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Archive for the ‘Manchester City’ Category

Controversial penalty, goalkeeping howlers and a shock!!

Posted by Daniel Stone on August 20, 2007

chelseapenalty.jpgThis past weekend was dubbed as the biggest of the season so far and my god it didn’t disappoint. These are the major talking points of the third week into the 2007/2008 Premiership season:

  • Everybody seems to be hounding Rob Styles (the referee that took charge of Liverpool – Chelsea yesterday) but I for one, as a neutral, thought penalty as soon as I saw the incident live on TV. Having seen the replay I now know it definitely wasn’t a penalty. As we know the referee doesn’t have the option of looking at the replay (YET) but considering his position on the pitch when the incident happened he should have made the right decision. However, being a referee in the top flight these days must be the hardest job on earth!! He has since been dropped for next weekend due to his frailties. The game finished 1 all and Chelsea will be the happier of the two with the outcome. Liverpool will be delighted Fernando Torres got on the score sheet on his home debut. Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea

  • Manchester City provided the shock of the weekend, somehow beating rivals Manchester United with a long range effort from Brazilian Geovanni. I say somehow due to the pressure Manchester City were under at times. In the end they managed to keep their third clean sheet in a row as well as pick up 9 points from 3 games, shooting to the top of the Premiership. Manchester United have a major game this weekend hosting Tottenham, another defeat could mean the end of their defence of their title. Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United 

  • Arsenal felt aggrieved with the final result against Blackburn considering they were leading for long spells of the match and the manner in which Blackburn equalised, a howler by Jens Lehmann. Blackburn could also point to the fact that Arsenal took the lead through Robin Van Persie via a mistake by Brad Friedel the Blackburn stopper. Arsene Wenger stated after the match that Blackburn were violent (it always is for Arsenal against the northern clubs) but as Mark Hughes rightly says it is just sour grapes from Wenger as Arsenal thought they would come away with the three points. Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal

  • At the other end of the table newcomers Birmingham and Derby find themselves in a spot of bother having only acquired 1 point from their first 3 games and most notably Bolton are in big trouble, having lost each of their first 3 games. With El Hadj Diouf and Nicolas Anelka wanting out before the transfer window closes, Bolton might well be faced with a relegation battle.

 Take note of this past weekend as not many will finish like this one, none of the supposed ‘big four’ picking up 3 points.


Posted in Arsenal, Birmingham City, Blackburn, Bolton, Chelsea, Derby County, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premiership, Tottenham | Leave a Comment »

Mediocre season – City to evade relegation

Posted by Daniel Stone on August 7, 2007

relegation.jpgThis is the first part of a series of four sections. With the Premiership set to kick off next Saturday everybody is getting their fantasy team together and giving their predictions for the up and coming season. So here are my predictions of how teams will fare in the Premiership this season, divided in four sections. The first section will be those teams who get to 28 games played and no longer have anything to play for (positions 11 – 15). The second part will be analyzing those teams that have potential to do something this season (positions 6 – 10). The penultimate section will be stating which teams will be involved in a scrappy dog fight (positions 16 -20). This analysis will be finished by (dare I say) predicting who will be the Premiership Champions for the 2007/2008 season. 

11th PositionEverton 

Everton have been fairly inactive this season in the transfer market, having made three signings so far this season. Leighton Baines and Phil Jageilka are great reinforcements. I think David Moyes did a great job last season guiding them to the Uefa Cup finishing in 6th position. They have recently been linked to Lucho Gonzalez of Porto for £11 million which would be a real coup considering Real Madrid had been chasing him a few weeks back. (Although Real seem to be after any player that has two legs!) There is potential in this team and if their top players peak they could be a real force in Europe. Being involved in so many competitions could affect their Premiership form though as they do not have much strength in depth.

Key man: Andy Johnson 

12th PositionAston Villa 

Martin O’Neil has been trying to calm Aston Villa fans by telling them reinforcement will arrive, however, in less than a month the transfer window closes and Aston Villa have been very inactive in the transfer market so far. They have sold quite a few players and with the takeover last season there was supposed to be an injection of cash, but this hasn’t been the case. Maybe O’Neil has something lined up before the transfer window closes. (Aston Villa fans hope!) I think he is a great manager BUT if the reinforcements don’t arrive soon Aston Villa will struggle to creep into the top ten.

Key man: Stilian Petrov 

13th PositionManchester City 

I think it will be unlucky 13 for City. Much has already been discussed about Sven and his signings, all of different nationalities and many that don’t speak English. This all has the ingredients for Manchester City to struggle with a team that will need plenty of time to gel together. On the bright side I don’t think that they will get relegated, can you imagine how Sven would cope in a British dog fight? For Sven’s sake I hope this isn’t the case.

Key man: Micah Richards 

14th PositionFulham 

Fulham have already made some good signings and they seem to be signing Hameur Bouzza from Watford, a player I really rate, BUT I think they will struggle to challenge the top half of the table. They finished last season on a dreadful run and I think Sanchez has a real hard job on his hands. Good luck to him though he seems to know what he is doing. Ironic how different the last two teams are. Sanchez signs players he knew from his Northern Ireland days and Sven buys players he probably had never heard of a few weeks back! That’s the problem with Fulham though; I don’t think the Northern Ireland contingency offer much quality for the Premiership.

Key man: Jimmy Bullard 

15th PositionReading 

Reading had a great season last year exceeding expectations and challenging for Europe. However, this summer they haven’t recruited many players and most notable lost Steve Sidwell to Chelsea on a Bosman. After last season’s great performance I think it is essential Reading freshen things up but they have so far failed to do so. I think this year they will struggle and will be affected by the second season syndrome.

Key man: Leroy Lita

Posted in Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Manchester City, Premiership, Reading | 4 Comments »

Sven Goran’s Unbelievable!

Posted by Daniel Stone on August 4, 2007

sven.jpgOver the past two days Manchester City have signed four players! These being, Brazilian midfielder Elano for £8million, Bulgarian forward Valeri Bojinov for around £6m, defender Javi Garrido cost £1.5m and £4m Croatian defender Vedran Corluka. This takes Manchester City’s total summer spending to around £40 million.

However, since signing these players Sven has stated that he hasn’t seen some of them play live only having seen some videos of them in action.

“Most of the players I have never seen in action live. But it’s just not possible because the season has not even started.”

One must wonder what Sven was doing last season having been a whole year unemployed (but still on the FA payroll!). Sven decided to leave the best till last in the press conference in which the new signings were being presented to the press. Sven had the audacity to ask Bulgarian forward Valeri Bojinov,  

“Why did you want to join Manchester United?” 

Ok, I can understand Sven making grammatical mistakes when talking English, it not being his first language but come on, how can you confuse your new team Manchester City with your main rivals!!??

Posted in Manchester City, Premiership | Leave a Comment »

Sven Goran Eriksson & Manchester City – match made in heaven?

Posted by Daniel Stone on July 24, 2007

sven1.jpgman-city.jpgOn the 6th of July 2007 Sven Goran Eriksson was appointed Manchester City manager. Eriksson has been given a three year contract with a hefty transfer kitty and as one can imagine a nice fat wager. Manchester City finished last season in what some may call a crisis. They didn’t win any of their last six Premiership games and lost four of those, finishing in 14th position. Combine this with Joey Barton’s training ground ‘thug’ antics (beating up Ousmane Dabo) signalled the end of a 2 year reign for Stuart Pearce.  

On the same day Sven was appointed new manager, City were at the centre of a takeover by former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin, who was deposed as Prime Minister by a military junta last September, faces corruption charges in Thailand and has had his assets totaling to US$2.3 billion seized. Is this what Manchester City need? Or will it only increase the predicament they are in? 

There is no doubting Sven Goran Eriksson’s credentials at club level. Having won the Swedish Title with IFK Gothenburg (1981), the Portuguese League with Benfica (1983, 1984 & 1991) and the Portuguese Cup (1983), the Italian Cup with Roma (1986) and Sampdoria (1994) and finally his most successful period with Lazio where he won the Italian Cup again (1998 & 2000), the European Cup Winners Cup and the Uefa Super Cup (1999) and the Serie A title (2000). That is one hell of a lot of success with the not so called ‘big’ clubs. This track record led him to the prestigious England job. Not having been able to get past the Quarter finals at the main events (World Cups, 2002 & 2006 and European Championship, 2004) Eriksson’s period as England manager was dismissed as failure even though in 33 official games as England coach he won 23 and only lost 3 in five years. Not forgetting the 5-1 thrashing of Germany in Munich. Not a bad record either.     

Eriksson is 16/1 on being the first Premiership manager to get sacked, could be tempting! However, considering the wages he is on I don’t think City will be inclined to paying out his contract if things are not going well. After all, Sven was still on the Football Association’s payroll almost a year after stepping down as England’s head coach. Time will tell how Sven will perform but with £50 million at his disposal he is already under pressure to perform. On the other hand could it get any worse than last season for Manchester City? Well there is the possibility of relegation

Posted in Manchester City, Premiership | 1 Comment »