Holidays & Internationals. Another 'No News Week'
Is it me or do we just hate International weeks when the only news seems to surround 'Where's Wally' in the shape of Carlos Tevez?
With England due to play Montenegro on Friday when it looks as though only Stefan Savice stands between them and the points they need to qualify for the tournament proper in Poland and Ukraine next summer, the major topical debate is as to why Capello simply doesn't just pick a Manchester and Stretford based eleven for the match. I think that Hart, Richards, Smalling, Lescott, Jones, Johnson, Barry,Milner, Rooney, Welbeck and Young would probably see the match off easily. Poor old Savic would have his hands full with that lot wouldn't he?
These truly become 'No News Weeks' don't they, when the day-to-day business of Club Football is shifted to one side leaving us all in limbo for two weeks. The interest generally is not there amongst the fans, until the match day arrives.
Tevez has now told City's HR department his version of the no-show story, no doubt cooked up by somebody with a financial interest in the player, but it does seem like the supporters have voted with a show of hands in favour of Roberto Mancini and the escalator that was directing Tevez down Rowsley Street is becoming jet-propelled. Banned for two weeks,how convenient that he should be spotted at CDG (not by JB)boarding a flight,not to another European destination but..you guessed it,Buenos Aires. Babe in arms and keeping schtum, I suspect that these shores might not see much more of Tevez, espcially if City can tag on a suspension of another six weeks after the two weeks ends. That should take us more or less to the transfer window and the farewells and adioses.
What Tevez thinks he is achieving I cannot imagine. A player renowned for his 100% plus performances who has lead City for two seasons under the guidance of Mancini to a place that was a distant dream two years ago, has slipped so far down thw ski slopes he has reached a stage where fans that adored him now want to see him released. How bad is that?
Yes there is the feeling that any combination of Aguero, Dzeko and Balotelli can replicate the lost goal tally and that Aguero in particular is not shy of the the work rate, but in many people's eyes now he will be remembered more for the endgame grief he has caused the Club rather than the many great and important goals he netted all over the place for City.
On the plus side news emanating from the Etihad suggests that Owen Hargreaves is very close to being fully fit and that 'behind closed doors' matches have helped him get there. It looks as though he may play some part against Aston Villa where he might come up against Stephen Ireland, one time City favourite, who hasn't quite done it anywhere since he was marched out.
It will be a real bonus for City if Hargreaves shows to be fit and will once again exert some pressure on the midfielders, all of which are putting in a shift at present so as not to be the victim of the next round of 'shuffle the pack'.
Elsewhere, Rodwell got off with his red card against Liverpool, whereas he got away with not getting two against City the week before, and the beleagured Arsene Wenger is not only facing the prospect of Van Persie not signing up for more seasons of no trophies but also the reported stories that goalkeeper Szczesny (if that's how you spell it) might be looking for the Underground Station.
I suspect that Arsenal might become the equivalent of 'Typical City' where they bring players up to EPL level and then they clear off leaving the Gooners no better off and the nearest they get to Wembley is their own Stadium. The prospect of winning the EPL is little more that a dream that is turning into a nightmare for them. There may well have to be leadership changes there. If as reported they do not carry out defensive training I suspect that Arsene needs a new coach in touch with current tactics and who can introduce some steel into a team that the Spansih would call 'Flojo'.
Their place in proceedings is of course being taken by the Blues, whose march to the top will be unprecented as Sheik Mansour takes his place at the pinnacle of football's Rich List. The future is Blue,the future is CITY!