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Youthful City Second On Merit

Another hard working performance, this time against a good Aston Villa side in atrocious playing conditions means City deserve to be highly placed in the Premier League....

The turnaround in our clubs fortunes has been immense since Frank Shinawatra brought Sven Goran Eriksson and Hans Backe to town. Svennis bought shrewdly and wisely, not wrecklessly and against a tight timescale which deserves credit. He focused on young and hungry international players to complement City's impressive Academy backbone and it is those youth players that are flourishing under The Iceman and his backroom team's guidance alongside their new colleagues.

Captain Richard's career trajectory keeps on heading upwards like a heat seeking missile and Schmeichel, Johnson, Onouha, Hart and Ireland are improving with every game they play. Hamman, Mpenza and Dunne of the existing senior players have been outstanding. With greater understanding and communication this team's performances could, and should get better.

The positives by far outweigh the negatives right now with much room for optimism and we can look back on a start to the season that has defied all our expectations.

Okay, we continue to ride our luck naiively at times and are not scoring enough for my liking. Only Derby, Bolton and er, the rags have scored less than us...

Looking ahead to the next fixture is an unusual feeling I could get used to!

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 16 2007

Time: 7:04PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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The main reason for our success is our very impressive defensive record which is the best in the Premiership. I can see us doing a Chelski and grinding out many one nils which should see us with a top six finish.
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16/09/2007 21:47:00

But we have a problem in the attack, four of the five goals were from the midfielders players.
city 81
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16/09/2007 22:15:00

The system we play with one striker up front means that more goals will come from midfield and as long as we keep clean sheets we will win more than we lose.
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16/09/2007 23:53:00

Be interesting to see if SGE brings in Isaksson for the trip to Fulham. I think the time is right. Be a good time to say to Schmeicel "You've worked hard son, done a job, now back to learning your trade." The clean sheets the lad has would then give him confidence for the future. I wouldn't like to see him exposed by ruthless finishers.
Johnny Baguette
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17/09/2007 06:47:00

I agree JB, I think Kasper has generally done a good job but he has a tendency to flap at one or two crosses in each game and more ruthless finishers will find him out. My preference would be to give Joe Hart a chance as I think he has more presence and commands the area better.
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17/09/2007 11:04:00

Im a Villa fan thought there was very little between us yesterday,but yous were miles better than us up front.We still have a bit of work to do in the transfer market in that area.Richards has been outstanding this season and Elano and Johnson was class for you guys good luck with the rest of the season.
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17/09/2007 11:45:00

Thanks Pking, thought your two wide players played well, garrido was struggling a lot of the time and Richards had to help out. Agree with you JB Kasper should be proud of his performances, Imho, I think Joe Hart is the better keeper of the two, jury still out on Isaksson. Three cracking goals at COMS and probaly Johnson's just edges it for now. Thought Bianchi when he came on added a bit of zest. For my Man of the match, Corluka fabulous. We tended in the last third to play the wrong ball, but this is to be expected with not quite being there just yet. I cannot say we played well, what we are doing is playing as a team and getting a result the fans are now creating an atmosphere, just think what we can do when we start to gel properly. Top ten , top six, wait til christmas. Most improved player so far Johnson. He just seems to improve game by game.
Buzz Lightyear
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17/09/2007 12:31:00

Agreed all round. Svennis's signings are all contributing to the cause save for the unfortunate Bojinov, Gelson who has yet to fully appear and Garrido who is still off the pace IMHO. What a platform we have to build on with the team still not fully gelled as a unit!
Johnny Baguette
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17/09/2007 13:16:00

Not a bad idea to withdraw Kasper - perhaps roll him out in the cup games. Johnson an absolute revelation - comparisons with Colin Bell are unfair to the lad - but they aint too wide of the mark.
Craig Cain
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17/09/2007 13:51:00

Spot on CC. Johnson is getting better and better. Surreal times these. If we can get a result at Fulham in this Untypical City style, we could be going into a run of FOUR home games with nothing at all to fear. Who knows, or DARES to dream......??!!
Johnny Baguette
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17/09/2007 14:18:00

if we look at thing three of are best players r three players we didnt spend money on this season richard dunne, micah richards and johnson. y isnt he playin Bianchi from the start thats one thing i wana no. He played brillant when he came on against villa
dunne deal
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17/09/2007 18:49:00

To think we are achieving results without using Isaksson Dunne, Ireland, Bianchi, Geovanni and Bojinov what a nice headache for Sven when they are all available.
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17/09/2007 19:22:00

Positive stuff, Blues. Could be SGE is keeping Bianchi psyched up for a run in the team, keeping his hungry. Have to say Mpenza deserves some goals for his workrate, too. Real shame about Bojinov alph. So far so good (as ever) but a team with great potential is being built.
Johnny Baguette
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17/09/2007 19:47:00

DD, I am not sure Svennis has found his best team yet. The reason he does not play Biamchi from the start is that Mpenza holds up the ball better than all the strikers, this allows the midfield to run into good positions. He is missing that right winger, he has tried several players in that postion. If you look at his midfield Petrov, Elano, Johnson Hamann and Ireland. Whilst Stevie could play right, Johnson and Elano play centre with Hamann sitting in fron tof defense to cover. That leaves no room for two strikers. If he plays Mpenza and Bianchi, who drops out and who plays down the right. It is a puzzle. Add to that Geovanni and we have a bigger headache.
Buzz Lightyear
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18/09/2007 08:55:00

Take your point Buzz - but 9M is an awful lot for a striker who can't lead the line?
Craig Cain
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18/09/2007 09:46:00

You have had a great start to the season wetha you can keep it going over a whole season I'm not sure off but you will have a much better year than last without a doubt.
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18/09/2007 14:29:00

Cheers Dicksy! The two defeats at Arsenal and Blackburn certainly got our feet back on the ground but beating an in form Villa means we have a great platform to build on.
Johnny Baguette
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18/09/2007 14:46:00

I am sure Sven knows what he is doing with Bianchi, he played against Blackburn without success, so reverted to Mpenza for the Villa game with success. I am sure that what Sven is trying to do is build up about 30 points by Christmas using only one striker at a time and then playing the second half of the season with two strikers from a choice of three, hopefully resulting in a top six spot.
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18/09/2007 15:19:00

Sound strategy alphie. A stronger second half of the season is a good possibility. Be interesting to play the rags with a fully synchronised Sven machine of a team!
Johnny Baguette
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18/09/2007 17:40:00

Remember he lost Valerie Bojinov, and that may have caused him to revise his plans. Play a tight defense and hit them on the counter attack. For all of Villas supposed domination, Schmeicel wasn't tested that much. CC Mpenza has more experience in the Premier, not much, but I think Bianchi will learn, even when he came on with luck he could have had two goals.
Buzz Lightyear
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18/09/2007 20:30:00

Wouldn't suprise me to see Bianchi in against Fulham on Saturday and then a repeat Carling Cup performance with both Bianchi and Mpenza against Norwich.
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18/09/2007 21:02:00

Alphieb, he reverted to 442 against Bristol, but he used his most of his reserves, which didn't answer the question of who would you drop from the current team to play two strikers.
Buzz Lightyear
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19/09/2007 08:00:00

Vassell ??
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19/09/2007 09:28:00

There is something not understand, Onuoha with England ( 21 ) play midle defend but with city play right back & Richards play with National Team right back & with man city play midle defend !!
city 81
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19/09/2007 22:13:00

With the quality of players that Richards & Onuoha are, they can play anywhere in defence, personally I would like to see Richards play in midfield where I think he would be a sensation, remember this is where he started in his Academy days.
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20/09/2007 00:06:00

Nice problem to have though. Richards will make a consummate footballing centre back- although as is implied we would lose his raiding ability from the full back position. I guess its a case of which of his strengths is given emphasis and deployed (although personally I'd leave him in the centre as mobile centre backs with his presence are rare indeed - he also has the pace to make up for his errors)
Craig Cain
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20/09/2007 11:19:00

Anyone any comments about Kenny Jacket, apart from Faz(KK man) the only survivor from the SP Era.
Buzz Lightyear
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20/09/2007 15:28:00

Jury's out, Buzz. I guess that the almighty clear out had to pause at the reserve side otherwise it would have been new management staff at both main levels. SGE is no mug and must see something in the continuity of appointing him, so No Jackett Required as I once called him can feel free to prove me wrong!
Johnny Baguette
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20/09/2007 16:26:00

have to admit thou micah did look lost without richard dunne beside him the two of them just play brillant football non stop together. i wud say the r one of the best central defenders in the premiership
dunne deal
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21/09/2007 11:52:00

DD Dunney was unlucky to get sent off, he was suckered into it and I think the ref was trying to even things up. Richards needs Dunne to keep him in position or he goes missing just like Distin did. The only difference is that Richards has more chance of scoring and was quicker on his feet and SD was no slowcoach. 2-0 city against Fulham.
Buzz Lightyear
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21/09/2007 15:38:00

being honest he shudn have being suspended for that game in the 1st place but sure wat can ya do we still won the game.
dunne deal
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25/09/2007 13:36:00


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