Monday Football Almost Here! Short and sweet. Listen to this 20 min. podcast getting excited about Manchester City’s start to the Premier League, a mention of how Everton looks for the year and a small taste of glorious #USMNT gloating that secretly every U.S. fan wants to let out, (admit it). Click here to listen to The Running Record podcast.
Jesus Navas is going to Manchester CIty
The Morning Blog: Missing The Trick
The hidden treasure
In a show of hugely ironic cruelty, Roberto Mancini was sacked by Manchester City an exact year to the day the Italian led the club to its first Premier League title. On that occasion 12 months ago, Mancini was elated after Sergio Aguero’s last gasp stunner against QPR sealed a two-goal rally in stoppage time during the last match of the season. Yesterday, he was most likely feeling dejection after a second place finish in the league and FA Cup final loss earned him the axe. Perhaps the former Internazionale manager is sulking as we speak, or maybe the enormous 28m compensation he’ll receive as a settlement for leaving will be consolation enough.
Regardless of ridiculous payouts, though, the consensus amongst the media elite in England seems to be that Manuel Pellegrini will be making his way from Malaga to Manchester and take over at the Etihad Stadium. If that’s the case, then City will have gotten themselves, by all accounts, a great manager. In doing so, however, they might have equally missed out on a greater opportunity to appoint a better fit.
Can a bright star ever “break in” at Manchester City? After seeing John Guidetti tweet a photo of his new locker at Manchester City, I was prompted to research more about the young Swedish international. It then came to my amazement that he had one of the quietest great seasons in Europe, and by quiet I mean I had no idea he was in “banging in goals for fun” mode, 20 in 23 games to be exact while on loan with Feyenoord this past year. Not matter what way you cut it, that’s a successful spell for a 19-year old (now 20) in a top European league, and yet the question has to be asked: will we ever see him starring in a sky blue shirt? The was a graphic on ESPN recently showing the Manchester City striker situation as it stands right now. The club currently have Edin Dzeko, Emmanuel Adebayor, Maio Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, and Roque Santa Cruz on the books in addition to the young Guidetti. Mind you, this graphic was shown during a segment discussing the possibility of Robin Van Persie coming to the Etihad Stadium. It’s become apparent that Man City very much intent on gradually getting better, and gradually aiming to sign better talent. More power to them, but in the process of them doing so, some real young talents are being lost in the fray (see Adam Johnson) as more and more players are bought each year. And this is no slight to them, but much more of a serious question to ponder: At a club like Manchester City, is there even a place for a John Guidetti? Who do you think Manchester City will keep on board?
Anonymous asked: What do you think about Man City trying to go for Skrtel?
The first thing I’m doing if I’m LFC is holding out for 25m, and then talk. That’s the type of luxury you have in negotiations when you don’t have to sell, which Liverpool definitely do not.
England 1 - 0 Norway: Rapid Reaction
Andy Carroll played the full 90 in his return to the England squad
Hodgson made his debut, Gerrard got the armband, Green got the start, and England got the win. Enough musing however, it’s time for the reaction. Here are the three stand out points from England’s win in Norway.
dengustrailersofficial90 asked: Thoughts on Man City and Man United bombing out of Europa while Chelsea sign in the Champions League?
Joe Hart nearly provided the dramatic finishing touch for Man City
In the case of Manchester United, it was always going to be rough after the first leg. Three away goals is a big hurdle to climb, and even if Bilbao had lost 1-2, the Spaniards would have still gone through. It would have been interesting to see United turn the tie though, as it would have silenced all the cynics who claim that the “big clubs” don’t care about the Europa League, which I don’t buy. United simply ran into a Bilbao team which not only beat them, but technically, tactically, and comprehensively outclassed them over two legs. Fairplay to Bilbao and their manager Marcelo Bielsa.
As for City, when United crashed out in Spain, the writing was really on the wall, although their elimination was less gut-wrenching. Sporting scored their first on a brilliant free-kick, but after they got the second, City did real well to get back three. Joe Hart nearly had a moment for the ages at the end. His header was eye-widening and as far as drama goes, that would have been tops this season. You would have thought that Manchester City, who flattened Porto at home, although some claim that the scoreline flattered the hosts, who have been able to close the tie out at Eastlands. Overall, the real loser here might just be the Europa League, as both Manchester teams’ presence added that bit of luster that was needed for the competition.
But while everyone took those two results as an indication of the Premier League’s “decline” in quality, the great irony is that the lowest placed English team at this stage in European competition has actually gone through, and have a great chance of heading to the semis. Figure that! To say that Chelsea played with a sense of freedom would be an understatement, but it just shows, once again, how much psychology plays into sports. The players were clearly up for it, the “old guard” clearly saw that their reputation was at stake, they thought they were good enough to turn the tide, and they responded accordingly. I was no fan of the AVB sacking, and I’m still not, but Chelsea did not look capable of that result two weeks ago. Even David Luiz showed his best. To think that Chelsea actually held Cavani, Lavezzi, and Hamsik scoreless, and can now work their way to a potential rematch of the 2009 semi-final against Barca, in which, make no mistake, they were absolutely and undeniably cheated, is incredible…But that’s football.
The Carlos Tevez saga: Open and shut case
Carlos Tevez has been training with Manchester City since February
Since Carlos Tevez return to Manchester City’s first team became a real prospect, the rhetoric from most pundits has been identical. “Tevez should not be given a chance, it would jeopardize the club’s integrity, Mancini should stand up for what he believes in,” and a crowd favorite “He will unsettle the squad.” Interestingly enough, that squad has given no indication that Tevez’ return could cause disruption. In fact, it seems like the Man City players having been queuing up to campaign for the Argentine every chance they get. With that in mind, here are just a few of the ringing endorsements.
“He’ll have to earn his place back. But if Carlos can play anything like we know he can, he’ll be an asset to the team." - Joe Hart
“Carlos is a great player and if he is physically fit he would be a very good player to have." - David Silva
“No-one here sees Carlos as a disruption." - Joleon Lescott
“I think everyone can make a mistake. Carlos is part of the team. He’s just a part of the team, so everybody loves him." - Mario Balotelli
“I have always been a big fan of Tevez, I love him." - Micah Richards
“Everybody is keen. He is still a player for Manchester City, we never doubted that.” - Nigel De Jong
“In this team Tevez was a key player over the last two years. The final phase of the tournament begins now and his contribution will be vital for us." - Pablo Zabaleta
Yeah, it doesn’t look like anyone at City would mind adding a few extra goals to the team.
The tribe has spoken. Release El Apache!!!
Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images Europe