Writer: Tranmere Loyal
Date:Friday July 15 2011
Another week passes by in the new season build period and once again City appears to be linked with another player from the Ashburton (lack of) Production Line.
Samir Nasri was a half-season wonder last term and quite rightly ended up empty handed as he and his colleagues surrendered their season in the last minute of the Carling Cup Final, before going on to scrape into next season's Champions League play-offs.
Two years ago we took Adebayor off their hands. He played excellently for three weeks then hit the buffers with his infamous goal and stamp against his former employers and then went through a series of reasons not to play. On the occasions he was selected or got on as a replacement under Mancini he was frankly rubbish and deservedly heads for the exit chute. A good period with Real Madrid will not save a footballer who has a limited appetite for work at a Club in a hurry.
Around the same time we also took Kolo Toure a very humble down-to-earth guy , who played reasonably well for City despite creating havoc, sometimes, in his own penalty area. It was widely thought that he was beyond his best and as in his own eyes he struggled with his weight, took one of his wife's slimming pills, rendering himself unavailable for the balance of last season and until 1 September.
So what of Nasri? A reasonably good footballer typical of the type that Arsene Wenger likes and who plays in that pass-and-move way that enchants the Gooners supporters. But is he a winner?
The last two years have seen Mancini start to turn City into winners. Gone is the 'typical City' mantle and onwards and upwards is the way forward.
I have been critical of Milner and Barry. The former needs to grasp more than a nettle when he gets his chances and the latter goes about his work in a quiet manner but is prone to periods of wayward passing. Nasri could actually be both of them rolled into one - he has some energy and is content in the pass-and-move environment in a similar fashion to David Silva. He is also likely to pop up with a few goals which cannot be said of Milner. Barry and Silva get a few between them.
Clearly with City involved and Ferguson seemingly backing himself out of the race, if there was one, the price has started to escalate and I wouldn't like to see City pay too much for him if we must buy him.
I only see him as a threat to Milner and Barry and a complement to Silva. He has Champions League experience, most of it not good, but his medal collection is not extensive. I suppose we'll have to see what happens when both teams get back from their overseas assignments.
Mr Wenger himself is showing eyes of green at City's new sponsorship arrangements. Why does he have to stick his oar in? We are told that Arsenal can buy whoever they like but can't find what they want, so why does he have to get involved in Manchester City?
Etihad have seen the changes at Manchester City and also foresee something even bigger on the horizon. They have decided that this runs hand-in-hand with their own aspirations and want to be involved. They have put their money where their mouth is. End of story Arsene. If your Club sold out to Emirates too cheaply then that is not Manchester City's fault.
Finally the last tangible connection with Arsenal shows Patrick Vieira given an new role in the Club as a Development Executive in terms of younger players. This is a master stroke by the Club. Since he joined City, Vieira has been a model professional. He has delivered when called upon to play, steadied the ship in the nervous nineties, and has been a total ambassador in guiding the younger players along the hard line.
Our best wishes go with him as he moves into his new job and I'm sure we will see some product out of it. He is (was) a winner. This is what he will impart to the young hopefuls.
Don't forget the Under 19s start their Next Generation assignment against Barcelona at Hyde FC (Ewen Fields) on 15 September 2011 at 1900 hrs. Get yourselves there!
Date:Friday July 15 2011
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