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Vital City Zen: The Mag Seven?

EUROPE: CAN IT BE DONE?

This is shaping up to be one hell of a finish to the season! Assuming doomed Derby, safe Spurs and the secure Hammers have nothing left to play for, then outside of the top three, every other side in the Premier League has a target. City's is of course the UEFA Cup. Only 10 points separate 4th and 9th place going into the last seven games and anything can happen. Villa and Everton are both wobbling and like Pompey are due a bad run.

Of course, the only way for City to qualify directly is by scoring goals and winning as many remaining fixtures as possible. On recent form, neither seems assured. If City are to realise a Magnificent Seven run in then a seismic change in system and approach is required.

But, looking at what our Euro opponents have to contend with, this race is far from over and could go to the wire...

4th Liverpool: Everton, Arsenal, Blackburn, Fulham, Birmingham, City, Spurs
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 1, Euro Hopefuls: 3, Relegation Fighters 2, Others 1

5th Everton: Liverpool, Derby, Birmingham, Chelsea, Villa, Arsenal, Newcastle
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 3, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 2, Others 1

6th Portsmouth: Wigan, West Ham, Newcastle, City, Blackburn, Boro, Fulham
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 0, Euro Hopefuls: 2, Relegation Fighters 4, Others 1

7th Villa: The rags, Bolton, Derby, Birmingham, Everton, Wigan, West Ham
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 1, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 3, Others 2

8th Blackburn: Reading, Spurs, Liverpool, The rags, Pompey, Derby, Birmingham
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 2, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 2, Others 2

9th City: Birmingham, Chelsea, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Fulham, Liverpool, Middlesboro
Breakdown: versus Big Four: 2, Euro Hopefuls: 1, Relegation Fighters 4, Others 0

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED?

With City now three points off our record Premier League points haul, this weeks poll suggested by city 81 asked how satisfied our Vital Blues are with Svennis at this stage of the season. 60% saw the glass as half full and that realistically, Sven and his backroom team still have work in progress upon the squad they took on 8 months ago. 27% were absolutely satisfied with the way things have gone to date and only 13% were fed up, agreeing that persevering with one up front has cost us this season having held on to a top four place for a large part of the campaign.

MORE TALK OF THE BIG SUMMER OFFLOAD:

City remain top heavy with loaned out, goal shy striking flops and we can certainly expect a good deal of them to book taxis. Emile 'Lord Lucan' Mpenza is the latest reported by his agent to be on his way. But, Academy graduate Kasper Schmeichel now says he is considering his options. For squad continuity's sake and the fact that Isaksson will soon be on his way, surely City should aim to hold on to the lad.

NEW KITS ALL ROUND....ER, AGAIN?

The Official site dramatically announced yesterday that 'Prices on this season's home and away kits have now been reduced at both CityStores, and online.' Could this be the first sign that the club see the unprecedented money spinning success of Le Coq Sportif's designs across the board this season as being worth a repeat performance this summer? I'd say so. When I think of the stick we used to dish out to the rags over kits down the years, it's a real toe curler.

NEXT ON THE AGENDA: BIRMINGHAM AT ST. ANDREWS
Saturday 29th March, 15:00 GMT

Brum Form Last 6 PL matches: D,D,W,L,D,L
City Form Last 6 PL matches : W,L,D,L,W,D

In the City sin bin: All clear

Injured: Ball is out with knee knack tfn and Richards, save for weekly interviews remains sidelined.
Meanwhile, Bojinov is realistically and sensibly looking like returning next season barring the odd substitute appearance for the final game or so in this one.

Johnny on the spot?: Too close to call on current form, but heart versus the head, we have to go for it or stick with caution again and risk getting beaten. Worryingly, Brum have scored 10 goals in their last six games and City, only 4. Heart: Brum 0, City 2. Head: Brum 2 City 0.




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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 27 2008

Time: 8:35AM

Your Comments

I have revised my earlier forecast of a finish on 66 points now down to 63 points. Will this be enough to see us into fifth place ?
alphieblues
I too fear we will not make fifth place unless Sven changes tactics and I don't see this from the cautious one. You have to be realistic and see that most of our early games were 1 - 0ers including the home game against Birmingham. That day they were more defensive but I do think they play more openly under the new management and this may be our opportunity especially with them being at home and needing the points. So, it's playing on the break again and I predict 2-2. Anyone know how our appeal went with the Iran/Iraq (?) lad went. We got some support from the FA but all sems quiet now?
Barney Daniels
No idea re Akram, Barney. Maybe something will happen when the wheeler dealing starts. Agree with you and alphie re points totals. When I consider our current system and form, then I for the life of me could not see us beating Liverpool and Chelsea and it's those games we need to be winning if we are to have a chance of that fifth spot. Still, it's do-able, even if it's a long shot as a lot of Euro hopefuls will face fierce resistance from the bottom clubs. Can't say we can expect results to keep going for us though. We need to start scoring fast.
Johnny Baguette
Team line ups and systems for Brum lads?
Johnny Baguette
Can't see much change from last weeks line-up except perhaps Elano to start in place of Ireland.
alphieblues
Guys, I did not saw Benjani before join to City, But what I saw from the few games with Man City is a normal player not compatible with the uproar that occurred when he join, On the other hand, I hope from Sevn start with Caicedo, I think is good player and has good skills, But what vitiated is slow, Becouse that I wish play Vassell side him with change our plan to 4-4-2 .
city 81
City 81 I dont thonk he will change the attacking line up. He uses Vassell more as a right winger than striker. It will take time for Benjani to get used to his new team, but there are signs that this is coming good. Elano looked bright when he came on and is realising now that he does not have the time and space and needs to react quickly, this is a learning curve for all of us, not to expect too much. What we have seen this season is some good attractive football, which has been disrupted by a number of things. The one thing I must point out though you has to stay with Benjani, even though he is not scoring, he will come good eventually, hopefully before the end of the season. At the moment the outstanding player for me is Nedum, he plays the left centre back well and deserves a regular spot on these performances.
Buzz Lightyear
Tell you what lads, I've a feeling Hamman will be in for Gelson tomorrow, even though the Tasmanian Devil is improving all the time. Svennis might go for an experienced head up against a side fighting for it's life. On another subject, re that turgid, lifeless England performance in Paris last night, I have a few pointers. First up, did anybody see the little lad in the City top on camera before the anthems? Second, Anelka. From what I saw of him he is growing in maturity and experience. He led the French line superbly. I was dead against him coming back to City but I'm beginning to think we should have tried to outbid Chelski. Finally, the French team were in a different class and had lively young options all over the park. Why not make big bids this summer for the likes of Scarface Ribery and Samir Nasri? Meanwhile, it was worrying to see how crap and overrated Ashley Cole, Camel Gob and that Glen Johnson are. Crapello has a job on. Imressed with Gareth Barry however who has a big engine. No worries for Richards reclaiming his place as there is no pace in that team at all minus SWP.
Johnny Baguette
city 81, I don't thimk Caicedo will take part on Saturday as he is still on his way back from Ecuador after playing for them last night. Englands performance last night was par for the course, Capello will have the same problem as Sven in that he can only pick English players and with the likes of the ones you have mentioned JB I can't see them winning anything in the years to come. No wonder Sven looks overseas for all of his signings and long may it continue. We should be O.K. on Saturady as Lawro has us down to lose 1-0. I will go for a 2-1 win which will see us put pressure on the three or four teams around us.
alphieblues
Buzz, Maybe you right & maybe Benjani want more time, About yesterday match, The first time I see England play One Two & They make it superbly.
city 81
alphieblues, What this bad news :) , But gays this is really a problem, Becouse we have three important player from south America, If they travel to play to they countery in same time they will not can catch the club match !
city 81
JB, We need Anelka with S.W.Philips, No benefit if he come alone.
city 81
I'm afraid we won't get either....We pay the price of having so many Internationals...we had 15 players from our Club on International duty at various levels.
alphieblues
That's a hell of an international turn out alph. The worry with that is of course the risk of someone coming back injured. Still, Elano, who just might be getting that little bit more streetwise as Buzz suggested saw off Brum earlier in the season after a long trip! It would be fantastic to see the lad pulling strings again...
Johnny Baguette
Fortunately Elano hasn't been away on International duty this time so with a bit of luck he will be on song this for this match and with the pitches getting better get back to his early season form.
alphieblues
The Elano thing still puzzles me. He played in the Ukraine on some dreadful surfaces. It has to be the physicality of the Prem and it's intensive winter fixture list that has stifled him.
Johnny Baguette
JB still lmao who is camel gob?
Buzz Lightyear
Ah, now that'll be Rio Ferdinand! He often lines up alongside Potatohead, Quasimodo, Ladyboy Riverdancer and Ryan Giggs - Man in tights.....
Johnny Baguette
things are going to be hard for us we still have chelsea to play at home hopefully we get something out of that like the way we usuall do aout off the big guns. we need to start winning against the teams that are below like bolton last week seriously wat is wrong with us. last year we had a ***** home record this year we have ***** away record
dunne deal
 

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