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Vital City Zen: Last Chance Saloon


I was hoping to kick off this week's Vital City Zen bulletin with talk of how best to utilise the talent in the City squad in changing Sven's continued use of an over cautious playing system that invites sides to come at us. You know, looking to put some fight and insight into giving Chelsea a challenge. Well, I'm not going to bother. The players on recent evidence aren't going to bother so why should I?

All I would say to any City player right now is that Blues will always respect effort and pride in the shirt, whatever the result. There was far too much grinning and end of season can't be arsed-ness at Birmingham for my liking. Unacceptable. Whatever the playing system, if this City side does not respond to it's growing band of critics on Saturday, not even to the fact that they were humiliated 6-0 by Chelsea in October and surely need no other motivation, then they can be sure that many of their days at Eastlands are numbered. I cannot see Frank Shinawatra settling for also ran non performance and collective lack of effort for much longer.


Even though recent displays have mirrored the clueless results of his predecessor and Crapello think-tank Ingurland guru Stuart Pearce, Svennis thankfully continues to avoid lines like 'take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, roll our sleeves up' etc but he is clearly riled at the situation. But brace yourselves, he's not looking at changing anything...

He told the MUEN.. 'We will not be experimenting, I will play the best team. If I should judge on the Birmingham game I could change nearly all of the team but you don't do that, you have to give them another chance. The important thing is that we change our mental approach to the games that are remaining because we didn't get that right at Birmingham.'


Many Blues already have their eyes on the summer and so it seems, does Sven for the next phase of rebuilding. He revealed this week that some players in the current squad have already received their Manchester City red card. Whether that is a sensible thing to do considering morale and the games remaining only time will tell:
'Some of them we have spoken to. We had a meeting about the future of several players and the numbers we might need to bring in.'
- I sense a big clear out.


Changes continue to be made at Manchester City. If not on the pitch, then certainly off it. The club revealed this week that it has invested in two 60m2 video screens for our superb stadium. These will be in place for the UEFA Cup Final on May 14. We will also be dazzled by an electronic LED perimeter advertising system next season, installed during the summer along the north, east and south stand sides of the stadium. Even though playing progress has stuttered terribly of late, the general direction the club is taking still remains a forward looking one.

Saturday 5th April, 15:00 GMT

Chelski Form Last 6 PL games: W,W,W,D,W,W
City Form Last 6 PL games: L,D,L,W,D,L

Goals Factor:
Chelski last 6 PL games: 18
City last 6 PL games: 3

In the City sin bin: All clear

Injured: Ball still out with knee knack tfn and Richards, save for weekly interviews remains sidelined. The Bojinov rumours persist of a first team return any game now. I hope Svennis doesn't risk pushing the lad back into action too soon in an effort to solve the team's failings in front of goal. He's had a bad, bad injury and surely it's better he is fully recovered before returning.

Johnny on the spot?:
Unless City can repeat the form defying heroics they showed when beating the rags in February, then I can see only one result and that will be a comfortable away banker for Chelsea who as one of the 'Big Four,' essentially play their football on a different planet. Prove me wrong, City...
City 0 Chelsea 3

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 3 2008

Time: 8:40AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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The only thing I would disaree with is that you say recent performances have mirrored SP's reign. I would say recent performances have been much worse. From the last 12 games we have mustered a miserable 11 points. In the same period of games last year SP's lot acheived 16 points and in the next three games got another 5 points. that is a total of 21 points from 15 games. Can you see us getting more than 10 points from the next SIX GAMES to better SP's second half season performance
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03/04/2008 09:20:00

No, alphie I can't. and yep, you're absolutely right. Statistically much worse and in "style" the same meandering "what do we do next?" approach!
Johnny Baguette
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03/04/2008 09:24:00

So, alphie, Lawro like me, has us down for a stuffing. We know the formation, how about the personnel? I may as well make some effort!
Johnny Baguette
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03/04/2008 17:43:00

i have to admit we aint looking good the past couple of games hopefully there was someone watching the chelsea game last niight thats how easy it is to beat them hopefully we can do the same to them, Lets keep are heads up high and hope for the best for the rest of the season and with a bit of luck we will be in europe !!!!!
dunne deal
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03/04/2008 18:12:00

Hopefully we will have Johnson Corluka & Petrov back and as he is unlikely to change the system I would like to see the following line-up : Hart : Corluka Dunne Onuoha Garrido : Castillo Fernandes Johnson Elano Petrov : Benjani : With on the bench Isaksson, Sun, Vassell, Sturridge, Caicedo. I fancy a point from this game as we have had some good performances at home against them in the last couple of years without getting the rub of the green.
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03/04/2008 23:22:00

Good points lads. Clearly City have been holding Danny Sturridge back for the Youth Cup Final and last night's goal means the Academy lads have a great chance of landing some silverware on the 16th. What price the Chelsea hierarchy monitoring him once again, wary of Platini's plans to reduce foreign players starting games in the top euro leagues? I don't think he'll play on saturday but otherwise outside of a needed start for Geovanni like the selection, alph....Top rumour, Bojinov on bench but I'll believe it when I see it!!
Johnny Baguette
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04/04/2008 07:48:00

sorry chaps - Anelka to bag the winner!
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04/04/2008 18:48:00

i thought pearce had been put back in charge with some of your performances
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04/04/2008 19:56:00

Hart Charlie, Dunne Onuoha Garrido. Hamann Johnson Elano Petrov Castillo, Benjani: Isaksson. Ireland Gelson Sun Bojinov
Buzz Lightyear
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04/04/2008 22:13:00

Hey Buzz ..Wot no Fernandes !
Report Abuse
05/04/2008 09:19:00

Or we could pick a team from the squad that faced them at the Bridge and give them a chance to redeem themselves e.g Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Onuoha, Garrido, Hamann, Johnson, Elano, Ireland, Petrov, Vassell....
Report Abuse
05/04/2008 09:32:00

Anybody know what the story is regarding Avram Grant's lack of coaching badges? That issue seems to have drifted off the sports hacks agendas.
Johnny Baguette
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05/04/2008 10:04:00

It would only persued it if it was one of the teams outside of the 'Top Four'....remember the Glen Roeder episode.
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05/04/2008 10:32:00

alphie I put him on the subs bench. He is a young lad, today we need a bit of experience in the centre, went for Hamann instead of Gelson F. not sure if he wont play Vassell in place of castillo who is a bit lightweight
Buzz Lightyear
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05/04/2008 14:01:00


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