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Vital City Zen: The Fairway To UEFA?

THE FAIRWAY TO UEFA?

The Holy Grail of MCFC European qualification still amazingly could be found, so long as our players don't get stuck in any more these next five games...The UEFA website reports on our final straw clutching Euro option: 'Norway top the current UEFA Fair Play rankings, and would automatically receive one of the UEFA Cup berths if they are still there when the final rankings are released at the start of May. England, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Spain and Estonia are the other seven countries currently in the frame for one of the two places awarded via the Fair Play draw, which will be held at the City of Manchester Stadium on 13 May at 14.30 (15.30GMT), between the pre-match press conferences before the UEFA Cup final.' - So the draw would be made at Eastlands? You certainly couldn't make that one up!

MONEY MATTERS, Part One: The Managers

France Football Magazine led this week on 'Les Salaires des Stars,' it's annual doshfest weigh up of who has earned the most wedge in the world of football this season. To give you an idea of exactly how much money now circulates Manchester City, the fact that Sven-Goran Eriksson makes it into the 5th best paid manager in world football slot with 7.1 million euros netted speaks volumes. Okay, included in that sum is a sizeable pay off cheque from the FA, but it also serves as a reminder that Frank Shinawatra will be expecting results for his outgoings. To put it in perspective, Sven's paid as much as Frank Rijkaard at Barca give or take the odd half a million euros. The financial winners ahead of Svennis were:
1. The Special One, No fixed abode: 29 million EUR
2. Fabian Crapello, Ingurland: 14.2 million EUR (What do you reckon Pearce is on?!)
3. Taggart, the rags: 7.4 million EUR
4. Juande Ramos, Spurs: 7.3 million EUR

MONEY MATTERS, Part Two: The Players

So Ronaldhino and his agent brother are considering him signing for City then, are they? Sounds an ambitious City move at the first thought, but then I wonder how many Blues would relish the fact that Ronnie is currently the second best paid footballer in the world after our other 'Fleet street' rumoured signing David Beckham?

Beckham earns 31 million EUR per season at Los Angeles Galaxy. Ronaldhino bags 24.1 million EUR at Barca. Another City media link Thierry Henry is in 5th place with a 16.8 million EUR salary. Is that realistically the sort of dressing room destabilising money City would seriously consider paying out so soon after Frank's takeover? Taking it on to another level, Tiger Woods, who is in action right now in Augusta is the best paid sportsman on the planet with 75 million EUR in earnings per year. That makes Ronnie the 7th best paid performer in the world of sport.

I'm putting 'Ronniegate' down to bored sports hacks in 'the street of shame' looking for stories and I'm pleased to see Sven distancing himself from these rumours:
'I don't think that news has come from our club,' he told Sky Sports News. 'I don't know where it is coming from.'

Surely City should aim to build upon the platform The Sven Revolution has given us and prioritise the signing of a Van Buyten, a Podolski, a Perrotta or a Huntelaar to beef our team up. We are a long way off superstars at MCFC!

NEXT ON THE AGENDA: SUNDERLAND AT THE STADIUM OF LIGHT
Saturday 12th April, 15:00 GMT

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

Goals Factor:
Mackems last 6 PL games: 6
City last 6 PL games: 3

In the City sin bin: All clear

Injured: Onouha ruled out for the season after that nasty knock against Chelski. Castillo, who has suffered a calf knock could also feature. Richards' return is still a couple of games away, but it's all eyes on the reserves tonight as Bojinov plays a part against Liverpool. Fingers crossed for that one.

Johnny on the spot?:
Our surely record breaking fourth consecutive 3pm PL saturday kick off sees us face the hard road to Sunderland. We gave Royston Vasey Keane an absolute technical area savaging throughout our underpants inspired victory at Eastland's on bonfire night. He will no doubt have his demonic eyes focused on a revenge mission this weekend. Craig Gordon, their 'keeper, backs the resurgent Mackems to make it four wins in a row against a flagging City side and I agree, unless Sven finally gets somebody up there to play off Benjani's work rate. If the tactical caution and striking isolation remains, allied to Sunderland reckoning they need one win to be safe, then I see no other result: Sunderland 2 City 1.




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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 10 2008

Time: 3:14PM

Your Comments

That's a good picture! :)
Fan of Blues
If you look closely, Fan of Blues, you can just make out a confused Stephen Ireland coming up on the right wing...
Johnny Baguette
I spot him! :)
Fan of Blues
Ball isn't out - he played last week remember.
mcfcdaytona
I don't rate Sunderland at all but they do have confidence on their side. We shouldn't be rock bottom on confidence. Sven was right in that we played well in patches v Chelski. Petrov makes a big difference to us. I also think we lacked defensive cover in the last 2 games so perhaps Hamann will play. I'd go for a draw 1-1. The summer will be interesting. Frank seems to love the limelight and a big signing will show his intentions. Should Frank get involved in signings and if he does I wonder if Sven will pack up and leave. The contrast with Sven will be interesting. I don't believe Sven has worked with the 'world-famous' names at club level, his skill has been blending a team rather than a bunch of individuals. At least with Euro2008 being such a damp squid now, we can still enjoy watching the new names at City and possibly the Inter ToTo Cup?
Barney Daniels
Of course, mcfcfdaytona, I wondered who'd spot that first, as Captain Mainwaring used to say! I'll get amended immediately!
Johnny Baguette
To be honest, Barney, if I were in the side right now I'd hardly be buzzing as a lof of the heads down have shown in recent matches. The fact is we have played 22 games since the turn of the year in all competitions and won only 4 of them, we've scored 12 goals in those games. I agree we played well sporadically against Chelsea but we need fire in the belly to get wins now. I sense a clear out and as you say, the cheque book could be coming out big style, but superstars in Ronnie's league are a big, big ask.
Johnny Baguette
Barney... I think you are forgetting Sven spent over 270 million in his 4 years at Lazio winning FOUR trophies in the process. I think Frank will bankroll him in similar style if it can pull off the same amount of trophies. One of his shrewdest signings was Veron for 12 million which won him the Italian Championship then sold him to Rednose for 18 MILLION !!!....what a deal...
alphieblues
Understand Garrido has a groin injury for Sunderland. I think Sun will get a start. Who's their left winger? He must be bricking it....
Johnny Baguette
Do you think Sven will risk Hamann as he is always good for a yellow card ???
alphieblues
In a word, yes. I think he might go for looking to him to protect our wobbling defence. I sense he'd drop Elano on previous evidence.
Johnny Baguette
Rather than play Sun I would sooner see Gelson drop into the back four with a line-up something like this : Hart : Corluka, Dunne, Fernandes, Ball, - Hamann, Johnson, Ireland, Elano, Petrov, - Benjani, 0n the Bench : Isaksson, Sun, Caicedo, Castillo, Sturridge.
alphieblues
Sounds a good line up. We need to be solid tomorrow. I wish Geo would get a look in, but it seems his number is up. I think El Diablo will start. We'll see.
Johnny Baguette
270 million, good grief! Well if Ronaldinho does come from Barca, the papers reckon City would make 'lots' commercially a la Beckham. However, the papers also say that he's lost his spark because he spends too much time living it up. Not my type of player and Manchester doesn't do 'living it up'. I'm expecting Sven to push hard for Crouch and Owen which sounds like 30 needed. Modric has said he wants to play for the Scousers and Berbetov is either staying or heading to AC Milan. I can see Petrov wanting away if we don't sign big. That said, I want our scouting team to see what makes surprise packages like Getafe (Spain) and the more well known Athletico Madrid tick. They play very entertainng football. Today's team for me that would win: Hart Corluka Dunne Ball (if fit) Vassell Johnson Fernandes Hamann Petrov Elano Benjani Caicedo Bench: Ireland, Geo, Sturridge, Sun, Keeper
Barney Daniels
Barney with TWELVE in the starting line-up we should win !!!
alphieblues
Top Spot alphie. Basically I thought that if we were poor with 4 at the back we might as well go 3 at the back and try and control the game in midfield. Vassell can run and run so will be the right back cover. Ball doesn't get too far forward anyway. I'd like to try Benjani and Caicedo waiting for crosses from either side. So, I'd try without Elano if I dare. He can be first sub on for Fernandes. Team news not yet reported on City site.
Barney Daniels
Fabulous club with fabulous fans - and now you have a manager to realise the potential.
codbater
I agree wholeheartedly, codbater. But rumours kocking around SportCity are getting dredged up in the sunday press that Sven could be getting the boot this summer. For all our frustration over the one up front situation, surely he doesn't deserve that. He is a great ambassador for Manchester City.
Johnny Baguette
I should add to that info that rumours on the continent persist that Sven could be lured by an Italian club. Big Phil Scolari's name is knocking about again and he'll surely end up somewhere in club management this summer.
Johnny Baguette
JB, I hope this news is correct.
city 81
All paper talk again. There is NO CHANCE that Frank will get rid of Sven for at least three years and even then I wouldn't bet on it.
alphieblues
It would be a tremendous backward step to ditch Svennis. Many hacks are overlooking the fact that this season he has had to work with one of the smallest squads in the Premier League!
Johnny Baguette
I want Svennis to build a team that will last, nit throw money at players who wont put thier heart into playing for City, but players who have the talent to take us where we have not been for a while and this will take time. There is no quick fix for this and I for one hope SGE is with us for a long long time. He is the best manager since Joe Mercer and I am sure under his guidance that we will progress in the right direction.
Buzz Lightyear
Well said, Buzz.
Johnny Baguette
i would give us another 3 years and we should be up there at least in the top 3. I f you look at the side we have it actually not that bad of a side we still need to find an actuall goal scorer for us. Dont get me wrong Benjani is a good player and i think he is playing well for us but he has only scored 1 goal since he joined us
dunne deal
I can't believe there's even a suggestion of removing Sven. He's moved City up the table this season and brought in some real quality players. Corluka and Petrov really stand out and he's trusted Richards and Dunne whereas some managers might have tried to change things and I think that too was a good decision. He also let Joe Hart play in goal which again has proven good for you this year. After last season, how many of you honestly thought you could be in 8th position, pushing for a European spot even now, with 4 games to go.
The_Legend_Of_Zola
The "Doctor" has ambiguously spoken: "There are no plans at the moment," he said. "We will have to evaluate at the end of the season." "I'm not happy with the performance of the club in the second half of the season," Thaksin added. "We will look at it at the end of the season and assess the club and the people involved." Does the Sven to Chelski rumour hold weight?
Johnny Baguette
sven will not be going anywhere he has just done a brillant job and he is one of the best managers we have had in a long time. i thank keegan and joe royle fro bringing us up but sven is the manger to get us into the champions league
dunne deal
 

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