City will have played 31 competitive games in all competitions by New Years Eve. Our squad will be stretched to the limit with the MCFC Academy playing it's part...
Until reinforcements arrive in January the club will be more reliant upon our Academy graduates than ever before.
The VCZ MCFC Academy Special focuses on the current fortunes of the graduatescurrently bolstering the City squad.
16. Kasper Schmeichel DOB: 05/11/1986
Kasper`s not the happiest Blue as repeated chats with the odd sports hack by either himself or his dad have made clear. He isn`t prepared to play second fiddle to England international Joe Hart for that much longer. The lad has great potential, but is nowhere near the finished article he reckons he is. Beneficial loan spells at Darlington, Falkirk, Bury and Cardiff as well as a successful if luck riding stint as City`s number one early last season suggest the lad has the means to be a success, but is he prepared to fight for his place at City? His poor showing at Brighton in the League Cup embarrassment this season did not help his cause.
28. Daniel Sturridge DOB: 01/09/1989
We can expect, indeed predict great things for Danny Sturridge. His vision, pace, trickery and goal scoring instinct mean he has a substantial armory at his disposal. Feted by Stuart Pearce, Sven-Goran Eriksson and now Mark Hughes, the lad is more than holding his own alongside the likes of Robinho. As long as City maintain their commitment to the Academy lads, Sturridge could have a big, big future for Manchester City and England.
24. Ched Evans DOB: 28/12/1988
Like just about all Norwich City supporters where he had a brilliant loan spell, I rate Ched Evans highly and like his bustling style. On occasion, the teenager has had more impact upon some defences this season than our Brazilian international Jo. There is something of Alan Shearer about Ched and if he continues to progress will be a Welsh international for years to come.
8. Shaun Wright-Phillips DOB: 25/10/1981
SWP has returned home a better all round player from his time at Chelsea. The experience he has gained has lent weight to his sensational return to City colours. An absolute credit to the club by way of his public image and persona, all that is missing is the regular England starting place his tireless efforts merit. Chelsea`s bench warming loss has been City`s dynamic gain.
7. Stephen Ireland, DOB: 22/08/1986
If the season ended now, Stevie "Superman formerly known as Daddy Dick" Ireland would surely be City`s player of it. Like Elano, he`s beefed up a little under Mark Hughes` guidance and his creativity and energy lie behind many of City`s 23 league goals so far this season. If I have a criticism, then it`s twofold. One on one with a 'keeper, he needs to believe in himself. Secondly, Ireland needs you Stevie. Give Trapps a call.
29. Kelvin Etuhu, DOB: 30/05/1988
Kelvin is one of the lads with us who is at something of a career crossroads. It`s tough enough for him to break into the squad as its stands, nevermind what the future will bring. But the intensity of City`s fixtures this season on top of us having a small squad suggest that chances will come. And if they do, then Kelvin needs to give it everything he`s got. He`s a big lad with pace and great potential.
30. Shaleum Logan DOB: 29/01/1988
We can pretty much read similar for Shaleum. The nippy full back has had loan spells at the likes of Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Stockport as well as impressing at City briefly under Svennis. Things are far from settled defensively at City and Shaleum needs to go up another gear if he is to take adavantage of the current situation during what is a challenging timetable for The Blues.
2. Micah Richards DOB: 24/06/1988
Micah needs no introduction. Arguably the finest graduate of City`s brilliant Academy, the England International has proved his stunning versatility under Bluesy by already playing at centre back, left back, right back and central midfield with varying degrees of success. Desperate to regain his England place post injury, the lad has not been helped by City`s brittle defensive performances this season. He still has a rawness about him that often finds him lacking in positional sense, but his power and athleticism make him the envy of top clubs across Europe.
6. Michael Johnson DOB: 24/02/1988
I don`t know if it was coincidence, but when Johnno started to ill advisedly hold out for a better deal at City, his form nosedived and subsequently he has been plagued by a persistent abdominal injury. Now he and his agent are settled with the club, he just cannot regain full fitness and these are extremely worrying times for a lad who has the box to box engine room strength required at the highest level. City need a fully fit and firing Michael Johnson more than ever.
4. Nedum Onouha DOB: 12/11/1986
Ned, an intelligent and strong player always seems to be just about cementing his place in the City side when injury strikes him down. With the financial climate at the club irreversibly changed, the last thing he needs now is another spell on the sidelines. He is yet another excellent Academy graduate we would all love to become a first team regular.
WHAT`S IN A WORD, THIS WEEK`S QUOTES
"Everything is steady at the club now and I am happy with everything, I am delighted to sign."
- Joe Hart keeps the feel good factor rolling at SportCity by committing to the club.
'My main objective is that the team does well, but my personal objective is that I achieve 30 goals.
- Robinho`s declaration intent having already netted 6 league goals for The Blues.
'I am sure the referee feels he has made the correct decision but I have seen it again and the Boro player first and foremost didn't have full control of the ball and it was outside the box anyway. The linesman doesn't give it and he is in the best position. The referee has made a decision that has changed the shape of the game and the outcome of the match."
- Bluesy rues the latest abysmal refereeing decision to knack our plans.
"We will have to wait and see with Manchester City because whilst they clearly have a lot of money they have also pulled back from the rhetoric of the first guy who said they were going to buy this or that player for a lot of money.'
-Rag Chief Executive David Gill attempts to get the press stoked up again following Taggart`s efforts earlier in the season at drawing attention to Manchester City`s finances. Obsessed and clearly worried.
"I didn't think he was fouled and he didn't like the way I spoke to him,' said Southgate. 'We were both in the wrong. I saw him in the tunnel and that is the end of it."
- Or so Gareth Southgate thought. But he didn`t account for the nonsense stirred up by Sports hacks desperate for pathetic witch hunts.
LISTEN UP ROUND UP
Twofingersgate: At the time of the VCZ going to press the pisspoor FA are unbelievably trawling tapes of City`s defeat at Middlesbrough in an effort to determine what action, if any, will be taken against Gareth Southgate and Shaun Wright-Phillips for their brief disagreement over whether SWP is a diver or not. The "investigation" can only be taking place at the behest of the hysterical Great British press as nobody else gives a bollocks about it.
Kit Latest: Rumours continue to abound that City will have a new kit supplier next season. Currently Puma are said to be the company with their noses in front of the chasing pack.
UEFA Credit Crunch Cup
The club have announced a Two match UEFA Cup package for our Group A home games. If you buy a ticket for both the FC Twente and Paris Saint-Germain games, you £25 Adult Seasoncard holder, £25 Adult Citycard holder, £35 all other Adults, £15 all Under 16s and £15 Over 65s. Those are tremendous prices in these times of financial strife. But considering the importance of these games for City`s season, the club have still decided to close the top tier at Eastlands for the two fixtures which indicates they don`t believe that City fans are fully embracing European football. Whatever the current world climate, that looks somewhat embarrassing. Are Euro attendances down across Europe? Answers on a postcard via the Vital MC Forums, please!
WE WEREN'T REALLY THERE? THE FINAL SCORE THIS WEEK 10 YEARS AGO
NEXT OPPONENTS : Bolton at The Reebok Stadium , FA Premier League:
Sunday 2nd November @ 1600 GMT
Citizens Form: Last six PL games: W,L,L,D,W,L
Trotters Form: Last six PL games: L,L,W,D,L,L
Johnny On The Spot?
City`s erratic form going into this game has got to be corrected and straightened out before it`s too late. Our season`s ambitions to all intents and purposes are at a crossroads. Bolton, by absolute contrast look to be in hopeless disarray with a faithful seeing their clash with City as merely a question of how many City will get. But for that to happen City have to really start putting teams like Bolton to the sword. Above all else, shoring up at the back. Bluesy has worried many of us by his chopping and changing in defence, the latest move of which was to bizarrely play Micah Richards at left back.
The whole team need to learn how to defend as a team and much responsibility rests on Richard Dunne`s shoulders to lead by example and rip the fragility out of this side. However, I am banking on City to beat Bolton and beat them soundly in what I suggest could be Gary Megson`s last Bolton match. The return of Jo from tonsillitis and Pablo Zabaleta from suspension could prove key to the game`s outcome.
Bolton 0 City 3
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