Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Life & reality sometimes gets in the way…

It’d been a tough week for me at work; colleagues being on Leave and a large workload left me feeling a little stressed and exhausted I have to admit. I freely admit also that I reached for the ‘anti-stress juice’ on a few occasions last week and it all culminated in a very boozy but enjoyable garden party on Saturday.

Result? Well putting it mildly I felt all ‘partied out’ and had neither the energy nor the concentration to keep my Blog up-to-date. Huge apologies.


Crash, bang, wallop!

AC Milan were not at full strength on Sunday, that’s for sure, but we were FAR from having our regulars available in the first of our Guinness International Champions Cup games. No Joe, Zaba, Vinny, Demichelis, (Mangala?), Fernandinho, (Hamez) Milner, Silva, Nasri, Yaya, Edin, Alvaro or Sergioand Clichy played very well indeed and RIGHT back! It really does spell out what a terrific squad of talent we have at our disposal.
With blurry eyes and a sore head I had remembered that we were kicking off at 9:00pm (BST) and made a point of TRYING to remember to watch it. So as the time approached I started to faff around on the Internet and before I knew it…it was 9:30pm! Damn!
So I scrambled around on the WEB to find the game and by the time I got a channel up (with English commentary as a bonus) the game was 33 minutes old and we were 4-0 up! Delighted but frustrated with myself [that I’d missed the start and four City goals] I watched up to half time before turning the TV on during the interval.
The telly was already tune to Sky Sports 1 as it came on and for a few seconds I thought it just a coincidence that the same advert was on running at exactly the same time as the one on my PC. It wasn’t long before I pushed a few buttons and realised that I could have been watching it on the flippin’ TV instead…and could have even set a reminder! I did tell you that I was ‘out of sorts’…
Despite the extended break for heavy rain, thunder / lightening and a tornado warning (yep, they were in America alright) I managed to stay awake and mostly focussed on the rest of the game.
We looked really, really fit and sharp and for the most part we run the Italians ragged. Crisp, pacy moves lead to some fine link-up play in the final third and some excellent finishing. I just wonder if Pellegrini will now decide to keep pre-season-impressive Scott Sinclair as a cup / squad player…
Jovetic, as I both hoped and expected, is really looking the part – “Like a new signing” is indeed correct. Fernando looks ‘the part’ too; hungry to break down the opposition play at every opportunity and pass it forward with accuracy. Good to see Nastasic getting some vital ‘game time’ after his frustrating season in the physio room. Navas looks like a man irritated by the injury that kept him out of the World Cup; he looks like a man on a real mission!
Zuculini looks like he could step in the Premier League already [rather than go out on loan for a season] and in Willy Caballero we have an excellent competitor to ‘our Joe’.
All good stuff…

…but then there’s the kit

Regular readers will have, most likely, read my comments on the home kit already. If not, here they are. If there’s one thing we seem to be able to rely on with the Internet it’s that the ‘leaked’ kits are, more often than not, ‘the real deal’ - sadly both the home and away kits proved to be correct. Who are these people?
Then there’s the ‘trackie top’ seen here I this City video. What ARE we doing to our Club?! We’ve got a home kit that makes us look like Coventry City with no white in it whatsoever, an away kit that you may as well stick an Arsenal or, worse still, Manyoo badge on and a tracksuit that makes us look like a Leeds United or Wimbledon side from the 80s!
Red & black anyone? Maroon? White even (ANY white). God I’d even take purple at this moment in time…
On yer bike Nike…sadly not for a few more years it would seem. A new 'style negotiator' at City too while we’re (hopefully) swinging the axe.
I have been informed that, in general and on various City forums, the feeling from Blues fan is about 50/50 on all our new merchandise at the moment. Although I’m sure they’ll go ‘flying off the shelves’, especially in kiddie sizes; a 50/50 feeling on how your (Champions) team looks isn’t a good result in anyone’s book.
But, I suppose, it’s what’s in the shirt that counts and at least we’ve not (yet) done a ‘chest pants’ Tan on our home kit...

It’s all gone even MORE quiet

Apart from a really weird episode where MCFC had their WEB site hacked, apparently, and we (I missed it) were shown footage of Mangala talking about his future with City, there’s been nothing. Even, when presumably asked following the Milan game, Pellegrini doesn’t want to comment other than saying it’s not a 100% done-deal.
(It's not the first time City have, allegedly, had their WEB site hacked...)
Eliaquim Mangala in Manchester
I have said in the past that I heard somewhere that it was his girlfriend ‘kicking up a fuss’ about the move not being to London and as I’ve heard nothing else to the contrary; I can only assume that they are thrashing out personal terms / domestics? Perhaps a bigger (compensation) house in Cheshire and regular ‘paid for’ flights to London so she can nip to the shops?
That’s the danger with slow-release information and speculation – she might not be like that at all; it might not be to do with any of that in the slightest…

Isco a no-go?

Speculation seemed to rear its head (again) linking us with a move for the ex-Malaga midfielder. Ever get the feeling that Isco arriving at Manchester City one day is just inevitable?
But, this time at least, rumours were quashed not long after they started with a Club “insider” apparently pouring cold water on it and, apparently, stating that Mangala will be our last purchase of the summer.
If we do get Mangala…I’m not so sure he WILL be our last buy. I’ve still got a sneaky feeling that we’ll grab a last minute attacking / creative option and with Real wanting to recoup on the purchase of Hamez (James) Rodriguez, I still think it’ll be Isco or Di Maria.

The clock is ticking…

So, feeling a little more human in the last 36 hours or so and with workload ‘on top of’ for the time being; I seem to have a little more focus on all things Manchester City again.
Not long now until the Football League kicks off too (looking forward to that and might even try to get to a local game) and our very own Community Shield match on Sunday 10th August (3:00pm KO BST).
I’m not going to this one; I simply can’t afford it [with jobs in the house on the go at the moment]. My mate, who shares season card with my wife, will be taking his partner to their first ever City / Wembley experience - I just hope for their sake they’re join by a few other Blues.
City are allowing each City fan to purchase an unprecedented 5 tickets each! It would seem, for whatever reason, interest is very low in the Community Shield at the moment.
One reason could be that, aside form the fact that it’ll be on the telly; there are well-publicised, planned works on large stretches of the rail network that weekend, which’ll leave City fans will little option but to get ‘snarled up’, I’m sure, in some very heavy traffic. Not a fun experience for, what is essentially, a very expensive pre-season game 200 miles away (in each direction)…on a flippin’ Sunday.

Up next?

Liverpool on Wednesday 30th August, 7:00pm EST (12-midnight BST). I can’t see me staying up for this one on a ‘school night’ but I might try to do some pre-match Blog work…
Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read.

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