Going, Going, Gone...Who's Leaving MCFC?
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The football world is watching Manchester City this month. Whatever happens over these next four weeks as Mark Hughes continues to address the frailties of the young squad he inherited, that focus will remain right up to what could prove a seismic summer for our club...
Will City unleash an earthquake of transfer activity that will rock world football or will they maintain their youth based, MCFC Academy graduates blended with international stars focused rebuilding policy?
Will the likes of Arsehole Whinger and Sir Taggart, both publicly crapping themselves disguised as either being 'concerned for football' or dismissive over what liddle ciddy will do next feel the need to again go into press conference overdrive?
So far, considering the fee agreed for Chelski's Wayne Bridge, it's clear that his City squad's inability to mix it this season outside of playing some scintillating attacking football has led Mark Hughes to ask Khaldoon Al Mubarak for money to sign proven Premier League campaigners as opposed to gambling upon blooding foreign recruits.
One of the biggest problems we've had through the 32 games played so far this season has been City's lack of strength in depth. Bluesy, to his credit, has given just about every squad player except Danny 'Inexplicable' Mills a chance to prove himself. But he's had to on occasion, having only 18 players available for the UEFA Cup victory over FC Schalke for example.
That fact lends weight to the theory across Planet Blue that nobody will leave the club this month in order to ensure we have the numbers for the strong second half of the season that the gaffer has promised.
But that might not be the case. Some say Bluesy has his favourites. Fines have been dished out for starters. Furthermore, the City board may well want to be seen as being not only a buying club but one prepared to do business in the other direction. Finally it could be that some of our players have been so bloody awful they could already be seen as surplus to requirements. Maybe the 'axe' dread that Robinho referred to last week is about to become reality.
Here are 12 names swirling around SportCity these past few weeks who could be calling for taxi's on Ashton New Road. Maybe one or two of these fella's could be offski this month...
26. Tal Ben-Haim
The hacks are reporting tonight that Sam Allardyce could be in for TBH. In truth the former Chelski benchwarmer has struggled badly at City, only occasionally showing the form he delivered at Bolton. His poor distribution and gaffs have been almost a mirror image to that of City skipper Richard Dunne who needs to raise his own game immeasurably before next summer.
30. Shaleum Logan, 29. Kelvin Etuhu and 4. Nedum Onuoha
These three academy graduates are all talented footballers who should be the future of Manchester City. But I sense loan deals on the horizon for these lads. Logan has managed to work himself back into Bluesy's thoughts recently and made the sub's bench. Etuhu's injury problems could well mean he goes nowhere until reviewed at the summer. Nedum is a lad we all admire but his relentless injury problems are blighting his City career. Subsequent lack of opportunity could see him ask to leave. Aston Villa are known to be monitoring his progress.
19. Gelson Fernandes
Gelson has lost the plot in recent appearances and done himself no favours with some daft challenges. Again, he could find himself out in the cold should City's midfield be bolstered.
11. Elano Blumer, 14. Jô and 25. Nery Castillo
This won't be popular, but Elano under performed throughout 2008 for whatever reasons and like Jo, who has been particularly poor, could well find clubs coming in for him. Their disciplinary situations have already been well documented. Meanwhile it's simply a matter of days before Castillo's loan period expires.
16. Kasper Schmeichel
If Bluesy gets the chance to persuade Shay Given to join City this month then it's surely curtains for Kasper. I cannot see the lad and his Dad being prepared to settle for third best at Eastlands.
24. Ched Evans 27, Benjani Mwaruwari and 12. Darius Vassell
All strikers, all tremendously hard workers and all equally ineffective this season. I am sure City can expect loan enquiries. I still believe that Benjani will return to Portsmouth this year.
What do you reckon? Get rid of a few or ensure they all stay Blue? Give us your thoughts both here and in our Vital MC Forums...VITAL MC INFO:
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Date:Friday January 2 2009