VOTE HERE: Player of the Season

2 Jun

It’s the end of an incredible season. Expectations have been exceeded and that is in no small part down to the fantastic performances of our players. I’ve rated the squad over the past three days, from the goalkeepers and defenders, via the midfielders to the strikers. But here is your chance to vote for your player of the season.

MAN CITY Season Ratings: Strikers

1 Jun

Our incredible season is over, and with third place and the FA Cup under our belt, here are my season ratings. Click here for ratings on goalkeepers and defenders, and here for those of our midfielders.

Balotelli – Deserves a whole article to himself! There’s not a lot I can say that hasn’t already been said about him, but it’s worth remembering he’s only 20, living for the first time away from his friends and family, trying to settle in a new country with a completely different culture and a new language. His family are moving to Manchester to join him next season, so he’ll be far more settled then.

Deep down, I genuinely believe he’s a good kid, someone who needs to feel loved. He’s struggled with bibs, claimed never to have heard of Jack Wilshere, suffered an allergic reaction to grass (which is actually quite serious), thrown darts at youth team players because he was bored, winked at Rio Ferdinand, got umpteen parking tickets, given thousands of pounds to tramps and helped a young kid who was getting bullied.

And in between all that, he’s made nearly thirty appearance, scored ten goals, received eleven bookings and been sent off twice. Some of his performances at the back end of the season, most notably the two games at Wembley, hinted at his settling and some of his play, at times, is breathtaking. We’re in for a hell of a ride next season! – 7

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MAN CITY Season Ratings: Midfielders

31 May

Our incredible season is over, and with third place and the FA Cup under our belt, here are my season ratings. Click here for ratings on goalkeepers and defenders.

De Jong – A contender for player of the season. Came into this campaign with his reputation damaged after what happened in the World Cup final, but anyone who has watched even a handful of City’s games this season will realise just how vital he is to our team. Picks up the pieces in front of the defence, making crucial tackles and blocks, but it is his passing which has improved immensely. Starts many of our attacks, and his performance in the FA Cup final was monumental – 8.5

Barry – Takes an unfair amount of criticism from those who don’t watch him play week in week out, but his contribution to the side and his selfless work in midfield is much appreciated. Not the quickest, but his distribution is tidy and alongside De Jong, performs a good job in protecting the defence. Plenty of experience in important matches and he will be a useful squad member next year – 7

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MAN CITY Season Ratings: Goalkeepers and Defenders

30 May

Our incredible season is over, and with third place and the FA Cup under our belt, here are my season ratings.

Hart – For a goalkeeper so young, the most striking aspect was his consistency. Even the best in the world make mistakes, but I can only think of one (at home to Blackburn) all season. Fantastic shot-stopper, commands his box well and showed that his concentration was good with three excellent saves in the big matches against Spurs, United and Stoke. Needs to work on his distribution but could be our number one for the next decade at least – 7.5

Given – Was desperately unfortunate that Hart was in such consistently good form. One of the best ‘keepers in the league but only managed four starts in all competitions. Will leave in the summer but with the best wishes of the club. Served us well for eighteen months – 6

Taylor – Didn’t play a single minute during the season but is a good squad man. Experienced and happy to play third fiddle. Expect him to replicate that again next season – N/A

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Bolton 0 – 2 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS

24 May

The end of an incredible season. A trophy, our first in 35 years, and third place in the Premier League. Champions League football is ours, where the group stage awaits us after 38 pulsating fixtures in what is regarded as the best league in the world. We have had our ups and our downs, but we’ve come through them as a team, as a club, and now we can rejoice in the glory.

We have done it, led by the steely determination of Roberto Mancini and with the constant belief of the players. Yes, there have been moments of difficulty, moments which would have derailed a previous City, but there is a newfound resilience in our squad these days. The players have faith in their own ability, the manager trusts himself and the fans are buying into the success we’re enjoying.

This game was a rather more comfortable affair than many this season. Goals from Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko secured the win, one which guaranteed our third place finish. The way we have ended the season, with memorable wins against Spurs, Manchester United and Stoke, has been delightful and the hope is that we can build on this next season. Few would bet against us doing just that.

There weren’t any standout performers from this match, perhaps characteristic of our team spirit, something that has been doubted many times this campaign, but has been there for all to see towards the end of the season. There is a mentality within the club that we can move on and progress to bigger and better things, that this is just the start of what promises to be an unforgettable ride.

The summer will be an interesting time, with arrivals, departures, transfer sagas and much more to occupy our minds. It’s now the time to celebrate what we have achieved this season and to think about what we may achieve in one year’s time. Thanks to the players, staff and everyone connected with our beloved football club for delivering us with such success. Long may it continue.

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