Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday July 6 2007
Sven-Goran Eriksson has got a job on. Wednesday's quasi-tragic images of what is left of City's disjointed senior squad at Carrington set alarm bells off all over the Blue World, nevermind the watching SGE.
So here we are in July 2007 and whether any Blue likes it or not, Doctor Thaksin Shinawatra is all set to be Manchester City FC's new owner and Sven-Goran Eriksson our new manager. Our latest poll told us that 75% of our Vital visitors sense that Frank could be the man to end the 30-ish years.
It's been an agonising, divisive and soul searching summer so far for us all and I know it will be a relief getting back to talking football, although we know that much of the baggage that our club's takeover brings with it is sure to follow us long into the new season. Results and performances are the two factors that will see the storm clouds lifted, if not pushed aside for a time. Developments in other countries, financial or political will be of no concern when the first whistle blows at Upton Park next month and the first tackle goes in.
So, valid, honest questions and the why's and wherefores about the sale of our club pushed to the back of the agenda for now, as modsters Secret Affair once belted out on Top of The Pops: 'This is the time for action.'
Our senior squad is effectively down to it's bare bones and there can't be many football managers that would take on a situation like the one our squad finds itself in only a month before a new season starts. What a challenge for the vastly experienced Eriksson and his team.
It doesn't matter what you spend or who you bring in to begin to rectify the gaping holes in the team. Building a team spirit and a collective understanding between the new and existing players will take time. This is why we must not expect too much too soon.
A degree of continuity is key and I am delighted that our Blue blooded leader Richard Dunne will remain our captain. There is no doubt he could have moved on this summer for more money as his brilliant performances for City attracted other clubs, but he has chosen to stay and that is one of the biggest boosts we have received during the recent upheaval.
We also have willing, experienced players such as Isaksson, Mpenza, Vassell, Sun and Ball ready to support Dunne as he blends with the new signings.
Richards, Johnson, Onouha, Ireland, Sturridge, Evans and Miller are all MCFC Academy graduates who I have no doubt will impress SGE with their exciting potential. These lads must be played and heavily involved in the development of the new City team. They know what being a Blue is all about and what it means to be a part of Manchester City. They became our team's heartbeat as many senior mercenaries brought in by Stuart Pearce and the City board let us all down so badly. (Taxi's at the ready where that lot are concerned)
It's going to be fascinating to see how the players that remain react to new tactics and a new coaching approach from an experienced management team. How they cope without being screamed at over every touch of the ball when out on the park will be one of the first challenges they have to contend with!
If the last two months have been unprecedented in our history, then the next one could be potentially seismic.
Date:Friday July 6 2007
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