Home Growns Showing Up Well on Tour
Those of you who watched the match against Vancouver Whitecaps cannot help to have been impressed at the way the team looks to be playing and perhaps as importantly the impact that the junior players are having on the matches so far.
This is a magnificent pointer for Mancini as he has started to see more fruit from his toiling as players once headed to for the exit chute in the form of Wright-Phillips, Weiss and Guidetti have taken on the challenge.
Weiss seems to be playing like a man possessed who has tasted a bit of it with Rangers and now really wants it at City and Boyata is once again showing comfort both at right back and in the centres.
Wright-Phillips seems to have been on other teams' wanted lists for a while but nothing has materialised. Here we have an international quality player with limitations that were recognised by Mancini and all but placed on the back burner, never to be brought forward. In similar vein to Micah Richards, there now seems to be some effort on Shaun's part to try to 'be part of it' and Roberto's part to give him some opportunities. So far on the tour he looks to be taking them with two tasty goals and even now crossing to the far post (although Balotelli had run to the near post).
If Shaun can lift the parts of his game other managers couldn't reach there is still some football for him to play at the Etihad Stadium.
Regular readers of my articles will know that I have long been a fan of John Guidetti and called on a number of occasions last season for him to be given a chance, perhaps to impact in lost cause matches.
Reluctant to sign a new contract which may sentence him to more life in the EDS, Guidetti has clearly laid down a statement of intent here and shown us what he can do. He already looks more powerful than ever before, leaner and fitter and knows the route to goal. Similar in build to Arsenal's Bendtner and for me nuch more accomplished, I can see Guidetti getting match time this season and he will learn quickly from the array of exceptional forward around him.
This season so far he looks better than ever and demonstrated a determination to get on the score sheet against Vancouver, scoring a goal from the EDS textbook, heading in Mancini junior's corner kick.
Vladimir Weiss also looked destined to fulfil his football dreams elsewhere but his activities against the Whitecaps had the American or Canadian commentators drooling '...and he's been on loan to Rangers. He can't get into this team'. What he did show early on Tuesday morning was that it is time for Adam Johnson to move to the next level..quickly. Gone is the lightweight upstart borrowed by Bolton and Rangers and returned is more robust looking player with speed and vision and who for me has moved to his next level. He can make an impact and he can push Johnson for a place in the team. Also with the size he is now he can also cover his full back and provide some solidity playing in front of either Clichy or Kolarov.
Moving on to Boyata, I was always disappointed with the way he seemed to have got 'dumped' following his unfortunate red card against the Ashburton Bottling Factory. He had previously put in excellent displays against Chelsea and Stretford's finest and his treatment after the Arsenal match clearly hit his confidence. He worked his way back into the squad towards the end of last season and has begun to look a tidy defender again.
Ryan McGivern is a name that seems to have been around for a while. It is good to see Ryan getting a look-in. He seems capable of playing in a number of positions, similar in many ways to Kompany. He can play in the centres, left back, left midfield or alongside de Jong holding. Like Weiss, he too looks more robust this year and could force himself a squad number. He also got on the scoresheet against Club America.
Yes we can say that the teams against which we have played are probably not even Championship standard in terms of English football, but they are mid-season and match fit, so it is a test to play against them and so far City in the early stages of their pre-season are looking comfortable.
With the high-profile signings and potential exits hitting the headlines daily a lot of the good background work has flown under the Baguette radar. We have seen other Clubs benefit from the loan system, some just outside Manchester and now we are seeing the fruits of this from the towers of the Etihad Stadium.
Viewing the renaissance of the foundation of our football club is once again a joy to behold and shows once again that if you get them young enough, you won't have to pay the fortunes later. We are witnessing another chapter in 'the project'. It started with winning a trophy, moved on to gaining a place in the Champions League. We now need to build from below and make our future sustainable and that is where we are right now.
The people running this exceptional football club needed to hit the ground sprinting. They have done that and delivered what they promised. Now the fabric of the Club is being fully restored and once again I feel we will look forward to a conveyor belt of talent that is not then sold on to other teams so you can look for them as goalscorers in the Sunday papers.
The more I see, the more I can't believe how far this project has come in such a short time. And the amazing thing is..there's more in the pipeline.