Vital Football

Latest Manchester City News

City v Birmingham Preview & More

City v Birmingham Preview & More

Pedmachine sent VMC the following.

If you don't play in midweek what could be quieter than a Thursday for football news?

The Academy team beat LA Galaxy yesterday at Platt Lane 2-1, leaving their coaches bemused at the quality of footballer (or soccer player) that they were up against and we learned that Bert Trautmann is in town to host a dinner to celebrate 60 years since he signed for City. Sadly he couldn't make it earlier in the season when St Helens Town hosted a Manchester City ex-players team at the Regional Athletics Arena, but at least I managed to get my hands on one of the special match programmes, which I will get Bert to sign during his stay.

Bert actually played in the first City match I saw (I think we lost 4-2 to Arsenal) and I went with my entire family to see his Benefit Match which featured a Manchester XI against an England XI where Law & Charlton played alongside Bert and a host of City players at the time.

We had a pretty non-descript team at the time as George Poyser was getting set to hand over to Joe Mercer but I think players like Alex Harley was getting close to the end of his City career and Alan Oakes and Neil Young had just started theirs.



So we move on to this weekend's fixture against Birmingham City and the start of a very tricky run-in where each match gets more difficult. Birmingham haven't been spectacular on the road, beating the bottom feeders, Southampton in the Carling Cup, Derby and surprisingly Everton in the FA Cup. But even without their player of the season (Joe Hart) they proved quite a handful for us at St Andrews and without Shay Given's magnificent penalty save, would and should have beaten us.

They seem to defend a little bit like a basketball team. They seem happy to surrender the wide and deep, between the lateral edges of the penalty area and the touch and by-lines and resolutely defend the 18-yard box believing that they can get the first head to a crossed ball, bodily block any second-phase shots and failing that Joe Hart will bail them out.

Their matches are not high scoring generally. There is a 3-2 win away to Wigan and a 2-2 draw at Anfield but most games average only one or two goals. So City need to get in amongst these defenders. Adebayor is a 'must' selection and he must be looking to disturb their defenders from the crosses that will no doubt abound from Johnson and Bellers. Tevez will need to be hunting on the floor and get his customary goal.

We need to be robust in midfield and not conceded to many free kicks which present Birmingham with threatening set pieces or provide them with a springboard for a counter-attack. Given will need to be alert and for me more commanding in his 6-yard box. Birmingham will play on the fact that he doesn't come out all that often and try to load the area as much as possible but it is the back line that will need to be it's toes and for me that back line must include Onuoha.

I have always thought that had it not been for injury Nedum would have become a first team player ahead of Richards. He is more articulate, faster, just as strong and has better positional sense be that in the centre or at right back. In addition he could be the one to nullify the late threat of Kevin Phillips who nearly always comes on a late impact sub. So for me Nedum at right back is a must. He was the most solid defender in the second half of last season and together with the influx of new players was one of the reasons Mark Hughes felt he could do without Richard Dunne.

Much has been said over the last number of months as to whether Joe Hart will move permanently to Birmingham or return to City and for me, if there is no intent to sign another goalkeeper I would bring him back. His season long loan to Birmingham has seen this young man's game improve immeasurable and like all City fans I would love to see him get a berth in South Africa. He is comfortably the best performing English goalkeeper week-in week-out in the Premier League. Thankfully he cannot remind us on Sunday just how good he is and we must hope that Maik Taylor is ring rusty and visiting the back of his net regularly throughout the afternoon.

If we are fully in focus with this match we will win but we must not surrender to the kind of anti-football tactics deployed by Everton, should Birmingham decide that that could be a route to a result. Birmingham's only real sound beatings were by Chelsea 0-3, Arsenal 1-3 and of all teams Sunderland 1-3. Most of their matches finish with 1s & 2s in the goals columns. So maybe following on the back of our win against Burnley, maybe we can improve on that.

It might be on Sky but get yourselves along there, fill the house and let's get the world prepared for Manchester City in the Champions League!!



Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Pedmachine
Date:Thursday April 8 2010
Time: 3:20PM

Best of Vital Network

Comments

0
Brilliant stuff 'Machine! COME ON CITY!
Johnny Baguette
08/04/2010 16:24:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester City Articles

Ilkay Gundogan Agrees Personal Terms

Reports coming out of Germany suggest Ilkay Gundogan has agreed personal terms with Manchester City.

No More Quarter Final Replays For City

Should Manchester City progress through to an FA Cup quarter final from the 2016/17 season onwards, the game will no longer be subject to a replay.

Fabian Delph Out Of England Squad

Manchester City and England midfielder, Fabian Delph picked up a groin strain in training and will not feature in England's game against Australia later tonight.

Video Tribute: Manchester City 2008 - 2014

The days of Mark Hughes, Robinho and Roberto Mancini seem to me to be just a distant memory, so, in an effort to kick-start the memory banks, shall we rekindle one or two Manchester..

Archived VMC Articles

VMC articles from
As featured on NewsNow: Real Madrid news
Real Madrid News 24/7  

Site Journalists

Tudor
Editor email
Profile
Johnny Baguette
no email
Profile
Pedmachine
no email
Profile
Sedgie
no email
Profile
Skoorb
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

How many new players will Pep bring in this window?
Suggested By: johnkelv
Between 1 & 25%
Between 3 & 550%
Between 6 & 837%
9 or more8%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Manchester City Results (view all)

Manchester City Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Buzz Lightyear399
2.Tudor390
3.Skoorb296
4.Johnny Baguette210
5.Bluedub202
6.Colin Is The King189
7.Rising103
8.kennyclementstache102
9.seac71
10.johnkelv70