Writer: Lorna Silva
Date:Thursday February 21 2013
VMC's Lorna delivers her weekly take on rumours in circulation swirling around The Etihad Stadium and beyond...
It was well documented that Roberto Mancini was spotted at his old club Sampdoria watching them take on Roma following the humiliating defeat City suffered at the hands of Southampton. Was this because he just fancied watching one of his old clubs during 'wind down' time to gather his thoughts, was he planning his English exit or was he scouting for new players? Mauro Icardi, is possibly the one he was checking out. Icardi, on loan from Barcelona, a 19 year old forward, is an impressive young player.
The conspiracy theorists will point out that Roma Manager, Aurelio Andreazzoli, is not going to be a permanent fixture. Some have said it is quite possible that Mancini is not cut out for the long term pressures of the Premier League, despite continued success. As we all know, it is a whole new world from Serie A, plus he knows there is next to no possibility of City winning the league after dropping too many points in their last few matches. This leads me to think that there is the possibility of His Highness Sheikh Mansour airing his disappointment and suggesting Mancini find alternative employment.
Italy is close to Mancini's heart which is blatantly obvious and if returning back to Sampdoria or elsewhere is his chosen route out, well, I would reluctantly wish him farewell. He would always have a place in our blue hearts for being the manager that guided us to our first title win in 44 years.
If City do fail to obtain any silverware this season and Mancini gets his marching orders there is that tempting offer of Roma for him to consider who are allegedly prepared to offer £4.5m-a-year in an effort to bring him back to Serie A. Mancio told BBC Sport:: 'I won one Premier League, one FA Cup, one Community Shield. There is not another manager that's won like me in the last 15 months. I can do nothing, but it is the reality.'
I personally would not like to see Mancio or David Platt his Sampdoria pal go. What I would like to see is them take us back to the top again next season and keep the Rags contained and beneath us (where they belong) and the same goes for any other team that fancies their chances of getting to the top. I want him and the Blues to be like the wolf who worries the sheep...always having to look over your shoulder to see where they are and what they are up to.
City will learn from Southampton, basically because they have no choice, and hopefully they will ride to success on the back of that shock defeat and gain further inspiration as was shown against Leeds, in doing so try and get back the spirit they had last season. Let's hope the cup win has fuelled City enough to pull out all the stops against Chelsea. Chelsea are coming up on the rails and if they win on Sunday they will be one point behind us. This is something we can well do without. We may possibly have lost the league but I am dammed if we are going to finish third.
City warrior Pablo Zabaleta stated 'We need to stand together, battle and show what we are really capable of. We will aim and get back to winning ways...and that is our immediate focus now.' if anyone can spur City on to success it will be Zaba more than anybody else in the squad.
Moving on to that squad, Kolo Touré has confirmed he is going to leave City in the summer but not without fighting for us to at least come away with the FA Cup this season. He performed brilliantly against Leeds but is resigned to going in June when his contract expires. His determination and grit sets a fine example for committed City players, players who play from the heart. Kolo's way of thinking is simple logic really: 'If we play hard, we hopefully win, if we win, Mancini gets to keep his job.'
According to other reports, Edin Dzeko is moving ever closer to Dortmund and the Bundesliga side of football again. That would be a sad loss. City purchased Edin from Wolfsburg for £27 million In January 2011 and he has saved our bacon more than a few times. Dortmund are allegedly prepared to offer £20 million...so watch this space.
Looking further at our forwards, who in the news this week could be leaving and coming in? With Mario Balotelli gone, we can certainly expect Mancini to purchase, re-group and strengthen up front.
Carlos Tévez will most likely go and according to the French media Samir Nasri could go with him as part of a double deal to Monaco.
Mario Gomez, Bayern Munich's 27 year old international is widely touted for Manchester. The hacks are putting two and two together with Pep Guardiola going there as manager and of course Guardiola having links with our very own Txiki Begiristain are suggesting there is a very good chance we will get him. If the Robert Lewandowski move comes off and he joins Bayern from Dortmund then Gomez's departure is very likely.
As Gomez fares this season, he is not what you would say on top form (only netting 3 goals this season) but Europe knows what he is capable of. An excellent finisher, set piece threat and adept at keeping hold of the ball. We've lacked that up front at times this season.
Napoli's Edinson Cavani is again never far away from our thoughts and sights and in the media he just will not go away, despite a recent dip in form. His people are aware of our intentions and we are also aware of the intentions of Real Madrid and PSG. So I say come on City get that wallet out again and purchase. One or two record breaking signings will keep us well within the FFP rules and regulations, I'm sure of it.
Final word this week for Jack Rodwell. He put in a cracking cameo performance against Leeds and almost got his first goal for City. Maybe if he had aimed his header just a little lower he would have made it...better luck next time Jack. Some fans may have slated him but my response in The Etihad remains give him time. How can you judge someone who you have not really seen in action. He had hiccups in the first couple of matches and since then he has gone away to improve his fitness and overall playing ability. I say let him have a go and have a little faith. He will come good. Javi Garcia.
all times East Manchester
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 17h30 Barnsley, The Etihad, FACQF
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL
Mo 08Apr 20h00 The Rags, The Swamp, PL
Mo 15 Apr 20h00 West Brom, The Etihad, PL
Su 21 Apr 13h30 Spurs, White Hart Lane, PL
Sa 27 Apr 12h45 West Ham United, The Etihad, PL
Sa 04 May 15h00 Swansea, The Liberty Stadium, PL
Su 12 May 15h00 Reading, The Madejski Stadium, PL
Su 19 May 16h00 Norwich City, The Etihad, PL
City vs Wigan To Be Rearranged
Date:Thursday February 21 2013
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