Tag Archives: the etihad

What Is The Best Move For Man City’s Leroy Sane

For many months of last season, Leroy Sane cut a lonely figure in a City side that completed English football’s first ever domestic treble.

Benched for most of the run-in despite key goals in games against Man United and Liverpool, the form shown by Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan meant the German was nowhere near to be seen in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven.

All this came after being named the young player in England’s top league in 2017/18. Playing in a front three with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling where the blues recorded 100 points, it came to a point where the 23-year-old seemed to be a certain winner for the Ballon D’or in the coming years.

This season we did see Sane show his quality, yet only in small doses. Games in the Champions League against Hoffenheim and Schalke was where Sane put in performances of his peak ability.

Whether it was a lack of effort or trouble behind the scenes, it seemed there was always a question mark over his performances. This due to his effort most likely, because finding a reason to fault his natural ability is so hard.

16 goals scored in all competitions and 18 assists, what was really keeping the German out of the side is anyone’s guess, or maybe, there are just better in-form players than Sane.

With a £90 million pound transfer fee hanging on his head and Bayern Munich rumoured to be on the lookout, the number 19 is at a potential crossroads with regards to his career. Does he stay and fight for a place with no attacking midfielder likely to come in this summer, or take the hasty move and walk out and return to his native country.

If he can’t guarantee first-team action, Leroy Sane is far too good to be warming up seats on the Etihad bench. With Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling in the form of their lives, Sane cutting his ties may be the best move for all parties.

EXCITING PROSPECT: Man City’s Patrick Roberts Joins Norwich City on Loan

The star of Man City’s youth development programme is undoubtedly Phil Foden, however, there is a raft of other talented players with the academy with bright futures.

Patrick Roberts has been at Man City for five years. Ever since he was 17 when he made the move up the M6 from Fulham. He’s only made three senior appearances but is well regarded amongst those who know.

He’s heading to newly promoted Norwich City, who announced his arrival as if he was a love island contestant, seriously, check out their Twitter it’s marvellously cheesy. At Carrow Road, he will be getting the game time he needs, and at 22 this will be make or break for his Man City and personal career.

He’s hugely well regarded by the coaches at both clubs and, already seems to have a good relationship with the Norwich team, having reportedly taken this job over a number of other offers made available to him.

Having cut his teeth under a brilliant coaching programme. He has an excellent chance to practice what he has learnt, with some more time on the pitch in one of the best leagues in the world.

Hopefully, after a year on loan at Norwich, the experience he will have had to play against the likes of the Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham to name but a few. He will come back to City a valuable and more rounded asset and hopefully get a bit of game time at the Etihad for the home side.

Man City fans, what do you make of Roberts?

20 Years: How It Feels To Be a Man City Fan Through The Rollercoaster Two Decades

Manchester City of 2019 are barely recognisable from the team of 1999. Twice on the bounce relegations are something fans could barely imagine nowadays.

In 1999 City were in the Football League Second Division, or for those of you young enough to not have a clue what VHS is – League 1. Joe Royle, who had made 99 appearances for City in the 70s was the manager, tasked with getting City into the First Division, or Championship as it is now known.

The ground wasn’t the behemoth that is the Etihad Campus, but instead Maine Road. Tucked away down terraced streets in the much-maligned Moss Side area of the city. Rather than the enormity that stands now in East Manchester, it was mish-mashed, expanded at different times, with four stands that didn’t match at all. The stadium isn’t there anymore, in its stead after a lengthy planning permission battle is some new build housing, with little evidence of what had gone before it, with the exception of road names Blue Moon Way and Citizens Place. However, I’m sure most city fans remember the iconic roof of the Kippax and the temporary stand which was not set up to deal with the west Manchester weather at all.

It may be rose-tinted glasses, but the last few seasons of the Maine Road days were the best days to be a city fan. The season culminating in a Wembley penalty shootout against Gillingham, two promotions on the bounce only to go straight back down, and winning the first Manchester Derby in my lifetime.

Many weekends spent in my dad’s golf, putting up with his bizarre taste in music, to watch city put 6 past Sheffield Wednesday, or indeed lose 4-0 to West Bromwich Albion defined my early teens.

We had inflatable bananas, and away fans didn’t sing “Where were you when you where Sh*t” they sang “City are a Massive Club” which had more versions than I care to remember but the one referencing Curly Watts as a celebrity fan was by far and away the best.

The move from Moss Side to Beswick to Eastlands or the City of Manchester stadium (it wasn’t the Etihad in those days) saw an unremarkable season, despite a strong start and hammering Bolton 6-2, we had tailed off by November and had little to talk about with the exception of another win in the Manchester Derby.

And so entered Stuart Pearce as manager and a long run of wilderness years for Manchester City, finishing a few places out of the relegation zone ever season, players like Samaras, Joey Barton and Sylvain Distin were on the books. It’s hard to see now that a midfielder in the side would moon the home fans while playing at Goodison Park, but that happened.

Eventually, money arrived, out went Mark Hughes and in came Mancini, out went mid-table finishes and into the Champions League spots, the big four of Chelsea, United, Liverpool and Arsenal now all see City as the team to beat. The exciting moments are not winning penalty shootouts for promotion but winning the Premier League in injury time and becoming the first team to pick up 100 points.

Out are the hard Psycho tackles which simply wouldn’t stand in today’s game, and in the remarkable touch of De Bruyne. No more feeding the goat and in with Aguero’s devastating accuracy. Veteran players are no longer the likes of Hamann, and now the likes of Kompany. Keegan’s determination would be no match for Pep’s tactical brilliance.

City have gone from noisy neighbours to one of the best teams in Europe in an incredibly short space of time (via an enormous cash injection). There is no denying that they are an absolute joy to watch, and when the wheels get turning they are incredible, the balls you think have been overhit have someone waiting at the end of it who has it in control and on the floor in one touch, carving up the defences of good teams, (lest we forget we beat Liverpool 5-1 last season) and utterly destroying lesser opposition as some of this season’s scorelines have shown.

I may be alone in this opinion, but I miss the difficult years. With City’s dominance is the expectation that they will win every single game, 15 years ago when you expect to lose everything, winning a game would cause utter delirium, especially if it happened to fall against a certain team based in Stretford. If you lost you weren’t disappointed because you expected to, you’d just sing “MCFC OK” even louder. Now I find myself feeling slightly put out that City might not win the Premier League for a season.

It’s been a remarkable 20 years for English football, let alone for Manchester City. Filled with both agony and ecstasy, and complain though I might about not enjoying their success as much as I should, I look forward to seeing what they do in the next 20 years.