Vital City Zen: The Cup That Cheers
WE NEED A STEADY SHIP, FRANK
Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra gave the sports hacks a field day this week with his amibiguous comments over what future direction the playing side of MCFC will take. Now whether he was intent on being overly political in his choice of words or foolishly and football-cluelessly impatient, is open to debate. My chief concern now is over who is advising the bloke as it seems not every high ranking official at the club was party to Ronaldhino's brother being invited to Eastlands the other week.
Sven-Goran Eriksson has followed the fortunes of City's Reserves and Academy sides closely this season and last night's FA Youth Cup win was no exception. The Cup has given everyone at the club a lift and the win itself is a timely reminder to Dr. Thaksin that Manchester City is a football club in very good playing health, with a manager committed to it's youth policy. Why risk fracturing that link with the senior squad now after only one season of the new era?
Typically, The Iceman was unruffled by the Frank quotes: 'These kinds of stories do not annoy me' he told the MUEN. 'When you live in football, you also live with rumours...I have a contract for two more seasons and that is it. I am here to complete what I started.
SVEN CITY FACTS
What Frank should bear in mind before even considering pressing the instant success panic button, is that SGE inherited a first team squad in tatters and hardly a full deck of cards to select a team from. He had a month to pull a side together and he did that with the accent on youth, as opposed to signing journeymen. He has worked with a very small squad in Premier League terms and during his nine months in charge has equalled City's highest Premier League points total. He also masterminded a double defeat over Taggart and the rags which had been unprecedented for over 30 years. Ok, I still take issue over the playing system he perseveres with, but it is still early days in The Sven Revolution and we have a man on board who is a great ambassador for our club.
Stephen Ireland? Every Blues' favourite Pikey at Sunderland is rumoured to be in for 'Daddy Dick' to the tune of a whopping 8 million quid. This correspondent would rip Keano's arm off for half that amount!
Kasper Schmeichel has meanwhile gone to the press again, this time to complain that he does not see a future for himself at Manchester City.
In other developments, Svennis has pleasingly dismissed all talk of Michael Johnson leaving City for the internally strife torn Liverpool: 'I have heard that same rumour ever since I joined the club...It was only last summer that Michael signed a new contract and we have already said that we will talk about another one when this season is over.'
NEXT ON THE AGENDA: PORTSMOUTH AT EASTLANDS Sunday 20th April, 16:00 GMT
Pompey Form Last 6 PL games: W,W,L,W,W,D
City Form Last 6 PL games: L,W,D,L,L,W
Pompey last 6 PL games: 10
City last 6 PL games: 5
In the City sin bin: All clear
Injured: Onouha ruled out for the season, Sturridge injured at Sunderland. Castillo scored for the reserves this week and could feature. Richards and Bojinov could return any game now.
Johnny on the spot?:
Pompey are of course deserved FA Cup finalists and have enjoyed a terrific season. It's taken time for 'Arry to blend his team together (Frank Shinawatra take note) and they sit a comfortable 5 points clear of City in sixth place going into this game. David James has called for his side to keep focused on their Euro Premier league campaign, but he'll know that all too often, players who have reached Wembley tend to ease up to ensure they make the big day. Sven and City need a win meanwhile, with the whole management team and squad looking to send a signal to Frank that they mean business. There are already real signs that Elano is clicking into gear again. All things considered, I'm expecting City to win as our rehabilitation continues. I feel a Benjani goal coming on!
City 2, Portsmouth 0.