THE VCZ: We Three Mutineers Of Eastlands Are?
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THE VITAL CITY ZEN
WE THREE MUTINEERS OF EASTLANDS ARE
Or should that be five, six or even seven? Some of the absolutely pathetic performances dredged up buy the hapless Jo, meandering Elano and the dreadful Tal Ben Haim may have an explanation behind them.
The three names knocking around the hacks in 'The Street of Shame' are alledged to have arranged team meetings designed to oust the beleaguered City boss Mark Hughes.
There's also been a rumour swirling around an icy SportCity that a senior fringe player went to see City Chief Executive Garry Cook complaining about Hughes' mode of operating.
All that your average, by now paranoid depressionist Blue has to do is start considering Ball and Hamman's refusal to warm up as substitutes during the Bolton surrender, witness Dunne rollocking Elano for almost strolling to take a corner during the Forest surrender and Elano making no eye contact with Hughes as he went off alledgedly injured against PSG to realise that this is a State of Emergency.
- Hamman's throw in (the towel) against Forest, anyone?
City managerial legend Frank Clark once spoke of a lurking 'Fifth Column' at Maine Road who frequently leaked undermining stories to the hacks and I'd suggest somebody is at it again in the Eastlands era. Maybe a player, an agent, kitchen staff or er, a cleaner?
One things for sure, there has to be substance to these rumours. I'm a 'no smoke without fire' correspondent and anyway, how could the side be caving in with such alarming regularity?
Some of Hughes' substitutions and tactics have been mystifying to say the least this season. And why are so many of our players pulling hamstrings? I for one have called for his head in desperation since the West Brom debacle, but putting that aside for now, imagine working with a divided dressing room, nevermind the lack of strength in depth and long term injuries?!
We'll know for sure what the story is by the end of this month. Will Hughes risk continuing with the same squad numbers by jettisoning certain players he doesn't get on with in favour of the incoming cavalry? Maybe his team selection at Pompey will speak volumes after the Forest humiliation.
Above all else, if a terrifically well paid player is unprofessional enough to perform an on pitch 'strike' as the team clearly did at Middlesborough last year alledgedly in protest against Svengate or again against Forest last week, then they are beyond contempt, whatever the manager's failings. How dare they do that to people who pay hard earned money week in week out to support them.
Of concern right now is that many of the players who shamed the shirt against Forest may well get the opportunity to screw City again at Portsmouth this weekend unless the cavalry in the form of new signings can make the plane to the south coast in time to get in some tackles.
The truth will out.
"The Street of Shame" copyright Private Eye
WHAT'S IN A WORD, THIS WEEK'S QUOTES
'I am working as hard as ever and I don't feel as if I have done anything drastically wrong this season for people to comment on. I believe in my ability and I think City fans and England fans know what I am capable of. It is just a matter of finding the kind of form I was in last season.'
- Micah Richards has been rubbish this season and suddenly doesn't look like a footballer, but he's defiantly predicting an upturn in form. Any time you're ready, Micah.
'The club need to keep backing him because the players believe what we are doing in training is right. Hopefully he will get the chance to show what he can do in the transfer market.'
- Richard Dunne speaks out in defence of the manager. He looks to be on board but some of his howlers this season would mark him as football's equivalent of a suicide bomber.
'You need leaders, people who drive the game and affect it in a positive way.'
- Mark Hughes fails to reciprocate admiration for Dunne during that painful post Forest interview that left him looking shellshocked and isolated.
'I'd like to think I'm coming into my prime. I've got a good engine and a good left foot so I'll be looking forward to showing that on the pitch.'
- Wayne Bridge talks the talk to lift our spirits. Just don't follow any whispers down dark corridors, Wayne.
'What we don't do is sit around worrying about what happens if it goes wrong.'
- Garry Cook shows his support to Mark Hughes in an interview first published by The Sun post Forestgate. Oh no he doesn't. The interview and quotes took place in mid December. What's all that about, then?
THE JANUARY MEN: THE PLANE LOAD OF SPORTS HACKS TRUTH OR DARES EXPANDS FOLLOWING THE ARRIVAL OF WAYNE "TAKE ME TO THE" BRIDGE…
………Kolo Toure - Arsenal, Ginaluigi Buffon - Juventus, Ashley Cole - Z List Celebrities, Ricardo Oliveira - Real Zaragoza, Clarence Seedorf - AC Milan, Michael Turner - Hull City, Lucas Podolski - Bayern Munich, Chris Samba - Blackburn Rovers, Mario Balotelli - Inter Milan, Lassana Diarra - Portsmouth, Franck Ribery - Bayern Munich, David Villa - Valencia, Gareth Barry - Aston Villa, Craig Bellamy - West Ham, Thierry Henry - Barcelona, Fernando Torres - Liverpool, Roque Santa Cruz - Blackburn Rovers, Matthew Upson - West Ham, Luis Fabiano - Sevilla, Marcos Senna - Villareal, Scott Parker - West Ham, Jermaine Defoe - Portsmouth, Michael Owen - Newcastle, Shay Given - Newcastle, Yaya Toure - Barcelona, Theo Walcott - Arsenal, Samuel Eto`o - Barcelona, Quasimodo Tevez - the rags………to be continued...
WE WEREN'T REALLY THERE? THE FINAL SCORE THIS WEEK 10 YEARS AGO
Football League One
Blackpool 0 (0) - 0(0) Man City
At Bloomfield Road on 9th January 1999
City: Weaver, Crooks, Vaughan, Wiekens, Morrison, Horlock, Brown, Pollock, Taylor, Goater, Dickov (Russell, 62)
Subs not used: Bishop, Whitley,
NEXT OPPONENTS (so help our travelling Blues, God)
@ Fratton Park
FA Premier League:
Saturday 10th January @ 1500 GMT
Last six PL games: L,D,L,L,W,D
Last six PL games: W,D,L,L,L,L
Internet: www.portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk / www.portsmouthfc.co.uk
Vital MC should be bringing you our return meeting Mag 7 Fan's Interview with Vital Pompey before the weekend.
Johnny On The Spot?
Our good pals at Vital Pompey will be the first to tell you that their side are in a Premier League nosedive right now but will sense the chance of victory and certainly revenge for last year's six niller over beleaguered Mark Hughes and his hapless City side.
We already know that we will be without the hard work and creativity of SWP and Ireland for this one and when you consider there will only be a few days to bring in anymore signings outside of Wayne Bridge before this game, then we could be facing our 11th league defeat unless the manager radically changes how the team operates and can galvanise some of the overpaid cowards who have been wearing our shirt.
A new skipper would not go amiss in my opinion as part of a serious shake up, but as things stand I reckon we'll get nothing from the long trip south, even though Pompey have been struggling.
Portsmouth 1 City 0
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