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A star is born?

Manchester City`s academy tree has grown its fair share of fruits since its incarnation in 1999. The likes of Shaun Wright Phillips and Joey Barton have both become England internationals and made the club around £30 million in the transfer market. Current first team stars Stephan Ireland, Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha are picking up International caps left right and center. And last season they were joined by midfield maestro Michael Johnson in the City first team. But who`s next??

Tonight against Swedish second division side Ogryte, Shaleum Logan became the latest academy member to be given a run out in the City first team on the right of midfield, a position that the attacking fullback doesn`t often play these days. Manager Sven Goran Eriksson has praised Logan in the press this week, which is always a good sign for a young player, and the Swede rewarded the youngster with his first start in the City first team.

I`ve seen a fair bit of Logan over the last few years and his development towards the end of last season was tenfold. He went from promising youth to consistent reserve team performer, which is certain to get you noticed by the coaching staff. It`s a shame he broke his leg as it stunted his growth as a player a little. He reminds me of a young Ashley Cole and is 2 footed which is a valuable commodity in this day and age.

A breakthrough this season into a first team regular seems unlikely as Sven will bolster the squad with another 8 or 9 players before the window shuts and likely more in January, but if Logan can keep himself in the frame with travelling squads to away matches and get himself in and around the first team squad regularly, he may just survive here.

With the high quality of players likely to arrive under Sven, it`s up to the academy lads to step up.

Against Ogryte, Logan looked as much a member of the first team as anyone else out there and more so then plenty who have been considered regulars in the past. He was played out of position and still made an impact. That shows the desire of the kid.

What he has in his locker that will help him is the ability to adapt. He can play in both full back positions at a high level and can also operate in both wide midfield positions well. Managers like players of this ilk. It`s how Micah got himself in the side at an early age. Adaptability. The same may ring true for Logan. Time will tell but he's a talent worth developing.

Young players often get their chances due to injury to first team regulars. Should Ball or Micah pick up injuries, Logan may well have his moment. That`s when we will see what he's made of.

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The journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 19 2007

Time: 12:00AM

Your Comments

No matter how much money is injected, look after the young 'uns and they will in turn look after MCFC.
Aston Smithy
Top article Graham. Spot on. Jim Cassell and his team have effectivelky saved our club from freefall. I am hoping Sven will follow up his positive comments on our Academy by continuing to blood the youngsters and if Logan is anything to go by he is being true to his word. Anyway, 7 goals in two games. Don't remember that in pre-season for a while, doesn't matter who it's against!!
Johnny Baguette
I think Sven will give all the youngsters a fair chance....don't forget the Walcott episode...
Good point Alphie. Ideal scenario is a sprinkling of home grown lads mixed in with some top quality. I don't think that is too far fetched an ambition tbh
Aston Smithy
I think SP started good work there, Keegan was reluctant in giving the youngsters a chance and that they wuld never get into the first team. SP on the other hand gave them the belief that they could, and would stay if they showed they were good enough. I am not sure that Svennis would simply throw a youngster in the deep end without first being sure he could make it. The team he is assembling can recognise talent, I think SP just hoped.
Buzz Lightyear
Just a couple of things, one on the rumour of the YAK, he is not worth 12 mill and I hope that SGE doesnt pay it, for that kind of money I would want a guarantee of goals, but the press have been wide of the mark so far and maybe once again. I do hope we get a central defender left sided, Dunney as good as he is maybe at a loss if tried on the left, they put him there when he plays for Ireland and he does not look as comfotable as he does on the right.
Buzz Lightyear
I don't think there is anything wrong with a back four of Richards, Ounuaha, Dunne and Ball with cover from Jihal, Mills and Logan. Priority is for another couple of midfielders and a striker.
Alphieblues, I agree they are good players, i would just prefer just to have a left sided central defender and if we do not get one, I think Richards should take the place of Distin, not Dunney. Danny Mills not played premier football for a season (SP threw his teddy away there, could not even sell him) Logan not tried against class teams of the premier and Sun Jihai, not sure what his best position is, even after all these years. Matthew Mills does not appear to have lived up to his potential. I think Svennis will get more out of his players and maybe we will see the players perform to a higher level than before, especially if there is more competition for places. CTID.
Buzz Lightyear
You lot are living in cloud cuckoo land.Your going to have another long hard struggle on your hands because simply you are C.R.A.P.
Sweetleftfoot, if we are CRAP why are you bothering with us then. If you have nothing nice to say, it is polite to say nothing and GFY. I am sure you can work that one out.
Buzz Lightyear
Another brilliant and withering analysis from thick in th'arm and thick in th'ed.
Craig Cain
I like to read the cr@p you lot put,it amuses me.To listen to you lot you would think this was Vital Real Madrid.Your a two bit club with a two bit manager.I can't wait till it starts to go tits up and see your reaction.
And as for your poll on what the team should come out too,try "Where on the road to nowhere"
You should have stayed at school for your fifth year instead of bumming around Bradford - its not "where on the road", but "we're on the road" Now feck off sonny - this an adult forum.
Craig Cain
I think I got my point across blue nose,even if my spelling is cr@p.
I think we all got your point sweaty left foot, you can't spell and you don't like competition and couldn't recognise talent if it punched your lights out, but we are amused at your attempt to be acting grown up.
Buzz Lightyear
Oh dear !! we must be really getting the Rags WORRIED !!!
SLF..."your" and "you're" are not the same thing. If you are going to slag this forum at least pull the hoody off your face before trying to type.
Good win in sweden, even against weaker teams you still need to show the boss what you have to offer. Its a confidence builder and the players themselves look more happier than they did last season. Sorry about Joey Bartons broken foot, i hope it doesn't affect his game. I really want him fit and well when they play us.
Buzz Lightyear
sweetleftfoot all i can say to u is get a life seriously ur a sham, anyway back to man city it was a great win in sweden buzz good to c that the team it coming on nicely about time aswell we will all just have to c how we get on in the premiership but i wud say we will have a good season
dunne deal
DD nowhere near a finished for this season, still waiting for cover in defense and a playmaker (is the brazilian a playmaker?) rumours this am about castillio from Mexico striker, would still like a wide left and right, time is now running out, heart beating a little faster.
Buzz Lightyear
No need to worry just yet there is still more than five weeks until the transfer window closes....Rome wasn't built in a day !!!.....
I know alphieblues, but the previous regime leaked like a sieve, this one is so secret, you dont know who they are after until he has virtually signed.
Buzz Lightyear
correct alphie, and a competitive and combative unit wasn't built in one pre-season either. lets just get the balance and direction right.
Craig Cain
u best belive it we still need alot of more signing to do BL and time is running out pretty quick alright
dunne deal
Craig and Alphie, I am not expecting miracles this season, but we all know where we need to strengthen (except SP) It is just that the rumours are all about strikers and central midfielders. I would be reluctant to put Logan in at left back having only seen him in the youth and reserve and a game in Sweden, I think Sven feels the same way. Rumours about Thai players bring their own problems such as language difficuties, although we couls get Frankie to translate what Svennis is saying to them.
Buzz Lightyear
On the Thai situation - interference would be intolerable. Club ownership doesn't imply a degree of influence in football matters. I know this is common on the continent and elsewhere but its not the way we do things. Imagine a Stein or a Clough having players imposed or 'suggested' by a chairman. A more contemporary example is Hearts - Romanov's constant involvement in playing matters has undermined the club and caused senior players to go public and resulted in a revolving door for managers. No thanks - let the manager manage!
Craig Cain
Craig, I suspect this is more of a commercial/political venture than a footballing one, a trial seems more fair in these circumstances, but the returns in shirt sales and other commercial items, may bring greater rewards, there must be at least one decent player in Thailand, these may be the top three. I agree with you about interference and I am sure SGE would not tolerate it, Frank wants a top team he must leave team matters well alone.
Buzz Lightyear
Nothing wrong with taking the pick of a Country's top players.
why have you still got a photo of stuart pearce in your banner? where's sven the merciless?
Alphie: There is when its not the manager's call. The club has now got to dedicate time and resources at a critical part of pre-season to trialling three guys that the chairman has invited for political or commercial reasons. This should remain the firm prerogative of the manager and his coaching staff.
Craig Cain
I am sure that taking anyone on for a trial no matter where they come from will not detract from the Managers focus on the season ahead
The coaching staff will have to deal with them in a professional manner which will mean that they must lay on sessions, fitness and playing assessments on top of their current workload.
Craig Cain
Surely we are doing that with all the players and with such a small squad another two or three is going to make any difference.
Its a time-critical part of the season, I don't believe our resources can be allocated in such a random manner - if the manager or coaching staff had invited and planned their assessment thats a different matter. Interference from the board in playing matters is a dangerous and ill-advised situation. I saw some lawyer the other day trotting out transfer targets on TV - seemed completely arbitrary, looked foolish.
Craig Cain
come on sven we serioulsy need to be signing a left defender wats the story on signing one cos time is startin to run out honestly i think we still dnt have a gud enough team this year to finish for a top 10 position. if u look at the players other teams have signed
dunne deal
With a name like that he's destined for HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 surely?

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