Sunday, 28 June 2009
Well, there we have it. New season almost upon us.
Gareth Barry followed sharpish by Tevez, Lescott and Eto'o. Everyone seems to like the 'direction' in which City are heading - which I guess is the direction of their particular bank balance.
I was chatting the other day to a Spurs fan I know, and he asked me what shape I thought City's team might take in the forthcoming season. It's a shame, after the heroics of Friday night, that Joe will not be featuring unless there's a Cech type incident about to befall Shay, but - as they say - times change, and we have to accept that. So, here is the starting eleven as I see it, old fashioned numbering applied, with my own assessment (out of 10) for how good I think they are:
1. Given (8)
2. Lescott (7) or Garrido (6)
3. Bridge (6)
4. Richards (4) or Zabaleta (5)
5. Onuoha (6)
6. Kompany (6)
7. Ireland (8) or Etuhu (5)
8. De Jong (6) or Fenandes (1)
9. Eto'o (8) or Bellamy (2)
10. Wright-Phillips (7) or Tevez (7)
11. Robinho (9) or Petrov (5)
Should the Tevez thing happen - which looks likely - it will be interesting to see where he is played, and in what combination. I always saw him as industrious and dangerous, if a little unimaginative, and I do wonder how he might gel with Robinho. I still don't think the defence is right, and have not been over-impressed with Bridge so far. In midfield we can be excellent, mostly thanks to Daddy Dick (like great writers, footballers should not be judged on their personal lives, in my opinion) and Robinho linking up so well. At the risk of stating the bleedin obvious, we have not posed enough of a threat in front of goal.
Needless to say, we will have such a testing season, what with, er, Europe and all, that a strict rotation policy will need to be applied, and much will depend on Sparky's hold over his newly acquired stable of thoroughbreds. He will need to demonstrate that he can handle their disappointment at being left out of a crucial Carling Cup tie at Huddersfield, and not permit them to fly off to Brazil or wherever for a birthday party.
I hope Abs makes a return, because I think he showed some genuine promise. I can still barely credit that we have that Welsh git Bellamy in the squad, and have been largely unconvinced by the team as a whole.
But, we'll see. Getting ready to watch the Confederations Cup now. God bless everyone - especially Brazil.