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Sparky To Select Horses For Courses

Heading into our Arsenal showdown week, Mark Hughes has emphasised to the official site how he intends to utilise his revitalised 24 man squad this season...

While the majority of 'The Street of Shame*' and other media sources relentlessly peddle drivel throughout the international break over Robinho definitely going to Barçelona er, 'next time' or that Richard Dunne's wife is a top pay off deal broker, the City gaffer remains focused on City's footballing issues.

He first addressed the rumblings throughout football that he will struggle to accomodate his 10 star signings this year. To the horror of waves of critics, it could be that Sparky has forged an all for one and one for all mentality within his squad:

'There's an understanding that at times the next game or opposition might not be the right one for them to be in the side. I look at the opposition and the threats our players can make - against different teams you need different threats. That will always come into my thinking, and the players understand that. It's about making sure we have the right team for the right opposition.'

That means that certainly up front, Hughes' strikers can expect to undergo some form of rotation. For example, Bellamy's competitiveness will surely be preferred to Robinho's lightweight tackling efforts when the going get's tough, as it most assuredly will do.

The City boss then turned his attention to what is planned for players who are sidelined at any stage:

'We ensure that if they don't get significant first-team action, they get more work in training than the ones who have played 90 minutes. It's important they have the ability to make an impact when called upon. They understand how my staff work - it's not a punishment that they have to do extra work out of the team, it's because we want to give them the best chance of being successful when they do get called upon.

'They understand that that work has to be done - they know that it's a long season, that there will be times when they have to have an impact, so they have to be ready.'

With the transfer window having formally closed following the victory at Portsmouth, it's an ideal time to take a look at exactly who Sparky will be calling upon before the season goes up a gear...

Sparky's New Look City Senior Squad In Full:


1. Shay Given (IRL)
12. Stuart Taylor (ENG)


19. Joleon Lescott (ENG)
16. Sylvinho (BRA)
3. Wayne Bridge (ENG)
15. Javier Garrido (ESP)
4. Nedum Onuoha (ENG)
2. Micah Richards (ENG)
28. Kolo Toure (CIV)
5. Pablo Zabaleta (ARG)


18. Gareth Barry (ENG)
34. Nigel de Jong (NED)
7. Stephen Ireland (IRL)
6. Michael Johnson (ENG)
33. Vincent Kompany (BEL)
17. Martin Petrov (BUL)
40. Vladimir Weiss (SVK)
8. Shaun Wright-Phillips (ENG)


25. Emmanuel Adebayor (TGO)
39. Craig Bellamy (WAL)
27. Benjani Mwaruwari (ZIM)
10. Robinho (BRA)
14. Roque Santa Cruz (PRY)
32. Carlos Tevez (ARG)

*Street Of Shame Copyright Private Eye


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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 6 2009

Time: 5:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
good luck next week - you might just need it!
Report Abuse
06/09/2009 19:28:00

Methinks the same could be said for yourselves Merlin - should be a really good game
Report Abuse
06/09/2009 19:42:00

No, I'm not buying it. The squad are in total unrest, Benjani has been banging Hughes' door down demanding to play, Shay is upset at his lack of first team opportunities and Robinho, Petrov and Bellamy are meeting up at Mere Golf Club next week to sort out their differences with a sand wedge. After all, we're not ALLOWED to succeed are we?
Report Abuse
06/09/2009 21:00:00

Well said FCB, the defense has been shipping goals and none of the new signees are clicking offensively, and Hughes has no confidence from the fans or the board, who also refused to back him last season and forced him to make pinch penny summer additions.
Report Abuse
07/09/2009 00:48:00

This is what the bigger teams have been able to do in the past which usually helps them with their huge workload of league, cups and Europe. I don't think that we will need to rotate players on that kind of scale but it certainly helps having good depth on the benches.
Report Abuse
07/09/2009 02:56:00

Now that you mention it guys, I think you could be on to something here. With our 16 strikers (and generally only two places available), unrest is certainly setting in. ADUG is grumbling, because we have yet to pick up a point - even at home - which really all started with our totally abysmal 4-0 thrashing by Barcelona. I am worried...
Report Abuse
07/09/2009 09:39:00

After reading the headline I just hope that Hughes doesn't start regardingdonkeys lik e Benjani as thoroughbreds!
Report Abuse
07/09/2009 23:19:00


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