Sunday, 29 June 2014

Blue bits and other ‘snips’…

It’s been an eventful week and I’ve barley had the time to ‘put pen to paper’. Here’s an overview...



Signed



So Fernando has finally completed his move. It seemed to run on for ever that one; especially considering we were close / not-so close to bringing him to the Etihad in January.


That’s the defensive midfield area is well ‘n’ truly covered now and I like what I’ve seen of him (okay, yeah, on YouTube); he’s energetic and an excellent tackler. I’ve said this before though; he does seem to like to take the ball 2-footed at times and so, in the Premier League, he’ll have to watch that a little.

 
I like the sound of him too; he’s certainly saying all the right things…unlike his ex-colleague Eliaquim Mangala.

Fernando, Fernandinho, Javi Garcia and James Milner in my humble opinion - as I say, that position is WELL ‘n’ truly covered! Presumably Jack Rodwell will go out on loan at the very least. W.B.A. appear to be one interested party; possibly reuniting Jack with Joleon Lescott who returned to his native Midlands in a 2-year deal the other week.

A quick word on Fernandinho. If you’ve not watched them yet then there’s a series of very good videos on City’s WEB site about our Brazilian midfielder. What a (still) very humble man from a humble background. Very refreshing these days.


Almost signed



We’re about to increase our Argentinean contingent by one this week with the signing of central midfielder Bruno Zuculini. We were first linked with the 21-year old in 2013 and have followed through our interest with a £1.5M purchase; an agreement during our long-term negotiations for a player who will be out of contract as he makes the switch.

Bruno - Looking a bit like Jason Bourne here...

I know this gets said a lot about players these days but I read a lot in 2013 and in the last week about how Barcelona, Manyoo and others were very interested in the Racing Club player. Seems to be a bit of an all-rounder - gets stuck in and ‘mixes it up’ and has a (good) habit of finishing off moves with a few goals too.

At 21 you’d think he’d have a chance of making a first-team-appearance at some stage this season – perhaps we’ll see him take some part in a League Cup home game for starters.


‘Sort of’ signed…




Right-back Chidiebere Nwakali and right-sided / centre forward Kelechi Iheanacho have signed pre-contract agreements with Manchester City and will be travelling with us to the USA for our pre-season tour. Not sure whether they’ll ‘have to impress’ on the tour in order to get permanent contracts or whether the ‘PRE’ thing is an age / permit situation. Either way – and similar to Fernando AND Bruno – we’ve been tracking these two 17-year olds for some time now; first hearing their names connected with City about 12 months ago.

 
These 4 signings will produce an average age of just 20 ¼.


Still no closer



Our search for a central defender goes on and as Mangala’s name gets mentioned more and more, Benatia’s name is fading into the background. With the negative comments from the Moroccan about his club, Roma, ‘no move’ in the summer could prove awkward for the defender. Roma fans don’t appear, to me, to be a very forgiving lot…


Regarding Mangala; we have, apparently, ‘agreed a fee’. But unlike Fernandos’ obvious enthusiasm to join us the French defender appears far less-so. I’ve said it all before and I still think we should look elsewhere if this guy is going to be trouble.

If we do end up signing the Porto player I’ll certainly be looking very closely into his eyes as he gives his first few Club interviews…


Moving out




Marcos Lopes has moved to Lille for a full season. I’m a little bit surprised with this one; I did expect to be seeing Marcos in the first team a little more this season. In fact I expected the 18-year old, attacking midfielder to be a first choice in the League Cup and perhaps even a strong bench contender in the F.A. competition too.

But I suppose moving to a Champions League team and playing full time in the French League is a step up from the NextGen Series. Hope we get an improved player back for the 2015/2016 season.

Scott Sinclair has been linked with a move back to Swansea City.

Micah Richards appears to be in limbo. Liverpool appear to have ‘backed off’ and there’s been no further mention of a contract extension at City. If a new Manchester City offer isn’t forthcoming I can’t imagine Micah not finding a new Premier League home very soon. He’ll go with a heavy heart, I’m sure, and will leave a lot of Blues sad too.

Wherever he ends up for the 2014/2015 season and beyond I hope his injuries clear up and that he can fulfil his true potential. I can’t believe he’s still only 26!


NOT going anywhere



‘Rubbished’ have the rumours been about Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo leaving in the summer – MCFC have given clear ‘hands off’ for both players. And quite flippin’ rightly so, too!


And I said those word BEFORE the latest - and quite worrying - thigh injury to Sergio Aguero. It’s probably just press scare-mongering of course - and is surely WAY too early to be saying such things - but the latest, “reports”, are that he’ll not only miss the remainder of the World Cup but also the start of the English season.

If he is out of the Brazil competition then we need to try to do all we can to influence him-getting on his summer vacation as soon as; get him BACK at City pronto and get some specialists working with him to try to ‘crack’ whatever the underlying issue is with this troublesome and re-occurring thigh problem.

Speaking of injury-prone, Vincent Kompany has also broken down in the World Cup. Although don’t yet know (as I’m typing this) the severity of Vinny’s injury, it should come as no surprise to hear that, yep…it’s his groin again.

Although, with an additional centre-half signing, will we have ‘the numbers’ required in that positions for a full campaign in 4 competitions?

Assuming ‘our skip’ will be out for 1/3 of the season as is usual; will we have enough with just ONE addition to the centre of our defence…with Matija Nastasic (injured for most of last season), Karim Rekik (untried in the Prem), Dedryck Boyata (looked vulnerable when played at right back last season) and the aging Martin Demichelis?

Yeah we’re told that Bacary Sagna CAN play (and has played) there if required but, I wonder…


Nutter



And so, perhaps not too surprisingly, Luis Suarez is wrapped up in very familiar controversy once again. Did he not ‘teeth’ as a baby or something; is he now getting all of his childhood ‘bite frustrations’ out?


I think the 4-month ban – and an ‘any football ground’ ban – is just about ‘spot on’ (well-done FIFA) and I’m completely ‘blown away’ by Uruguay’s reaction to it; both the national team officials and the footballing nation as a whole.

There’s blind loyalty for a player…and then there’s just plain blind!

If they are serious – and I take it they are – when they say that it’s the English-speaking press who have blown it all out of proportion and that the incident wasn’t nearly as bad as it’s being made out; then they are one, screwy lot!

For the 3rd, flippin’ time the guy has aggressively and clearly-intentionally bit another person! How much more clearly ‘wrong’ do you want it to be?!

Anyway, it’s great news for the Premier League title chasing pack – cup games included, ‘Count Suarez’ will be missing for the first 13 games domestically.


The re-build has begun…



I’ll have to mention ‘them’ – sorry.


Manyoo have started to ‘splash the cash’ this week. For around £60M they’ve purchased a 23-year old, Spanish midfielder with no first-team, international caps and for a whoppin’ £31.5M have purchased an 18-year old left-back who’s had one good season in the Premier League with Southampton. £140M (apparently) to go…

Hang on a minute! Weren’t WE ruining football by spending lots and lots of cash and can I just ask, does FFP not count in Stretford baring in mind also that they’ve lost MILLIONS by not being in any European competitions and are a football club already riddled in debt?

Hello?

Huh…Mancheater Us***ed are back!


New season, new kits…



No, I’m sorry, I don’t have an exclusive peep at City’s - no-doubt, soon-to-be - home, away, 3rd and also, quite possibly, 'Champions League only' kits. I’d just thought I’d mention that they’ll be released some time very soon I’m sure.


For now, I’ll just include pictures of the ones ‘doing the rounds’ on the T’interWEB:

Quite nice...
 
Horrible! Looks like a poor Arsenal 2nd/3rd-choice top.



FURTHER expansion!



News broke this week that in addition to the first of the 6,000-seat end expansion at the Etihad Stadium, City are also planning to expand the stadium further by adding an extra 3 rows to the ground, pitch-side level. I’m assuming here that this will be to all four stands but whatever the detail, Manchester City are stating that the additional 3 rows together with the introduction of a 3rd tier to the South Stand will take the capacity of the Etihad to 55,000 in time for the start of the 2015/2016 season.


 
The completion to the North / Family Stand of the next phase, in time for the start of the 2017/2018 season, will see the capacity grow even further; to around 61,000 and will make the Etihad Stadium the second largest (as stadiums stand now), domestic ground in England; surpassing the new, West Ham United, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium by 7,000 and creeping past Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium by a mere 568 seats.


Scotland trip



Already in place for a pre-season match was a trip to Dens Park to face Dundee FC. Most of the squad who DIDN’T take part in the World Cup are expected to take part in this one. The game is on Sunday 13th July and kicks off at 4:00pm BST.


But a new fixture was added about 10 days ago, which is a trip to Edinburgh’s now-second tier (Championship) side, Heart of Midlothian (Hearts). Kick off at the Tynecastle Stadium is 7:30pm BST on Friday 18th July.

Next stop is then the U.S., where the rest of the first team will join on various dates depending on how long certain players stay in Brazil. Expect a ‘kit launch’ whilst the team are in America too…

Speaking of Brazil and from a very selfish point of view, it was great to see David Silva come home early. I’m sure he won’t be thinking the same, of course, but our little genius needs a long rest before the season and I’m sure we’ll benefit greatly from his team’s shocking, early exit.

Not so sure Edin Dzeko coming home early was a good thing though - he appeared to be carrying on his good, late-season form and when a player is IN that kind of form; you want them to carry on and on. He’ll be kicking the sand in frustration now that’s for sure and I just hope we don’t see ‘Mr Sulk’ appear again…

I hope Holland stay in the competition right to the final – anything that can disrupt Manyoo’s preparation for the season can only be a good thing. C’mon LVG’s men!


‘Prepare’ & ‘Repair’



Brace yourself in the coming weeks for some more Yaya stories. I think we all know the reason, now, for his peculiar, on-the-pitch behaviour towards the end of the season [snapping at decisions etc]. I wasn’t aware he had such a sick brother and I am very sad for his loss at such an awfully young age.


He’s a moody one is our Ivorian ‘midfield monster’ but I suppose it’s somewhat justified in this case. I just wish it hadn’t have all come out as ‘cake gate’ - clearly Yaya and his protective but harebrained agent were looking for ANY outlet to vent underlying issues and frustrations.

But the fact is, by Yaya’s own admittance, he didn’t ask Manchester City for time off after winning the league to visiting his terminally ill brother in a Manchester Hospital. Although it could be argued that, perhaps, Manchester City should have offered [knowing his situation and feelings] for him to remain by his bed-side instead of heading to Abu Dhabi for a promotional/marketing-trip match, I’m sure that if he’d have asked it would have been granted without hesitation.

It’s all a bit unfortunate to say the least and I’m sure that when ALL parties look back they’ll probably admit that they could have handled it very differently. Hopefully City can repair the damage and that things don’t get silly again.

I hope so but if Yaya and Dimitry Seluk have intentions to ‘make waves’ and ask for a move away from City then I hope they show their hand sooner rather than later, so that we can make a move for a replacement. That’s a lot of goals and creativity to replace…

Sorry about the 'fonting' and general layout on this one folks - Blogger is playing silly buggers again...

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

In readiness for the arrival of Fernando...

An obvious choice-of-song, perhaps, but here's my alternative lyrics:


Fernando:

There is something in the air, that’s right, the moon is bright, Fernando.

It is shining there for you and for me, for Man City, Fernando.


Though we never think that we can’t lose, there's always booze.

If we score just one or maybe ten, we’ll be-here again, Fernando.

Coming to a terrace near you...perhaps.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Alternatives

As promised recently – and STILL with no more news on the possibility of us signing either Eliaquim Mangala or Mehdi Benatia – I wanted to look at some possible / realistic options beyond these troublesome pair.


To recap…


Benatia sounds like trouble. ‘Modern-day footballer’ an’ all that taken into account; it still disgusts me how much he appeared to first push for a wage increase / improved contract and then a ‘move away’ from Roma just 1 year into a 5-year deal.

Praise was heaped on the 27-year old Moroccan last season in Serie A and I can’t help feeling as though it’s all gone to his head. His price tag also appears to be creeping up by the day too. Steer clear would be my advice.

Then there’s the gobby Eliaquim Mangala. The French international, Porto central defender seems to be doing all he can NOT to join his inbound colleague at the Etihad Stadium. First it was that he prefers London to Manchester and now he prefers Manyoo to City.

 
Of course these comments might not be from the player himself (although the London thing did have quotation marks on them in every publication that I read); perhaps it’s some other interested-party / agitator. Either way, our ‘early business’ for a partner for Vinny doesn’t seems to be getting anywhere with this troublesome pair and so I think we need to be moving on and looking elsewhere soon.

Revisited


With the exception of one player, I’ve tried to steer clear of central defenders that I’ve previously speculated about in a piece dated 16th March 2014. You can see earlier the list of names under the Brown-coloured, Central Defence section of this previous blog posting.

Not unrealistic / should seriously consider


I’ll start with the one previously mentioned, which is Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen. Established in the Premier League, quality defender, left-footed and already the partner of our Captain for his international team, Belgium. Huh…this guy ticks ALL the boxes! Want something else? He running into that period of a player’s contract where Clubs start to get twitchy; expiring, as it does, in just 24 months time.

So why aren’t we even hearing minor rumblings that City are, at least, glancing in that direction?

Well I’m sure all of the above won’t be lost either on tough-negotiator Daniel Levy and that being the case; I can well imagine that even with “just” 2 years remaining on his contract, Jan won’t come cheap. Additionally, Jan himself has recently stated that he is happy at Spurs and wants to stay.

However, I’m sure a word in his ear from Kompany might get his international colleague to at least consider the possibility and as for Mr Levy, wouldn’t his new Manager be interested in a player or two from City in a cash + swap deal? Micah and / or Javi on a permanent deal? Jack and / or John or a season-long loan with a ‘first refusal’ clause perhaps?

If Pellegrini wanted the 6’ 2’’ former Ajax centre back then I think Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain should do all they can to secure his services in time for this coming season.

How about a hijack? Want a crack a luring another left-footed, central defender with bags of Premier League experience? Then look just a few miles away from White Hart Lane and over to the Emirates Stadium; the home of ‘future unsure’ Thomas Vermaelen.

Okay, so his form appears to have dipped dramatically last season where he completed 90 minutes on just 7 occasions and played bit-parts in a mere, further 6 matches. Perhaps it’s time for a move then…

Again, the former Ajax man is a Belgium international team-mate of Vincent (what is it with Ajax and left-footed, central defenders from Belgium?) and so he would have everything going for him in order to re-capture his form.

A stumbling block might be the fact that Arsenal won’t want to be seen letting yet ANOTHER player slip from Wenger’s hands only for him to land on the doorstep of Manchester City. Manyoo have also been STRONLY linked with the player in recent days. However, as I say, if the Benatia & Mangala situations keep stumbling frustratingly on then hijacking LVG’s possible target should be considered in my opinion.

With only 1 year left on his current contract he’d be a far cheaper option than the French & Moroccan duo too.

We were first linked with Italian international Giorgio Chiellini under Roberto Mancini’s reign but, back then, the left-sided central defender (who started life as a left full-back and who has more-recently played in that position in some big games) had years to run on his contract. He would have proven very expensive a few years ago. Now, the Juventus player has only one year remaining on that current deal.

He can be a little hot-headed at times – not in the same league as Pepe though – but I’m sure our Father-figure, ‘Engineer’ would prove a calming influence on the passionate, experienced Italian. He will be 30 in August and so it wouldn’t be a long, LONG-term partner for our 28-year old Captain…but equally he wouldn’t be a very short-term signing either.

For a player who can play at left-back too and, who, is just approaching the middle of his prime years; I think City should give this one some serious consideration.

Anyone who gets to play 23 games for the uber-impressive German national side is deserved of consideration in my book. And in Benedikt Höwedes, Schalke 04 have a player who seems very comfortable with both feet (although his right is his strongest) and as well as centre back; Benedikt can play at either left or right back; even slotting in on the left side for his country on occasions.

Perhaps a little more expensive this one; he’s just 26 years of age and is contracted to the German side until June 2017. Something else that might ‘up’ his price considerably - and may even prove a stumbling block altogether - is the fact that one of Schalke’s other main, injury-prone (mostly knee trouble) centre halves, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, is out yet again with a dislocated shoulder, something which forced the Greek youngster to miss the World Cup.

However, Höwedes would be no more expensive that the trouble-sounding Porto & Roma pair and so why the ‘eck not?

Far less likely…but we shouldn’t rule it out


Don’t laugh at this suggestion (okay, Dortmund fans can) but how about sticking a (understandably) huge bid in for Mats Hummels? I said don’t laugh!

Like Thomas Vermaelen, Mats is another player who recently stated that he’s happy where he is AND has been linked, very recently, with a move to Manyoo. I say again not to laugh because if Manyoo have ANY chance of signing a top-class defender from Borussia Dortmund then we certainly do.

With us yet to sign a replacement for Costel Pantilimon and with Fernando still to ‘put pen to paper’; this signing certainly would challenge our Financial Fair play position. But we still have players yet to ‘move out‘ either permanently or on wage-reducing, season-long loans.

Premier League trophy winners 2013/2014
We certainly shouldn’t rule it out; we’re just about pulling our chair up to dine at the big boy’s table now and should trust that we now have the ‘pulling power’ to attract some of the very best around. After all, we are the current, English Premier League Champions and already have a lot of quality, highly-coveted players at our evolving, progressive football club.

League Cup trophy winners 2013/2014
 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Initial, early-fixtures analysis

Now I’m not going to say that if we come out of the first 2 ½ months / 9 fixtures relatively unscathed then we’re home ‘n’ dry in the league…

…but if we come out of the first 2 ½ months / 9 fixtures relatively unscathed; then we’ll be in a very promising position to ‘push on’ with vigour in the league before the Champions League (really) 'kicks in'.

 

Tough start

 
We’ve been handed a mixed bunch but also a relatively rough set of opening fixtures, which includes last season’s 2nd, 3rd & 4th-placed teams! But that might not be a bad thing at all.
 
There’s no truly “easy” games in the Premier League of course but if we can come out of those opening 9 games in August, September & October without dropping too many points; then most noticeably December - including New Year’s Day - and the March / April / May run-in are there for the taking in my opinion (even at this stupidly-early stage of forecasting).
 

The first nine…

 
Away at Newcastle United – At home to the Champions on the opening day; they’ll have their tails up for sure. And they’ll be backed by a roaring, new-season, optimistic-fuelled crowd. But which Newcastle United team will turn up? The ‘can beat most teams at home on their day’ version or the ‘roll over and die’ quite pathetically one?
 
Ride the first 20 minutes of Geordie buoyancy and we can take 3 points from these. Win.
 
Home to Liverpool – Wow! Having, I’m sure, mullered Southampton at home on their opening fixture; a further improved Liverpool side [from last season] will be a very good match for us I’m sure; even at the Etihad.
 
It should be a cracker and, I’m sorry to say, I think our opening home game will see us gain just a point against the Scousers. Draw.
 
Home to Stoke CityWin
 
Away at Arsenal – Arsenal are traditionally strong starters in the main and with it only being 19th June; of course it’s so difficult to predict before we know the full extent of Arsene’s purchases (or lack there of).
 
It was a game of two halves at the Eremites last season; a deserved draw for both sides. I’m going for the same again and there’d be no shame in that at all. Draw
 
Champions League group stages start…
 
Home to Chelsea – Well under-performed last season in my opinion …and won’t Jose Mourinho know it too! I think we’ll ALL feel the back-lash this-season-round and with [already] a fine, attacking addition made to his already fine attacking midfield in the form of Cesc Fabregas; we can expect a Mourinho-like 4-5-1 at the Etihad…but a far more potent one.
 
But we’re no mugs ourselves, of course, and [now] 4 games into the season before this fixture; we’ll be finding our stride I’m sure. Very close game indeed but with everyone 'fit ‘n’ firing', I think we’ll snatch this one. Win
 
Away at Hull City – Never an easy place to go but if we perform anywhere NEAR like we did at the KC Stadium last season then we shouldn't go far wrong.
 
Hopefully we’ll keep 10-men on the pitch this time though. Win
 
Away at Aston Villa – Revenge for last season’s silly, should-have-won game. Win
 
Home to Tottenham Hotspur – With more funds at his disposal and, it has to be said, slightly better quality already available; Spurs’ new Manager, Mauricio Pochettino, will prove to be an even more formidable force this season.
 
It was tough at home against his well-organised and very threatening Southampton side; this one will be even tougher. Expect a (shock?) Draw.
 
Away at West Ham United – Similar to Newcastle on their own patch – which Hammers side will turn up? Regardless, I’m sure they’ll be no match for us. Win
 
Phew!  A few draws in there but we’ve managed to come out of it without a defeat; with a very creditable 21 points from a possible 27.
 
Worse case scenario? Okay, we spend too much energy and far too much focus on the Champions League game (my…’this season’s fear’) before our clash with Jose’s men and turn the Chelsea result into a defeat; leaving us with 18 points from a possible 27.
 
But ‘the others’ will drop points too of course and so we’ll be in and around ‘em for sure. Leaders at this stage, it saddens me to say, could very well be the team with a p*** "easy" start in comparison to us and, who, have no European competition whatsoever to focus on.
 
I’ll leave you to think who that team might POSSIBLY be…
 
Thank you as always for taking the time to read. If you can get ‘e-mail alerts’ (I know some of you have had issues trying to sign up to this and despite looking it up; I’m sorry to say I have no solution) then please ‘sign up’. Cheers!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Southampton’s new manager – a chance for Guidetti?

I might be putting 2+2 together here and coming up with 13.62...and it may even be far too early to say – The Saints haven’t even finalised the signing of their new boss yet.

But if the announcement of their potential new manager runs to completion then it could be good news for both John Guidetti and Manchester City.

 

The Feyenoord connection…

 
Basically, Southampton are about the announce the replacement of Mauricio Pochettino in the form of ex-Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman…and the former Dutch Defender / Midfielder was in charge when ‘our John’ went out on a VERY successful loan period.
 
I think it’s safe to say that Ronald will, therefore, have more than a passing interest in a player who banged in 20 goals in 23 appearances – as well as several assists - and so IF John is fit to play next season (I know that might be a big “if”); I recon there’s more than a 90% chance that the Southampton boss elect will make some enquiries.
 

 

Just what he – and we – need

 
Manchester City fans having bee crying out for John to show what he can do in the Premier League; they want to know if the outstanding Feyenoord season wasn’t just a ‘freaky one-off’. And, they will quite rightly tell you, of course the Dutch League is certainly no English Premier League by any stretch of the imagination [in terms of quality-standard].
 
“A season in the Championship” are other cries from Blues fans – a Bolton Wanderers, a Derby County, a Wigan Athletic
 
But then we held our breath as former Manchester City Manager Mark Hughes made the call to bring John to the Britannia Stadium. It seemed right; Mark, a former striker himself, bringing a player to a team often criticised for their style of play (no matter who the manager might be) but one that often likes to pump the ball up to the strikers quickly on counter attacks. And so then there’s John; strong, holds the ball up well, creates and scores.
 

So what went wrong?

 
The short answer is that I just don’t know. Did he, perhaps, ruin his own chances when just 12, flippin’ days into his loan he was gobbing off about restricted chances under Mark Hughes? At the time I recall thinking that he might-well get his marching orders back to the Etihad and then, presumably, a humbling ‘ticking off’ from some Blue official.
 
He does seem to have a strange way about him that I just can’t quite put my finger on. I remind myself that John is still only 22 and I also have absolutely nothing against a person with confidence.
 
But, superguidetti, a (still-young) man not shy of posting videos of himself either just talking, commentating on one of his own goals and even signing (very badly) on the Internet is also, as we’ve seen, not shy in voicing his relatively inexperienced opinions quite forcefully.
 
He has…’an air about him’.
 
I recall the words of warning from a friend, sadly no longer with us, who was quite close to the Club; and he often spoke of John’s father having a certain arrogance and presumption about him too. Someone who also watched a lot of EDS games; of John he thought he was a selfish player on the pitch / in front of goal.
 
But John wasn’t given the ‘big hook’ from Stoke back to City and, instead, he saw out the season; where in 4, long months he made just 6 bit-part appearance…scoring none.
 
Aside from a stomach bug early on, was John, perhaps, showing other signs of injury and / or a lack of fitness? Did Mark Hughes, therefore, listen to advice from his own medical staff and / or were Stoke City under instructions not to push John if they were only 80 / 20 about his physical ability to take part?
 
Whatever the reasons these facts remain about the Swedish, 22-year old:
 
-        He’s played 10 times for a Swedish team and scored 3 goals;
-        Played 5 times for Burnley and scored 1
-        After his amazing Feyenoord season he gets a few minutes ‘here ‘n’ there’ for Stoke with no return in front of goal.
-        Prior to - and in between - all of that (apart from my mate, God rest his soul) he was having mostly favourable reports from the EDS; often getting on the score sheet more than once per game.
 
In short, the question still remains:
 
1. Do we have an awesome player on our books looking for a break from injuries; where it’s only a matter of time before he joins Aguero & Co. in an attacking, free-scoring City side?
 
Or…
 
2. Do we have a Valeri Bojinov; a player who most certainly LOOKS the part but who, after a frustrating number of injuries and illnesses, will never fulfil his once-potential at the top level?
 
I for one hope it’s not the latter, of course, and not just for the unfortunate lad himself. It would be great - and only right - to see our 6-years of persistent efforts of working with John pay off; a lad Sven-Goran Eriksson spotted and signed at the age of (home-grown) 16.
 
 
So yes, please come knocking Mr Koeman and give John a chance to shine in the Premier League for a season. Hopefully his time in red & white stripes THIS season will be more fruitful and beneficial than last season. But please, City, for our sake; stick a clause in there whereby we can recall John any time from January onwards, just in case we start to get some mid-season injuries to our strikers again, hey?