Writer: Lorna Silva
Date:Friday July 4 2014
VMC's Lorna takes midsummer stock ahead of the squad's return to pre-season training...
This time last summer, the transfer window saw the likes of Jovetic, Negredo and Navas join the blue ranks. There were no dramas or sagas (like back in the day with Roberto Mancini versus Brian Marwood...I still cringe at that memory). Manuel Pellegrini identified who he wanted, the signings were secured and before you knew it we were champions again.
Now the upcoming season is nearly upon us and straightaway my thoughts turn to defending our title and not letting it slip from our grasp so easily as we did last time. The only blip I have seen on the target signings horizon thus far is that allegedly FC Porto's Mangala has hinted at preferring to go to Chelsea. We also have little snippets of gossip popping up every now and again regarding our Number 7 - why would Milner say he was unhappy??? Beats me. He does a grand job and is highly rated and fondly thought of by the faithful. This will obviously be a matter of concern for The Engineer but I feel sure he will sort it and put our minds at ease.
Then of course we have THE Toure saga, which I have to say infuriates me to the point of wanting him blasted out of the Etihad doors, given my Mega Rider bus pass and told to 'jog on'. So petulant and childish in it's title winning timing, his very public actions are beyond belief. Contracted by France Football magazine to write a weekly column throughout the World Cup, he's moaning in all directions. He has had heaps of praise put on him this year, been adored and was talismanic all through last season.
The furore has obviously challenged the settled 'holistic' persona of the club but I am sure Mr. Pellegrini and his crew will deal with it in the mature way he deals with everything. Of course, YaYa's agent, Mr. Seluk doesn't help with his regular tirades on Twitter, Facebook the media and the like. The bit that really gets my goat is the 'lack of respect' that City are alleged to have shown him regarding the tragic loss of his younger brother. Oh YaYa please shut up. What would, could and should have been a time of basking in glory for all the fantastic goals you achieved last season has gone. Put brain in gear before opening your mouth comes to mind.
I hear some Blues saying this will blow over but will it and even if it does he will never have the respect he had before. To lose YaYa would obviously be hard as he is a fine footballer but when your ego gets bigger than the club then it is time to think about leaving. If a person is so genuinely unhappy with the club he plays for surely he wouldn't sign a hefty contract that has at least 3 years remaining on it. The rot must have started to set in further down the line rather than just popping up around his 31st birthday. This latest performance is something you would have expected when Roberto was at the helm along with the Tevez and Balotelli dramas.
So looking towards the new season; the way our guys played throughout the last campaign surpassed expectations (even their own) and are enough to fill me with confidence for the battle to maintain our mantle of champions. I cannot think of one player who did not give their all last season under Pellegrini, he is a diamond. For someone to bring the best out of a player like Garcia has got to be worth his weight in gold. Let's face it, who would have missed Garcia if he had exited last summer and even Dzeko shipped some stick until Pellegrini took over and engineered everything into running smoothly. Joe Hart also came in for criticism but as he is loved and is a nation's favourite he was rescued and rested and came back a million times better than ever. These transformations don't happen over night, they take time to mature like a fine wine and that is what is happening with our boys. And don't forget Demichelis, he grew into a player that I am so glad we have persevered with.
City Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has promised swift and efficient action in the summer transfer market and there will be none of the post title winning slights we suffered before the 2012/2013 season. The arrivals of Sagna, Fernando and Zuculini are already testament to that fact.
One last thing I feel compelled to say is Manuel, please keep plenty of birthday cakes on standby...
Date:Friday July 4 2014
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