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Bojinov Hammer Blow The Least Of Our Worries

No two ways about it, Mark Hughes and his backroom team face a massive task if City are to attain and sustain the level of performance required to make a serious challenge in the Premier League this season.

A painful wall of stark facts face Bluesy as he aims to stand up to what could well be a long, hard season. Make no mistake. The responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in lies within the Manchester City hierarchy.

City have now lost 4 Premier League games in a row, shipping 16 goals in the process.

Hughes inherited a small enough squad as it is, and today he was forced to field 17 players of which 13 were no older than 22. Talk about men and boys.

Sure, we can take a lot of pride in the knowledge that 8 of those lads are MCFC Academy graduates, but there's precious comfort on hand as we realise the squad is dangerously close to the bare bones.

Still the worrying facts pile up. Benjani, Darius Vassell and now tragically, the exciting young Valeri Bojinov are all long term casualties. The side's nosedive under Sven-Goran Eriksson coincided with injuries that could not be covered due to lack of strength in depth.

With 2 weeks to go until the transfer window slams shut, the City squad is in a sorry state.

The 26 players that make up the 'senior' squad include the inexplicably still on the pay roll Danny 'Channel 5' Mills, Rolando Bianchi and Nery Castillo. The latter two are already heading for the exit door following the eight deadwood senior pro's already released this summer. For crying out loud, we only have two goalkeepers. One is 20 and the other 21! - And to think that only Hughes' intervention stopped Vedran Corluka and Stephen Ireland from being sold to rival clubs by the Manchester City policy makers.

It's City's hierarchy who ensured we lost sizeable ground this summer on our transfer window rivals by their aimless pursuit of Goofy Ronaldhino, and since Hughes' arrival, only the Brazilian Olympian Jo and Tal Ben Haim have joined the club. It remains to be seen just who the gaffer will be able, or even allowed to bring in against the backdrop of uncertainty that surrounds Eastlands. Revelations that City have taken out bank loans and are searching for investors suggests we are potless. To say experienced recruits are urgently needed would be a seismic understatement. I'd go so far as to suggest that the team needs strengthening in every department.

Many of us are increasingly getting the impression that our fugitive owner has already given up the ghost on City with bigger self preservation fish to fry. His inaction to date and the small down payment deals done since he bought our club, certainly back up that claim. Hughes must feel mugged. You and us both, Sparky.

I ask all Blues reading this tonight to do your best to get behind the lads and keep doing so, bearing in mind the task they face. If this team loses the supporters, there's no telling where we'll end up. Sure, their almost totally naiive inability to defend set pieces cost them big time today but to the team's credit, I believe they gave it as good a go as they could even though a hungry and experienced Aston Villa side demonstrated today that they can expect a nightmare season unless Hughes can pull off something of a coaching miracle. Many of the team depart for international duty this week. Should we suffer more injuries, then we are right up shit creek.

Spare a thought for The Boj tonight who was injecting much needed drive and enthusiam into our close season with his efforts. He's knacked again for another 6 months but he's still got time on his side. Here's to the lad getting a sustained run in the City side before the season is out.

Over to you, Thaksin Shinawatra, super agent advisers, Garry Cook and Paul Aldridge.





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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 17 2008

Time: 10:25PM

Your Comments

Villa fan here - glad of the points today in an excellent game but really sorry about the injury to Bojinov. Really tough luck after his previous layoff.
BobTheBuilder
Cheers, Bob. I'd say Bojinov's is an almost unprecedented run of bad luck. He really is a cracking player. The big difficulty coming back from a long time out is picking up other niggles like his summer thigh and hamstring strains. But snapping his achilles tendon. Ouch. Be interesting now to see how Villa go on from here, meanwhile. My article wasn't intended to provide excuses, but to raise awareness of how serious our situation is after one year under Thaksin. As I said to Vital Aston Villa last week, I've always been a big Carew fan and City missed the boat there when he became available at OL. I think MON is hitting on the right mix, with the right signings now and if you can shore up that defence and keep Carew fit, you could go places.
Johnny Baguette
I hope Brazil lose vs Argentina in China, and Jo 've return to city.
johnburrows
We need all the help we can get! Meawnhile, and STILL Das Daily Mail campaign for Corluka to sign for Spurs. Good idea, we'll field the FA Youth Cup winning team v The Hammers....
Johnny Baguette
Think it's fair to say that everyone is stll behind the team JB. There was no short of effort or industry yesterday. There was always glimpses of what we are capable of, especially when Petrov and Elano linked up. Taking away the implosive 10 min spell in the second half, we matched a good team on their own patch. Villa were very good going forward, so all credit goes to them, but there are lots of positives we can take out of the game.
oliverblue
Agreed, but many Blues I know are becoming more and more downcast with events at the club, reflected in the 17,000 attendance in the UEFA Cup. A large section of the support that night forgot how young and inexperienced our side is and we cannot afford for these lads heads to go down. We face Chelsea next month. The board should be targeted, not the players.
Johnny Baguette
what is going on with bojinov is he taken the ***** or something cause this is outrages. Its like a flash back of last year. We need a replacement quickly. Any Ideas of who we can sign
dunne deal
Bojinov has to be the unluckiest player in the Premier League right now. His latest injury, if it is on the same leg as the one that he ruptured his cruciate knee ligaments on could be career threatening. Was he being rushed back too early as City's training regime intensified? His desire, talent and will to win with a smile on his face made him a star in Italy where he was injury free and is still the youngest ever debutant. City fans were only just beginning to see what he could do. I know he is still only 22 but a lot will happen at Manchester City during his next absence, so his future is even more uncertain. I was not in favour of signing anymore strikers but realise we need experience up front now. But I don't think we have the funding unless if reports are corrcet, Thaksin borrows more. We could be stuck with what we have.
Johnny Baguette
We know Vassell is out for at least 10 weeks...and now Bojinov for six months. What about Benjani? When is he expected start training?
Old Mother Hell
Apparantly he has a serious thigh injury. He's one of our older players so it may take him some time. No news, so we have to write him out of the equation for the forseeable future.
Johnny Baguette
Out until October we're told!
oliverblue
FFS
Johnny Baguette
 

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