Tag Archives: the citizens

Mr Man City Is The Clubs Best Bit of Business – Agreed

This article started its lifespan as describing what we learnt about Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend. The answer was not a lot.

Manchester City are a terrifyingly superior side and, don’t defend high up the pitch if it means trying to outpace Raheem Sterling. You won’t do it.

The news that was more shocking came the next day and it was that Vincent Kompany would be leaving the Citizens after 11 years at the Etihad Stadium.

The definition of being in the right place at the right time, Kompany joined the week before the takeover and, has been a major part in the clubs remarkable success over the years. He’s started a charity, he had a (pretty decent) racehorse named after him, Kool Kompany. And became a true fan favourite at the Etihad.

Huge names came and went for transfer fees you couldn’t imagine Man City spending in 2008, but Kompany was there for the long haul. His modest transfer fee was an irrelevance as he made himself an indispensable part of the team, and eventually the obvious choice for the Captain’s armband. His passion for the club and his role there remained immensely obvious throughout his City career, occasionally bubbling over to losing his cool.

However fans were always happy to overlook this, and were often rewarded, no more so than with his last Manchester City goal, his only this season and his only from outside the box.

Kompany is one of the most loyal and passionate players to have been on City’s books. A true Man City legend who I’m sure people will be talking about in decades to come.

Who Could Man City Sign as Pep Targets a 200m Summer Spending Spree

Despite becoming the first team to successfully retain the Premier League title for the first time in a decade, Man City manager Pep Guardiola will target up to four new signings this summer.

A fresh financial fair play scandal has re-surfaced since City won the league after beating Brighton 4-1 on Sunday. Yet despite the success, Guardiola is set to strengthen the squad as he aims to conquer Europe for the first time since 2011.

With a reported 200 million budget set to become open at the Etihad, who could come to the Etihad this season as the likes of Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph and Eliaquim Mangala and Danilo all look set to leave the Premier League champions this summer.

We take a look at some potentials…

Matthijs de Ligt

Having recently turned down a move across town to Man United, The Ajax defender may look over to the east side of Manchester as he looks set to leave Holland.

City look set to move for a new centre back this summer and De Ligt could be a key addition. Yet with Barcelona looking like favourites ahead of the blues, Guardiola may miss out, just like with Jorginho 12 months ago.

Rodri

The Atletico Madrid man could swap clubs with Otamendi this summer and indeed replace Fernandinho in the holding midfield role. The 34-year-old is not getting any younger these days either and, Ilkay Gundogan may not be the man to fill the role particularly in the big European games.

According to the Telegraph, City will meet Atletico’s 60 million request for Rodri. With the CDM role such a priority, the chances are this price will be met and equal the club transfer record currently held by Riyad Mahrez.

Harry Maguire

Featuring as a potential signing for Man United last week by thefootballmancave.com, Maguire may not be a bad move to City either and finding negatives for the England international is a tricky one.

Admired by Guardiola, Maguire knows the league better than any up and coming foreign star. At 26 years old, he can play in this City team with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for many years to come. Captain Vincent Kompany may extend his contract by another year too.

Arsenal and Chelsea will join the Manchester clubs in the hunt at a price of 60 million.

Houssem Aouar

Premier League rivals Liverpool will do battle with City off the pitch this summer before they go again next August on it.

Aouar can play in a variety of midfield roles including the ‘number six’ position, one that will bring music to Guardiola’s ears. Having scored seven goals in his breakthrough Ligue 1 season.

In the Champions League last season, the blues only took one point out of a possible six against the French team. Having been described as ‘incredible’ by the Catalan, it would be no surprise to see him in sky blue come pre-season.

Two of Man City’s Ageing Players Pep Has To Look For Long Term Replacements This Summer

Manchester City’s squad contains some of the most exciting young talents in football, however, it also has plenty of players who have been with the club since their first taste of success.

There is no escaping the fact that some of these old fan favourites will at some point need to leave the club. City are always evolving and looking for the best players out there, and no doubt the players below have provided more than enough value for their money, and they’ll be sure to try to find similar long term investments.

With the old guard soon to be outgoing, Pep Guardiola’s team will be looking to seamlessly integrate any new signings possibly this season with City looking to tie up their summer deals as quick as possible with the club on the verge of back-to-back titles.

We have a look at the two players below…

Sergio Aguero

I hope Aguero is with the club until he retires. However, part of what has made City so imperious is their incredible front line. There are some seriously talented players but none quite as sharp footed. Sterling looks a potential heir to that throne, but then who replaces Sterling? With Mahrez maybe not to the standard, it’s maybe time to start looking for another star striker.

Vincent Kompany

Another one that might not be well received! I don’t want to see Vinny out and again hope he stays with City until he retires. But the captain is an important role to fill and fill correctly. While occasionally hot-headed he is a loyal, passionate player who will wear his heart in his sleeve and be very unselfish in many ways as well as an excellent leader to the many young player’s City has.

A huge act to follow and it would be a hard man to replace. It is more likely that the likes of John Stones will fill this role, but then it’s making sure that there is another young player waiting in the wings as a deputy.

This looks set to be a fascinating transfer window across the whole league, but I imagine several neutral eyes will be on City, and a lot of summer talk will be about what Pep does.

Man City Will Hope Sterling Can Continue His Hat-Trick Form Against Schalke Tonight

The Great British weather might be cold and wet, but Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is in red hot form.

The 24 year old has been on an incredible curve of improvement of late. A few seasons ago, while his blistering pace was always impressive, his finishing and decisiveness was sometimes lacking. However, as with a number of members of this squad, Pep Guardiola has shown the ability to improve already very good players, and the patience required to do so

This fixture last time round saw 5 goals, however it was overshadowed by the serious injury to a City fan. However I have heard reports that he is no longer in a medically induced coma and is responsive, so hopefully his recovery continues to go well.

Manchester City have the class to see of Schalke, and a lot of eyes I imagine will be on Stirling.

He showed how clinical his finishing has become on Saturday evening against Watford, where he was responsible for all of City’s goals. He also scored the winner against Shalke on the reverse leg of this fixture, despite them playing 5 at the back.

Hopefully with confidence knowing that he is in good form and that he is capable of putting goals past Fahrmann, combined with Manchester City’s overall confidence from going back to top of the domestic league, and knowing they won the away fixture should hopefully prove a good game for both Manchester City and Stirling himself.

Stirling is on the cusp of becoming something of a Manchester City legend and, helping City to a good run in the Champions League will only serve to strengthen his reputation as such.

2 Games Over The Festive Period That Will Define 2019 for MCFC

City, despite a defeat to Chelsea, remain the “boys most likely to” in regards to winning the league, but the festive period is still as important to them as it is to everyone else

The most obviously important fixture is Liverpool at home on 3rd January.

Liverpool are the nearest rivals to City this season and, are currently a couple of points ahead of them in the Premier League. City will want to stamp some real dominance on this game, last season they won this by a cricket score, and would state their case that they haven’t become complacent if they were to do the same again this time round.

City have back to back away games too, at Leicester and Southampton. Of these two Southampton should be the easier fixture, so making sure to target the game in the midlands. It should be an easy win for City, but it’s important to not get complacent against a team that haven’t been disgraced in defeat to some big teams this season.

It is also a chance to show competitors that City still mean serious business and can dispose of top half teams with ease by big score lines.

The title race doesn’t look as easy this year, however lest we forget we already have 44 points. Which one would have been something we would be happy to have at the end of the season. Some easier games over the festive season give us a chance to get the ball rolling again and beating Liverpool would be a huge statement.

Why Pep and His Team Will Dominate The Premier League For Years To Come

When I started writing this, out of curiosity I googled when it was that Joey Barton mooned some Everton fans, it was a mere 12 years ago. Around that time I was travelling to watch City be beaten by Charlton, Reading and Wigan and couldn’t have imagined that in that short window City would become completely imperious domestically, and a real force to be reckoned with in Europe. Noisy neighbours, we are most definitely not anymore.

Cynically it is easy to say City under Pep have a lot of money, and there is no point pretending that top-level success is possible without big money backers, however, rich clubs do sometimes struggle in the league, and having money doesn’t necessarily mean it is always well spent. Clever decisions need to be made or you can be saddled with expensive players on huge wages who are just getting a run out in the Carabao Cup a couple of times a season.

Pep inherited some fantastic players that were well established in the team, De Bruyne, Aguero, Silva to name but a few, however, he has managed some exceptional signings, Gundogan being his first, setting a high bar. Obvious standouts with regards to goals to their names would be Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, and the genius signing of Ederson.

There have obviously been a few less successful signings, and that is inevitable, however generally Pep has a good eye for the transfer market, and being able to bring new talent in, as well as developing and improving his current squad means there in constant competition to be in the starting line up. Meaning everyone needs to be at the top of their game all of the time, even Aguero has seen the likes of Jesus snapping at his heels as the chief striker.

This means that there is no getting a two-goal cushion in matches and sitting back, everyone plays ruthlessly and to their best all of the time, which means they often get impressive scorelines, further cementing their reputation, and making them hard to crack, as they simply don’t switch off

Tactically City are remarkable to watch, the pace, speed of passing, accuracy, pressing high and hard on and off the ball and remarkable amounts of possession help to make them so impressive. They have very much developed their own style of play, which did take some time to perfect.

Guardiola’s’ first season took a lot of adjustment and some fans were underwhelmed with the first set of results. However, with players adapting increasingly well to this, and domestically at least, other teams finding this very hard to play against, City are looking seasons ahead of other teams.

Football that people, and most importantly the fans want to watch is good for everyone. Modern football is a pretty fickle affair, and managerial positions can be incredibly short-lived, and the longer clubs can keep off the merry-go-round the better for everyone.

Security can breed success, fans being happy with the manager means there is no pressure or negativity. The manager being secure in his role means the players are more secure in theirs, they have a place in the squad, they will not have to adapt their style of play to a new manager every season, and players stay long haul, which means they aren’t having to spend time adjusting to playing with huge number of new faces every season. Which means fewer mistakes on the pitch, better results, and more importantly, the fans and the board are happy.

Add this to the spending power it becomes a club players want to go to, which goes back to my earlier point about competition to be in the squad, meaning everyone is always playing as well as possible, which further feeds into getting excellent results. It’s a great cycle and it’s hard to see where this will fail.

It’s a fine balance, but currently, City have got it about right, and while the clubs history itself serves to show quickly things can change for better or worse, it’s hard to see a return to the days of finishing 15th, relegation and inflatable Bananas (which for what it’s worth I think are overdue a return).

Pep Should Continue to Blood The Youngsters When City Resume Carabao Cup Action

Despite not being a top priority for Premier League title-chasing clubs, the Carabao Cup offers City the chance to continue to breed in their young guns.

Last time out, eighteen-year-old and boyhood City fan – Phil Foden made his mark against Oxford in the last round, capping off a wonderful night with his first goal for the club.

City’s academy are surely banking on Foden and co to deliver on the big stage in the future.

The reigning Carabao Cup holders take on Premier League strugglers Fulham tomorrow night, and it would be nice to see how these academy graduates perform.

Brahim Diaz

It’s been a long while seen we saw Diaz in a City shirt. In fact, it was the last round at League Two Oxford when the Spaniard stepped over the white line. Reports suggest Diaz is unlikely to remain in Manchester in the long run, with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund amongst the teams who have been interested.

A place for the City winger in tomorrows starting eleven may give Diaz some believe that his football career lies here in Manchester.

Despite the Nineteen-year-olds future up in the air, it would be nice to see him make a rare start against the Cottagers tomorrow night.

Arijanet Muric

A slightly surprise selection, however, it is most likely City’s current number two goalkeeper Muric will get the nod in goal tomorrow again.

With Claudio Bravo unavailable through injury, the nineteen-year-old will again start for City as he fills the void of ‘domestic cup goalkeeper’.

Tomorrow will again see the young goalie get a chance to impress under the spotlights. The chances of him featuring in sky blue permanently are very little at this moment. Yet a good game tomorrow should ease all nerves that the Kosovan is a more than a fitting replacement should Ederson suffer an injury.

My Greatest Season in Sky Blue? It’s a No-Brainer!

There was a seven day period where I felt a mixture of anger and disappointment. It began against Liverpool in the Champions League and was promptly ended less than a fortnight later at Tottenham.

All this was ended by the weekend when City won the league, their third in just seven seasons. As a fan, I hadn’t felt sad about the Blues for near enough a year. That’s how good we were.

From a defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup Final in April 2017 to April twelve months later, City played near enough the perfect match every game. One week it was 5 against Liverpool, six against Watford then battering Chelsea in every department on their own turf.

Kevin De Bruyne was the star as was the timeless David Silva alongside him. The best moment? A 2-1 win against Southampton with a last minute winner by Raheem Sterling on a rare night when we didn’t play well at all. At that point, I just knew we would win the Premier League.

It took another six months or so to be confirmed, but the procession began as soon as 2018 dawned.

When United lost to West Brom on Sunday the 15th of April, it was all done and dusted. Probably the weirdest yet most wonderful way to see a Premier League title won. West Brom was relegated a month later, the Red Devils lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea.

The season ended on 93:20 day, Gabriel Jesus scoring a last-gasp winner to seal a perfect season and a perfect points total of 100. In the sun at Southampton again, it really was the best way to end the season.

I was told it couldn’t get better, yet after watching the blues recently it might just get better.

But let’s only think about last year for now. The memories of Pep singing ‘We’ve got Guardiola’ at Leicester may just do the trick.

Mahrez Shocker Has City Feeling Like Anfield Was a Loss

The moment it came for City to break their fifteen year Anfield hoodoo and two grown men were fighting on the penalty spot like kids in the playground. ‘I want it’ said Mahrez, ‘I’m having it’ said Jesus. The situation needed one of City’s leading heads to put out the fire.

At Manchester City, there is no better man to do such actions than Vincent Kompany. With the Belgian on the sidelines, City’s captain David Silva should have taken the ball away and took it himself. If he can thread a pass through a needle, a twelve-yard kick should be no trouble.

What actually happened was all too predictable, we’ve seen it all before. Riyad Mahrez threw caution to the wind and sent the ball into row Z, or more likely, Row ZZ.

Whenever players argue about whose to take the dreaded 12-yard kick, it never ends well. Just like when players shuffle on the spot before kicking or Jordan Henderson bouncing the ball for five minutes before duffing his kick at a World Cup.

Mahrez’s penalty resembled a skied tee shot on the first at St. Andrews or a missed conversion against the All Blacks at Twickenham- high, wide and a success rate of zero per cent.

The relief around Anfield was palpable. The fans cheered and Jurgen Klopp punched the air knowing his team had dodged a massive bullet.

Around the tunnel area, many were smiling. Sat behind Pep Guardiola a hooked Sergio Aguero looked on in despair. God knows what he made of it all.

One thing is for sure, there’d had been no squabbling if he’d been there to take it. Most importantly, City would probably have come away with all three points.

Raheem Sterling’s Form Will Be Face The Ultimate Test at Anfield

4:30 on Sunday and Raheem Sterling’s biggest moment of the season will arrive. At this particular ground things always go wrong, yet in a sky blue shirt, he’s not the only one.

However, like with everything to do with Sterling, when he’s part of a struggling team -the Englishmen fast becomes the scapegoat. His critics start typing on default and all of a sudden he’s trending number one on Twitter. The World Cup was proof of the unfair animosity that exists surrounding Sterling. The response from his teammates tells us Sterling has more allies than enemies.

Moreover, Sterling’s keyboard warrior haters have been quiet over recent weeks, for they’ve had nothing to shout about.

By the end of the week, things could all be different.

The first challenge that goes in on Sterling will be met with roaring cheers from the Anfield terraces.

Liverpool will never forgive him, those City fans who acknowledge his uncredited work rate will continue to love him.

Four goals already this season, two of which against Arsenal and Newcastle were quite superb. In a new found left wing position, ‘Raz’  weaved past a few defenders, cut inside and burst the net in the process.

Leroy Sane spent August out of the squad. Club record signing Riyad Mahrez is losing the fight so far with Sterling to make the starting eleven. In the quarter-final at Anfield, Sterling was left out of the side, six months on he’ll be first on the teamsheet.

The odds of a loss at Liverpool are higher than any other side in the Premier League for City. Expect Sterling to take the flack if the seemingly inevitable happens.

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