Friday, 31 January 2014

Simply awesome…now here comes February!

Tearing teams to pieces is becoming a very enjoyable habit indeed. The 5-1 mauling of Spurs at White Heart Lane on Wednesday night was the EIGHTH time we’ve scored 5 goals or more in a match.

Returning players gives FURTHER boost!

Aside from the slight scare of watching Sergio hobbling off under his own steam and clutching his hamstring (now out for approximately 4 weeks) we’re looking in fine fettle otherwise. Even Samir Nasri is 2 to 3 weeks ahead of his original estimated recovery (of 8 weeks) and could be back in time for the home Barcelona clash (18th Feb) or Stoke at home in the Premier League on 22nd Feb at the very latest.

Negredo – not required to come off the bench last Wednesday – got another rest just to ‘make sure’; make sure, that is, that he can be unchained and released on Chelsea this coming Monday! And we now have Stevan Jovetic – he looks spritely, sharp, completely free from injury and now has a Premier League, confidence-boosting goal under his belt.

All good stuff!

Speaking of good stuff; that was a fine display against Spurs. ‘Champions luck’ [with the penalty/sending off] aside, we looked SO full of confidence it reminded me of how we once played under Mancini; with no fear whatsoever in the last quarter of our title-winning season.

In SHARP contrast to the display against Watford, the defence were back to their very best. So assured were the back-4 that they’ve surely now put in a strong claim to Pellegrini to be the strongest possible back-line-up. Of course, well for me anyway, Clichy, Kompany and Zaba were cemented in there anyway, Demichelis suddenly showed his qualities; not just in dribs & drabs this time but for the whole 90-odd minutes.

Please 'carry on' Clichy

I can’t miss out a mention for Fernandinho protecting the defence as well; a solid 8/10 performance as oppose to what we got from [the always returning from injury] Rodwell against The Hornets or what we usually get from Garcia. Yaya's work rate too was excellent!

Apart from Hart, who had very little to do (not his fault of course), they all get 7s, 8s & 9s for me. But, before his injury, I have to mention Aguero’s display in particular. He looked to be in the best form and goal-hungry mood I have ever seen. The man, who has just made Mike Summerbee’s best City 11, actually looked to have grown physically! Whatever they did to him during his rehab…keep on doing it! In the words of ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’, he looked “better…stronger…faster”.

I actually used the “M” word in the pub on Wednesday night after his goal; Messi would have been proud of that one. Speedy (and long-lasting) recovery Sergio!

However, I have to remind myself that we did so well without him during his last lay-off and, this time of course, we have Jovetic to add to the ranks during this latest absence…and we’ll need him too. February is one HELL of a month! A 6-pointer Premier League game starts it all off before an F.A. Cup 5th round repeat of that same fixture. 3 more Premier League games; a certain Barcelona fixture at home and all before a League Cup final Wembley date on 2nd March! Wow!

The good news is that apart from Norwich City away, 5 from 6 games in February are all at home. In fact there’s a period where we’re playing 4 home games in just 11 days! Even BIGGER WOW!


BIG rumours this afternoon that both central defender Eliaquim Mangala and defensive midfielder Fernando (that would have proven confusing) were landing in a private jet together at Manchester Airport at 3:23pm. Then, within 1 ½ hours, it was all off! Apparently Porto decided that they wanted £40M+ and City weren’t prepared to go above the £40M mark.

That’s a real shame; a 23-year old, crackin’ (by all accounts) left-sided central defender and far better (I would imagine) cover/competition for Fernandinho would have been just the trick. In fact, if we’d have grabbed a bloody good left-back too I’d have been tempted to use the words ‘finished article’!

Anything else happening?

Well we’ve just have signed a 15-year old striker from Malmo called Zacharias Faour but, of course, he’ll go straight into the youth teams / EDS. Has Lebanese links but his nationality is Swedish.

More recent reports puts Manuel Pellegrini himself back at Malaga; the rumour being that he’s looking at a £13M-valued, Spanish defensive midfielder called Ignacio Camacho.

Looking at the Chelsea game…

All fit apart form Aguero, Garcia & Nasri and so here’s my predicted starting line-up…











Subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Nastasic, Lescott, Rodwell, Milner, Jovetic.

Result? Well I went all cautious and put us down for a draw against Spurs and look what happened! Of course Chelsea are a MUCH different prospect, but…we’re at home and just look how we’re flying at the moment! But…we’ve not got Aguero who, I’m sure, would have torn them to shreds (or at least would have proven to be SUCH a distraction that the others would have run riot). BUT…we did so well and scored so many goals without him last time.

Huhhhh…as I did with the Tottenham fixture; a few weeks ago I put this one down as another draw. Yee of little faith (or is it still a hangover from the old Cityitis) is sticking with that draw prediction once again. I hope, once again for the right reasons, that I’m very wrong!

The clock is ticking…

The next few hours and transfer activity will fly by way too fast for me to keep updating with regards to rumours and signing etc. Let’s just hope there’s a turn-around with at least the Eliaquim Mangala aspect of the Porto negotiations or, if not; that we find another way of strengthening that area of the team before 11:00pm (GMT).

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick…

01.02.2014 - Quick technical point and apology: I've just noticed to my horror that despite my intent, hyperlinks were not opening in a separate window (taking readers away from the Blog completely). I'm not sure how far back in Blog-postings this oversight goes but I am in the process of checking; I will ensure that all links open in a separate window from now on and apologise for the annoying anomaly.

Bloody computers... 8- (

Sunday, 26 January 2014

“Never in doubt”

Those were the 3 words text to me by a friend and fellow Blue about an hour after the game. Although I said to my wife at half time that I was confident that we’d come back at Watford in the second half, I quite honestly believed – and said so – that we might have to settle for 2-2 and a replay at Vicarage Road. Thankfully a much transformed City side proved otherwise…

Calling all central defenders…and left backs!

If we are unable to prise a top-draw central defender from the clutches of another team in the January transfer window, I make no excuses for perhaps sounding so dramatic by saying that our failure to do so could be our undoing in our pursuit of the Premier League title (along with 3 cup competitions of course). Not for the first time – but never so obviously – was it so evident yesterday that we struggle at the back without key players protecting our goal.

Spotlight on yesterday’s “defence”

Aleksandar Kolarov: For all his improvement, attacking qualities and ability to both create goals and score the odd screamer; he just cannot defend. So much, in fact, do I refute him as a defender and give him some credit going forward that I think the club need to re-list him [from their ‘defender’ to ‘midfield’ category] on their WEB site. But who do we have as back up? A year or so ago I would have been crazy to even suggest listing Gael Clichy as ‘back up to Kolarov’ but such is the decline in the Frenchman’s performances; that’s where we pretty much stand! Not for the first time do I find myself bemoaning the left side of our defence…

Micah Richards: For all his fine endeavours yesterday for which he has to be given credit…he’s just too flippin’ fat and, therefore, lacks the agility needed to play in a fullback position. Taking into account (once again) his recovery from (yet another) injury; he just appeared to be completely out of his depth against a determined Championship side yesterday. I was not surprised – but was relieved – to see him being replaced by Zaba. What he did [by bulking up WAY too much] to his body in the vital years of him-finishing his growth has, in my non-expert opinion, had a long-lasting, detrimental affect. He looks more Rugby player than footy…

Joleon Lescott: Had a fairly decent game yesterday; certainly improved a lot when pitched alongside our Captain in the second half. But I can see why Manuel doesn’t quite fancy him long term. He looks almost robot like at times; there’s just no fluidity to his game at all. He’s been a great servant to the Club and DOES indeed work well with Vinny. But our new style of play under ‘The Engineer’ seems to have lost the England man (perhaps that’s the issue with Clichy & Nastasic too but I can’t understand why-so with those two); Joleon just doesn’t control and use the ball at his feel like our Chilean manager would like him to.

Martin Demichelis: The guy brought in as ‘cover’ is now being used more and more by the man who knows him so well. But rather than believing that it’s because our manager has such faith in the Argentinean; I think it’s rather because he DOESN’T have much faith in Lescott and the-shadow-of-his-former-self Nastasic. At best Martin is ‘adequate’ but when he’s NOT at his best he looks totally and utterly lost and fragile on the field of play. He just does not have the power nor pace for a central defender’s life in the English leagues; even against a Championship side he looked very vulnerable yesterday. Having said that…

…a quick note on Jack Rodwell: Jack has been out for months; some might say it’s more like years having only played around a dozen times since signing for Manchester City in August 2012. Yesterday he looked WELL of the pace; completely lost and he, therefore, offered the back 4 no protection whatsoever. There…I’ve thrown-in a little nugget of an excuse for that appalling defensive display yesterday. As with Micah, I was not at all surprised – and was equally relieved – to see him replaced at the interval.

Retuning from lay-offs taken into account, both Micah & Jack did themselves no favours against Watford yesterday; neither did Joleon and I honestly can’t see any of those 3 at Manchester City next season.

All hail the Manager!

Like the fans – well…ANYONE in fact with eyes on the pitch yesterday – he saw what was happening and just had to change it. Slightly uncharacteristically he was more than honest in a post-match interview when he stated that he would have changed the whole 11 at half time if he could! That just sums up the high emotions swelled in the manager by such an abject first half display; surely he wasn’t including Navas & Aguero there, was he?

So he did change it and with Komps & Pablo coming to the rescue by steadying the ship – and with Demichelis moving into midfield and having a much better time of it – Pellegrini engineered a fine second half display and comeback. Well-done him!

Lopes was quite rightly removed too; he followed up his fine performance against West Ham with a much, much lower-key performance. I don’t know if Watford had done their homework and saw either a threat or a young lad ‘there for the taking’ but he was harassed and muscled out of the game completely. It’s often been said of the Portuguese youngster that his physique makes him look beyond his years; a powerful man already as opposed to a growing young footballer. Yesterday he looked like a growing young footballer…

Aguero is just ON FIRE at the moment!

But when Vinny (and Zaba) are out we look totally lost at the back (and that’s without going on about the left-back situation) and if we don’t get this seemingly elusive centre half in by Friday; I have some serious concerns about our excellent attempt at winning more than one trophy this season.

And as if I needed my defensive fear rating moving up a notch, there was a moment yesterday - not spotted by anyone that I’ve spoken to yet - where our Captain pulled up; went to hold the back of his thigh and in typical Vinny style thought better of it and, after a few minutes, looked to have ‘ran it off’.

He’s a delicate peach indeed and I just can’t help feeling that he’ll go missing again before the season is out…

I have to give at least one line of credit to Watford for yesterday’s display – they sure didn’t play like a team 15th in the Championship with only 1 win in 10; they played with no fear against us yesterday.

Back to league action…

There’s a whole 4 days to go but I’m gonna stick my predicted line-up for the Spurs game in now, if I can be so bold…

Formation: 4-4-2










Subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Richards, Nastasic, Demichelis, Garcia, Jovetic.

Hart gets his place back (I’d start using him in the F.A. Cup too now – we need a consistent defensive ‘unit’ to start building up a dependable bond; especially if we’re NOT going to sign a new guy by Friday).

I think Manuel will look at the display against Watford and will pick his strongest back 4. Although there’s debate about whether Lescott or Nastasic should get in that considered-strongest back line; I think he’ll look at the reasonably successful Kompany/Lescott combo as being the slightly better option. Surely…SURELY he’ll see that even an off-the-pace Clichy is better than Kolarov in defensive duties!

Silva should be back from his ‘pain in his hamstring’ and I’ve not heard anything to suggest why Fernandinho can’t play. So with Yaya & Jesus also pretty much odds-on for a start also; that’s a fairly strong midfield 4 considering Nasri is out.

Dzeko had a game to forget yesterday but I can’t see him starting Jovetic just yet. Steven, though, continues on the bench at least.

Negredo doesn’t have much of a chance of making it and neither, apparently, does Milner; who has a groin ‘niggle’. Both players should be fit for the HUGE Chelsea clash at the Etihad on Monday 3rd February.

Apart from perhaps Jovetic and the option of ‘ball whipping’ Kolarov; it’s not exactly an inspiring bench, is it? Let’s just hope we can do the job with the starting 11.

Result? Hope, for the right reasons of course, I’m wrong but…a draw.

Transfer update (including new, reasonable ‘links’):

With the end of the transfer window indeed looming, here’s a little update on the piece that I produced the other day

No news but remains 4/10 for a loan move; 2/10 for a permanent one

Likewise, no news but with Rodwell having a stinker, I’ve moved the chances up one to (a whopping!) 3/10

Nothing further on the Brazilian other than his agent SAYING he’s going nowhere and so he stays at 1/10

This chappy has, by all accounts, said that he doesn’t want to leave Porto. Those apparent quotes came out around about the time that we were supposed to have put in an actual bid close to Porto’s valuation of £38M (around 40M Euros). Stays at 4/10

The sure-to-be-Chelsea-bound player almost disappears from my list but I’ll keep him at 1/10 for now…

FAR more likely than Luke Shaw but, thanks to some information received this week (thanks Tom!), it would appear that he’s about to sign a new contract. Hasn’t signed one yet though…but drops one to 3/10

No more news, remains at 8/10

Nothing more has since come out about the Argentinean left-winger and with club efforts surely focused on the defence; I’m dropping this one down one to 3/10

All quiet again but with the need for someone at left-back so high, the chance of signing the Spaniard stays at 5/10

Two new names added to the ‘not completely ridiculous’ transfer-in list are…

Have been linked many times with this guy before; it’s as though the world won’t be happy until he’s wearing the sky blue of City. Good player and although he has a COMPLETELY different physique to Di Maria; similarly he’s an attacking, left-sided winger/forward that would certainly add a dimension and give us more options. At 27 years of age he’s a very experienced, powerful, POWERFUL player who has both goals and assists aplenty in him. Being previously linked with us several times I’m going for a very cautiously optimistic 3/10 Again, the defence is the priority for us…


Another player who has been linked with us before. Although at 19 he might not be seen as someone who can step straight into the mid-season-pace of an English Premier League campaign, I wouldn’t rule it out at all – Nastasic managed early life in the Prem extremely well before he faded a little… As I say, we’ve had links with Kurt before; at 19 he fits the ‘building long-term’ plan and it’s certainly an area we need to strengthen of course. Although I think Mangala would be a better January option, I’m going 4/10  Even if we get Mangala before Friday I wouldn’t mind having a look at this chap again in the summer as well though…

Additional update (26.01.2014 - 2:30pm):

Blaise Matuidi (Defensive midfielder - Centre)

Although this looks like a 2+2= 9.75 link in the fact that Blaise is out of contract in the summer AND, apparently, PSG want Gael Clichy; this rumour sort of makes sense. I don't think Pellegrini is going to run with either Javi Garcia or Jack Rodwell next season and with Gareth Barry all but gone too - and with a good & crucial chunk of this season to go too - we need cover/competition for Fernandinho. Bags of French league experience and a 'good age' at 26. From the brief bits I've seen of him he looks combative, good in the tackle and energetic. 4/10

Tick-tock, tick-tock…

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cup fever!

Wembley here we come…again! And speaking of “again”, another cup game tomorrow. The league has been well ‘n’ truly put on ice for the time being…along with the champagne hey?

Crackin’ day out booked!

In my 28-years of being a season ticket/card holder I’d only ever been to Wembley to watch City once in the first 25 seasons. That single occasion, of course, was a 3rd division (in old money) promotional play-off final. An unbelievably great occasion and eventual result I cannot and would not refute …but nonetheless it was hardly a prestigious cup-competition-winning final was it?

So to then find myself at Wembley 5 times (an F.A. Cup semi-final, 2 finals, a Community Shield and now a League Cup final) in the last 3 years seems, to me, like I’ve been caught up in some kind of footballing version of The Wizard of Oz tornado.

Including the 1999 play-off final against Gillingham my full Wembley record reads: WWWLL. I didn’t go to the Community Shield game against Chelsea (it was at Villa Park anyway) and so I’m due a win…

But what I’m referring to by ‘Crackin’ day out’ is the fact that we’re not playing ‘them’. I’m not for one second calling all Manyoo fans morons (and we have a few of our own of course); I know some of ‘em and a lot of them are decent-enough people. But when it comes down to it, whether it’s a cup semi-final or “just” a Community Shield; it’s a Manchester derby when all said ‘n’ done and, what comes with that, is the usual pre & post-match ‘needle’.

For example…

Two overriding memories that have stuck with me was during my first Wembley trip since the Gillingham game (at the OLD Wembley). This time, at the newly-built stadium, we were in the semi-final of the F.A. Cup against ‘that lot’ from Stretford. What a fantastic day it was; a Yaya Toure-winning goal sending us all into raptures as we headed for the final against Stoke City and our first silverware in 30-odd years (you might want to ask a Manyoo fan for the exact number of years – they were keeping count apparently…)

Before the game my coach had stopped off at some motorway services about 10:30am (having set off about 8:00am) and we were in buoyant mood. Newspapers and i-Phones were being read, a few cold sausage & bacon butties were being consumed and everyone was completely chilled out and having a generally nice time chatting. So what was it that greeted us (apart from the stupidly over-priced snacks) as we disembarked the coach? A hoard of about 30 to 40 Manyoo fans positioned just to one side of the main entrance; swigging booze and coming out with generally vicious comments and, a little later on, song-chants as we passed by in & out.

Because I was so transfixed on the occasion itself – quietly convinced that we’d be victorious on the day – I’d kind-a not thought for a second about bumping into that lot on the way down.

Anyhoo…nothing bad transpired (it was still early morning and so they’d not had TOO much time to get ‘aled up’) and we made it to Wembley unscathed. And, in fairness, once we’d parked on ‘our side’ of Wembley there was little in the way of any ‘bad blood’ it has to be said - just one minor scuffle that I can recall, which blew over as quick as it started. In fact one of my permanent videos on another ‘tab’ was from that very day and sums up the reasonably good mood all things considered…

After the game, however, the atmosphere changed considerably. After joyously singing & shouting so much in the stands and on the way back down the stairs that I slightly strained a chest & stomach muscle; I reached the outside and was greeted by quite a site. It was of a Manyoo fan with one of his eyebrows gushing with blood as he marched around clench-fisted and very angry looking eager to take his frustrations out on anyone wearing sky blue. He passed within inches of my wife & I - wearing sky blue – but decided, for some reason, to look for someone else to take up his grievances with. That was nice of him I suppose.

What I’m getting at is…it’s just not a particularly, fully enjoyable day out when you have to play your ‘derby rivals’ at Wembley and so for more reasons than one last Wednesday night; I was utterly delighted to see Sunderland beat them to reach the League Cup final on 2nd March. Huh…it’s just that the WAY it happened, particularly after their season-long turmoil so far, made it all the sweeter of course! Has Phil (Laurel-Beaker) Jones’ penalty-shot come back down yet? J

V Watford

Perhaps not QUITE as difficult for me to predict as the Pellegrini starting line-up against West Ham United last Tuesday (but not far off), here’s my “educated” guess at what he might select in his effort to reach the 5th round of the F.A. Cup…

Formation: 4-4-2










The problem with this prediction lies in Manuel’s thinking about giving some game-time to recognised / considered first-teamers who were rested for the West Ham clash in mid-week whilst at the same time being mindful of a very tough game away at a much-resurgent Tottenham side this coming Wednesday.

Kolarov (mostly), Demichelis and Kompany were given a night off last Tuesday and all 3 are highly likely to feature at White Hart Lane. So what does ‘The Engineer’ do? Being a home, F.A. Cup game against a struggling Championship side does he give them another day off? Sure, if he did rest them, they wouldn’t be risking injury ahead of a crucial Premier League clash. But, so the experts say, there’s no better cardiovascular fitness workout than playing first-team football – another day off MIGHT leave them a little ‘off the pace’ as they head-off to London

Although it is, indeed, a cup game; I think he’ll give this one to Joe. Surely Pellegrini won’t ‘do a Mancini and leave Costel on the bench for the League Cup final! And although Pantilimon got the Blackburn games; with us now having REACHED the final of the League Cup I think the Chilean will now share the cups out and, therefore, give Hart this one. I might be completely wrong of course…

As I say, I think he’ll give some exercise time to Aleks, Martin & Vinny and I think he’ll give some well-needed game time to Micah too. Fernandinho played in mid week and so I think Garcia is a sure starter. Milner, who got a full night off too in the week, is surely going to start. But with us needing SOME creativity on the pitch – and I think with Yaya perhaps needing to rest his back a little longer (although he’s not been declared unfit) – I think James will get a central role for a rare change. I think he works better in the middle anyway. If he DOESN’T start, I think we’ll perhaps see Yaya on the bench just in case he’s needed.

Although Navas played most of the game at Upton Park, I think he’ll get another 60+ minutes to supply the ammo to try and see off the Hornets as soon as possible. I also think Clichy will get another start because I can see Kolarov being deployed as a left-winger, with David Silva not being risked with, “…some pain in his hamstring but nothing important”.

Aguero should get 45+ as he completes his return to full fitness and Dzeko is pretty much a sure bet too. However, I would hope that Jovetic will get some more time on the pitch than he did against the Hammers – I’m sure he will…

With David out Pellegrini might, of course, be tempted to give Lopes another start. But I wonder whether he’ll think that 2 starts in 4 days might be a little TOO much for the EDS player? It’s the bench for him I think…but with a good chance of coming on.

Fernandinho is a sure starter for the Spurs game and so Rodwell should make the bench; Zaba & Nastasic as cover and so there’s no place for Lescott (oh the rumours will be further fuelled…)

Result? At home against a Championship team who have won just 1 game in the last 10? I’ll look forward to the 5th-round draw…

Moyes gets Mata

Excellent signing for them but slightly over-priced at £37M I think but that’s the January transfer window for you...

I’ve made no attempt to hide the fact that it would have been awesome if we’d have added the Spaniard to swell our creative ranks even further and so I’m a little disappointed to see him move over there. And he’ll do well I think; he’ll certainly be out to prove Mourinho wrong! If they can get the SORELY missed Rooney & Van Persie fit then all 3 should lift the team a heck of a lot – they SHOULD make 4th by the end of the season…

A bit cute by Mourinho actually; I do find myself agreeing with those conspiracy theorists who say that Jose has now handed Manyoo a timely (and angry) weapon to potentially do some damage to both Arsenal and ourselves in the title race.

The cheeky bugger… 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

1/10 to “SIGNED”…

In both the Summer and January transfer windows I tend to keep a log of those transfer rumours that I rate as being anywhere from a very slim, 1/10 chance of it coming true right the way through to a player actually signing for the Blues. ‘No chancers’ I don’t even bother switching on my PC for…

It’s warming up

Whether it’s because we have such a strong squad – more or less having 2, 3 or even 4 extremely capable players for most positions – or whether it’s because both Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester City F.C. as a whole are expert at keeping their cards not just close to their chest but locked away in a secure vault; compared to the other ‘big six’ we’ve barely had a mention during the current transfer window. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it now seems to be slowly gathering a slow-to-medium pace.

So with just yer 10-½ days to go (at the time of this Blog-posting) and with the City rumours moving from a medium-pace walk to a lazy feet-shuffling jog; here’s how I think we currently stand with some of the slightly more sensible & likely links.

A player Manuel tried so hard to drag with him to Manchester City when he left Malaga; it seemed like a real tussle right to the end [of him signing for Real Madrid]. Having been at the mighty whites for so almost 8 months and having only played 16 games (scoring 6 times), is it all that unlikely? I don’t think we have a great chance of actually signing him on a permanent deal in January but I certainly wouldn’t rule out a loan move (especially with Samir on the treatment table for the next 5 to 7 weeks). If things don’t look to be improving for the lad at the end of the season THEN I can see him making my summer list of ‘possibles’ and rating it a decent 5/10 too. As for now…

Loan move: 4/10
Permanent move: 2/10

I think a lot of this is down to ‘the speculators’ putting 2+2 together and coming up with 18.7. I don’t actually think the slowly-improving Javi Garcia will be with us at the start of next season and so, similar to Isco; I can see ‘our Nige’ making a strong 6/10 in the summer window. It sure makes sense to bring him back to compete with the similarly-aged Fernandinho for that deeper-lying midfield role. The guy knows the Premier League very well indeed, rarely put in a bad performance, certainly gave Yaya the freedom and, more importantly, confidence to attack-attack-attack and he both knows and loves the club. But for now and with Garcia unlikely to be moving before February…



Pellegrini likes his South Americans and this 30-year old chappy not only has plenty of European experience; he’s currently playing for one of the best Managers and football teams in the world. But for those last two reasons, although he made my list as someone I can see our Manager being very interested in, I just can’t see him leaving Bayern and so…


This guy looks class and gets rave reviews whenever I read or hear about him. And at just 23-years of age this coming February, he fits right into our long-term building plan too. At an estimated £35M he sure will cost a bit but, then again, defensively we’ll be off-loading Demichelis, Lescott, Boyata and, quite possibly, Richards at the very least in the summer I’m sure. We’ve been linked with the French international on & off for the last 12 to 18 months and I’d love him to join us in January (but certainly the summer if not…) and although I’d rate his summer chances of joining us as highly as 7/10, I don’t think his January chances are completely unrealistic at…


I was quite confident when we were (strongly?) linked with the young lad from Southampton but looking back; I now wonder how much of that optimism was down to my own personal desire to see us bring in a quality left-back. In truth, I’m relying on reports on how good he actually is, having seen very little of him personally. However, it sounds as though not only is he going nowhere in January but he’s also Chelsea-bound in the summer (for a whopping £30M for a lad with only 40-odd Southampton games under his belt). BUT…you can never rule out City’s desire to ‘go ‘n’ get’ players they want these days and no other footballing force will scare off Ferran Soriano & Txiki Begiristain if Pellegrini wants someone badly enough. This one gets a highly unlikely but not impossible…

1/10  Stay with me, the scores pick up a little bit soon…


Does Pellegrini want a left-back able to easily compete for a place with Kolarov & Clichy right now? Does he want one who can replace one of those players should either of them depart in the summer? Does he want one who knows the Premier League inside-out and one who, even at 29-years of age, has now been recognised as being good enough to complete with Ashley Cole for an England place? Does he want one who can attack as well as defend and one who can sure help Kolarov & Yaya with free kicks and penalties if needed? Does he wanna p**s Manyoo & Moyes right off?! Well for around £15M – along with the added bonus of us offering Everton the permanent services of Gareth Barry as part of the deal - he could do all of that in one swoop. January chances?




After on / off / on / off…and now back on negotiations with, apparently, his agent; it looks like this one is almost done...according to the player's dad. There are still some doubts about whether he’ll get a work permit and so even if he signs a (rumoured) pre-contract agreement to join us; he then might have to go out on loan until his 18th birthday (now 17) and / or until a work permit can be achieved.



Another player we’ve been linked with before…even before Arsenal ‘got their noses in’. And this one makes perfect sense to me. Regular readers might recall me saying that, although it might seem very greedy of me wanting another creative midfield (Juan Mata at the time); it would show our real intent and would elevate us to yet another level. Angel fits the bill perfectly. Although a left-winger and nothing else (albeit certainly one who scores as well as creates goals), he would open the door to for Samir Nasri to move inside and play an even more pivotal role. Samir does a fine job on the left wing – as does David Silva out on either flank – but I’m sure both of them would do far more damage with more-permanent, central midfield roles. And I haven’t forgotten Steven Jovetic who can, apparently, also play a deep-lying and wide role if required. However, I’d much rather see Steven sitting central either just behind or as one of the main strikers. What an option Angel would give us! Imagine, on occasions if you will, a 4-4-2 with (from left to right) Angel, Yaya, (Samir or David) & (David or Jesus) behind Alvaro & Sergio! Similarly 4-5-1 with Fernandinho ‘sitting in’ and mopping up behind 4 of those 5 marauding midfielders/wingers? I’ll stop drooling now but, for the apparent Real Madrid ‘want-away’ winger, I’ll put…


Who? Well that’s pretty much what I said yesterday. So fast has this guy burst onto the footballing scene that within 20-odd games of him playing first-team-football for Sevilla, he got 2 caps for the almighty Spanish national team! Having only previously played for their reserve, Sevilla B side; this 21-year old is already accumulating praise from those ‘in the know’ in the world of football. £25M it would, apparently, cost for us to start negotiations; £5M less than the apparent fee for Luke Shaw. But what makes this one stand out above the rest [of the rumours] is that we have, again apparently, been sending ‘our guys’ over to Spain for an initial ‘look-see’ and talks in the last few days & weeks (with a club that we’ve done very recent business with…TWICE) and so this one gets a cautiously optimistic…


Keep watching...

I’ll keep my eye on those and will change / update the scores accordingly. I’ll also add any more player-transfer links that don’t fall into the ‘laughable’ category of rumours.

Speaking of laughable, enjoy tonight’s game (7:45pm GMT)…