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Why Garry Cook Should be Praised and not Ridiculed

23 Jun

It’s not often I’m provoked in writing an article based on what is produced in a paper. Occasionally, there might be a piece (normally by the pathetic Tony Cascarino) that slates City and so angers me into a response. But I’m writing this article as a sort of follow up to a fantastic interview I read in the Independent by Nick Szczepanik. It wasn’t even mainly focussed on City: instead, it was about Brentford’s new manager, and former City legend, Uwe Rösler.

In particular, it was a quote by the German that struck me and led me to write this. Questioned whether the character of the club had changed since Sheikh Mansour took over, Rösler said ”I have to say the new owners are very interested in keeping the tradition and history of the club. They looked after my family when we moved over, helped us out with schools – after all these years and with a lot of people in charge who never saw me play.”

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POLL: Were City Right to Release Vieira?

16 Jun

The official list of players released by Premier League clubs was revealed today and the name of Patrick Vieira stood out. A five time FA Cup winner over the course of his career and a fatherly influence in the City dressing room, many felt that the Frenchman was worth another year, possibly as a player/coach.

This is still an option, as we may sign him up for next season despite letting him go, as happened with Stuart Taylor a couple of seasons ago, but the likelihood is that Vieira has played his final match for the Blues. A respected figure around the club, he is no longer a force on the pitch, often bypassed by pacy, direct sides, but his experience is invaluable and I would have offered him one more year.

But what do you think?

CAPTION COMPETITION – The Winning Entries

23 Apr

Another very short article just to highlight my favourite entries from Tuesday’s Mario Balotelli caption competition. There were some fantastic entries, and my favourite three are below the picture. So thanks to everyone who came up with suggestions!

What a winker! Mario Balotelli succeeds in winding up Rio Ferdiannd

In third place was Josh Davies, who made reference to the fact that Ferdinand’s daughter was born earlier in the day – Balotelli: “hey Rio, your daughter has a real look of John Terry, you know?”

In second was Max Davies, with this very clever caption – “In the blink of an eye United’s treble hopes are gone”

And in first place, showing that City fans’ sense of humour remains firmly intact, is Rees – Balotelli: Right got my aim sorted, now where’s my darts?

CAPTION COMPETITION – A Winking Balotelli

19 Apr

As a Wembley winning special treat, here is a caption competition. So please post your captions below as a comment. Make me laugh and the best three will be highlighted in the next few days on the blog. But please keep it clean!

What a winker! Mario Balotelli succeeds in winding up Rio Ferdiannd

Adam Johnson, James Milner and Gary Lineker in Cancer Research Campaign

28 Mar

ON 15th February 2011, football legend Gary Lineker and his actress and model wife Danielle, are asking the British public to send a message to a loved one, via a personalised video starring them both, to spot cancer early for Cancer Research UK’s ‘Do Me A Favour’ campaign –  www.cancerresearchuk.org/DoMeAFavour

The short videos that Gary (age 50) and Danielle (age 31) have created ask the public to encourage their parents, friends, older loved ones or colleagues to ‘Do Me a Favour’ and go to the doctor if they’re concerned that something isn’t quite right with their health.  The videos are quick and easy to personalise and can be sent securely on email or shared through social media. During 2011 more celebrity pairings will be taking part in the campaign.

When cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of successful treatment are higher and it is estimated that earlier diagnosis and treatment could mean up to 10,000 fewer cancer deaths each year. Nearly 300,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year and taking part in this campaign will help to spread the word about spotting cancer early.

Gary says: “I’m not overjoyed about turning 50 but despite the wrinkles and grey hair, I am lucky that I am healthy and still pretty much my playing weight. This campaign is about giving the people you care about a nudge and reminding them that if they’re worried about their health in any way then they should go to the doctor, otherwise it will just nag away.  It might also be getting worse in that period of time so please do listen to Cancer Research UK and go and get it checked out.”

Danielle says: “Being part of ’Do Me A Favour’ means a lot to me. My grandmother died of cancer at 60 and I feel that if she had got herself checked out sooner, her survival chances could have been better. So, for me to be involved in this is just great. I want to try and bring home the message to get checked out if you think something isn’t quite right.”

Cancer Research UK is determined to tackle the problem of late diagnosis of cancer and along with the Department of Health, is committed to the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI), which was set up to improve cancer outcomes in England.

NAEDI aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage people to get them checked out sooner rather than later, and support primary health care professionals to diagnose cancer earlier, including improving access to diagnostic tests. Early diagnosis is key to boosting cancer survival.

So do your loved ones a favour, go to www.cancerresearchuk.org/DoMeAFavour and personalise a message from Gary Lineker to help spot cancer early!

BALOTELLI out for a Month. Silva Doubt for Wolves Game

11 Jan

News breaking this evening is that Italian striker Mario Balotelli will be sidelined for a month as he has been told to rest his knee injury. Having missed a large part of the season earlier on, trouble has flared up in his knee again and doctors have advised him to rest. Roberto Mancini has stated that he will be out for about three or weeks and will return to training after that. I will blog in detail next week about the potential repercussions.

In further injury news, David Silva is a huge doubt for the Wolves game as he is still struggling with injury, having missed the recent pair of matches against Arsenal and Leicester. That devastating news is offset slightly by the arrival of Edin Dzeko, but it is a huge ask of the new signing to settle straight away and produce the goods. Again, more will follow at a later stage.

CARLOS TÉVEZ – The VIEW From A CITY Fan

13 Dec

I’m finding this quite tough to know what to write. As a blogger, the words should flow, painting a literary picture of what is happening, but it’s difficult to explain my feelings. At the moment, they are a mélange of confusion, disappointment and utter bewilderment, leaving me in a state of shock, combined with a generous dash of anger.

I apologise now if this article seems a little disjointed, but after the events of the past couple of days, it’s not the easiest task in the world to think rationally. As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, I’m usually so restrained and realistic, but in light of the weekend’s happenings, emotion can take over, pushing rational thought to the back-burner.

There are so many ideas, theories and thoughts swirling around in my head, I haven’t the time, nor the space to scribe every detail. It’s a complicated issue, one which will attract copious amounts of speculation, yet, in reality, the truth of the matter won’t be revealed for quite some time yet.

We have known for a while that not everything was rosy with Carlos Tévez. He has given numerous interviews in which he has stated his homesickness, his desire to return home in order to be with his children. If this were the only issue at stake, I have no doubt that there would not have been as much interest in this story. But I don’t believe this is the sole cause of the trouble.

Any father would sorely miss the time spent away from his family. That is why Roberto Mancini and the club have been especially lenient towards Tévez in allowing him time off from training in order to return to Argentina to see his family. Both before and after the spectacular Chelsea victory, in which Tévez scored the only goal, the Argentine was given special dispensation to return home, as has happened on numerous occasions.

And following his booking against Bolton last weekend, which meant he missed the game on Saturday against West Ham, City allowed him to take four days leave under the agreement that Tévez would fly immediately to Argentine to see his kids. Unfortunately, it turns out that our captain instead decided to travel to Tenerife and to ignore the club’s orders. Whether this was indeed Tévez’s idea because he needed a break, or whether it was down to the influence of his notoriously dodgy agent Kia Joorabchian in creating a rebellious act, I’d lean towards the latter.

After all the support given to Tévez, namely in allowing him to return home and by awarding him the captaincy (an act surely done to appease him), Mancini understandably feels let down by the actions of the striker. Everyone connected with the club realises that Tévez is a hugely important figure and we would be loath to lose him, but no player, in any circumstances, is bigger than the club.

Problems have been festering for a long time and it has been revealed this week that Tévez wanted to leave City in the summer but was persuaded to remain at the club. We have all seen the quarrels and heard about the squabbling between Tévez and Mancini, most notably the half-time joust against Newcastle and the disgraceful reaction of Tévez when he was substituted at the end of the Bolton game. But it must be noted that in his statement, the striker clearly stated he has no issue with Mancini.

Another thing that struck me as odd was how, in the space of a mere 24 hours, the reason for Tévez desiring to leave changed from homesickness to an untentable relationship with certain executives. He claims that “my relationship with certain executives and individuals at the club has broken down and is now beyond repair”. With a hint of inference, that can only point the finger at Garry Cook and Brian Marwood, which again leads me to question the involvement of Joorabchian.

That last statement from Tévez truly baffles me, especially considering what he said earlier in the speech, when he declared that he “resents suggestions that I have been unduly influenced by others.” This was in response to City’s official club statement which suggested that the Argentine had been guided by Joorabchian.

Then, for Tévez to say that this is his decision only, it begs the question what involvement does he really have with Cook that would force him to hand in a transfer request. The striker needs to remember that he plays for Mancini and the other players, not the Chief Executive. Even as captain, I don’t expect Carlos to have too many dealings with Cook. Tévez is a football man, not a financial analyst. Surely that is Joorabchian’s realm.

Indeed, Tévez has just paid for a two year rental for a house in trendy Mottram, with plans to build a three-hole golf course, sure signs that he had no immediate plans of leaving. He even hoped that his family would join him in England, although that now doesn’t look likely. In fact, there has been talk of Carlos moving to Real Madrid, where he would be living in a country that is much more similar to Argentina than England. He would be speaking his native tongue, the culture would be closer to home and he still harbours hopes of his kids living with him. But he would make few friends if he moved to Spain, having repeatedly stated his desire to be closer to home!

Everything I have mentioned leads me to point the finger of blame firmly at the door of Kia Joorabchian. He advises Tévez on every matter, and it must be noted that the Iranian businessman would receive next to nothing if Tévez remained at City. It is in his interest to force the striker into moving so it should be with extreme caution that anything said by Joorabchian is taken seriously.

For me, this debacle has all the hallmarks of the Wayne Rooney saga at Manchester United. Fantastic player has dodgy agent. Agent tells player to demand a move. Large public backlash. Player gets offered new, improved contract. Player signs contract. Agent happy. Fans less so.

My personal view is that we should force Tévez to stay until the summer, meaning that we wouldn’t have to pay ridiculous prices for replacements in January, although I’d still expect us to bring in at least one striker then. In the summer, we could then let him leave, with the agreement that he return to Argentina, having had the time to scout possible replacements. Oh, and remove the captaincy from him. Our club deserves better.

Please let me know your views below. What do you think about the situation and how do you think it will be resolved? Thanks for reading.

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