Date:Monday March 26 2007
The Middle of an international break is here, and the City camp is looking bare with only a handful of City Stars appearing and with Stuart Pearce thinking about his Under 21`s 3-3 draw with Italy. Those that remain might as well call training off this week.
12 players have been called up by their nations to represent them. I find this very impressive as only a couple of the starting 11 are proving their worth for City.
Some of our young and exciting prospects are playing for their countries this week. Michael Johnson, after a fine display against Middlesbrough in the league looks set to feature for England`s Under 19`s against Turkey on Wednesday. Also Daniel Sturridge represents England for the Under 18`s on Tuesday.
Micah Richards played a small part in England`s "toothless" display against Israel. Micah Richards is one of the best English defenders now and how Steve McClaren still finds Gary Neville to be his first choice right back surprises me. Joey Barton was not with England this time round, a decision for which I question Steve McClaren, however for once Barton will not have the chance to feature in the Headlines.
Away from the senior squad Joe Hart was picked for the Under 21`s against Italy. However he had to make do with bench warming as he watched them draw 3-3.
Elsewhere Emile Mpenza was due to represent his country but was forced to withdraw with a slight injury setback. The Greeks obviously see something in our uncut diamond as Georgios Samaras was selected for his country against Turkey and Malta.
Another of Stuart Pearce`s signings this season also represents his country. The under-par DeMarcus Beasley is called up into the USA's Squad for their Games with Ecuador and Guatemala this week.
City`s strength in depth in the goalkeeping department was apparent as a couple were involved with their countries this week. Andreas Isaksson makes a short journey to Belfast with Sweden to play Northern Ireland while Kasper Schmeichel who is on top-form for Falkirk, travels to France for the Danish Under 21`s fixtures.
Stephen Ireland helped Ireland on their way to Euro 2008 with the Republic of Ireland beating Wales 1-0. Richard Dunne was his ever excellent self, while little Stevie Ireland scored the winning goal after rounding the keeper. I hope they can produce the same type of performance for City.
I know by watching Ireland today that our City players can perform, why are we not seeing this on the pitch for our club? Do you think Samaras should have been picked for his country? How come Joey Barton was not picked for England? Is Richards better than Neville? Steve McClaren certainly thinks not, but then again when has an England manager ever had the nerve to drop the "star players".
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|Man City||1||-||0||Man Utd|
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|4. Man Utd||12||5||4||3||+4||19|
|6. West Ham||12||5||3||4||+4||18|
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