Saturday, 9 May 2015

Penultimate home game…

…how time flies!

Firing (at last) and almost fully fit

Before posting this I looked at the opening fixtures of the season to try and grasp just where the season has gone. But rather than it being a ‘time thing’, what became instantly obvious to me now was the early signs of our then-to-be frustrating and inconsistent season that lay ahead.

Opening with a win away at Newcastle and then a crackin’ 3-1 result in our home ‘opener’ against Liverpool; soon to follow was a home defeat to Stoke, a creditable draw at Arsenal, a defeat to Bayern and we then, just about, managed home draw to now-champions Chelsea. All of that before slamming in 11 goals in two wins against Sheff Wed in the League Cup and away to Hull in the Prem.

The Manchester City roller coaster was well and truly back; it was building up speed nicely and was definitely a sign of things to come in 2014/15…

In Manuel Pellegrini’s pre-QPR press conference, one reporter suggested that City were now hitting form at the right time and I fully expected Manuel to disagree slightly. He didn’t…but surely a couple of months ago – a la Arsenal & Chelsea – would have been ‘the right time’, wouldn’t it?

However, I’m certainly not complaining about our ‘little run’. Following back-to-back defeats away to Palace and then, painfully, Manyoo; 3 wins from 3, 2 clean sheets and 6 goals at home to West Ham United, Aston Villa and away at Tottenham Hotspur has given us a boost and a ‘shunt’ back up to 2ndbeing helped by a Manyoo slump of ‘3 defeats in 3’ and no goals scored…

With a Champions League placing now all but secure; unless we implode again then in-form Arsenal remain our only true threat to us finishing runners up to Chelsea; being, as they are, level on points with a game in hand over us. However, one of their remaining 4 is a game at Scaffold Trafford and so, hopefully, our neighbours from Trafford can do us a favour that day at (Sunday 17th May, 4:00pm KO BST).

But not wishing to sound like a football manager spilling out sensible but-still cliché lines; it’s WE who have to do OUR bit; concentrate on the task in front of us and do all we can to ensure that a creditable-sounding runners-up spot is where we finish.

So to it then…

v Queens Park Raisins

Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…











Subs: Caballero, Clichy, Kompany, Milner, Lampard, Toure, Dzeko.

Joe – following his excellent performance at White Hart Lane – to ‘carry on’.

With Gael having now recovered but with Aleks also having a rare good’n in London last Sunday, I think the Serb will get the nod to ‘go again’. And although Vincent too has been deemed fit & available I think our manager will continue with the slow-easing-in of the returning players, whilst at the same time rewarding the defence for a clean sheet (after an early wobble) last time out - our 2nd clean sheet in 3 games. Same back 4 then.

Similarly ‘the Ferns’ to get another outing together in a midfield 4 that sees David mostly on the left (but floating and having Aleks overlapping) and Navas likewise on the right.

And I think it’s ‘two up top’ for this one – Sergio & Wilfried tasked with knocking down the Hoops’ walls as they come to ‘sit & counter’ I’m sure.

Good defensive options on the bench and an array of game-changing midfielders too…and Edin Dzeko.

I could be wrong with ‘the Ferns’ in the middle; he may well go for Frank as our attacking / creative midfield outlet instead of Fernandinho.

But although ‘Super Frank’ has had a week to recover and, somewhat strangely, had a far better 2nd half than he did in the first against Spurs; he did play 73 minutes of Premier League action last Sunday…and in a sure-to-be packed & busy midfield I think this one might be seen as too much for the soon-to-be 37-year old’s legs & lungs.

Equally, though, I might be wrong about 4-4-2 and in a 4-5-1 we may well SEE Frank ‘in there’. But I’ll stick with my prediction.

Notable absences: Samir Nasri (injured) & Stevan Jovetic (not selected).

Result? It might come with a scare or two – ‘wounded animal’ scrapping for their lives an’ all that shenanigans – and I’d hate for them to take the lead and then ‘clam up’ in a then hard-to-break-down formation.

But although they do have a hustling, bustling striker in Charlie Austin who caused us all SORTS of problems on ‘their patch’, he doesn’t seem to do nearly as well away from home for some reason and they do look doomed.

As in similar games – and I can’t seem to stop saying this now, which is endemic of the lack of character shown by the team so many times this seasonIF we’re up for the fight then we’ll win this one. Take the lead and then DON’T take our foot off the gas then I can see a sizable win.

And that’s what I’m going for – it’s a home win and Rangers are down. I wonder in Joey will get sent off…

And in other news


Top man...

John Carver is the best Coach in the Premier League! WHAT?! Well let’s go an’ get him then! Who needs to hang around for the chance to get Pep? I mean, Newcastle United’s recent record just SCREAMS ‘top quality’ management / coaching…


…with their one & only win being a 1-0’er at home to then-struggling Aston Villa.

I do admire John’s passion and he talks very well. And, of course, there’s nothing like self-belief and confidence from ‘the boss’ in the dressing room. But blimey…


OH an' again with the bla, bla, bla...

Yaya’s agent in "Gobbing off in April & May" shocker! Dimitri Seluk continues his verbal Tourette's by declaring that our Ivorian midfielder is 90% sure to leave City in the summer. I’m sure he is going to be honest but…SHUT UP!  You annoying little man. Please, City, never touch a Seluk player ever again…


Cup winners!

EDS win the Premier League International Cup! Beating FC Porto 1-0, Kelechi Iheanacho scored the only goal / winner.

I really have liked the look of this 18-year old striker ever since he played for the first team in pre-season. Then, following a lengthy time out with injury, he also recently joined the under 18s in the second leg of the F.A. Youth Cup final at Stamford Bridge and looked quality once again.

I don’t usually go ‘over the top’ - and I’m certainly not here - but this fella could make the first team in some games next season…and could even save us some cash.

Well done to the whole EDS team & staff including Patrick Viera of course!

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