Date:Saturday August 14 2010
With Saturday`s match approaching fast, the last thing on my mind is to tell you all about the rubbish news stories that the rags have been spouting over the last week! But alas, it must be done.
Let`s start with the only bit of news that`s worthy of writing about, and news that broke only hours ago - Super Mario has signed for City.
In a transfer saga that lasted longer than the life-span of a medieval peasant, there were rumours of obscene wage demands, exorbitant transfer demands and possibly a few mentions of City ruining football. In fact, I`m pretty sure that there were definitely a few mentions of City ruining football. But finally that saga is over, Mario Balotelli is officially a Blue.
Click image to enlarge your FREE VMC Balotelli wallpaper, right-click, set as background.
Unfortunately as with any football club, players coming in mean players going out. One of the casualties of the squad overhaul is true blue, and academy graduate Nedum Onuoha, who has been loaned to Sunderland for the rest of the season.
Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo has also been the subject of a reported loan move, West Ham being his apparent destination.
Finally, it would appear that Stephen Ireland and Craig Bellamy have been shown the exit door, with neither player featuring in Roberto Mancini`s 23-man squad for this seasons Europa League campaign.
Bellamy stated his commitment to the Citizens in an interview earlier this week, although the fiery Welshman had suspected that he would not make the cut, going so far as to threaten early retirement if Mancini omitted him.
While his retirement is highly unlikely, a long list of suitors are in line to snap him up. Celtic, Tottenham, Fulham and Cardiff have all declared an interest in bringing the 31-year-old to their respective clubs.
City`s other casualty, Stephen Ireland, has been touted as a makeweight for City to bring in James Milner in a cash plus player deal. City boss Mancini reckons that it`s time for 'Superman` to move on, stating: 'Stephen Ireland is a good player but he has been here all his life and he needs to change'.
With the news that Martin O`Neil had quit Aston Villa, the entire deal was suddenly thrown into jeopardy. It appears that the bald-headed prodigy is less than enthusiastic about moving from his boyhood club to the managerless Villa, and is reportedly demanding a £2m payoff. Fair play to him, I would.
One player who surprisingly made the squad ahead of Ireland and Bellamy, was the self-exiled Robinho. The Brazilian has returned to Eastlands after his loan spell at Santos and his World Cup exploits, and is currently in discussions with the club regarding his future. The samba star could be a revelation this season if he decides to stay, with the silky skills of new signings David Silva and Mario Balotelli to help him get back in his flow.
It has certainly been an entertaining week, full of excitement with the news that Balotelli has finally signed, yet tinged with sadness that some of the best loved City players look to be leaving. Magic moments like these will live on in the hearts of each and every City fan:
And so I leave you with a taste of our past, for as of tomorrow, it is a new era, time to look forward and time to shake up the world of football as we know it. This is OUR City, this is OUR year. CTID.
Date:Saturday August 14 2010
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