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Who Should We Keep & Who Should Go?

Wswilly3 sent Vital Manchester City the following.

Let's imagine our first team squad for next season will comprise of 24 players backed up by 10 of our up and coming youngsters such as Boyata, Cunningham, Weiss, Vidal, Niemely, Ball, McGivern etc. This would mean at least two players for every position but with genuine back up from the players that at some stage need to be given a chance, if they are to prove whether or not they can make it to the first team.

I am suggesting the 24 in the first team squad is split in the following way - two goalkeepers, eight defenders, nine midfielders and five strikers supported by the 10 named academy players, who should be used as backup when the need arises or be sent on loan with re-call clauses, if there was the need through injuries etc.

I have also taken into account whilst doing this that any team can only successfully absorb so many players into their ranks and my suggestion is to recruit six new players, all of which have to be proven at the highest level.

So let's look at each category against our current playing staff to get a more analytical approach to which positions and players, I believe we need to strengthen or release.

Goalkeepers: We currently have five on our books and I would argue we need two for the first team squad and one for the reserves as a long term back-up:

Stay as first team
Shay Given
Joe Hart

Stuart Taylor
Marton Fulop

Stay as back up
Gunnar Nielssen

Defenders: We currently have fourteen on our books of which five are ex-academy and who have not yet made the breakthrough into regular football for the first team. This leaves nine first team squad defenders and I would argue we need to release/transfer out at least two and probably three of these and sign up two better replacements:

Stay as first team
Joleon Lescott
Vincent Kompany
Kolo Toure
Pablo Zabaleta
Nedum Onuaha
Wayne Bridge

Micah Richards - should be transferred
Javier Garrido - should be released
Sylvinho - should be released

Centre - half
Left sided defender

Stay as back -up or loaned out with recall clause

Midfielders: We currently have 12 on our books of which two Ibrahim and Weiss are ex-academy and arguably need to be used as back up when the need arises. Of the remaining ten we have five wide players (Bellamy, SWP, Adam Johnson, Petrov and Etuhu) and five central midfield players (Barry, Vieira, Michael Johnson, de Jong, Ireland).

I would argue we need at least nine midfielders in the first team squad but that we definitely need some new blood in the form of two or perhaps three new players (one wide and two central) which would mean at least three and maybe four of the current midfield leaving. Three candidates to leave I believe are obvious, (Petrov, Vieira, Etuhu) but the key issue is whether we transfer out Stephen Ireland or Michael Johnson or keep them both and only add two new players.

On balance I have kept both but am painfully aware we do need a real freshening up in this area and Ireland and/or Johnson needs to give a big season.

Stay as first team
Craig Bellamy
Adam Johnson
Shaun Wright Phillips
Gareth Barry
Nigel de Jong
Michael Johnson (if fit)
Stephen Ireland

Patrick Vieira
Martin Petrov
Kelvin Etuhu

Creative mid-fielder
Wide player

Stay as back-up or loaned out with re-call clause

Forwards: We currently have nine on our books of which one is ex-academy (Niemely and with Ball should be used as back up, when needed) and four are to me obvious to be moved on (Benjani, Caceido, Bojinov and Jo). Thus we have four left (Adebayor, Tevez, RSC and Robinho) and arguably the need for at least five top class strikers.

Given that the prospect of Robinho failing to return I believe there is a case for recruiting two new world class strikers and possibly keeping with RSC as a further back up in case of injuries and suspensions.

Stay as first team
Carlos Tevez

Should be released/transferred

World class striker
World class striker

Stay as back-up with recall clause

Conclusion: So what do you think? I am suggesting we get in six new 'proven' top class players - two at the back, two in midfield and two strikers and that we release or transfer twelve players that could be termed first-teamers, although only Richards, Robinho, Jo and Bojinov would be likely to command a reasonable fee. This seems to me a reasonable balance as any more upheaval may well be counter productive. I would be interested to hear from all you fellow Vital Manchester City bloggers whether you think more surgery than I have suggested is needed.

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The journalist

Writer: Wswilly3  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 17 2010

Time: 10:07AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Quality article mate, couldn't agree more with what you say. Richards can move on for me now and i just really hope ned stays at the club. Wouldn't mind seeing the back of Bridge either, we can do much better. However i can't think of any quality replacements apart from philip lahm. Oh and let's get Gourcuff
Report Abuse
17/05/2010 10:39:00

Incredible....scragg, above, cast your thoughts back to a couple of seasons ago , mate....would you be saying the same thing then? :) Funny old game, football...
Report Abuse
17/05/2010 11:10:00

Bring belhaj.
city 81
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17/05/2010 11:22:00

Great article Willy. I would argue for three midfield/wing players and one striker. Defence- Boateng and Kjaer, Midfield - Yaya Toure, Hamsik, Di Maria, Forward - Higuain. Any takers?
Report Abuse
17/05/2010 12:28:00

I mostly aggree with that pick of the team, though i would say keep Micah. Half of me wants Fulop to stay but then half of me doesnt so i wouldnt be bothered either way :)
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17/05/2010 15:50:00

I see no evidence why city should keep santa cruz. Ive never been so unimpressed by a signing. Atleast jo scored a few goals. RSC looks very happy to warm the bench and doesnt break a sweat when hes bought on. Other than that i agree with most of what is written above. But I feel Mancini will sell the players he get along with, as a sign of intent. I expect to see bellamy, onuha and ireland leave. I would like to see a real dynamic, quick, box to box midfielder, who can defend and attack (like esien). Aswell as a playmaker (like modric) and a winger (like silva) I would sell adbeyor and toure because both players are shakey and poor. None of citys fullbacks are capable of defending well and attacking well. Id sign a top class left and right back. I hope we sign maicon, vargas, de rossi, hamsik, bolatelli, benzema and di maria.
Super City Slicker
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17/05/2010 19:32:00

With Boateng coming in Onuoha would be 5th choice CB and with his recent comments, I'd have thought he would leave this summer.
With SWPs contract issues and the fact you can easily afford far better players, I thought he might go too - but being a club hero he might not.
The rumours about Bellamy going have been very strong and his buddy act with redknapp seemed to strengthen the idea that he might leave - also doesnt he consider himself a striker? Being 5th choice might not sit well with him. In fact being second fiddle to Adam Johnson and Di Maria (or whoever) might not sit well with him.
Stephen Ireland doesnt seem to be favoured by mancini and Michael Johnsons injuries along with your buying power would seem to spell the end for those two, I would have thought.
Then there's Joe Hart who has had a fantastic loan spell getting games every week. Would he want to go back to being a number 2? With Arsenal and their champions league football allegedly interested would Hart want to stay to play 2nd fiddle to the frankly awesome shay given? would given stay and play 2nd fiddle to hart? I doubt it, but then cudicini at chelsea proved that money talks.
If all those players leave (which is obviously unlikely) you'd need to buy at least two 'home grown' players or U21s from the academy would have to make up the numbers in the 25 man squad (which requires 8 homegrown players). Also, arent Logan and Nielsen over 21? If so they'll both need to be registered in the 25 man squad otherwise they'll be pretty useless backups as they wont be allowed to play in the premier league.

My guess is that Onuoha, Bellamy, Ireland and M.Johnson will go, with one homegrown player coming in (milner would be my guess). After that, the skys the limit with possible foreign buys.
Report Abuse
18/05/2010 01:54:00

That Onuoha is a quality player, far better than Lescott, Toure and Richards
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19/05/2010 11:26:00

even a blind can say where city is going wrong , and it is that attacking midfield role , if we see , arsenal have febregas , gerrard in liveprool , man utd with nani scholes and giggs, chlesea with lampard and maluda , and spurs with modric and kranjcar and bale and lennon , but when we look at city there is no body , guys u need to offload 1 or 2 strikers , bellemy to spurs and bring 2 world class creative midfilders and city ll finish 2nd next season , but milner is never an answer , how on earth james milner can change every thing , and 30 million on him is crazy money , its better that u people bring deco and one more some one like gerrard in your team and u people ll be awesome ,
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23/05/2010 01:35:00


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