss and I hope they continue to stay away from the ticket office if we get in the final, so that the tickets are there for the fans that make an effort to go and support the team, our real fans.
Fernando Gomez had this to say.........
''Yes, it’s true but they didn’t make us an any offer''. “The president Vicente Soriano asked for a significant amount and they didn’t agree''.
Now it's not to surprising that we have approached Valencia for David Villa, he is possibly the best finisher in Europe at the moment. I am a little disillusioned as to why we haven't waved some money in their face to make this cash strapped club think about it a little harder, rather than letting them call the shots. They need to sell and Valencia or not that's how we should be approaching it.
I think all City fans would agree David Villa would be a great signing, lets hope we don't go about it the wrong way so that we can pull off what would be the
signing of another world class player.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
After a great display against Villa, I feel that if City reach the same levels of performance we should be able to overcome Aalborg. Don't get me wrong Aalborg are a very good team and on top of hammering Deportivo in the last round, they have managed to hold Man Utd at Old Trafford this season. I still feel we have enough quality to beat them despite those results, especially on our home turf.
I am really looking forward to the game tomorrow - as always, but I am slightly more excited because there is a real possibility of getting to the later stages of the Uefa Cup. I genuinely believe we can end Aalborg's 16 game unbeaten run.
City team news:
Robinho has been declared fit and is almost certain to return to the starting line up, Micah Richards is also expected to return from injury. Kompany's toe injury may have caught up with him and a decision to see if he is fit enough to play will be made closer to kick off. Bellamy is still out with injury and as we all probably know by now De Jong is ineligible, what a lot probably didn't know is that Valeri Bojinov is also ineligible.
Aalborg BK team news:
Aalborg have nearly a full squad to pick from, only two players are due to miss out. Dutch defender come midfielder Steve Olfers is out with an injury, as is Danish midfielder Emil Hauck.
Possible Man City line up: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, Zabaleta, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Robinho, Caicedo.
Possible Aalborg BK line up: Zaza, Bøgelund, Wæhler, Beauchamp, Jakobsen, Enevoldsen, Augustinussen, Caca, Johansson, Due, Shelton.
My Prediction: Man City 3 - 0 Aalborg BK
Worth a bet: Stephen Ireland goal in a 3 - 0 win.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Not one of our youth teams better performances, but as they say the sign of a good team is winning when your not at your best. I don't want to take anything away from Norwich's lads though, they really pushed City today and look a good side.
Robbie Mak scored the goal that won the game, after a good pass from Reece Wabara, Mak took the ball past the Norwich defender and produced a nice finish. Norwich had a great chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty in the 79Th minute, City substitute Omar Elabdellaoui committing a foul on Tom Adeyemi. Nick Davey stepped up to take the penalty for the visitors but squandered a great chance by smashing the ball over the bar.
City now face Arsenal over two legs in the semi final of the competition.
Starting line ups:
City: Clegg, Trippier, Boyata, Wabara, Cunningham, Tutte, Benali, Ibrahim, Chantler, Mak, Nimely.
Substitutes: Redshaw, Johansen, Guidetti, Helan, (Elabdellaoui on for Tutte 74')
Norwich: Rudd, Francomb, Dumic, Stephens, Habergham, Omoregie, Adeyemi, Smith, Dawkin, Davey, Kelly.
Substitutes: Clarke, Steer, Reeves, (Drmola on for Francomb 84'), (Brindley on for Omoregie 76')
Friday, 6 March 2009
If you haven't already got a ticket in advance, an adult ticket will cost £5 on the day, with all concessions costing £2 each.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
On the way home from the match yesterday I was listening to BBC radio Manchester and a couple of the callers were in agreement that we didn't miss Bellamy or Robinho, ex blue Nigel Gleghorn who I find normally talks a lot of sense was in agreement.
After hearing more people say the same thing today, the argument seems to be that we were more balanced without them. My opinion is that we were lacking on the left a little yesterday. SWP played great swapping sides, but he can't do that every game without burning himself out, so for me we definitely need a left sided player on the pitch and that is more than likely going to be Robinho. As for Bellamy quite simple really, do you drop a player scoring goals, for me no.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
City were brilliant tonight, the team worked really hard and got back what they put in with an impressive victory over a good Villa side.
I still thought that there was a couple of players that could have done better tonight, but I am not going to dwell on it because the overall performance as a team was impressive.
There was many outstanding players for City tonight here's a look at a few of them - Richard Dunne was absolutely solid and made every ball he went for his. Shaun Wright-Phillips, well we saw the old SWP for the first time in a few games. Caused non stop problems for the Villa defence, missed a great chance but we can let him off seems as he got the goal that sealed the game and well deserved it was to. Pablo Zabaleta, this classy Argentine hard man is getting better every game, I am really impressed with his desire and get the feeling he would run through a brick wall if it meant winning a tackle.
MY STAR MAN : NEDUM ONUOHA
I chose to single out Nedum because he was outstanding again tonight and has been outstanding since his run in the team started.
Nedum has always shown potential but at the same time shown a lot of weakness's in his game, any weakness's he did have are gone. His passing and decision making used to be particularly poor at times, he has totally turned that around and his passing and decision making are now spot on.
He is so calm when in possession of the ball at the back, that he makes you feel calm watching him, he never rushes anything even when he has an opposition player bearing down on him and he always makes sure he finds another blue shirt. I also don't think it is a coincidence that Richard Dunne has returned to form since he has been playing with Nedum, because Nedum is more accomplished at centre back than Richards you can see the change in Dunney, it is obvious he is more at ease and has more confidence when playing alongside Nedum.
Playing the way he has been Nedum Onuoha is another City academy product who should go on to represent England at full International level, well played Nedum keep it up.
A lot of people thought blue moon in particular had run it's course. I personally think that if you take blue moon away we lose a huge part of our identity, however a new variation of blue moon may be a good compromise.
It seems that the club are already identifying the fact that as a club we need our identity rejuvenated, tonight before the Villa game a new version of blue moon by Mancunian band the Doves will be played.
Hopefully the club have other projects in mind that will improve City fans match day experience.
Graham Wallace, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
Responsible for leading and managing all Club financial matters in addition to overseeing the Information Technology, Human Resources, Legal and Administration functions. He joins the Club from IMG, where he is Senior Vice President of Finance for IMG’s worldwide Sports Media and Entertainment businesses.
David Pullan, Brand and Marketing Officer
Responsible for growing the Club’s supporter base. He joins the Club from Aegis Media, where he was President of Isobar Global Client Management.
Brian Marwood, Football Administration Officer
Responsible for supporting the Football Manager by building world-leading football infrastructure which will meet Mark Hughes’ requirements in terms of academy liaison, overseeing of medical, sports sciences and performance analysis, talent identification and player support.
Garry Cook said this to the official website.....
“I’m delighted to welcome Graham, David and Brian to Manchester City. All three are highly talented individuals with outstanding track records in their respective fields.
“The Club’s owners have outlined an ambitious vision for long-term, sustainable growth and these appointments represent a vital investment in our capacity to achieve our full potential as a Club and as a partner in the development of New East Manchester.“In line with the strategy that Mark Hughes and I presented to the Chairman in February, we have created a new position of Football Administration Officer, which will ensure that the coaching, medical and playing staff at Carrington and the Platt Lane Academy get world leading support at every level”
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
If City are to avoid another defeat tomorrow, things would have had to dramatically changed from the poor performance we put in against West Ham.
I have lost count of how many times I have said this during the current season, but City have something to prove yet again when we face Villa. The inconsistent level of performance has been a disgrace and it seems that after a good performance we might as well expect that we won't win our next game.
I think we have a lot of players that have started believing their own press and have developed a poor attitude. I read Stephen Ireland had said after the West Ham game ''We never got off the bus, to be honest''. Now considering he was one of our worst players against West Ham, he didn't pull his performance level up even though he admits the team were poor. This is the poor attitude that I am talking about, although he knew the team were playing poorly, neither him or anyone else in the team for that matter tried to change things. It's easy to talk about your mistakes after you have lost, this attitude has to disappear starting with the game against Villa.
It is about time our players showed real passion when they have our shirt on, I will always except a team that puts the effort in, when they are wearing a City shirt. So like I have said time and again, standing up and being counted against good teams like Villa is a perfect starting place.
City team news:
City are without attacking duo Robinho and Bellamy, who are both injured. Micah Richards is a doubt and will face a late fitness test. Shaun Wright-Phillips returns to the team, his domestic ban is now over.
Aston Villa team news:
Wilfred Bouma is still not ready for first team action, Steve Sidwell is a doubt and Emile Heskey looks set to miss out.
Possible Man City line up: Given, Dunne, Onuoha, Bridge, Kompany, Zabaleta, Ireland, De Jong, Wright-Phillips, Elano, Caicedo.
Possible Aston Villa line up: Friedel, Cuellar, Davies, Knight, Young, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Young, Carew, Agbonlahor
My prediction: Man City 0 - 0 Aston Villa
Worth a bet: Available at 9/1, 0 - 0 is definitely worth a bet.
Monday, 2 March 2009
From the comments that were left after the previous article it is obvious there is a lot of frustrated City fans, to get rid of our frustration things have to change at Eastlands.
Jim made a very good point when he said ''the City home fans do not stimulate the team, they wait for the team to stimulate them''. This statement is true of the City crowd, but even when we have been stimulated by the team in recent times the crowd haven't really responded.
Jon boy thinks some new songs will breath new life into the City faithful, '' I agree we need an anthem, with a few more words than blue moon. lets sort it out at villa.''
So there is many different views but they all come back to the same thing and that is wanting to improve the atmosphere at Eastlands. So moving on from reasons why the atmosphere is bad, lets find some solutions that will make it good again.
As fans that do want a better atmosphere we have to be the catalyst behind any changes, so if anyone has any suggestions like a new song they have thought of, or as Jim suggested ''having samba percussion outside the stadium'' lets hear them.
Basically give me some input and I will run with it. If you guys suggest a good song that others like, I will publish it so other people see it. JJ has a good idea but says... ''but this had to be agreed with the club itself.'', I have no problem with contacting our club with any positive ideas that people agree on, to get some feedback off them.
Right so we need some good new songs or ideas for match day. I noticed a couple of you weren't happy with the Robinho song, I found a song on YouTube with a few positive comments about it, so I thought I would try and get the ball rolling.
With an important and tough home game against Villa coming up, I think City fans need to make a better effort to get behind the team and help boost their performance.
Now that doesn't apply to everyone there is City fans like myself who do all they can to give the team a boost, unfortunately though we are the minority.
I am not having ago at all these people who don't help to create any atmosphere, everyone who pays their money is entitled to do what they want when they go to a match. I would just like some feedback on the reasons why thousands of fans won't even join in on the more simple things, like clapping and cheering each players name when called out before a game or joining in on a song now and again.
Anyone who has played football at any level will know that if you have people willing you on, you always seem to be able to find that extra surge inside yourself.
I'm glad I have got that off my chest, so if you are a fan who doesn't get involved have your say and give your reasons why, if there is any other City fans who think they can explain why people choose not to be involved on a match day, please don't hesitate to give your views as well.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
I hate saying this and I am going to apologise in advance to Mr Cook who wants to rid our club of this attitude, but today we were typical City. Just when you think we are hitting the kind of form that may see us qualify for Europe, we blow it.
When called upon today we were found lacking in quality and against a good West Ham team we got what we deserved, nothing.
I think the midfield were poor today and didn't really help in defence or provide anything for our attackers. Robinho and Bellamy for example looked lively when they were involved today, but they weren't involved as much as they could or should have been because the service was either poor or non existent.
Zabaleta was moved to right back after 15 minutes because Micah Richards went off injured and I think it was obvious the midfield missed him. Kompany and De Jong didn't really have any impact on the game, Kompany tried his best to rough a few West Ham players up and that was about it.
As for when we got forward today, there were some bad decisions once we got in the final third and at times it was all a bit messy, saying that we did have enough chances to score and win the game but our finishing was found wanting.
Negatives from today's game:
Another loss and with some tough fixtures coming up we could be looking at being heavily involved in a relegation battle. More bad news, Robinho, Bellamy and Richards all went off injured today and are at the very least likely to miss the game against Villa in midweek.
Positives to take from today's game:
I have been vocal about how poor I think Wayne Bridge has been, today I thought he was a lot better for large parts of the game. There was still things I thought he could have done better but overall I saw some improvement.
Now a huge positive from the game today was the surprise return to the squad of Valeri Bojinov. I am really pleased Bojinov is back and can't wait to see him in action regularly. It was thought he would need a couple more reserve outings before making a first team squad, so I just hope he isn't being rushed.
To sum up, Hughes really has to hurry up and stop this inconsistency whilst there is still a possibility of qualifying for Europe. If he doesn't I don't think he will be our manager next season, unless he wins the Uefa Cup and even then I'm not sure that would be enough to save him, so on his head be it.