Friday, July 30, 2010

The Sv-end of an Era

With the announcement that Javier Garrido is to join Lazio — ironically as a replacement for recent signing, Aleksandar Kolarov — the last of the eight players brought in by Sven Goran Eriksson in the 2007-08 pre-season will leave the club.

They were certainly interesting times, as the club narrowly avoided relegation the season before, and had already lost two of our better players in Joey Barton and Sylvain Distin. Before the takeover, the signs of us staying alive as a club, let alone staying in the Premier League, weren't great.

Whilst the magnitude of spending is nowhere near that of today, it was still exciting to see so many players brought into the club, even more so by the fact that most of them were unknown to the Premier League.

Garrido was the sixth player signed that window, joining the club from Real Sociedad for the knock-down fee of £1.5million. He was Sven's first-choice left back for the opening stanza, however he eventually lost his place to Michael Ball on the back of some woeful defending in a 6-0 loss to Chelsea. He scored two goals for the club, both of which came from free kicks — against Liverpool in 2008-09 and against Wolves last season.

It has been suggested that Javier was instrumental in attracting David Silva to the club, and if that is true, he was well worth the transfer fee for that alone!

Despite his limited appearances, he was nothing but a model professional, who never moaned or threw the toys out the pram when on the bench. And when he did get his chance, he took it with both hands.

A good squad player, but with Kolarov, Bridge, Lescott, Barry, and Cunningham, left-back is a place where we have a few options. I genuinely wish Javier all the best for the future.


Sven's Class of 2007
Rolando Bianchi
Sven's first signing, Bianchi joined for £8.8m from Regina. Despite scoring the team's first goal in the season opener at Upton Park, he never really took to the English game. Was loaned out to Lazio in January, and had the indignity of being sent-off five minutes into his debut. Bianchi and his neck scarf was last season playing for Torino in Italy's Serie B.

Gelson Fernandes
Didn't get many games under Sven, and less so under Hughes, where the aging Dietmar Hamann was preferred in defensive midfield. Will forever be known for scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Spain at the 2010 World Cup.

Geovanni
Geo signed as a free-agent, just days after scoring in a preseason friendly for Portsmouth. Best known for the long range effort in the 1-0 win over the Rags. However, there was always a question mark over his commitment in training, and that relegated hm to the fringes of the squad. Subsequently moved to Hull City, where he bagged their first ever Premier League goal.

Martin Petrov
One of the 2007-08 season's best players, Petrov was scintillating down left flank for the Blues. Scored the only goal in City's 1-0 win over Barcelona in a 2008-09 friendly. Between the arrival of Robinho and niggling knee injuries, Petrov struggled to secure constant game time under Mark Hughes. Moved to Bolton on a free transfer this off-season.

Vedran Corluka
Vedran, along with Garrido and Elano, was part of the famous triple-unveiling. Despite his languid style, "Charlie" was quite comfortable on the ball, and was one of the most consistent performers that season. Soon moved to Tottenham in the hours before the Abu Dhabi takeover, not before scoring a key penalty in the UEFA Cup qualifier against FC Midtjylland.

Elano
Set the Premier League alight in the first few months of the season, including that free-kick against Newcastle. However, as the weather blew colder, so did his performances. He was the player who clashed most with Mark Hughes, and as a result, was moved on at the end of the 2008-09 season — despite City having insufficient cover in the playmaker role.

Valeri Bojinov
Was injured just five minutes in to the aforementioned 2007-08 derby, and failed to return that season. Suffered an Achilles injury in warm-up in the 2008-09 seasoon opener at Aston Villa. Accrued less than an hour's game time in the two years he was at the club.

Mark Hughes Unveiled as Fulham Manager

Our previous manager, Mark Hughes, has been confirmed as the new boss of Fulham. He is also allowed to bring the "Taffia" of assistant coaches, Mark Bowen, Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwiecki.

It's a signing that works for both parties — Fulham are a club with a somewhat limited budget, but the potential to grow on the back of some thrifty transfers. This is something that Hughes was noted for in his Blackburn days at least, and in the time before the the takeover (Kompany, Zabaleta, and Wright-Phillips spring to mind. I conveniently left out Tal Ben Haim of course).

However, once he had access to the cash he went mad, overpaying quite ridiculously for players such as Joleon Lescott and Roque Santa Cruz. Which is something we should have all seen coming — here's a quote from an old Telegraph article with Garry Cook from August 2008:
"We told Mark not to come if he thought we didn't need a superstar. Mark wants to challenge himself to manage the best footballers in the world. But Mark is from the old school. He would rather overpay for the player he knows than for the player where he's relying on scouting reports. That's an endearing piece of what Mark is all about. We can't have Roque Santa Cruz, which means Mark's now back in an uncomfortable zone where he will have to bring in someone new."
Anyway, without going over old issues, it will be good to see Hughes back in the Premier League, and hopefully Fulham will "ask more questions" of their opposition, and are more "dynamic" as a result...

Hughes with his first signing at Fulham, Roque Santa Cruz? Please?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

38 Into 25 Just Won't Go — Is there room for Johnson and Ireland?

We’ve already signed Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Toure, and Aleksandar Kolarov this transfer window, and we could still add a few more — names such as Mario Balotelli, James Milner, Edin Dzeko, and Fernando Torres have all been heavily linked to the club, with at least two of those transfers expected to take place.

However, chances to the rules this season state that no team can assemble a squad of more than 25 players, eight of which must either be English or Welsh, or be "home grown"— that is, they spent three seasons before the age of 21 developing at an English club. Any player under the age of 21 is exempt from being included in the squad.

As it stands currently, we have over 38 players on our books, according to the OS. Admittedly, some of these are youth players, and some will undoubtedly be loaned out to clubs in the Championship or Football Leagues.

Even with this reduction, there are still some big names that are on the cusp of making the squad or not — and some of these players were brought in for big money under Mark Hughes less than 18 months ago. Players like Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz are no certainties to make the final 25.

Bear in mind though that this 25-man squad is only in force for Premier League fixtures — any player outside of this can be named in an FA Cup or Carling Cup match. There is also a separate 25-man squad for UEFA fixtures, which may or may not include the same players as the Premier League squad.

Some tough decisions need to be made this summer, and the biggest is to cut one, or both, of Ireland and Johnson.

Stevie’s issues have been well-documented, in the media and on this very website. Mancini, and Ireland himself, has to decide whether the real Stephen Ireland is the one that we saw during that 2008-09 season, where he was by some distant our player of the year — or the one that struggled to impart himself on any match last season.

Ireland has always blown hot and cold. He is definitely capable of some sheer brilliance, such as the last-gasp volley against Reading in the 2007-08 season, or a handful of goals in his breakthrough year two seasons ago. However, unless he is played in his exact preferred position of in the hole behind the strikers, he has little to no impact on the game, and has gone missing on many occasions.

But in modern football, players have to be versatile and play different positions if the game suggests. Jerome Boateng may be a right-back or centre-half, but during the World Cup for Germany, he found himself playing left-back, where he was exemplary. Steven Gerrard often plays on the wing for England, when Lampard and Barry play in his usual position in the centre of midfield.

The fact is that Ireland is almost 24 — around the same age as James Milner and David Silva. He’s no longer a kid. On his day, he is as good, or in fact better, than either of those two players. But how often is it "his day"? City are no longer in a position where we can carry a player in the hope that he comes good.

As it stands, Ireland is my 25th player picked — but if we do sign Milner, then I’m afraid it’s time to let go of the Emerald Prince.

Michael Johnson is another City product that has been touted as "the next best thing" for City, even earning comparisons to the great Colin Bell. However, these comparisons were made when he first broke through to the first team in the 2007-08 season. Since then, he has lurched from injury to injury. He won’t be fit until December at the earliest — but even that’s an optimistic prognosis.

Johnson was perhaps a good young player for the places we wanted to go three years ago. But with hardly any first team football in that time, combined with the increase in City’s ambitions, I don’t believe that Johnson does, nor should, have a future at the club.

We all love to see academy products go on to achieve wonderful things but there comes a time when we need to accept that they just aren't going to be good enough to achieve the goals we’re aiming for.

Craig Bellamy has been linked with a move away from the club ever since Hughes was sacked, however I fully expect him to be a City player at the start of the season. Despite his brilliant performances for the club in the last 18 months, it must be remembered that he is still 31 years old, with dodgy knees and a chequered history. I can't see too many clubs paying more than £5 million for his services, nor can I see them picking up his wage bill. So why not keep him? I think he still has plenty to offer the club.

Barring any new signings, this is how I’d expect us to shape up for the upcoming season.

Goalkeepers
Shay Given
Joe Hart
Stuart Taylor

Defenders
Kolo Toure
Joleon Lescott
Jerome Boateng
Aleksandar Kolarov
Vincent Kompany
Pablo Zabaleta
Wayne Bridge/Javier Garrido
Micah Richards
Nedum Onuoha

Dedryck Boyata
Greg Cunningham

Midfielders
Yaya Toure
Gareth Barry
Nigel De Jong
Patrick Vieira
James Milner/Stephen Ireland
Abdisalam Ibrahim

Wingers
Adam Johnson
David Silva
Craig Bellamy
Robinho
Shaun Wright-Phillips
Vladimir Weiss

Strikers
Carlos Tevez
Emmanuel Adebayor
Roque Santa Cruz/Felipe Caicedo/Jo
Mario Balotelli
Alex Nimely-Tchuimeni

This means that there are no positions in the squad for: Javier Garrido, one of Felipe Caicedo, Jo or Roque Santa Cruz, Kelvin Etuhu, Michael Johnson, Stephen Ireland, David Gonzalez, and Shaleum Logan.

Players in grey are under 21, and therefore are exempt from the squad.
Players in blue are "home grown". There must be a minimum of eight in the squad.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mancini Unveils His Most Recent Purchase, Kolarov...

Meanwhile, Baconface is spotted outside Vermin Towers with his latest purchases — Karloff and Eristoff...

OFFICIAL: Aleksandar Kolarov signs.

What was that we said yesterday about deals dragging on? Well City go and make fools of us all, and announce that Aleksandar Kolarov will join the club from Lazio. Tentative details are here.

Roberto Mancini said:
"I first saw Kolarov in his Lazio debut back in 2007... I was impressed by the speed and strength of someone so young. He was composed on the ball had an excellent delivery with his left foot and was technically very able."

"I have watched him a lot since then and so have the Manchester City scouts. His attacking capability is very good. He is fast and can shoot with power and accuracy."

"He also has the ability to play in numerous positions and is very good in midfield. This is an additional benefit to the team. He has a fantastic international career ahead of him. I am looking forward to working with him."
This signing is an extension of our current policy of not just having back-up players, but two quality players fighting for each position. It's a long season ahead with a (hopefully) a lot of games in different competitions, so we need to have a squad strong enough to compete on all fronts. Ideally, players in our Second XI should be able to walk into most other teams in the league.

Well done to all involved!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rumoured Signings — Kolarov, Balotelli and Milner

It's been an unusual week for City in the fact that we've expected to secure a number of signings, but for one reason or another, we are yet to officially sign any of them.

In the mean-time, I've been putting off ordering the new City kit with "Balotelli 45" on the back, and I've got a cracking Photoshop starring Aleksandar Kolarov and Alex Ferguson ready to publish... and yet nothing!

So where exactly are we at currently?

Aleksandar Kolarov: £17m from Lazio
Despite being reported as a done deal in most media outlets, including the BBC, this time last week, the deal seems to have hit a bit of a snag. It has been suggested that his agent has been busy with another client, Martin Jol, in securing a possible deal with Fulham. Hopefully now that situation has been resolved, his attention returns to this transfer.

Haven't seen much of the lad play in fairness, I don't remember him having much of an impact in the Serbia v Australia match in the World Cup, although I was mostly focused on another target of ours, Milos Krasnic.

So I'm relying on YouTube for clues — and remember Georgios Samaras looked amazing on YouTube, so take it with a pinch of salt. But he reminds me a little of another Serb who played for Lazio, Sini Mihajlovic.

Kolarov gives us something that we don't currently have, an overlapping winger to give us that extra width in attack. Chelsea have Ashley Cole, the Rags have Patrice Evra, and Liverpool use Glen Johnson in this role. This also allows the central midfielders (for instance, Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong) to drop back into a defensive four without the ball in a 4-2-3-1.

For periods last season, we seemed to have 6 in defense and 4 up-front, with no-one in central midfield. I imagine the signing of Kolarov will allow Silva or Johnson to play a little more central than they were previously.



Mario Balotelli: £20m+ from Inter Milan
Nothing I could say about the kid could be better summised than what this chap here has written. So take it away Paul:
I watch the Italian football every week, mostly on streams to be honest, but I catch the odd game on TV when I can. I always get the highlights, so take that for what you will.

Anyway, I'd swap anybody in our team for this kid. He has a terrible attitude, mainly because he was racially abused from the year dot over there so now doesn't give a fuck about Inter, and although he plays for Inter though his heart is at AC. The thing that people don't remember though, is that he has never put anybody under any false illusions. In the past, he has said that AC was his boyhood club, and while it was certainly a great honour and respect to be playing for Inter, he will always retain a special place in his heart for AC. This is where everything kicked off and got progressively worse. The Inter fans then pretty much gave him stick every time he put on a shirt, so like most teenagers, he reacted by trolling them and putting on an AC shirt in a press conference.

He's a daft kid, who has a very poor relationship with his current fan base (which to be honest is mainly his fault because he doesn't know when to shut up), he isn't Anelka who gets bored and moves on; different player, different circumstances.

Balo has the potential to be the best Italian striker for decades. If the guy was English, he'd be worth £80m.

Such an exciting player to watch, a really honest kid with a lot of fight inside of him. He refuses to be bullied by anybody though does know when to show respect to people. I can't see him having a single problem once he leaves Inter, and he is definitely the next big thing in football. He wouldn't be our Rooney, he'd be our Ronaldo.

Terrific player, and I'd love to see him here.
Whereas Robinho has spent most of his life being told just how good he is, and is therefore probably less hungry as a result — Balo is the complete opposite. His attitude comes from a desire to prove the haters wrong.

I believe once Balotelli reunites with Mancini, the manager that had so much faith in him — and of course, if we don't sing racist chants towards him every game — he'll be a much happier person, and a much better player than he already is. And he's already the best player in the world for his age.

I've never been more excited about a potential signing than I have with Mario.

James Milner: £20m+ from Aston Villa
We've courted Milner for a number of months, with our interest in the Villa midfielder reported all the way back in May. There appeared to be some negotiation between the clubs before the World Cup, with offers said to be anywhere from 20 to 30 million pounds.

After Milner and his English teammates failed to set the world alight in South Africa, news of this transfer seemed to drop off the radar.

Then amazingly, a day after Roberto Mancini declares his interest in Landon Donovan, a somewhat similar player to Milner, representatives from Villa are tripping over themselves to announce that James Milner is in fact available for sale — and the player himself has indicated his desire for a move away from Villa Park.

So we have an interesting situation on our hands where we have an unsettled player, and a manager who is keen to sell, but only at the "right price" of course. But now we are now the ones in control of this transfer — we have "hand".

I think at the £20 million quoted, Milner would be a top, top signing. He's versatile, filling in at either the right-wing or the centre of midfield, and could even drop back into defense in an emergency.

He's one of those players that does not get a lot of headlines for what he does, and therefore, a lot of people's response is: "Who? Why are we paying so much for him? He's shit". Here's just how shit he was for Aston Villa last year.
37% - James Milner either scored or assisted 19 of Aston Villa's 52 (37%) Premier League goals last season. Fulcrum (courtesy of OptaJoe on Twitter).
So... hopefully we have some concrete news about signings in the next week or so. But maybe not. As we've discovered, it's not like those deals on FIFA10 where you simply throw lots of money at the player and the club and they sign up.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Where The Bloody Hell Are Ya?

There's a great new little app just launched on the Manchester City site - Be a Part Of It | http://bepartofit.mcfc.co.uk/fans/map

Here you can register and see where your local fans are - seems pretty cool! We'd love to see a few more Aussie faces on there, people keep coming out of the woodwork, and we're always happy to have new members.  Jump on, add your details and we'll keep an eye on it.

If anyone is coming out to Australia backpacking, then why not drop us a line while you're in town and watch a City game with us?  If there's no games on, we're always available for a few of those little beers they're so keen on out here.

So... Where the Bloody Hell are Ya?



Though it must be said, LessonInPride prefers The Chaser's version. (Not suitable for those offended by four letter words, or Germans!)

New Manchester City Away Kit Pic


Now available at the Umbro shop here.

First impressions I guess are: "is that it?". It doesn't appear in this photo, but the kit features the same mini scarf on the inside collar as the home kit, which is probably it's best feature.

It's to be worn with navy shorts, and sky blue/navy hooped socks, New South Wales-style.

It's a fantastic looking shirt, but it just doesn't say "City" to me. Won't stop me buying one though.

Here's one thing I will definitely be getting though, and that's the "Mercer" jacket. A classic design, named after one of our heroes from yesteryear.


Of course, as soon as any of these become available, you can order it from the club or even better, through us.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Well, That's One Beer I'll Never Drink Again...

Singha.

It appears that the Thai beer has done a "reverse-Tevez" and signed for Manchester United in a three-year deal. There is also mention of this on the Rag's OS (click at your own peril).

However, as of this morning, the company still appears as a sponsor on our Official Site (right down the bottom of the page). It will be interesting to see whether Singha will continue their association with City as well — considering there are still plenty of City fans that refuse to deal with Sharp, Vodafone, or AIG.

Anyone who has ever been to the stadium and sampled the lager can hopefully look forward to a new brand this season... thankfully.

EDIT FROM GAV: It should be noted that other authors of this blog who have the slightest idea about marketing will point out that it absolutely makes sense for a brand to sponsor both teams across a rivalry, just to stop such a "boycott" situation occurring.  E.g. Rangers and Celtic always have the same shirt sponsor, and there are many other similar cases.  By all means don't drink it because you may think it's pish, but that's it.  It also should be noted that the original author of this piece does indeed have a phone on Vodafone :)

Nigel De Jong... Finish Him!



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Torres and Garry Cook's Financial Troubles

Now, usually I'd treat anything that 'Arry Redknapp says as being about accurate as my shooting with a Jabulani.
However, when he claims to know some inside transfer gossip, you should probably listen. (here and here)
"Manchester City could quite easily win the Premier League. If they get the players in now, they've already got the nucleus of a good team," the 63-year-old told Talksport.
"They're in for Torres - and if they end up getting him and one or two others then they can do anything.
"It's going to make it even harder to make the top four again next season, that's for definite."
Torres is a fantastic player, and would be an asset to any side in the world. At the moment, however he is looking like a shadow of his former self - if you believe that he's got the class to come back (as I do) then now might be the perfect time for Liverpool to offload him. It's very unlikely that he'd move to us, let's be honest, but the signing of his compatriot, fellow Spanish bench-warmer David Silva, might just be an incentive. That and Sheikh Mansour getting Khaldoon Al Mubarak to point his money hose in El NiƱo's general direction and opening the tap.

In addition, his injury in the World Cup Final UFC tag-team match between Las Tarjetas Amarillas and De Gele Kaarte have put a further twist into the tale. Who would sign an injured player? I don't think Roman Abrahmovic is quite so free and easy with his cash these days. It didn't seem to stop us signing RSC...


We at LessonInPride have been unable to confirm or deny sightings of a man matching Garrrrry Cook's description at the Manchester branch of the First Gulf Bank, frantically attempting to cancel a cheque with "at least 15 zero's on it", according to reports...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nigel De Jong v Shabby Alonso

Commiserations to Nigel De Jong and the Dutch, going down to Spain 1-0 in the World Cup final. But the midfield hardman sure left his mark on the match (and Alonso's chest no doubt...)




Funnily enough, this is remarkably similar to an incident involving City and Liverpool — Xabi Alonso's club at the time — where Martin Skrtel decided to launch an assault on Jo... however on this occasion the Liverpool defender escaped without punishment. And since that incident, Jo has been unable to play football well (although, he barely able to before-hand...)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

MCFC Player Reviews: Benjani

If you haven't been keeping up with the 2009-10 Player Reviews on the Official Site, you really should. The Adam Johnson one was a great look back, and the Javi Garrido one wasn't bad either.

But I think the quality is starting to drop off... check out this one of the "Offside Smiler", Benjani...

Friday, July 9, 2010

21 Players Who Will Be Joining City This Season (according to the press...)

Manchester City are a dream subject for journalists at the moment. It seems we're blamed for just about everything wrong in the game. Buying success, ruining the Premier League, England's failure at a major tournament, global warming... you name it.

Alternatively, every newspaper and second-rate blog fills column space by randomly picking a player from Football Manager and suggests that they're nailed-on for a move to City. Sure, we could afford any and every player we want, but the sheer amount is bordering on the ridiculous.

Here's 21 players who may (or most likely, may not) be joining the club by September 1.

Edin Dzeko
Mario Balotelli
James Milner
Fernando Torres
Yoann Gourcuff
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
David Luiz
Maicon
Mesut Ozil
Pedro Leon
Didier Drogba
Lucas Polodski
Aleksander Kolorov
Richard Wright (!)
Mikel Arteta
Kwadwo Asamoah
Gregory van der Wiel
Milos Krasic
Per Mertesacker
Giampaolo Pazzini
Landon Donovan

I have no doubt whatsoever that City will strengthen again before the season kicks off... but I'd rather sit back and let it happen than get all giddy over internet rumour.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yaya Toure Joins the Blue Revolution

Announced on the Official Site.

Toure is more of a classical box-to-box midfielder, who is as competent in attack as he is defense — which contrasts nicely with the slightly more defensive traits of De Jong, Barry, and Vieira.

Much like David Silva, he has won trophies and played in long campaigns in which the team has had to fight on both the domestic and European fronts.

Bobby Manc had the unfortunate task of revealing yet another signing: "This is another fantastic signing for Manchester City, and I am very pleased Yaya has joined us, he is a very good player.

"Everyone knows Yaya is a player that we have admired for a long time, and we would like to welcome him to Manchester City. He has played at the top level with Barcelona and I am sure he his experience and ability will be very important for us."

I just hope he fits in quicker than he brother Kolo, who earned the nickname "Toure-ttes" among Sydney fans due to his inconsistent performances at the back...

We're definitely starting to assemble a side that can not only challenge for the top four, but dare I say it, the League as well... happy days.

A Conversation With FourFourTwo

We were fortunate enough to have James Martin from FourFourTwo.com (isn't that a little bit outdated? Shouldn't they change their name to FourTwoThreeOne?) swing past Lesson In Pride, and he asked us a few questions about what's in store for City in the upcoming season.

Here's what we had to say — and you can have yours too by submitting a comment below. Do you agree with our assessment?

Hopes for the season?
This used to be "I hope we don't get relegated", although that has certainly changed in the last few years... But really for City, this is our best chance in many a year — top four and a domestic cup would be fantastic, and is more than realistic.

Fears for the season?
Losing yet again to United in injury time...

Unsung hero? (A terrace favourite who might not get that much outside recognition but who the fans really value)
Vincent Kompany barely rates a mention outside of Manchester, but he is now an integral part of the team. When he finally got his chance in the side, he proved a much better defender than both big-money transfers Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott, and kept his place in the first team when they returned from injury. He's the first defender I'd pick.

Keep an eye out for... (Emerging youngster, somebody who might finally come good)
Adam Johnson. He has gone from playing in the Championship to just missing out on the World Cup squad in the space of six months. As good on the ball as Robinho, but without the attitude.

Waste of space?
His name popped up there, Robinho — although if he knuckles down and works hard he can still play a role in this club, preferably in a role behind the strikers, rather than on the left wing.

Make a wish... (Something about your owners, who you most want to beat, ticket prices)
I think we've used up all our wishes as City fans recently!

Other fans think our club/team is...
A team full of money-grabbing mercenaries, who probably thought they were going to join Manchester United when they signed. We're "buying success", you see. Because City are the only club to have spent lots of money on a player, ever.

Others fans think our fans are...
Bandwagon-jumpers who bought their first ticket at the same time they bought their shirt with "Robinho" on the back. But it was the fans who pitched in to fly an Australian (Gordon Love) over for a game, and also funded the large "Thank you Sheikh" banner. It's still a family club.

Best away fans at your ground?
Hamburg in the UEFA Cup. But domestically, I liked Portsmouth, even if they did have that bloody drum... After the vuvuzelas in the World Cup, I don't think anyone has a right to complain about the drums and bells again!

Best away ground to visit? (Can be about pies, atmosphere, friendly stewards)
I liked Craven Cottage. A lovely stroll along the Thames takes you into a old-school football ground, and you’re not treated like a leper by the stewards.

Opposition player you secretly admire?
Peter Crouch. Despite his goal knocking us out of the battle for fourth place. A criminally underrated footballer who can win the knock downs and has a decent shot. A better option for England that Heskey was, anyway. (Honourable mention to Aruna Dindane as well...)

Your manager's popularity out of 10?
9. But it would probably be a 7 if he didn’t wear that scarf every game...

Where will you finish?
Runners-up. Behind Chelsea, and ahead of United. You heard it here first.

Can money buy success?
Can you ask that again in twelve months time? Maybe not, but we're going to enjoy trying...

Are you worried that your spending power will see you overtake Chelsea as the most hated team in the land?
No — because it already has! And to be honest, that's much better than just being "poor likkle Citeh" that everyone felt sorry for. But we're here, we're cashed up, and we've got 35 years of catching up to do...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2010-11 Fixtures Released

Here are the Manchester City fixtures for the 20010-11 campaign. Please note that the times and dates may be subject to change, mainly due to Europa League, and of course the wishes of Sir Alex Ferguson...

This post is fluid and will be updated throughout the season, so click "Fixtures and Results 2010-11" in the Search by Category box to view the results in one click. Alternatively, select the date to be taken to the relevant match report.

Aug 14 v Tottenham Hotspur away
Aug 23 v Liverpool home
Aug 29 v Sunderland away

Sep 11 v Blackburn home
Sep 19 v Wigan Athletic away
Sep 25 v Chelsea home

Oct 03 v Newcastle United home
Oct 17 v Blackpool away
Oct 24 v Arsenal home
Oct 30 v Wolverhampton away

Nov 06 v
West Bromich Albion away
Nov 10 v Manchester United home
Nov 13 v Birmingham City home
Nov 21 v Fulham away
Nov 27 v Stoke City away

Dec 04 v Bolton home
Dec 11 v West Ham United away
Dec 18 v Everton home
Dec 26 v Newcastle United away
Dec 28 v Aston Villa home

Jan 01 v Blackpool home
Jan 04 v Arsenal away
Jan 15 v Wolverhampton home
Jan 22 v Aston Villa away

Feb 01 v Birmingham City away
Feb 05 v West Bromich Albion home
Feb 12 v Manchester United away
Feb 26 v Fulham home

Mar 05 v Wigan Athletic home
Mar 19 v Chelsea away

Apr 02 v Sunderland home
Apr 10 v Liverpool away
Apr 16 v Tottenham Hotspur home
Apr 23 v Blackburn away
Apr 30 v West Ham United home

May 07 v Everton away
May 14 v Stoke City home
May 22 v Bolton away

Daylight Savings Time in NSW begins on 3 October 2010 and ends on 3 April 2011.
Daylight Savings Time in England ends on 31 October 2010 and recommences 27 March 2011.