Tag Archive: Manchester City F.C.

By Laurie Fitzgerald

Sergio Aguero’s 95th-minute strike secured the most thrilling of Premier League titles for Manchester City as Roberto Mancini’s side earned the club’s first title in 44 years in truly dramatic fashion.

That 3-2 win over Queen’s Park Rangers served as heartbreak for their Manchester rivals United, as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men had the title given to them and dashed from them all within a matter of minutes.

It was also a fitting end to a Premier League campaign that has thrown up endless twists and turns, and this in a week when the 2011/12 season was voted the greatest in the league’s history, with each club having their own intriguing story.

City will look upon their triumph as potentially the beginning of a new and successful era, with the incredible financial backing of Sheikh Mansour now reaping the rewards.

United will try and use this moment to inspire their younger players such as Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck to drive them on and continuing the consistent success that’s been in place over the past 20 years.     Continue reading


By Tony Alvarez
Yesterday Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini questioned the standard of refereeing in England and admitted he was some what disappointed by the standard of refereeing in England Is not what he expected.
The Italian said “When I was in Italy I always thought, here, there were the best referees, My idea has changed.”
Although I can’t relate to Mancini’s experience of referee’s in Italy as to that of the ref’s in England I do somewhat agree with him.
Despite attending matches as much as possible in previous years this is the first season I’ve had a season ticket thus attending every match and seeing 90 minutes every week.

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By Tony Alvarez

Many footballers, managers and fans alike are often calling for consistency to be shown from referee’s regarding fouls, cards and pretty much any decision that can influence a game.

However events of the past week has shown that consistency is not something that is promoted by the FA big wigs, if their superiors are not being consistent then what type of model is that giving the referee’s to follow.

I have brought this issue up following the lack of consistency the FA have shown this week in giving retrospective bans; Mario Balotelli was rightly or wrongly given a four match ban for an alleged stamp on Scott Parker that the referee missed so the FA were able to take action. Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez
As you know both Laurie and I chose a team at the start of the Carlintg Cup and followed them throughout the competition if they lose we follow the team that beat them.
With only 4 sides left myself and Laurie both found ourselves with the same side Crystal Palace as you can see Laurie has already published a preview of that game and I’m sure you don’t want to read the same thing twice so I will look ahead to arguably the bigger clash of the two semi finals Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City vs Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool.

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

2011 has seen some brilliant football by some of the biggest names in the game as the Premier League has continued to excite fans all across the world.

But which player has stood out above all others as the outstanding performer in the most popular league on the planet in the last 12 months?

We pick five players that have consistently delivered for their clubs in the last year, and state why they have been the pinnacle of England’s top-flight:

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

Today’s draw in Nyon for the last 16 of this year’s UEFA Champions League will look a little bit bare of English names.

It will include the fewest number of Premier League entrants since this stage of the tournament became a straight knockout following the shock exits of Manchester United and Manchester City.

This means that it will be the London duo of Arsenal and Chelsea that will be flying the flag for England in Europe’s elite competition going into the new year.

The great news for both sides is that they won their groups, meaning they will avoid the continent’s biggest names until at least the quarter-finals.

Teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will be initially avoided, which will delight both Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas.

However, this doesn’t ensure that either side will get a kind draw as there are still some dangerous teams in the firing line that could halt their progress.

Italian giants AC Milan and Manchester City’s conquerers Napoli are possible oponents, as are potentially difficult trips to Russia to face the likes of Zenit St. Petersburg or CSKA Moscow.

Experienced campaigners Lyon are never a team to be taken lightly, especially after defying the odds and turning round a 7-goal deficit in their final group game to edge out Ajax on goal difference.

However, there are some attractive possibilities; whilst they knocked out United last week, there’s no doubt that Basel look the best possible draw available to the capital outfits.

Also, the two sides that progressed with Arsenal and Chelsea into the knockout stages in Marseille and Bayer Leverkusen respectively could be ideal line-ups and are more than beatable.

Either way, it is going to be a difficult route to the final with many of the big sides set to avoid each other and therefore likely to get through to the last eight.

But a kind draw for both the Gunners and the Blues will increase hopes of reaching the showpiece event at the Allianz Arena come May.

As for the Europa League draw, the Manchester duo join Stoke City in the last 32, with the English trio avoiding one another until at least the last 16.

There are some big names joining United and City through the Champions League trapdoor, with Ajax, Porto and Valenica amongst the names having to change their European priorities.

Plus with other clues such as Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Schalke, Twente and PSV Eindhoven also in the running, it will be unlikely that England’s representatives will find an easy path.

But Stoke have gathered in momentum throughout the campaign, while United and City are capable of winning the tournament – depending on how seriously they decide to take it.

So what do you think? Who do you want your side to get in today’s draw? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

By Laurie Fitzgerald

The next 48 hours could see as many as three English sides exit the Champions League at the group stage for the first time since the Premier League was allowed four participants.

Group stages of Europe’s elite competition are often viewed as dull affairs with the usual suspects progressing with relative ease.

Not this time around; while the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have qualified at a canter, the trio of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are fighting for their European lives.

All of them are assured of European football after tonight, but they will want to ensure it is in the less attractive and profitable Europa League.  

Tonight, Chelsea take on Valencia in Group E knowing that anything less than a win or a goalless draw will see them drop into the last 32 of UEFA’s sister competition.

While their home form during the campaign has garnered two wins, it’s the Blues’ paltry record on the road of two draws and a defeat that has left Andre Villas-Boas’ team on the brink.

Their defeat away at Bayer Leverkusen a fortnight ago means that they now have to overcome one of the top teams in Spain.

Although Valencia have been weakened in recent seasons following the sales of David Villa and David Silva, they still pose a serious threat to Chelsea’s progress.

Things aren’t faring much better for Silva’s new side on the European front; while Manchester City have been unbeatable domestically, their first season in the Champions League has proved far more difficult.

In a tough Group A containing Bayern, Villarreal and Napoli, Roberto Mancini‘s men have come unstuck on a few occassions, most notably in their away trips to Naples and Munich.

Those losses have left them third in the table, and even a win at home to the already-qualified Bayern tomorrow evening won’t guarantee their place in the knockout stages.

City will need a favour from a Villarreal side that have lost all five games to deny Napoli taking the runners-up spot, which will be guaranteed with a win at the El Madrigal.

However, they aren’t the only ones from Manchester sweating on qualification; United are in the best position of the three, sitting second in Group C.

But defeat away to FC Basel will see the Swiss outfit cause an almighty shock and take the place of the English champions in the last 16 along with Benfica.

A draw would be enough for Sir Alex Ferguson‘s men, but even that won’t secure top spot, a possibility not available to City and slim for Chelsea.

So even if they all scrape through, there is a good chance they will face Barca or Real in the next round and leave their revived Champions League hopes in the balance once again.

But they are permutations that are far away; right now, three of England’s biggest clubs have to make sure their European adventures this season don’t continue on Thursday nights.

So what do you think? Will the English sides make it through to the last 16? Or will any, if not all three sides drop into the Europa League? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

By Laurie Fitzgerald

On Friday, Manchester City announced their financial figures for the 2010-11 season – and it did not make for good reading.

The world’s wealthiest football club confirmed they had made a staggering loss of £194.9 million, which is the biggest deficit suffered during a 12-month period in the history of English football.

It follows a year of another massive spending spree by the Eastlands club, with the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli assembled amongst many big names in what is now a star-studded squad.

On the pitch the investment is paying off. City are top of the table after an excellent start to their Premier League campaign, and are competing in their first season in the Champions League.

But off the pitch it’s astonishing that a business carries on as normal in this current economy when it makes such a significant loss in such a short space of time.

Of course there will be those that point out the loss has come from an unlimited pot of gold belonging to owner Sheikh Mansour, whose billions have completely changed the landscape at the Etihad stadium.

City fans will also state that after years of ups and downs, including a drop into the third tier of English football, the club are due such an upturn in fortunes.

All are valid points, and there’s no doubt that a large amount of money and spending is needed to achieve what is constituted as success in modern-day football.

However, if City continue their imperious march to the Premier League title come May then it will be on the back of obscene spending that simply doesn’t give anybody else a chance.

FIFA are introducing the financial fair play rules over the next couple of years, but by then City will have made efforts to straighten the books, safe in the knowledge they have a squad that can compete on all fronts and dominate domestically.

Other sides won’t be able make up the ground because of these new rules, meaning that the gulf will be there for the foreseeable future.

This may paint a bleak and predominantly negative view of the subject, and when all is said and done if your club has the money to spend then you want to see the owners do exactly that.

But if City do go and dominate over several years, it will be on the back of financial figures that no other club would even be able to survive from let alone benefit – and that is something that won’t sit comfortably with many football fans.

So what do you think? Are you ok with the fact that Manchester City have got into this position on the back of such a financial loss? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

By Tony Alvarez

Manchester City’s Argentinean hit man and former club captain Carlos Tevez yet again failed to return to the club after going home to Argentina in a visit the club say he was unauthorised to make.

Tevez has been in major dispute with everyone at City since he refused to come on or refused to warm up in a Champions League fixture away at Bayern Munich.

Tevez maintains that he simply told his manager he did not need to warm up as he was already ready to play, whilst Mancini says the striker refused to come on.

Since that incident Tevez has not been involved with any ofManchesterCity’s first team fixtures and has even been made to train with the youth team.

Although Tevez was due to stay with City during the international break as he was not in the Argentina squad however he went back to his home land, after the initial breach staff at Manchester City’s Carrington training ground expected Tevez to return yesterday which did not materialise.

Rumours spread on the internet that Tevez representatives had sent a medical certificate claiming that Tevez was not fit to fly or train however this has yet to be confirmed.

It is amazing how things have turned so sour for Tevez at the Etihad considering he has been the clubs star player and a firm fans favourite ever since his move from City’s main rivals Manchester United.

Tevez problem seems to be solely with manager Roberto Mancini and would happily play for the club again if Mancini apologised to him or if the Italian was dismissed but given City’s table topping form both and the form of strikers Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero both of those scenarios are highly unlikely.

The City fans also showed were there allegiances lie with banners in the clubs fixture away atBlackburnsupporting the stance the club were taking after Tevez behaviour.

It would now seem that the best option for both parties and the one that is most conceivable is the sale of Tevez however that in itself causes a dilemma.

On his day Tevez is worth every penny of the £30 odd million City paid for his services and would probably look to receive for him, however there are only a handful of clubs that can afford this sort of transfer fee and I cant see any of them parting with this mount for a player who hasn’t been competitive for 4 months (by the time January comes) and has no been seen to have behaviour problems and a disruptive influence.

All of the above coupled with his wages which are in excess of £150,000 a week and it makes the gamble a huge one for anyone.

The only club off the top of my head that will take him with all the above factors are Russian side Anzhi who earlier in the year signed Samuel Eto’o however given Tevez family inability to settle in Manchester it is unlikely that he would opt for a move to Russia.

He has been touted for a move back to his former side Boca Juniors however it is unlikely they can afford the transfer fee City would require or the players wage demands should he refuse to drop his demands.

It is a tough time for Tevez in terms of his Footballing future and it would be a loss for the game should his career continue on this downward spiral however I have no sympathy for him as he had it all an choose to moan and act like a spoilt brat.

What are your thoughts? What next for Tevez? Who will be his next club? Do you have any sympathy for him? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

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By Tony Alvarez

Following bothManchestersides failure to win in the Champions League last night the English sides involved in the competition (Arsenal,Chelsea,ManchesterCityand Manchester United) record stands at played 6 and won just 1.

 There has only been one defeat in these 6 fixtures which shows the English sides are not performing terribly but we are used to all four English sides strolling through the group stages usually at a canter.

The win of course came from Chelsea’s victory at Stamford Bridge over German side Bayern Leverkusen, whilst there have been draws for Arsenal in Dortmund, United away to Benfica and at home to FC Basle and a City draw at home to Napoli with the defeat being suffered my Man City away at Bayern Munich.

But the English clubs poor run in Europe goes deeper than just the Champions League, in the last round of Europa league matches not a single English side won, Championship side Birmingham lost out to Portuguese side Braga, Tottenham could only manage a draw in Greece against PAOK, Stoke could only manage a draw against Dynamo Kiev of the Ukraine and Fulham drew with Dutch club FC Twente.

All together that’s 10 matches and only one English win, its not panic stations for any of the clubs as its only the first round of group games but it does ring alarm bells when we’re used to our clubs being so dominant.

I am aware that some of the clubs were not at full strength and fielded weakened teams either due to injury or just as Europe is not their main priority, Tottenham are the main culprits of this ( I say culprits its not a crime and this is not a dig at Tottenham).

The record could get worse tonight as Chelsea face a very tough trip to the Mestella to face a strong looking Valencia side, those of you unfamiliar with Spanish Football will disregard Valencia as they have continually lost key players over the past few years but this time last week they drew with the mighty Barcelona and were sititng top of La Liga until a weekend defeat at Sevilla.

The club don’t really have any star names but with that comes no egos they are a good squad who work hard for each other, saying that the Chelsea back four will not want to take their eye of striker Soldado for too long as he is in a rich vain of form.

Arsenal face a much easier game on paper as the Greek side Olympiacos visit the Emirates stadium, Olympiacos lost at home to Marseille in their last Champions League fixture and look to be the weakest side Arsenal will face in their group.

Although I thinkChelseamay struggle I can see both sides winning and changing the fortunes of English clubs in the Champions League.

Despite United’s two draws so far I still see them winning their group with ease as no one in their group can worry them and after already visiting Benfica the hardest trip is out of the way.

Before the group stages I would of predicted Man City to progress into the last 16 but having watched both their fixtures I am now unsure, they were hammered by Bayern Munich and the score line could have been a lot worse, although City could have had a penalty early on which would of turned things round, Napoli proved they will be no pushovers and City will have a tough time in Italy and although Villarreal are under achieving they are no whipping boys.

Although I think its odd that English sides have only recorded one win of the last possible 10 in Europe I think its by no means a sign the gap is closing between European minnows and our clubs, a point away to Benfica is not a bad result for United although Basle earning a point at Old Trafford was a shock.

Dortmund are the German champions and Arsenal done well to get a point out there especially considering the turmoil they had been through following the mauling at Old Trafford.

City to be fair have been drawn in the group of death and whilst I expected a win againstNapoliit was no forgone conclusion.

What are your thoughts? Are the rest of Europe catching our teams? What’s behind the lack of English victories in Europe? Will Chelsea and Arsenal make amends for this tonight? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

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