From Given To Barry: VMC Forum On The Ball
The VMC Forum Man of The Match polls realised 19 different poll winners throughout the past season. In a 3 part series, our Planet Blue pundits review those Blues...
The VMC Forum Men of The Season Review
Part One: From Given To Barry
19. Shay Given 1 award
reviewed by Johnny Baguette
(VMC Forum MoTM versus West Brom A, LC3)
Seamus is a top professional, all round good bloke and a fine keeper but wasn't quite young enough or dynamic enough to dislodge Joe Hart following his latest serious shoulder injury.
He was unhelpfully vocal initially in his disapproval of playing second fiddle to England's Number One but settled into the role and became a valued member of the squad where all important team spirit was concerned. Few players moan to the press under Mancini's iron fist regime and get away with it. We can expect the Irishman to depart the club any day now and good luck to the fella. If only he'd arrived a few years earlier we'd have seen more of his talent.
18. Dedryk Boyata, 1 award
reviewed by Buzz Lightyear
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Timisoara H, ELQ3 2L)
Dedryk Boyata is another product of Belgium, along with Vincent Kompany and Daniel Van Buyton (remember him?). Boyata's season started well and he was voted by the VMC members as Man of the Match in the home leg against FC Timisoara in the Europa cup 3rd Round when he got his first senior goal for the club in the 2-0 win ('Boyata, sneaking in at the back post to nod home Silva's free kick from the right.')
A few weeks later however, when he appeared at home for City against Arsenal in a Central Defenders role, he was unfortunate enough to get a red card by referee Mark Clattenburg, incurring a three match ban.
Despite Dedryk having bags of talent, the 20 year old has been used sparingly by the City Manager Roberto Mancini who selected the lad 14 times last season in league and cup action. 5 of those were as substitute, the good form of players like Richards and Zabaleta having kept him from more appearances. In May, Dedryk did manage to oust SWP off the bench at the Cup Final, but sadly that is where he stayed.
Recently rumours have circulated that City are ready to part with the player as a make weight player exchange, but I feel that that is far off the mark and in my opinion Boyata has a future at this club, but does need to force his way into Bob's plans for more starts, which will be difficult in view of the good players that are above him in the pecking order. Which means it is time for Dedryk Boyata to up his game.
17. Emmanuel Adebayor, 1 award
reviewed by FifthColumnBlue
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Wolves A)
What can you say about Emmanuel Adebayor? When we first signed him, we thought we were getting a special player, and the Arsenal fans even came onto our site and told us he was special - what they were actually trying to say was he was 'a bit special.' Now there can be no doubting that Ade has bags of talent, and his blistering form for the Blues in the first few months of his City career made him look a world beater. Right up until 'that celebration' and the outrage it caused to the visiting ladies from London that is.
After that, his form nosedived and never recovered. Virtually every Citizen sympathised with Adebayor when he tragically watched team mates die in the horrific attack on the Togo team bus and were entirely understanding that Ade might not be entirely focused on the job of scoring goals for us. Unfortunately for Adebayor, his malaise ran slightly deeper than we realised, and his inability (or unwillingness) to put in a shift in training led to our no-nonsense gaffer losing faith in him and as a result, Adebayor picked up more than a few splinters.
The impasse between manager and player came to a head when Adebayor apparently burst into Mancini's office with his medical reports to try and prove he wasn't a malingerer, something which will undoubtedly have endeared him to the manager - NOT. So for his one MoTM performance against European minnows, I salute him. But I really hope he does one this summer, don't care where to - his attitude and general laziness are no longer wanted.
16. Kolo Toure, 1 award
reviewed by Buzz Lightyear
(VMC Forum MoTM versus the rags H)
Kolo Habib Touré our Ivorian central defender. Has had a torrid year, firstly losing the Captaincy at the beginning of the season, but that was not the worst thing that was going to happen later on.
Kolo, the elder brother of City's Yaya remained in Roberto Mancini's plans as a first team regular partnering Vincent Kompany and was forming a good partnership with the young Belgian. He was sent off in City's 2-1 defeat to Everton on 20 December. This denied City the chance to top the Premier League table at Christmas. On the 15th January, Touré scored the first goal in a 4-3 win for City over Blackpool: 'Kolo Toure drifted away from his marker at a corner and hit a decent shot that the keeper saved with his foot only for the ball to come back off team-mate David Jones and bobble over the line.'
This saw City top the league table. On 3rd March it was revealed that Touré had failed a drug test and had been suspended. City confirmed he had been suspended 'pending the outcome of the legal process.'
The World Anti-Doping Agency gave Touré a 6 month suspension from football which is backdated from the 2 March, which coincided with the suspension by the club. Kolo admitted the offence saying that he had taken a slimming tablet of his wife's. He has been replaced by Lescott as the first team choice since his suspension, but I still think he is a quality player and will feature next season. Yaya was gutted that he could not play with his brother at Wembley and Kolo will have served his sentence sometime in September. His best game came against United at home.
15. Joleon Lescott 2 awards
reviewed by Adz The City Man
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Chelsea A, Bolton A)
He began the season as another of Hughes' transfer flops and looked set to be off by the end of this season. He struggled against opposition like Leicester City and Notts County and at one point was behind Dedryck Boyata in the pecking order for centre half.
How all that has changed now. The Kolo Toure drugs 'scandal' turned out to be a blessing in disguise - for him anyway. Not as comfortable in possession as Kolo but dominant in the air, he has built up a great relationship with Vinnie in the heart of defence. After getting a string of games in the first team he began to show why we spent around 22 million for him. Impressive performances against Manchester United in the FA Cup in the semi final as well as strong performances in the Premier League have resulted in him being thrust right back into the mix for the England squad.
Kolo will find it hard to force his way back into the squad come September as Lescott's commanding performances alongside Kompany seem to have produced a brilliant defensive partnership that could flourish even more next season. Joleon is a new addition to the 'Bought by Hughes, improved by Mancini' crew that includes the likes of Kompany, De Jong and Zabaleta and long may his end of season form continue.
14. Aleksander Kolarov 2 awards
reviewed by BlueBilly
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Fulham A, Villa A)
Youtube, the website responsible for bringing to light such talents as Bebe and Jo, had Manchester City fans very excited at the prospect of new left back Aleksandar Kolarov. Unfortunately however, Kolarov suffered an injury in his first appearance for the club which was to rule him out for several months.
Upon his much anticipated return to first team football, Kolarov both underwhelmed and angered many fans, with his continuation to shoot when better options were available. The fact that Manchester City have been so strongly linked with a host of left backs during this transfer window is perhaps evidence enough of Kolarov's poor performances and lack of pace last season. However, amidst the wild 40-yard, row-Z bound drives for goal has been the occasional gem, including a superb free kick in a 2-2 draw against Birmingham City.
In my opinion, Kolarov has shown enough to suggest that he may well be a success yet; he was solid and resilient in the semi-final of the FA Cup, the result of which escapes me. And on numerous occasions last season he delivered wicked crosses into dangerous areas which often our forward players failed to capitalise upon. He may lack pace but he certainly doesn't lack stamina and tenacity and in my opinion still has a future ahead of him at Manchester City.
13. Gareth Barry 2 awards
reviewed by Johnny Baguette
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Liverpool H, Newcastle A)
The quiet man of Mancini's midfield and for me, a huge disappointment more often than not. The most frustrating aspect is that he can dictate a game when he wants to. In some games he went about his business the comsumate professional yet in others he faded badly into anonymity when the going got tough.
By being caught on camera drunk at a toff student's party somewhere in Scotland he brought unwelcome publicity to the club before Mancini got a severe grip of his squad and Barry knuckled down. Not the box to box midfielder we thought we'd secured from Villa which has had many of us pineing for Michael Johnson but nonetheless a key experienced member of the City side. Will have to raise his game for the Champions League campaign in my opinion.
Part Two, From Milner To Dzeko follows shortly...Stay Tuned...
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