Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday January 18 2007
Both Joey Barton and Micah Richards have expressed their desire to remain Manchester City players for the foreseeable future.
After a week that saw the parasitic Willie McKay try to prostitute Barton around the Premiership (all for the player's benefit of course) it was a pleasure to see Barton dismiss all talk of a transfer and commit his immediate future to the blues.
It was this time last year that McKay advised Barton to hand in a transfer request, a move that saw his stock amongst supporters plummet.
Since then Barton has buckled down hard, earnt himself a new contract, looks set to win his first England cap next month and is in the running to be the club's player of the season.
It is quite a turnaround from where he found himself twelve months ago and I for one am overjoyed he has agreed to stay.
As for McKay, if press reports are to be believed Joey is set to dump him as his agent. Not a minute to soon is the response from this site.
In the wake of Barton's public display of commitment it was also a pleasure to hear Micah Richards commit to the club yesterday.
Regardless of what he has said, it must ultimately be unsettling for an 18 year old to take on board all that has happened to him in the last twelve months and then have to consistently fend off speculation linking him to Chelsea.
That Richard's has seen first hand what can happen to a young player lured by the Abramovich rouble shows an older head on his young shoulders.
That he has now publicly told Chelsea he is not interested shows a commitment to Manchester City that hopefully the board can repay with further investment in the team.
Barton and Richards are the future of Manchester City; now's the time for the board to repay the faith shown in the club and invest to give both of them a team to play in that may eventually win something.
Date:Thursday January 18 2007
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