Comings, Goings & Cup Finals
With the countdown to the FA Cup Final in full swing speculation abounds about City captain, Carlos Tevez, amongst other things.
It is known that instead of Tevez joining the squad and watching City's sensational win over United from the bench, Tevez selected to go to Italy allegedly to seek treatment under the guidance of the Argentine physio in whom he has great faith...or was it an underhand way that a certain agent could place him within hearing distance of AC or Inter Milan? One seriously has to wonder.
With nobody giving us a prayer against the reds,Tevez or more importantly an agent probably thought 'No trophies again this year my son. Time to go' and the result probably came as a shock.
Suddenly he is ahead of schedule, wants to be back for the key mach against Tottenham and then play in the Cup Final where as Mancini's captain he will be looking to climb the hallowed steps and parade the trophy. His final ywo fingers in the direction of Mr Ferguson before heading off to pastures new.
There is little doubt that wherever he has played, Tevez has made a difference, a quality close to my heart, but sometimes his motives look questionable.
Last Sunday we did not look a poorer team for his absence. We probably looked more balanced and nothing seemed to centre upon a single performer. In all it was a perfect team effort. If he comes back for the final it will probably be at the expense of Adam Johnson, leaving us very narrow with no natural outlet. Against a team like Stoke, that is a disturbing prospect. I can't see Mancini leaving out Balotelli, provided he continues his upturn over the next matches and the central trio of de Jong, Barry and Toure look pretty well immovable along with David Silva. So key decisions could be vital for the Final and it will be interesting to view the outcome.
We move on to Ewood Park next and we should have enough to beat this team who displayed some of the worst anti-football I have ever seen at City. Sam Allardyce told TalkSport that he had become labelled with being along ball merchant and playing negative football. He pointed to his successes in his defence. Well Sam, re-run that one. I can't readily think of a worse match even when we were in the equivalent of League One.
The secret here is once again to get on the front foot and move the ball quickly up to Balotelli and Toure. Get an early goal and then a second as they look for the equaliser. It is not to sit behind 0-0.
With West Ham on the horizon and on the precipice next week, b next Sunday we can be two games and six points closer to the Champions League and if Arsenal's decline continues we could be looking at stepping up to third rather than fourth, leaving the Gooners looking over their shoulder at Spurs and now Liverpool.
The title looks to be wearily making its way up the M6 towards a well-known stadium just outside Manchester. It is our job to ensure that the FA Cup follows it on 14 May and does not stop off at Junction 15.