Tuesday, 27 December 2011

No need to worry as United catch us up!

A lot has been made of United closing the gap on us in the past 24 hours, after they demolished Wigan yesterday and we dropped two vital points at the Hawthorns.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 1

Well, after 10 long days, we've finally made it! It's Christmas Eve and more importantly, we've reached the climax of our top 10 heroes. You all picked this man as the winner, and we at The Sky Blue View definitely agree with the choice. Today, you picked....

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 2

So, were on the penultimate day and you have chosen Shaun Goater at second on the list

The so called myth of Samir Nasri

Article written by Tom Smart 

Throughout the early stages of his career, Samir Nasri was touted as the next Zinedine Zidane despite being at the young age of 17. Now, the problem with labelling a player as good as the current world’s best player or a national icon, is that often that player will never complete that particular self-fulfilling prophecy. As a matter of fact, the player almost always go on to shape their own careers in a very different and unique way, some achieving success and some failing to meet the demands that the most elitist of football players require in order to attain a ‘god-like’ status, for example Zinedine Zidane. It is down to opinion whether Nasri is or will be as good as Zidane, but I certainly do not agree with the idea that Nasri ‘hasn’t been up to it’ this season or ‘hasn’t contributed as much as he should’.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 3

And at number 3, you have chosen former captain Richard Dunne.

Richard Dunne
Dunne signed for Manchester City in the year 2000 for a fee of £3 million. He played in centre back for City and made a massive 296 appearences during his 9 year spell at City.

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 4

Were getting ever closer to Number 1, but at number 4 you have chosen Shaun Wright Phillips.

Shaun Wright Phillips
After getting released by Nottingham Forest at the age of 17, Shaun joined City's famous youth academy. He made his debut in a League Cup tie against Burnley and his league debut came two months later at Vale Park as he came on as a substitute to help turn around a 1-0 deficit.

Wright Phillips started his Manchester City career as a striker, and after his league debut he started the next two matches in place of Paul Dickov, but only made another first team appearance during the 1999/2000 season.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Manchester City vs Stoke City: Match Preview

They say that there are games which define a team's season and it seems like last Sunday was one of them games for Manchester City. After a recent Champions League exit and succumbing to their first defeat of the campaign, Sunday's game against Arsenal was a must win fixture to help keep top spot coming into a very busy Christmas period.

Silva celebrates netting City's 50th goal of the season
It was possibly one of the most entertaining games of the season, and is proving why the games between the big teams are starting to give a good picture of the quality of this league.

However, many expect that tonight's game against FA Cup runners up Stoke City will be much more straight forward for the Blues. 2011 has been a great year for Manchester City, especially at home, where they have dropped just two points, which was against Fulham earlier this year.

So, with all this taken into context, it would be a great shock if Stoke could pull of a positive result here tonight. The home side have been in scintillating form so far this season whilst Stoke's form has been very inconsistent due to their participation in the Europa League, evidenced by heavy defeats at Sunderland and Bolton.

The worrying news for Stoke fans is that they are facing a team that have scored 50 goals in 16 games, which was last matched 49 years ago. And when you have conceded at least three goals on more than five occasions, you have to worry for the away side if the league leaders get an early goal.

Man City will be boosted by the news that Gael Clichy returns from his suspension, but he will have to perform well after Pablo Zabaleta's man of the match performance against Arsenal when he filled the void left by Clichy. Edin Dzeko is also expected to start after shaking off the knock he picked up in training.

Stoke's defence will be significantly weaker tonight, as captain Ryan Shawcross misses out due to picking up five yellow cards this season, whilst Vincent Kompany is set to make his 150th appearance for Manchester City.

Stoke are also missing Glenn Whealan and Andy Wilkinson, both of whom have been very influential for the Potters this season.

One player City will have to watch out for is Peter Crouch, who is one goal away from 100 career goals, and his presence will certainly be felt by City's backline. Can Stoke City make it five wins in a row in the Premier League and create a new club record? It seems unlikely.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 5

And at number 5 of our christmas countdown - you, our viewers have chosen Georgi Kinkladze.

Georgi Kinkladze
The Georgian midfielder scored 22 goals for Manchester City during his spell between 1995-1998. He made 119 appearances for the club in this time.

Kinkladze's first season was the 1995-96 season where City didn't win a game in the first 3 months. The Blue's first win came against Aston Villa on the 25th November where Kinkladze's strike was the only one to hit the net in a 1-0 victory.

This game was a big one and Kinladze opened the scoring in a game that ended in a 4-1 defeat. Despite the defeat, Middlesbrough's fans voted Kinkladze as the "Best Opposing Player of the Season".

Kinkladze scored again against Southampton in a game that the Citizens won 2-1. His goal was a cracker as he ran passed 5 players before chipping the ball into the net. This goal meant that he achieved second in Match of the Day's "Goal of the Season" competition.

Kinkladze could've moved from the Blue's after they were relegated to the First Division. The relegation resulted in interest from Barcelona, Liverpool, Celtic and Internazionale, but the Georgian decided to stay at Manchester City.

City finished the next season below the promotion places, and this again sparked speculation. Fans begged the midfielder to stay and messages were displayed on the screens at Maine Road and again, Kinkladze won player of the season. To the fans relief, Kinkladze signed a new 3 year contract keeping him at Maine Road.

Kinkladze used the funds from the new contract to buy a Ferrari, which he later crashed into a motorway bridge. He missed two matches through injury as a result, and required 30 stitches.

Kinkladze started his career at Manchester City uncomfortabley. The midfielder was homesick and did not own a home. In fact, the player was staying in a hotel. His mother then moved to Manchester to try and find a solution to the problem. This brought familiarity into Kinkladze's life and by the 9th December the star was touted as the best player in the side.

Joe Royle took over as Manchester City manager on 18th February 1998. He was not the biggest fan of Kinkladze and viewed him as an "unaffordable luxury". In his first board meeting, he opened with the words "We have to sell Kinkladze". Kinkladze was sidelined for a month with an anke injury and made his return against Port Vale in a 2-1 loss. Royle criticised Kinkladze's performance in this game and questioned his effort. Royle then dropped the ace for the next 6 games.

WIth two games remaining of the season, City found themselves occupying a relegation spot. Royle reinstated Kinkladze to the starting lineup against QPR, in which he scored the opening goal with a freekick. City then drew the game 2-2 and won their last game of the season 5-2 against Stoke. Despite this win, City were relegated to Division 2 and Kinkladze left the team to join Ajax.

Come back tomorrow to find out who has been voted at number 4!

Watch Kinkladze's chip against Southampton which earnt him MOTDs "Goal of the Month".

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 6

And at number 6, you have chosen Brentford manager Uwe Rösler.

Uwe Rösler
Uwe Rösler spent 4 years of his playing career at Manchester City between 1994 and 1998 before moving back to Germany. The centre forward scored a respectable 65 goals within 181 appearences for the blues, in a series of high quality performances.

Rösler made his Manchester City debut in March 1994 in a reserve match whilst on trial. In this reserve match, he managed to score two goals and this meant that he was given a chance in the first team.

City loaned Rösler after his two goals on trial, and he made his debut for the first team against QPR on the following Saturday. He was then signed on a permanent deal for around £400,000 after racking up 5 goals in 12 games.

Rösler was given the player of the year award by the club after the 1994-95 season, where he grabbed 15 goals in 31 games. He started the season with the bang, and not of the right kind.
He was sent off against Arsenal in a 3-0 defeat, however he managed to keep his head up and carry on his form from the season before - and went on to score 4 in an FA cup tie against Notts County. Rösler was the first player to do this since Johnny Hart in 1953.

Rösler became unhappy during the 1995-95 season under the leadership of Alan Ball. Ball changed City's tactics for the worse and this change meant that Rösler struggled to retain his form of the year before.

Rösler and Ball made the headlines various times with apparent disagreements. These disagreements resulted in Rösler being dropped from the side, and when brought on as a sub against Manchester United he scored a brilliant chip almost instantly. City were relegated at the end of this season and Rösler decided to stay at the blues.

Rösler left the club in 1998 on a free transfer after City were relegated to Division 2. Rösler played 181 games for Manchester City during his four year spell and scored 65 goals. Rösler is now manager at Brentford and has been put into City's "Hall of Fame" and rightly so.

Come back tomorrow to find out who makes number 5 on our Manchester City heroes list!

Watch Uwe Rösler score at Old Trafford

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 7

At Number 7, you have chosen a more recent footballer as one of our top ten cult heroes...

Ali Bernarbia
After the choice of Neil Young yesterday, we go a bit more low key as Ali Bernarbia makes an appearance at Number 7. The longevity of Ali's career at Maine Road was significantly less than Neil's, and many will argue his impact upon our history is minimal compared to Young's, but he will always have a place in folklore as his performances under Kevin Keegan helped to bring us back to where we belong, and has led to us being in the position that we are now.

Of course, Ali was signed up as a free transfer in 2001 by Kevin Keegan and helped to stir a revolution which took City back to the Premier League after a poor couple of decades for the side. Keegan signed him due to his performances for Monaco against a Newcastle United side managed by Keegan, against whom he scored two goals against.

The 5ft7 trickster became a fans favourite immediately, playing a major part in helping the club achieve promotion back to the Premiership, where he won player of the year and was also named in the Division's best eleven.

His performances in the First Division led to Keegan making him team captain, but his lack of pace at an older age meant he struggled in the Premier League and was much less influential.

His final game in a City shirt came in the opening of the City of Manchester Stadium, when City beat Barcelona 2-1.

Although he was at the club for a short period of time, Ali became an instant hero and will always be remembered for his time at City

Come back later for Number 6 in our Festive cult heroes list

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Arsenal

Manchester City will look to bounce back from their disappointing loss against Chelsea on Monday night – however it will be a tough task. The boys in blue will have to come up against an Arsenal side that have racked up 25 points in their last 9 games, and have not lost in the league since 2nd October against Tottenham. City have already beaten Arsenal this season, with a late goal at the Emirates from Sergio Aguero which secured City our third semi final in as many years.

Sergio Aguero celebrates after his
 winner at the Emirates
City, undefeated in the league until last Monday will look to bounce back against Arsenal today, and will hope to pull out a brilliant result. The Etihad Stadium is an amazingly tough place to come, with City gaining 7 wins out of 7 and I have every confidence that our side can grind out a result against the Gunners.

Arsenal will be without Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, who are hoping to return this Christmas and February respectively. The Citizens will be without Gael Clichy after his red card at Stamford Bridge, and it is expected that Pablo Zabaleta will slot in at left back instead of the injured Alexander Kolarov. This means that the path is made for Micah Richards to make his return after missing two games due to injury.

Earlier this week, Richards and Balotelli were pictured in an apparent argument, but both manager and player passed this disagreement off as nothing. Richards – a true blue tweeted “Me & Mario are all good! These things happen in training & we shook hands after. It shows passion! #ctid”.

Also, Mario has caught the eyes of fans again as he apparently went out in Manchester last night dressed up as a ‘blue’ Santa handing out money to the public. I was worried about Balotelli before this season, questions were starting to be asked – should he be playing for Manchester City? However the Italian turned around all questions and his form has been top notch. No one can fault Mario’s form right now, and he is a real asset to Manchester City.

Today, I think our key player will again be David Silva. The man has been quality this season, and the Spanish international is sure to impress yet again. He is a magician, he performs is magic all over the pitch and sometimes it feels as if we have cloned him, he seems to be everywhere!

Prediction: 2-1 
Predicted lineup: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Yaya Toure, Barry, Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Balotelli
Watch Sergio Aguero's goal from an Arsenal fans perspective. Counter attacking at it's very best.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 8

Today, you picked an absolute legend to be Number 8 in City's cult heroes list, and he is a man who will always have a place in our hearts....

Neil Young
Neil Young was Manchester born and bred. Born just 2 miles away from Maine Road in Fallowfield, Neil joined City as an apprentice at the age of 15, signing on a professional basis two years later. 

He made his first team debut in November 1961, and was on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at Villa Park as Aston Villa took the spoils. His career got better and better, and gave his family a great Christmas Present on the 23rd December by scoring his first goal in a 3-0 victory against Ipswich Town.

The following season was not as successful for Young or the club, as City were relegated to the Second Division. 

The appointment of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison in July 1965 helped to create a new chapter in the club's history though, of which Young was a pivotal part of. Young finished the season as the club's highest goalscorer as City were promoted back to the First Division as we succumbed to just one defeat.

His first season back in the First Division was not as successful, but a move towards Inside Forward the season after and once again finished as the club's highest goalscorer as we went on to win the Championship, with 2 goals from Young deciding the game against Newcastle. 

Young went on to score the winner in the 1969 FA Cup Final, as well as the winner in the 1970 European Cup Winners Cup, meaning City were the first English team to win a European and domestic trophy in the same season. In a team full of stars, he was always an unsung hero, but his role will never be underestimated. 

Unfortunately, after the tragic death of his brother in late 1970 meant his form dipped, and he was never the same player again. He left the club during the 1971-72 season, scoring 86 goals in 334 games for the Blues.

The death of his brother at an early age understandably never got away from Young, and at one point attempted suicide as he suffered serious depression from serious financial problems, where he was forced to sell his house.

Neil is no longer with us, and his death on the 3rd February 2011 came about after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2010. City dedicated their FA Cup tie against Leicester to him, with all the supporters wearing Red and Black. 

Neil was an absolute City legend, and it is a real shame that he was not as nationally recognised as some of the other players of his generation. RIP Neil, and thanks for the service.

Tomorrow we will have Number 7 in our Cult Heroes list, so check back after the Arsenal game!

Friday, 16 December 2011

On the 9th day of Christmas, TSBV gave to me....

So you picked Niall Quinn at number 10 in terms of cult hero status, but at number 9, you have chosen.....

Paul Lake
If anyone sums up Manchester City, it is Paul Lake. Lake was a defensive midfielder who only ever featured in Sky Blue, as well as featuring for the England u-21's on five occasions and the England B team once.

After playing a pivotal role in City's FA Youth Cup winning team of 1986, he made his first team debut against Wimbledon the following January.

It was widely expected that he was to have a glittering career for both club and country, but a number of career-threatening injuries meant he was unable to fulfill his potential.

The run of injuries started at the start of the 1990/91 season, when Lake, the new team captain at the heart of defence, suffered what was seen as a minor knee injury from a Tony Cascarino tackle. However, it was later diagnosed as a ruptured cruiciate ligament injury, which resulted in a lengthy 2 year absence on the sidelines.

His return at the start of the inaugural Premier League lasted just eight minutes into the second game of the season away to Middlesbrough, when his ligament snapped again. It was horrible to see it happen to such a great man, and he was eventually forced into retiring at the age of just 28 after 14 different operations.

Since retiring, he has decided to become a physiotherapist, after the way he was poorly handled by the medical staff at the club. He has had spells with Altrincham, Burnley, Oldham Athletic, Macclesfield Town and Bolton Wanderers before he set up his own practice in Manchester. As many City fans know, Lake has recently released an autobiography on his struggle with injury, named "I'm not really here." If you are yet to read it, we thoroughly recommend it.

Paul Lake, you will always be a City legend and it is a real shame that you never had the chance to fulfill your potential, and definitely deserve your place in our Hall of Fame.

Come back tomorrow where we look at who is Number 8 in your cult heroes list!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

10 days of Christmas: TSBV Style

As the team at The Sky Blue View feel bad for leaving readers with nothing to read for so long, we are giving you a Christmas treat, exclusive to this site. Every day from now until Christmas Day we will be counting down the 10 biggest cult heroes at the club, voted for by you! So at Number 10, it is... 

Niall Quinn
Niall joined the club in March 1990 from North London club Arsenal for a fee of just £800,000 and instantly became a fans favourite at the club.

He was the Peter Crouch version of the 90's, and used his 6ft 4ins very well during his stint at the Blues. As expected for a player with such height, he led the line brilliantly and created a hatful of chances for his teammates during his 204 game career for City. 

His most notable game in the Sky Blue shirt was in April 1991 when City beat Derby County 2-1. Quinn went on to score a goal as well as save a penalty in the same game, because original keeper Tony Coton was sent off early in the first half. 

Although he wasn't a prolific scorer for City (66 goals in 204 games) he certainly won the fans' over with his consistent performances, as well as his "disco pants" which are still sung about to this very day in the terraces.

Most of his City career was hampered after he suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the 1993-94 season, and never really recovered from then, eventually leaving the club in the summer of 1996 for Sunderland.

Now Chairman of Sunderland, he will most likely hold a place for City in his heart for the rest of his life. 

Come back tomorrow where we will look at who you voted at Number 9 in our Cult Heroes list!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

We are back!

You'll be delighted to know that The Sky Blue View are back! After a large period of not posting (due to university and exams) we will resume. We will follow everything City as we have in the past and we aim to make our site even back. Welcome back.

What the Papers say? Wednesday 14th December

According to The Sun, Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur are planning a sensational bid for Carlos Tevez, whilst The Mirror have reported that Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole taunted City players by singing: "Thursday Night, Channel Five" in the Stamford Bridge tunnel after beating us on Monday night.

The Daily Star have said that Neil Warnock is tempted to launch a bid for Nigel de Jong on a loan deal.

Many papers including The Guardian have pointed out that Yaya and Kolo Toure have both been given special dispensation to play in the FA Cup tie vs Manchester United and the Carling Cup Semi Final against Liverpool next month after they were supposed to depart for the African Cup of Nations.

Friday, 2 December 2011

City vs Norwich: Match Preview

It's been another great week to be a Manchester City fan. Not only have we secured a place in our third semi final in as many years, but we have also beaten Arsenal away from home for the first time in 27 visits - incredible stuff. 

Sitting at the top of the league, it seems the sky is the limit for us this season - apart from in Europe. However, I will look at the Champions League situation in more depth after Saturday's game. Speaking of tomorrow's encounter, I would like to welcome any Norwich City fans who are taking a look at this match preview and congratulate you on a very good start to the season. 

As every football fan probably knows, Norwich secured their second successive promotion in May and were the first team to do this since, yes, you guessed it, Manchester City. We recognised the difficulty in jumping up two tiers within as many years, and were subsequently relegated. 

However, I see something different with this Norwich side. Personally, I believe Paul Lambert has done a terrific job at Norwich and deserves all the plaudits he is getting as his transfer policy is not only unique, but it seems to be working. Instead of buying "experienced" Premier League players who are past it, he has brought in some of the best of the players from the Football League.
Players like Steve Morison, who was drafted in from Millwall in the close season, has performed magnificently in his first ever Premier League season. In fact, his five goals this season have been keeping captain Grant Holt on the substitutes bench, which is some achievement. 

Trying to remove any sort of bias though, I find it hard to see Norwich getting a positive result tomorrow. We have been nothing short of breathtaking this season and with all respect to the Canaries, greater teams have been annihilated by ourselves this season already. 

Our home form is scintillating, and we have gone almost a whole year unbeaten at home, which is a remarkable achievement. For those who don't know, our last defeat at the Etihad Stadium was against Everton on the 20th December 2010, where we succumbed to a 2-1 defeat. 

Our key player on the day though will be David Silva, and we will once again need him to be in top form if we want to be playing at our best. I am not saying in any way that we are a one-man team, but I have never seen a player like Silva in the flesh in my life - he is absolutely immense and some of the things he can do with a football ceases to amaze me. 

Norwich come into the game on the back of a good result against QPR, and you get the feeling they will give it all they have got come 3pm on Saturday. I wish them all the luck this season, as it is good to see Lambert experimenting with the best of the football league, but I can't see them holding us to a result!

Prediction: 3-0 
Predicted lineup: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Milner, Silva, Johnson, Balotelli

What do you think of my prediction? Leave your comments below!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Champions League - our first game

The Champions League has finally arrived at the Etihad Stadium and we start with what will be a very enjoyable game. We start our campaign against Napoli in the prestigious competition and no doubt fans, players and manager will be hoping for a home win.

For manager Mancini, it is not only special because of Manchester City's UCL debut, but because his biggest critic - his father, will be in the stands for the first time tonight.

Mancini said before the game "It's an exciting day for the club because to play in the Champions League after many years is a very important and special day, Napoli are a good team and did very well in the Italian championship"

Sunday, 11 September 2011

City 3 - 0 Wigan. How did the players do?

A new feature that is going to start is a player review like this, where we briefly analyse how the player performed in the match and give them a mark out of 10.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Wigan Athletic

Competition: Premier League
Time: 3pm GMT
Venue: The Etihad Stadium
After an absolutely emphatic performance at White Hart Lane two weeks ago, City come into this game as very strong favourites. 12 goals in 3

Sunday, 4 September 2011

International Duty: How have our players done this weekend?

Well, I think it's quite apt to start with England, considering we had 6 players picked for the squad for the 2 matches this week. Joe Hart and Gareth Barry started for England last night in a side which beat Bulgaria 3-0. James Milner and Adam Johnson also made appearances from the bench.

Hart was a spectator for most of the match, but made a good reaction save in the second half, as well as misjudging a cross. Good performance on an unpredictable pitch.
Barry continued his impressive start to the season and even grabbed an assist for the first goal.
Milner and Johnson were both late substitutes and didn't really have enough time to show their worth. Milner did prove his versatility by slotting into a more central attacking midfield role though.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Summer 2011 transfer window

So, the transfer window of summer 2011 has been a cracking one and has seen Manchester City add Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri to their growing list of stars. With City competing in the UCL next season, we really needed some depth and I am happy with our activity in this transfer window. We have signed a few quality players, and have added that depth we needed. Here is a list of Manchester City's activity throughout the transfer window.

Samir Nasri at Carrington

Sergio Aguero - Athletico Madrid to Manchester City
Samir Nasri & Gael Clichy - Arsenal to Manchester City
Costel Pantilimon - Poli Timisoara to Manchester City
Stefan Savic - Partizan to Manchester City
Owen Hargreves - Unattached to Manchester City

Major Outgoings

Roque Santa Cruz - Manchester City to Real Betis (Loan)
John Guidetti - Manchester City to Feyenoord (Loan)
Shaun Wright-Phillips - Manchester City to QPR
Dedryck Boyata - Manchester City to Bolton (Loan)
Emmanual Adebayor - Manchester City to Tottenham (Loan)
Vladimír Weiss - Manchester City to Espanyol (Loan)
Craig Bellamy - Manchester City to Liverpool

They are the major outgoings of summer 2011 for Manchester City, and listed above are the major incomings. We wish all the players departing (whether it is for a season or not) good luck in the rest of their career.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Is Edin Dzeko our new Shaun Goater?

I know it might sound a little silly, but there are a lot of similarities between Dzeko and the Bermudan striker who became very much a fans favourite during his time at the club. In terms of ability, Goater was nowhere near as talented as Dzeko, but he knew how to put the ball in the back of the net, and was a real goalscorer. Edin is just like this, and his record at Wolfsburg proves he can put the ball in the net when given some confidence. Of course, Goater found his level when he reached what is now known as the Championship in my opinion, and when we got promoted twice in 2000 and 2002 it was clear that he was not as effective, but he still scored goals.

Dzeko has the potential to become a City great
In my opinion, since Shaun Goater departed, we haven’t had a real poacher in front of goal until Dzeko arrived in January. Of course, we have bought the likes of Carlos Tevez and Robinho, but those two are different kind of players, who offer more than just putting the ball in the back of the net. However, every team needs an Edin Dzeko type player in their squad, because when your desperate for a goal, there’s not many like Dzeko when he is on form. He proved that on Sunday, by scoring 4 goals which were all of top class quality and varied each time. Some people refer to it as a ‘Golden Hat trick’ when scoring a goal with both feet and your head, and if you don’t believe his first 3 were golden, his last one was for sure, as he hit the ball first time into the top corner on the edge of the box, a shot that no keeper in the world would’ve saved.

Another similarity between the two is the difficulty they both had in settling in at the club. In both their first seasons at the club, both were regularly hounded by a small majority of fans, and it seemed like they would never gain the confidence they needed. However, with Joe Royle and Roberto Mancini putting faith in their respective players, they started grabbing goals and whilst Goater is now known as an icon for many fans, I have a feeling Dzeko will follow the same path in years to come. The service he is getting from Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and David Silva is frightening at times, and knowing that all he needs to do is stick the ball in the back of the net, Dzeko could easily be the league’s top scorer this season and for many seasons to come – and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Uefa Champions League Draw

So, the draw has been made for the most prestigious award in European football, but what do you make of the draw?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Arsenal and City agree fee

"Yes! I will be joining you Gareth"

Arsenal have confirmed that the club and Manchester City have agreed a fee for 24 year old playmaker Samir Nasri. Wenger has given permission for Nasri to travel to Manchester for a medical and to agree personal terms after the French man told Wenger that he does not want to be included in Arsenal's squad to face Udinese.

The deal comes after weeks of speculation about the future of the star, and Wenger said  "The summer was very difficult because we had Cesc Fábregas and Nasri on permanent transfer negotiations and that is draining in the end, we lost two great players and that's a sad side of the story but at some stage it has to be over, because you want to focus on the future."

However, it was unexpected that Wenger would give the deal the green light after he insisted that he does not have to sell Nasri and Fabregas in July. The deal will mean that he will lose two of his key players in the space of just 8 days, and this will severly weaken Arsenal's chances this year.
In July, the manager said""Samir's situation is clear for me. He stays. We are in a [financial] position where we can say 'No', and we will … Imagine the worst situation, that we lose Fábregas and Nasri; you cannot convince people that you are ambitious after that."

The loss of these two players will result in the fans of the club asking questions as to how they will go on this season. One thing is for sure, Wenger needs to strengthen his team if they are to do well in the Premier League and the Champions League, and his ambition to strengthen was knocked massively as Lille declared Edin Hazard as not for sale.

Watch Samir Nasri's top 10 goals for Arsenal

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Confirmed Manchester City team vs Bolton


Richards   Kompany  Lescott  Kolarov

Milner  Barry

Toure   Silva  Aguero


Confirmed Manchester City team for the game, enjoy the match!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Match Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League
Time: 4pm GMT
Venue: Reebok Stadium

Barclay's Premier League: Match Predictions

One of our features is predictions for each match every week, and here are our predictions for Saturday's and Sunday's games, and also for the game on Monday.

Saturday's Fixtures

Arsenal vs Liverpool: 1-1
I don't think that both teams will be able to overcome eachother today, Arsenal will really rely on Van Persie and Nasri as they do not have as much talent in their team as they have had due to injuries and transfers.

Aston Villa vs Blackburn: 2-1
I think that Villa will beat Blackburn today, but it will be a close encounter and I feel that maybe it will be a goal in the last 10 minutes that secures it for Villa today.

Chelsea vs West Brom: 3-1
Today, I feel that Chelsea will come out in force and Fernando Torres will show what he really can do and bag a brace. Villa Boas will really need to prove what his Chelsea team can do, and today's game is definetly a chance to do this.

Everton vs QPR: 2-0
Everton will play their first game of the season against a team that lost 4-0 to Bolton on the opening day. Today I think Everton will be the better side and I can't see them conceding at home to QPR.

Sunderland vs Newcastle: 2-1
This game has already kicked off, and I think that it should be a close encounter. I will go with a 2-1 win for Sunderland today in this Tyne-Wear derby.

Swansea vs Wigan: 1-1
This is a big big chance for Swansea to show what they are made of today. They started the season at The Etihad Stadium, a very tough place to go to and lost 4-0. They would've took some positives from that game and they will go all out to win the game against Wigan.

Sunday Fixtures

Bolton vs Manchester City: See match preview when posted.

Norwich vs Stoke: 0-1
Stoke are a very hard team to break down, and play very physically and I believe that Norwich will struggle with this. Stoke will look to win after drawing 0-0 to Chelsea, and will be high in confidence, so I predict a 1-0 win for the away team.

Wolverhampton vs Fulham: 0-0
No-one likes to see them, but I predict a bore draw at The Molineux and I don't expect to see much excitement.

Monday's Fixture

Manchester United vs Tottenham: 1-1
Tottenham will play their first game of the season at a very tough place. However, United are without Vidic and Ferdinand which could make it easier for Tottenham's attack, and I predict a 1-1 draw.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Aguero or Tevez - Who fits in the team better?

After an explosive start to his City career, many have started to ask the question, who needs Carlos Tevez? From what we all saw yesterday, it seems as though we have picked up a bargain if Aguero can continue to display the talents he showed in the space of just 31 minutes, but who fits into our team better? Sergio Aguero or Carlos Tevez?

We all saw last season Tevez single handedly at times drag us up the table and through numerous games, he scored goals at crucial times and made many more. He also displayed the work rate that we all love to see in players at City, he worked like a machine to get back and help out the midfield and even defense at times which endured him to so many of us. However following his comments about Manchester in general he has lost some of these fans, and fairly so. 

Sergio Aguero has since been purchased, seemingly at the time to replace Tevez, despite the fact Tevez is yet to leave, and displayed most of the qualities that we saw in Carlos, the hard work, the skill, and the desire to create something out of nothing, as shown by the work to create the goal for Silva against Swansea. 

Comparing the two, they both are very similar, as mentioned above, but both also work very will with the creative influence of Silva, and should Nasri join, this can only be another positive influence on the attacking play. 

One point that maybe mentioned as a difference is that despite only being given 30 minutes yesterday, a supposedly tired and not fully fit Aguero managed to link up with Edin Dzeko on a number of occasions with quick one - two’s while we only really saw Tevez create two chances with Edin, in the same game against Leicester in the FA cup. However it might be harsh to judge either on this considering Aguero has only played 30 minutes and Carlos has limited playing time with Dzeko. 

So who is better for city? So far its hard to tell, both are top quality players and so far we can only call it a draw, we haven’t seen enough of Aguero as of yet, he played very well against an average side that was scared to put a hard challenge in on anybody, we can only judge after Aguero has faced players like Vidic, or Shawcross, who wont be afraid to give him a good kicking, either way, it can only be a good thing for us that we have two players of such quality at our disposal. 
Written by Jack Davies

Monday, 15 August 2011

Sergio Aguero - Absolute Class Act

Normally, a player will take time to settle and to really mould into the squad, but not this guy. Sergio provided a debut to remember with two quality goals announcing his arrival in English football in spectacular fashion. The man just looked quality as soon as he came onto the pitch and really added something to the Blue’s game, some energy which was massively needed.

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring
on his Manchester City debut
His first goal saw him drift away from the Swansea defence, and a brilliant ball in from Micah Richards allowed him to slot home City’s second of the night. Every second of the game, Aguero seemed to move away from the defence, and they really could not stop those wonderful runs which saw him clear of any defenders. As if his debut goal wasn’t enough, he then assisted after a ball was chipped over the top for him to latch onto. He tried to chip Vorm, but his chip was going wide. Somehow though, through pure determination the Argentine managed to keep the ball on the pitch and flick it to Silva who converted for City’s third.

And then he really took the headlines. A wonderful strike out of nowhere saw Aguero grab his second on his Manchester City debut, and this really capped off a magnificent performance.

Overall, he really did impress for the Sky Blues on his first game, and I really hope to see this man in action every game this season, and I expect he will be with us for a long time. This man is defiantly worth every penny we have paid.

Watch a short video of Sergio Aguero's
Manchester City debut

Saturday, 13 August 2011

TSBV Feature: Premier League preview (Part 4)

With less than 24 hours to go before the season finally kicks off, we wrap up our Premier League Preview by examining how Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic and Wolves will do this season.

Barclay's Premier League: Day 1 - Match Predictions

The Premier League starts today after a summer where all fans eagerly anticipated the return of the footballing season. Here, we will predict the scores for today's games and this will run continuously throughout the season. Manchester City don't feature in today's clashes, but we will still predict the scores.

Blackburn vs Wolves - 2-1
We feel that Blackburn may be able to grab something today at Ewood Park, and we think they will start the season strongly against Wolves today.

Fulham vs Aston Villa - 1-0
Fulham have added a couple of players such as John Arne Riise, and they have picked themselves up a new manager. This is the same for Villa and today's game will be eagerly anticipated as both sets of fans want to see their new managers take to the dugout. Villa have lost Ashley Young, and this could mean they lack a bit of creativity. However both sides will really be up for this today and we reckon the game will be massively competitive as both sides will be looking for the win. We feel that Fulham will scrape it today due to the home advantage.

Liverpool vs Sunderland - 3-0
Liverpool look like they have put together a strong side throughout the summer and I think they'll do well this year. We predict them to start well with a 3-0 victory at Anfield.

Newcastle vs Arsenal - 3-2
Newcastle may not be the strongest team at the moment, but neither are Arsenal. They look set to lose Nasri and Fabregas, and we feel the squad might not be in the right frame of mind today. We feel that they may lose 3-2.

QPR vs Bolton - 0-0
We can't see anyone coming out on top in this game, and we think it could be quite boring. We predict a 0-0 draw today.

Tottenham vs Everton - P-P
Unfortunately, the season won't start for these two teams straight away due to the riots that swept the country this week.

Wigan vs Norwich - 1-1
We don't think any side will come on top today, and therefore we predict a 1-1 result.

Friday, 12 August 2011

News: Roberto Mancini Pre Match Conference vs Swansea

In his pre match conference ahead of the first game of the new season, Roberto Mancini has spoken about transfer targets and Carlos Tevez.

When asked about an update on Samir Nasri, he said:

"I don't know the situation at the moment. But, the start of our season is on Monday and we have yet to complete our team and I hope we can do this very quickly because we need new players."

"I think the club are still trying to work on this (signing Nasri). It is not easy but we hope we complete our team very quickly. The first game (of the Premier League) is really important, and we play three games before the transfer window ends"

With regards to Carlos Tevez, Mancini again insisted that Carlos Tevez could possibly stay a Manchester City player, something which he will be happy with: "It is 2 weeks until the end of the market. I think it's difficult for him to leave"

"I don't know if he will stay but at the moment, there isn't a team who wants to take him."

However, Mancini said that he is unlikely to feature on Monday night due to not being match fit: "Carlos is here and is maybe not ready to play because he has worked only for four days"

"He has worked very well and is here. I think for Monday it is difficult, but for the next game he will be available"

Mancini also refused to speak about the captaincy, and whether Tevez would keep hold of it: "At the moment this is not important. It is important that Carlos is here and working with the team. Afterwards we will decide this"

Thursday, 11 August 2011

TSBV Feature: Premier League preview (Part 3)

With 10 clubs having been previewed, we look at the last 10 teams with only 3 days left to go before the start of the season. Today, we'll preview the chances of Newcastle United, Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Sunderland

Monday, 8 August 2011

Report: Bitter rivals Manchester United complete comeback to win Community Shield

Another brilliant Manchester Derby saw Manchester United complete a dramatic comeback to win the Community Shield against City and win the first piece of silverware this season. The Community Shield probably needed a game like this to be sparked into life, with both sides desperate to get one over each other.

It was a poor display from City, who for the whole 90 minutes, seemed to be second best. Poor passing and lazy tackling from the players meant that United never really had to get out of second gear to exact their revenge after the FA Cup Semi Final. There was also no debut for Sergio Aguero, who was left on the bench by manager Roberto Mancini, who preferred Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli over the 23 year old Argentinian. 

United manager Alex Ferguson decided to play two of his new signings in David de Gea and Ashley Young, whilst Phil Jones was left on the bench. He also favoured Danny Welbeck to partner Wayne Rooney up front, leaving Dimitar Berbatov on the bench, further indication that the Bulgarian is on his way out of United.

The game started off in electric fashion, with City looking unable to cope with Nani and Young on the wings, and they were creating havoc for the two full backs. However, there was no end result from these two, and the early stages were dominated by strong tackles and animosity between the two sets of players; typical of a Derby. 

City started to use their powerful team to their advantage though as the game edged towards the 30 minute mark, through a set piece. Evra hauled down Dzeko, and from the resulting free kick, Joleon Lescott climbed above the United defenders to beat de Gea with a brilliant header to put the Blues ahead. It was arguably undeserved, but City found some confidence from the goal, and minutes later James Milner got past Evra before being taken out just outside the penalty area. It seemed like Evra was the last man, but referee Phil Dowd didn't produce any cards to the Frenchman. 
Jumping for joy: Dzeko celebrates
City's second

City's confidence grew throughout the later stages of the first half, and were keeping the ball very well. They seemed content to keep it 1-0, but with about a minute of the half left, Edin Dzeko found himself unmarked from about 30 yards out and unleashed a ferocious shot which went under de Gea and into the back of the net. The Bosnian was clearly delighted with his effort, and rightly so. City went into the break 2-0 ahead, and really, although they were second best, they took their chances unlike United.

That was soon to change though, and after the break, United looked a revived team after making 3 changes. Phil Jones, Johnny Evans and Tom Cleverley replaced Vidic, Ferdinand and Carrick. Cleverley also made an immediate impact with a cross into the box to Welbeck, whose header went embarrassingly wide. 

It took United just 7 minutes to get a goal back, with a free kick from Young being steered in by Chris Smalling from yards out. It was poor defending from City though, and was pretty much a gift wrapped goal. United took the gift with open arms and ensued with constant pressure before grabbing their second goal just before the hour mark. A great move from the Champions which involved a number of one touch passes led to Nani smashing the ball above Joe Hart into the goal. 

How did that happen? Mancini's face
says it all.
There was a number of substitions after this, with both sides changing formations to try and find a way past their opponents defences, and it was City who had the best chance to go ahead again when substitute Adam Johnson forced a fine save from the United keeper at his near post after hitting the ball firmly just outside the area.

Both teams were being roared on by their supporters to grab a winner, but with the game seemingly heading to penalties, United took the initiative with just seconds left. City were pushing for a winner with a corner, but it was headed away, and Rooney kicked the ball upfield. A very uncharacteristic error from City's captain Vincent Kompany led to Nani being given a chance to win the game with just Joe Hart to beat, he used great composure to slide past England's number one keeper and tap it into the goal, sending the United fans into raptures (who said it didn't mean anything to them!!).

Whilst it was a disappointing result for City fans, we can be sure of one thing this season; it should be a great ride!

News: Mancini disappointed with Derby day defeat

Speaking after the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, Mancini admitted he was lost for words at how his side managed to lose control of the game and let it slip out of their hands. After being 2-0 up at half time, goals from Smalling and Nani ten minutes after the break and a last minute winner ensured United completed a comeback, which, in reality, should never have happened.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

News: Confirmed teams for today's clash

Manchester City


Richards    Lecott    Kompany    Kolarov

De Jong   Milner

Balotelli           Toure      David Silva


Manchester United

De Gea

Smalling    Ferdinand    Vidic    Evra

Young    Carrick    Anderson    Nani

Rooney    Welbeck

Match Special: Manchester City vs Manchester United in brief

FA Cup Semi-Final, the last
 time these two sides met
Manchester City vs Manchester United
Competition: The Community Shield
Date: Sunday 7th August 2011
Time: 2:30pm

Manchester United will be looking to get one over City after the Blues were victorious last time these two teams met at Wembley, however City will be looking to get the first bragging rights of the season as they look to challenge for the Premier League Title.

The Last 5 Manchester Derbies

20th September 2009 - Manchester United 4 - 3 Manchester City
19th January 2010 - Manchester City 2 - 1 Manchester United
27th January 2010 - Manchester United 3 - 1 Manchester City
12th February 2011 - Manchester United 2 - 1 Manchester City
16th April 2011 - Manchester City 1 - 0 Manchester United


Manchester City wins - 43
Manchester United wins - 66
Draws - 50

TSBV Predicts: 2-1

City predicted line-up: GK: Hart; RB: Richards; LB: Clichy; CB: Kompany & Lescott; CDM: Barry & De Jong; RAM: Balotelli; LAM: David Silva; CAM: Toure; ST: Dzeko. 

United predicted line-up: GK: De Gea; RB: Fabio; LB: Evra; CB: Vidic & Ferdinand; CDM: Jones; RM:Valencia; LM: Young; CAM: Nani; ST: Rooney & Welbeck. 

Saturday, 6 August 2011

TSBV Feature: Premier League preview (Part 2)

After previewing the seasons ahead for Arsenal, Villa, Blackburn, Bolton and Chelsea, here is Part 2 of TSBVs Premier League Review. In this part, we will discuss how we feel Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United will do in the 2011-12 season.

News: Eriksen turns down City

Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen has turned down a move to Manchester City, according to the star’s agent.
The 19-year-old has made 14 appearences for the Denmark first team, scoring just once. He has also made 43 appearances for current Eredivisie champions Ajax, where he has scored 6 goals. The creative attacker has been linked with several clubs from Europe, but has supposedly rejected a possible move to England in order to carry on his development at Ajax.
Here is what Eriksen’s agent Martin Schoot had to say about the situation.
"It is true that we have a concrete proposal from Manchester City, about which Eriksen is proud and honoured, "We talk about the world's richest club, so that they are interested is something Christian regards as an honour.
"But Christian said a polite, 'no thanks', because he did not feel it would be the best move for his career at this time.
"It also says a little about Christian as a person. It is clear that money does not mean the most to him.”
In other transfer news, reports in Italy claim that Manchester City have had a bid accepted by Inter Milan for Manchester United target Wesley Sneijder, however both clubs have been quick to deny this.

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Manchester United

Will we be doing the Poznan again come Sunday
Here is your first dose of TSBV's match previews that will be done for every game this season. In each preview, we will give you the our views on the upcoming game and who we consider to be our key player, and the man to watch.

We also are introducing an exciting aspect. For every preview, we will be asking a fan of the opposition to answer a few questions about their team, the upcoming game, and their views on City. Here are some of the key details of the match on Sunday:

Friday, 5 August 2011

News: Mancini speaks ahead of another Wembley Derby

In his interview with the media, Mancini spoke out about the game itself, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli's recent comments and whether exciting new prospect Sergio Aguero will start against our fierce rivals.

Even though the Community Shield has usually been treated as a friendly in the past, there is certainly a different vibe to it this year from both camps, and Mancini himself admitted the opposition certainly helps matters:

News: City sign Pantilimon

Earlier today, City completed the signing of Romanian goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon from Poli Timisoara as a replacement for recently departed Shay Given.

It is unknown what the actual transfer fee was for the 6ft 8 giant, but there are rumours flying around that we have paid around £2.5 million for the highly rated Romanian, who is the Romania's number one, ever since making his senior international debut in 2008.

He reportedly attracted some interest from Arsenal and Inter Milan ever since Timisoara were relegated to the Romanian second division last season because of accumulated debt, even though they actually finished 2nd. He chose City though, and we here at TSBV see it as a good deal. 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

News: Adam Johnson speaks out ahead of the new season

Speaking to the MEN's Rob Dawson, the 24 year old winger has said that he is happy to play wherever manager Roberto Mancini asks him too this season, knowing of the ever increasing options available to the Italian tactician. Ever since his arrival to the Etihad Stadium, he has frequently been used on the right wing, a tactic used by many foreign clubs nowadays where wingers are played on the opposite side.

With regards to his new founded position, Johnson said: "Foreign wingers play on the opposite side and I think that’s how it’s going. I’ve had conversations with the manager and there are some things we agree on and some things we disagree on."

Johnson was very much quick to praise Mancini's mentality though, and is grateful for being brought to the club way back in January 2010

"Which side do you want me on, boss?"
AJ is prepared to be flexible this year
“He just wants to win every game. He focuses on everything, down to the last little thing, and  that’s probably one of the reasons we did so well last season."

"Since I signed, everything has changed for me. It’s given me the chance to play for England and express myself in a massive team. I don’t think the defensive side has ever been an issue in my game but at City you don’t have to use it as much. Now I’m at City I get the chance to attack more and that’s what I like doing.  
"Since I’ve come to City I think I’ve definitely improved. When you play with top players it brings you on. You probably learn more from just watching the players in training than you do from the coaches sometimes.”

He is looking forward to the prospect of playing Champions League football next season for the first time of his career, and said: "The Champions League is a massive thing. I haven’t played in it and it’s another thing I’d like to do in my career.”

Johnson also spoke of his desire to make the cut for the England squad for the 2012 European Championships next year, after narrowly missing out in last years World Cup squad

He said: "I want to be playing games because there's a championship at the end of the season. That’s definitely at the back of my mind. I definitely want to go there after missing out on the World Cup and I think England have got a great chance."