Vital City Zen: Dig Out Your Blue Soul
MEETING OF THE MINDS
The Times this week revealed that City's spokesman/manager/agent/scout/apologist Mark Hughes met with City's political asylum seeking fugitive owner Thaksin/Frank/Toxin Shinawatra at his London hideout to discuss transfer targets earlier this week. The word on the 'Street of Shame*' is that having already been embarrassed, Bluesy has decided that the young squad he has inherited does not have the mental and physical strength to see this season through. Considering City's clearly ropey financial status, it is difficult to identify who the gaffer can bring in with the required Premier League experience to stabilise the team. Yet more signings from abroad on staged fees has to be the likeliest outcome...
PLAYERS IN THE NEWS WITH THE BLUES:
VINCENT KOMPANY - VAN BUYTEN'S HAMBURG SV REPLACEMENT JOINS CITY
...and the first of those overseas players unfamiliar with the Premier League is Hamburg central defender/ defensive midfielder Vincent Kompany who is said to be close to joining the Blues in a deal which will be eventually worth £6 million. The 6ft 3 inch Belgian replaced Daniel Van Buyten at Hamburg after he left for Bayern. Kompany has only appeared 28 times for Hamburg over two seasons since signing from Anderlecht having suffered an Achilles injury. He should be going straight into the squad for West Ham if the deal goes through. Like City's absent Brazilian frontman Jo, Kompany has been arseing about for Belgium at the Beijing Olympics.
ROQUE SANTA CRUZ - FINAL NO TO ANOTHER ROVERS RETURN FOR BLUESY?
Giving another indication of the club's seemingly rudderless direction, with quotes knocking about here and there, Garry 'The Sky Blue Pimpernel' Cook, MCFC's Executive Chairman revealed to the odd hack that City had made bids for Blackburn's Santa Cruz but had been well and truly knocked back by former rag and West Ham traitor Paul er, 'guvnor' Ince. Cook gave the impression that the deal is dead in the water as well as at the same time leaving us wondering who is actually running the club.
VALERI BOJINOV - BOJINOV THE BRAVE
The luckless Boj has undergone his second serious operation in a year, this time on his achilles which was cruelly snapped at Villa Park last week. And now the long road to recovery begins all over again for the lad. The estimate for him to be back in some sort of action is six months but we have to be realistic and consider that the man who was showing signs that he could have been our Raging Bulgarian this season will probably not figure in the first team until the late spring at the earliest.
MICAH RICHARDS - YOUNG MAN MOUNTAIN
There has been one shining light in an abysmal month for everyone connected with Manchester City. Our current Captain Fantastic Micah Richards, who certainly leads by example and scored a goal for England Under 21's this week playing alongside a rapidly improving Nedum Onouha. A timely reminder to not only Fabio Crappello but the Premier League Big Four who continue to lurk in the brilliant 20 yr old's considerable shadow.
MICHAEL JOHNSON - SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT
City have confirmed that they have reopened talks with the Academy graduate over a new contract. Following his garbage performances this summer, it's pretty sure that the player and his agent are in a far weaker bargaining position than they were last season.
MIKAEL SILVESTRE AND DJIBRIL CISSE - FILE UNDER : 'PHEW, THAT WAS CLOSE...'
City have been scuppered in bids which can best be described as desperate for rag Mikael 'Lightbulb Head' Silvestre and Marseille's Djibril 'Hairdressers Dream' Cisse. Taggart cast off Silvestre has inexplicably signed for Arsenal and Cisse snubbed City for Sunderland which shows how far our stock has fallen inside 8 months. Both players are regularly injured and we wish their club's medical teams every success.
BLUMER ELANO - WHAT PRICE SOLIDARITY?
Good grief. Again. Yet another embarrassing development for world weary Blues to deal with. Whether or not City are right or wrong, Shaktar Donetsk have reported City to FIFA over the club's alledged failure to pay something called a 'solidarity payment' over Elano's transfer last summer. Even if City's mysterious hierarchy are correct in their belief that the selling club should pay this strangely titled fee, there has to be something in it if the matter is now with FIFA. It is this correspondents opinion that Thaksin's City operate in murky transfer waters.
ROLANDO BIANCHI-CINZANO - A RIGHT ONE.
The long, slow and painful final goodbye to the likeable Italian could take place any day now. He has agreed personal terms with Torino and it is now just a case of how much money City can claw back on the failed deal. Yet another case of what might have been. It would have been interesting to see how the lad would have performed in a 4-4-2 formation with a strike partner.
LISTEN UP ROUND UP
Vital MC hopes to bring you a seven questions interview with Vital West Ham before this weekend's game.
WEST HAM UNITED at The City Of Manchester Stadium. FA Premier League: Sunday 24th August, 1600 GMT
Last six PL games: W,W,L,L,L,L
The Hammers Form
Last six PL games: L,W,D,L,D,W
Refwatch: Howard Webb:
The first game of the new campaign for the Yorkshireman saw no cautions in The Gunners routine win over WBA. Webb is the man who refereed City's fine victory in the Munich derby this year and last season racked up 166 yellow cards and only 4 reds across 46 games.
Johnny On The Spot?:
West Ham remain pretty much the London side that City fans can best relate to. Both clubs have a similar standing and history within the game and mutual respect between the two sets of fans has been noticeable down the years.
City's currently destabilised plight whereunder the manager is forced to rely upon a backbone of MCFC Academy youngsters needs no introduction. The Hammers go into this one off the back of the rearguard action that saw off Wigan last week.
All things considered, as with last season's mini-series, I think this game is too close to call and I am expecting a 1-1 or 2-2 result.
But if City get an early goal and a Thaksin distrusting Eastlands crowd get behind our young team, then anything can happen and probably will!
*Street Of Shame copyright Private Eye