Joe Kinnear was a theatrical, comedic goldmine yesterday on Talksport, saying that he's "more intelligent" than Newcastle United supporters and showing a crushing inability to pronounce the names of Newcastle's top players. Kinnear called Yohan Cabaye, "Yohan Kebab" and have you ever heard of Hatem Ben Affri? Kinnear Read more
Joe Kinnear has re-joined Newcastle United under the guise of "Director of Football." Due to the absurdity of the appointment, I could finish the blog here and leave you to chew on that information for the entirety of your Monday. It is a very bizarre development at Newcastle, as Read more
The new Premier League season is set to be an exciting one, thanks to a raft of changes that have occurred at the top clubs since the end of the last one, which leave things feeling less predictable than they have for a while.
The fact that Chelsea have Read more
As I trawled through the various football websites this morning, all I saw was this...
Tumbleweed. Lots and lots of tumbleweed. The transfer window hasn't opened and won't do so until the July 1st, so we should all calm down in that regard. At the moment it feels as Read more
The football season is over, players have gone on holiday and the tedium of transfer rumours have officially started, if not prematurely, with the transfer window not actually until July 1st. So, what to do until August when it all kicks off again? Spend time with loved ones? Take Read more
The football season is over, players have gone on holiday and the tedium of transfer rumours have officially started, if not prematurely, with the transfer window not actually until July 1st. So, what to do until August when it all kicks off again? Spend time with loved ones? Take up a new hobby? Me and Mat were going to take up fencing over the summer, but that idea seems to have fallen by the wayside. Instead, maybe you could sort out that home improvement that you’ve been needing to finish, but haven’t had the time to do so?
Of course, the answer to the above questions is a resounding “no.” Now that the 2012/13 season has passed and we’ve lived and breathed its every emotion, it is time to review what happened and chew on every little incident from every team. Now, I’m only one man, I can’t talk about every team as that would be impossible. Instead, for the next month, we shall be hosting fan reviews on here, where we interview a willing volunteer who answers our questions about their team. Fourth to be interviewed, is Ben Warner, a Manchester City supporter and owner of “Blue’s Views“ who will be talking about Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and what the future holds, transfers and what went wrong last season. This is what Ben had to say:
1) On a scale of farce to ten, how has this season ranked for you?
I think somewhere around a six or a seven for me. Sure, we didn’t win anything and we finished way behind United in the title race, but we did finish second, which is no mean feat in the Premier League. Being able to face sides like Real Madrid was great too, and so was being able to go back to Wembley, although that was a lot less happy than two years ago.
2) Before we undergo an assassination of what went wrong in the 2012-13 season, can you explain the incredible last few moments of the 2011-12 campaign? Where were you, who were you with, what emotions were you feeling?
I was at that game, with my dad and a family friend, and I honestly will never forget it; I’m not sure anyone will. I was sat at the end where Aguero put in that winner, I had the most perfect view too, and although I can’t remember the goal going in that well, I remember sheer ecstasy after it, for about 30 minutes, just 47,000 people singing and dancing in celebration. The cheer when that goal went in was quite possibly the loudest I think I’ll ever hear at a football match, and it was just the relief, that ‘Typical City’ was gone, and the new and improved version was here to stay. Well, so we thought. I’ve seen that goal so many times now, the attacking move is etched into my memory, so is the commentary, the trophy lifting, everything.
3) Now to the assassination. Roberto Mancini added £50 million worth of talent to a title winning side and lost City’s title with time to spare to Manchester United. What went wrong in the transfer window?
We just missed out on the key players like Hazard and Van Persie, and left it too late to buy anyone of a similar quality instead of them. We left it until the week before our first game to buy anyone, and Rodwell was never going to set the world alight this year. We bought five players on deadline day too, which is just panic buying really. We got almost nothing from Maicon (mainly down to injury) and Sinclair was just a poor signing, we clearly wasn’t goos enough. I think though Nastasic and Rodwell will turn out to be good buys, they’re both young with very good potential and they can reach that here. Javi Garcia didn’t really contribute a huge amount this season, but I think next year, he’ll step up and be a bigger part of the team.
4) The likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva were notably quieter than the title winning season. Samir Nasri was barely visible. What happened there?
The star players just underperformed, the spine of the team. Joe Hart was inconsistent throughout the season, mainly down to overconfidence and not having a real contender for the goalkeepers spot. Kompany underperformed as well, and had a large two month gap due to injury in the middle of the season too. Yaya did have a pretty good season, but he did fade in games. We played Wigan twice towards the end of the season, and he just looked a shadow, which was very disappointing to see. As for Aguero and Silva, the tactics just didn’t suit them, and I think they’ll recover under a new manager next season. We were playing long balls up forward quite a lot when nearing the end of the season, and that’s just not the kind of ball Aguero wants, look at his size.
5) Just a season after Mancini had won the league, he was sacked before the 2012-13 season had shut its eyes. The media has since reported massive divides in the dressing room, crediting Mancini as the force which created a lot of arguments. Is his sacking justified?
I think so, yes. We can’t forget all he did for us, and I never will, but City is a team that should be challenging on all domestic fronts, not just one a season. He never got us anywhere in the Champions League either, and for a club of our stature, we need to be able to progress beyond the group stages, instead of going out every season. We also shouldn’t be finishing so far behind United either, or slumping to that kind of defeat to Wigan in the Cup Final. In fairness, Wigan deserved to win on the day, but we should have put up more of a fight, instead of playing the way we played. So I think, for us to progress as a club, we had to let Mancini go. His tactics weren’t working, he didn’t get on with the players and the staff, and we weren’t going anywhere.
6) Is Manuel Pellegrini the right manager to replace Mancini?
I think so, yes. Ok, he hasn’t won much so far in his career, and he is nearly sixty now, but he’s managed Real Madrid before, showing he has pedigree, and has taken Vilarreal and Malaga, both relatively small clubs, far in the Champions League. Further than we’ve ever been, and that’s what we need. I’m backing him to do well when he comes in, especially if we get some of the players we’re being linked to.
7) Manchester City have moved early to sign players, having signed Jesus Navas from Sevilla and Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk. The fees reported have been a little over the estimation of each player, but how important is it to move ahead of the opposition and get a settled squad in pre-season?
It is very important in my eyes. That’s what we didn’t do last season, we got all our transfers in late, they weren’t settled for a long time, and it showed, whereas United and Chelsea had already improved their squad a lot by the time the season had started, and because they’d bought their players earlier, it also meant they got the better players too, such as Van Persie and Hazard, who we were interested in both, and missed out on both because we failed to make the best offer, which in fairness, we shouldn’t do, given the money we possess.
8) Stephan El Shaarawy is reported this morning as being the subject of a £34 million bid from Manchester City. Would that be a good signing and where else would you look to strengthen the side?
I think if we sign him, he will turn out to be a very good signing for us. We haven’t got many young strikers coming through, and with Dzeko set to leave, and speculation about Tevez heading to Italy, then he will be important for us, as he already has a lot of ability, and possesses a very high potential too, which if we can manage to get out of him, will make him a very important player for us. In terms of other positions, I think we need to get a new left-back in, I’m just not impressed by Clichy and Kolarov, they don’t seem good enough to me. I don’t know who we could get instead though, maybe one of Real’s left-backs, Marcelo or Coentrao, or Alaba, if he wants to leave Bayern (although why you would is beyond me). I think it wouldn’t hurt to get a new backup goalkeeper, who’s good enough to challenge Hart for that number one spot, make him up his game from this season. Julio Cesar springs to mind, although he seems happy to stay in London, and looks likely to move to Arsenal.
9) Who would you sell out of the current squad?
Right off the bat: Aleksandar Kolarov. There isn’t much he can actually do on the pitch, and what he can do, he doesn’t do very well. He will never be good enough for us, and we should just let him go, recoup some money for him. I also think Dzeko needs to go too, he wasn’t good enough for large parts of this season, or the season before, and he just isn’t going to succeed. There are much better players we could get instead of him, so I say let him go. I also think Scott Sinclair and Maicon need to leave. They were panic buys last season, and have contributed very little. Why keep them on the wage bill, and not play them? Let them go, I say.
10) Finally, what has been your best moment of the season?
I’m not really sure, I have a few. Dzeko’s late winner against Tottenham in October was a great feeling, as we deserved to win, and managed it with a very good goal. Aguero’s header against Chelsea at Wembley was another big one. I was stood right behind the goal, and you just knew it was heading in, and the ground erupted in sheer joy when it finally did. I think though, it has to be winning at Old Trafford, and for me, it was finding out we’d won. I was on holiday in Tenerife at the time, and was deliberately avoiding the match because I was convinced we were going to be hammered, and I just didn’t want to watch it. I’d completely forgotten about it, until my friend texted me about Aguero’s goal, which ended up the winner. I found out we were ahead with about 5 minutes to go, and was literally just pacing up down waiting for the text to say we’d won. You should have seen my reaction when I got that text, I went mental, just jumping up and down on the stairs. Thankfully, I was stood on my own at this point, or I would have got some odd looks.
Sevilla officially announced the sale of Spanish international winger Jesus Navas on Monday evening. Normally, I’d have written about it yesterday morning, but I had too much on my plate and opted to write about Jose Mourinho (zzz).
Manchester City agreed a fee worth £17 million, plus add-ons, which surprised Sevilla’s president according to Marcus Christenson, who said that the size of Manchester City’s offer came as a surprise, as they were the only ones in the running for Navas. Rumours on Twitter claim the deal to cost an overall total of £24 million, which is indeed a lot of money, but for me, it’s a very strong signing for Manchester City, who have lacked players to stretch opposing teams.
Quick as lightning, Navas will represent a much different threat to that offered by the likes of Samir Nasri, James Milner and David Silva, amongst others who have been played out wide out of necessity. The signing of Scott Sinclair was supposed to address City’s lack of width and proved to be a poor signing and Navas, a wide player who created 72 chances in La Liga last season, will go a long way to improving Manchester City.
When Sevilla announced the sale of Navas to City, many would have automatically remembered his anxiety issues, which dictate he can’t leave home for too long before he starts suffering panic attacks. Extensive counselling has alleviated that problem and it’s unlikely to the extreme that Manchester City won’t have checked Navas a thousand times over to make sure he is 100% okay to leave his home in Sevilla to move to England. If there were any doubts, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have gone any further with their interest.
Back to the transfer fee. Manchester City have paid slightly over the odds, there’s no escaping that. £17 million without the add-ons to take it to £24 million is excessive, but that issue is covered by the fact that City have acted decisively early, rather than late as they did last summer. Acting late was a big problem for Roberto Mancini and it is no secret he was let unhappy with how transfers were handled. This time however, Manchester City have acted early to improve their squad.
At a time when Manchester United are weakened by the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Chelsea are strengthened/weakened (delete as appropriate) by the return of Jose Mourinho and other clubs are going through periods of change. It’s important for City that they act before their rivals and have their squad settled before the season starts. City have claimed an early advantage over their rivals in doing their business early and they will be notably strengthened by Navas.
It is quite staggering just how much change has happened in the Premier League over the past few days. Tony Pulis has “mutually” walked away from Stoke City, which actually means he was sacked without ceremony by Peter Coates. Arsenal have been linked with any striker that has a £30 million price tag, whilst everybody’s favourite little Russian nuisance said a heart breaking farewell to Arsenal on Twitter. I shed a tear.
More so than any other season I can remember, clubs are acting rapidly to tie up transfer deals, appoint new managers and sell players. Everybody is looking to get ahead of their rivals early on and probably the most pro-active club yesterday, was Fulham, who went about signing Derek Boateng and Fernando Amorebieta on free transfers. I know nothing on Boateng, but I know of Amorebieta; an imposing defender who has been a key figure at Athletic Bilbao for eight seasons. Arsenal were interested in signing Amorebieta last summer and maintained an interest in January, but nothing happened. There was contact made between Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen and Fulham have landed a very good defender on a free transfer, tying the Venezuelan to a four-year contract.
Fulham have got some frightening individual talent, but are let down by a base that just isn’t “solid.” The acquisition of Amorebieta will surely amend that.
It has also been announced in Spain, that Malaga manager, Manuel Pellegrini, will be leaving the club and is set to take over at Manchester City.
Like Amorebieta above, my knowledge on Pellegrini is little, but what I do know, is that Pellegrini just guided Malaga to the quarter-final stages of the Champions League, only losing to Borussia Dortmund through two cruel, late goals. He managed all of this under the heavy cloud of key players such as Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon leaving in the summer, amongst others.
Clearly, Pellegrini is a manager who can lead men through a difficult time and under Roberto Mancini last season, Manchester City lacked that kind of guidance when they were fighting amongst themselves. For me, Pellegrini is the right appointment for Manchester City and about the most sensible one they could have hoped to have made.
Right, that’s yer lot from me today. See you tomorrow!
Do you wanna know why I typed that in caps lock? Because Tony Pulis has “mutually walked away from Stoke City after chairman Peter Coates sacked him for a sh*t run of results.” There’s nothing “mutual” about Pulis’ departure, he’s been sacked. Why? Because Stoke City have stagnated badly. Pulis has one way of playing football and it’s not a sustainable method.
If a new manager were to arrive at Stoke, could he get them playing passing football? Of course he could. For those who think not, look at the quick transition that Owen Coyle made at Bolton Wanderers when he first arrived to replace Gary Megson, who played an awful brand of football. Bolton were a team of cloggers and “experienced pros” but a different style of management brought the best out of them and under Coyle, they started to play good football. With a whole summer under a new manager, if that’s sorted quickly, then Stoke will be fine next season. They’ll be stronger without Pulis and I don’t see them being relegated.
Stevan Jovetic to Arsenal
Italian journalist, Tancredi Palmeri, yesterday broke the news that Arsenal had launched an official bid of £24.5 million for Fiorentina player and Montenegro international, Stevan Jovetic. There were then reports that Jovetic’s agents were in London to discuss a potential move. It’s also said that Jovetic hasn’t decided between Arsenal and Juventus yet, but an early, bold move by Arsenal has set the race for signature and caught the Serie A winners cold.
Jovetic, should he sign for Arsenal, has the qualities that dictate he could play across the entire front line. Supremely gifted, Jovetic is that extra yard of quality that Arsenal have missed this season in matches against the big teams. He possesses a Suarez-like ability to dribble through crowds of players, but his goal record has been highlighted as a weakness. Personally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to it. I looked at his stats yesterday and I think, without time to look right now, that Jovetic scored 14 goals in 31 appearances last season for Fiorentina. The guy is only 23, still in the development stages of his career and in a better team, Jovetic will prosper.
What Jovetic isn’t, is a specialist striker. As I say, he could play across the entire front line and even behind another striker. Life the specialist defensive midfielder, the specialist striker is a dying breed; you have to be so much more than a lump of meat who scores goals. What that means for Arsenal, is that with only Jovetic, Olivier Giroud and the incoming Yaya Sanogo, there is room for one more striker of a quality calibre at Arsenal. With Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott both tried in roles as striker at various stages last season, it could mean that one or the other could be seen primarily as a striking option. If that were to happen though, then a right or left-winger would need to be signed.
What is a certainty, that even with Jovetic coming, if it is indeed true, that Arsenal will still need more forward options, whether it be on the flanks or through the middle. Arsenal are from done with their transfer activity.
Kolo Toure to Liverpool
Ben Smith of BBC Sport reports that Kolo Toure will move to Liverpool once his Manchester City contract expires in June. Once dubbed the “African Cannavaro” by Italian press, Toure only made 18 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions and was left out of their Champions League squad.
The rumours are that Brendan Rodgers wants two central defenders after the retirement of Jamie Carragher and the departure or Martin Skrtel imminent. Kyriakos Papadopoulos is Liverpool’s priority signing, but an asking price of £20 million for the Greek international could prove to be too much, even for a club which spunked £35 million on Andy Carroll. Alternatively, Liverpool could turn their attention to Swansea City captain, Ashley Williams and rumours are that Winston Reid is being measured up by two other Premier League clubs, with Arsenal being one of them.
Sky Sports News broke the story we already knew last night, confirming that Roberto Mancini has been sacked from his position as Manchester City manager. Manuel Pellegrini, the current boss at Malaga, is set to take over the now-vacant job opening, despite dismissing that an agreement has already been agreed.
Looking back through the JFG archives, there are a few articles in which I say that Mancini would be sacked in the summer, such as this one from the Manchester City defeat to Ajax (click here). My exact line, word-for-word, was: “No success in the Champions League will mark the end for Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.” Just a year after winning Manchester City’s first league title in years, Mancini’s dismissal seems quite harsh. How can you sack a man who does that after just a year?
I’ve read two things this morning that corroborate with my opinions on Roberto Mancini, the first being a series of tweets from German journalist, Raphael Honigstein. He says that the Mancini sacking reminds him of Felix Magath’s sacking from Bayern Munich in 2007. Magath had won back-to-back doubles, something that had never been done before and that still couldn’t save his job. The reason for that, Honigstein says, is that Magath’s Bayern team was constantly outplayed in Europe and relations with the players and board had become so bad, that it was implausible they could work together.
The second bit I read this morning, is a piece written by Ian Herbet of the Independent. In the article, Herbert speaks of Mancini’s somewhat inhospitable temperament, an example of this being a chance conversation with one of his staff in the Etihad car park in April of last year. Said staff member spoke of Mancini, “always challenging you”, before quickly adding that was a “positive thing”, a response which didn’t sound true at all from Herbert’s position.
Another story is of Mancini refusing to participate in a “player acquisition meeting” during Garry Cook’s tenure as chief executive. The story goes that Mancini sulked and sat with his faced down, looking at his feet for nearly an hour and a half. Interestingly, a guy called Ferran Soriano arrived as City’s new chief executive last summer, an individual who is considered to be quite the expert on management theory, even writing a book on the subject. Soriano is the man who wouldn’t hire Jose Mourinho for Barcelona because he generated media conflict and was a potential source of conflict within the club. Look at Mourinho at every club he’s been at and there has always been conflict between him and a certain band of players.
Referencing the article once more, Herbert says that Soriano believes in the potential of individuals to change their management style . At Barcelona, he encouraged Txiki Begiristain to coach the coach, Frank Rijkaard, in becoming more authoritarian, which worked for a while. Mancini isn’t so malleable.
On the Manchester City bench, David Platt has revealed before what Mancini can be like, constantly picking fault with passes, positioning and when and when not to take shots on goal. Mancini is in constant frustration when others don’t think like him and very rarely accepts that somebody else has a better method. This attitude is evident in his playing days, where he was notoriously difficult to manage.
For me, that tunnel vision limits Mancini as a manager. He can rarely think outside his own box and is known to sulk when he doesn’t get his own way. Mancini spent £50 million on improving a title-winning side last summer, but has seen the team regress. Admittedly, he failed to sign the targets that were high on his list, such as Daniele De Rossi, Javi Martinez and Robin van Persie, but he hasn’t signed Akpo Sodje, Sam Togwell and Bilel Mohsni, has he? Instead of his priority targets, Mancini signed Matija Nastasic, Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia and Maicon. Hardly slouches, are they?
Many have also said that Mancini missed the option of bringing on Nigel de Jong in matches to push Yaya Toure further forward. This relates back to my theory on Mancini’s tunnel-vision not being suited to adapt. If a team misses one bang-average defensive midfielder, then what does that say about the squad and the manager in charge of it all?
Due to difficult personal relationships and a reluctance to accept different ideas, Mancini has seen a title-winning team of his destroyed in Europe for the second time in his career. As a result, he’s been dumped. For me, the sacking has been coming since October and because of the atmosphere he has created at the Etihad Stadium, it’s fully deserved.
Former Manchester City striker and current Sky Sports football pundit, Niall Quinn, has predicted Manchester City to make one or two, “spectacular” signings this summer as they look to banish the memory of this season’s failures.
Having spent £50 million in the summer on a squad which had just won the Premier League title, falling 12 points behind the league leaders, Manchester United and failing to win a match in the Champions League, is a regression. Having performed so poorly in last season’s Champions League as well, failing to qualify from the group stage, speculation over Roberto Mancini’s future has been rife. Despite his success with Inter Milan, Mancini was ultimately sacked for poor results in Europe despite significant investment.
Earlier this season, when Manchester City failed to qualify from their Champions League group for the second year running, I predicted that Roberto Mancini would be sacked in the summer. I still think that may be the case, as I don’t see Manchester City’s owners being blessed with patience, but much of the blame for Manchester City’s summer transfer activity seems to lie with Brian Marwood, who might find himself without a job this summer as Mancini gets a reprieve.
Roberto Mancini set out to spend big money on Daniele De Rossi, Daniel Agger and Javi Martinez, as well as Robin van Persie. Instead, Mancini got Scott Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell, Matija Nastasic (who has been outstanding) and Maicon. Mancini wanted to get his shopping at Mark’s and Spencer, but Marwood raided the out of date shopping trolley at his local corner shop. To say Manchester City supporters were underwhelmed by the players the bought, is an understatement and Mancini constantly points to the fact he didn’t get his top priorities and that fault ultimately lies with Marwood and thus, Mancini should still be at the club next season. It’s the least he deserves for sorting out the mess left behind by Mark Hughes.
The Italian had this to say about what happened in the summer,
“We had the chance to get important players, players that this year could have been the difference in this team, but it is useless to talk about this now.“
Earlier in the season, Mancini had also commented that his strikers weren’t playing well enough and Robin van Persie is the difference between City and Manchester United in winning the title. I can’t imagine that to have had a positive affect on his own strikers, but you can understand the frustration in not bagging Robin van Persie for himself, as well as all the other players on his shopping list.
Samir Nasri, (Paris Saint-Germain) Edin Dzeko, (strong speculation he is joining Borussia Dortmund) Scott Sinclair, Kolo Toure, Joleon Lescott, Maicon, Carlos Tevez and Aleksander Kolarov are all expected to leave in the summer, whilst Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz’s contracts expire, leaving a huge gap in the squad to be filled.
If Niall Quinn is right in his prediction, then Daniele De Rossi, Daniel Agger and Radamel Falcao could be playing their last seasons with AS Roma, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid respectively. With Arsenal set to spend big in the summer, Tottenham Hotspur closing the gap between themselves and the top sides and Chelsea just a few players away from being a massive force, signing those three players would put Manchester City on an incredibly strong platform.
With the privilege of hindsight, I’ll amend my prediction to Roberto Mancini not leaving Manchester City this summer, but even if he does leave, Manchester City will spend big vast sums of money and that is a big worry to the rest of the Premier League.
It’s surely just delaying the inevitable, but a wonderful solo goal from Sergio Aguero won the Manchester derby, as the blue half won 2-1 in a tightly contested, tight-as-a-violin-string match.
Manchester City took the lead in the 51st minute through James Milner’s deflected effort. Samir Nasri found himself in possession inside Manchester United’s penalty area, was closed down before he could fire a shot away, so had to turn back out and stab a pass to Milner, who struck his effort with enough power, but a deflection just eluded David De Gea and settled in his bottom right-hand corner. TV replays show that Carlos Tevez, stood in an offside position, blocks the view of De Gea, which technically means that the goal should have been disallowed. For it to have been given, as Gary Neville said in his post-match analysis last night, the linesman has to allow the goal as he can’t judge from his position whether or not Tevez is impeding De Gea’s line of sight and so it falls to the referee to judge the situation. From where Mike Dean is placed, it’s nearly impossible for him to tell. It’s frustrating for Manchester United supporters, because the goal shouldn’t have been given. Again, we’re back at the “technology in football matches” debate again.
Manchester United returned that blow eight minutes later, when Robin van Persie’s free-kick met Phil Jones’ forehead and the ball ricocheted off of Vincent Kompany’s back and went in. Robin van Persie may well be in a dip of form, but his quality of delivery was outstanding for the free-kick. He isn’t scoring, but he’s still providing massive moments for United.
Sergio Aguero restored Manchester City’s lead in the 78th minute and that’s how it stayed. Gael Clichy passed inside to Aguero who had dropped deep, dragged defenders towards him, ran across their line and maintained his balance, strength and composure when he could have gone down for a penalty, to crash a shot past De Gea at his near post. It was a wonderful goal from a player who hasn’t been at his absolute peak this season, but is more than capable of changing any game in the world, at any moment.
Victory for Manchester City only narrows the gap between them and Manchester United to twelve points, but a strong finish to this season is crucial in their preparation for next season and with an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea looming large, there’s a great chance to progress to a final against one of Wigan Athletic or Millwall.
Would a second place finish and an FA Cup constitute a good season for Manchester City? For me, it isn’t. They spent £50 million on a title winning side in the summer, failed to win a match in the Champions League and currently sit behind Manchester United by 12 points. Not even an FA Cup will cover for what has been an underwhelming season. The target for City, will have been to win another title, improve in the Champions League and maybe bag a domestic trophy. Of those three aims, City are only likely to achieve one. No team should have £50 million spent on it and regress.
Defeat for Manchester United is a kick in the shin, but it won’t – or shouldn’t – have a major impact on their season. United should win the title, but for an incomprehensible collapse.
Before I go, here’s something to think about this morning. Manchester City won the title by goal difference last season and they were described as deserved winners. They were very, very good last season, don’t get me wrong, but it was absolutely undisputed how good City were and they only won on goal difference. Manchester United however, are 12 points clear of a side which has barely changed its personnel from last season from winning the league, but are described as a fairly average team. Strange, huh?
In a nutshell…
… Aguero scored an amazing goal. It probably won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
This has nothing to do with Mario Balotelli. Just been a while since I last used this picture.
AC Milan have agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract for the transfer for of Mario Balotelli from Manchester City, with an initial transfer fee of £19 million and another £3 million in add-ons being accepted. Milan’s club director, Umberto Gandini, confirmed the move via his Twitter and shirts with Balotelli’s name are already being made available on the AC Milan website.
Balotelli has always been a player to polarize opinion across the world. The Italian possesses a lethal combination of supreme talent and outrageous behavior. For example, scoring the opening goal in the Manchester derby came a day after he had set fireworks off inside his house, burning it to the ground. It’s reported that Balotelli was so reluctant to leave possessions inside the house, he ran in to the burning building to retrieve a quantity of money and a suitcase. Read more
Vincent Kompany has seen the red card he picked up when playing against Arsenal, rescinded, after Manchester City lodged an appeal with the FA regarding Mike Dean’s decision. Consequently, Kompany’s three-match ban will be scrapped with immediate effect.
Initially, I felt Dean made the right decision in sending Kompany off for serious foul play. To a degree, I still do. Look at this video of Kompany’s red card last season against Manchester United in the FA Cup… Read more