Who's In Who's Out
As the closure of the transfer window looms, once again almost half a team is being linked with City as the media world tries to guess who is on Mancini's wish list now that Hazard, Van Persie and Martinez have either moved or are about to move to pastures non-Etihad.
Maicon looks to be a front-runner, Garcia is also said to be on the fast-track,Walcott has been naturally linked and even Rooney has been mentioned.
Santa Cruz is at last supposed to being the Jet2 to Malaga, Inter are closing in on de Jong and Sinclair has stalled.
Fun isn't it?
Maicon has been a long term target for City's short term manager and with the 3-5-2 system at the forefront of his memory I can see why, especially with Richards unavailable for a while. It is however presumptious to assume that Richards would be an automatic selection unless it is at wing-back. For me in this system Zabaleta hardly puts a foot wrong and is the best tackler and marker in that system. Maicon however is on the roster to do what Johnson and to an extent Milner fail to do. Richards is probably untried in the 3-5-2 as a wing back. Mancini is clearly impatient and not prepared to run with a system that delivered the title last season while he waits for Richards to become available.
I for one do not want to see Walcott sign for City. It maybe for this reason that talks with Sinclair have stalled but Walcott has been likened to a runner in a football shirt and that just about sums him up. An impact player at best who doesn't score much. He won't cover back and won't offer much more than Johnson, who we forget scored some important goals for City. Walcott scores you the fifth goal in a 5-0 win with two minutes to go.
It looks as though Garcia might be the closest Mancini will get to a marquee signing, but it just may be that de Rossi will be rekindled at the last minute. Everything seems to have gone quiet on that front.
With the 'Bokerones' from the Costa del Sol having now qualified for the group stages of the Champions League maybe RSC can find some sort of spiritual home. La Liga should suit his style of play and with Cazorla with the London Elite Development Squad, Malaga have the opportunity to sign Santa Cruz although I suspect the sixteen year old Fabrice, who ran his socks off last night against Panathinaikos, is a better and more sustainable option. However it would be good to shift him off the books.
De Jong looks to have set his bridge alight for some reason and I wonder if I cannot scent a certain agent here. You know the sort who unsettles a player but then discovers his charge is not unsettled after all especially when the title looks imminent. I think there is still a place for Nigel in the scheme of things but not often as a starter. He will become the doorman for the last fifteen after the early midfielders have passed and run hard and laid the foundation for victory.
And as for Rooney, seemingly once again at loggerheads with the Red-nosed Knight, who can afford him? Who wants to afford him? Does City need him? No sir. He is not better than any of City's four forwards and when you look at what we have in the Manchester based EDS in the shape of Guidetti and Hiwela, he would only be an expensive short term fix for something that isn't broken. Keep your money in your pocket boys!!
Did Mancini really put out a team that would struggle to deliberately show that although City have sixty players they have no strength in depth? To show that if Silva is offline we need a replacement? Without Aguero we might struggle to score? Enter Tevez, enter Yaya, two players who nearly always deliver when the lines are down or a goal is needed.
I can't wait to see what Friday brings and like a muppet I no doubt will be sitting up watching it all unfold!
all times East Manchester
Sa 01 Sep 17h30 QPR, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15 Sep 15h00 Stoke, The Britannia Stadium, PL
Su 23 Sep 16h00 Arsenal, The Etihad, PL
Sa 29 Sep 15h00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL
The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take TODAY 30th August in Monaco @ 16h45 BST. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.