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Turn Up The Heat City!

Blues, a month or so ago I reckoned that we had a season shaping series of four home games on our hands coming up, and these games would be the acid test for seeing how far our resurgent team has come under The Iceman. Well, we won every single one of those four games and what a platform we now have to take into the winter!

International breaks are an increasing 'pain in the hole' as they say in Dublin, and a team can rapidly lose momentum, as well as suddenly gain it. That's why the win against a defiant, if hapless Birmingham and their plastic seat chucking fans yesterday was so important at all costs following a squad unsettling fortnight. Job done.

Svennis, publicly and calmly, sets no long term targets for his squad. His game by game approach is admirable. I sense he is working in stages, and right now, maintaining the stunning momentum we have through to Christmas and the January Sales will be uppermost in his mind. 22 points by the start of the last week in October is some going at this level and we have that in the bank with just about the entire first team squad fit. That's the key. If that remains the case, anything, and I mean anything, is possible. Svennis and the good to see back in the fold Hans Backe need all options available for the long haul.

We have been swamped with so many positives since the first whistle went at Upton Park that it's been breathtaking and mind boggling to take it all in! But the way I see it, the hard work put in and the achievements gained so far, will count for nothing if we can't take our game to the next level against top class oppposition. The early scrutiny and pressure is off. We can all begin to relax, so why not?

We have the opportunity to do that next weekend. Time to take another step back and kickstart our season from there. The trip to the mysterious going's on at Chelski and then the nosediving Bolton in the League Cup are now both MASSIVE games in the context of where this season will take us. The goal of European qualification is no longer a pipe dream. This has nothing to do with over-expectation, it's a fact.

Too many times in recent years City have trudged out at Stamford Bridge ready to accept defeat. That is no longer the case. We have the resilience and the creativity to win next week. This will be the ultimate test so far of our squad's capabilities and we will have to be up for this one in every department.

The increasingly tragic Trotters cup assignment requires maximum concentration too, and there is no reason why we cannot see them off as well.

However, there are some factors in the mix of things on my mind today as I reflect upon our best ever Premier League start.

On the playing side, the Bianchi situation concerns me. Something's not right. The lad was very much on board in the early games and scored a belter at Bristol City. I would like to think he was still injured yesterday but time will tell. The squad is clearly gelling nicely and we need everyone on board.

I would like to see Geovanni play more. He has talent in truckloads and for me is a better option than Ireland and his recent baggage at this stage.

Keeperwise, bobble hats off to Joe Hart. Increasingly looks the part and is growing in stature. I think Isaksson, one of the Stuart Pearce crock signings could well be up the road before too long.

Above all else, 'Our Frank.' If Manchester City are to maintain the stunning impetus that we have throughout this season, our Chairman must remain at the controls. Like him or not,(currently difficult to find any vociferous criticism of him like that which was regularly aired when he bought the club) if we lose him, things could all go Pearce and Wigley rapidly. The fact is that his future as our Chairman and owner depends upon whether or not the British Government will entertain the demands of an unelected Thai military junta.

For this reason alone, it is all the more imperative that City maintain the style of football that has lit up the Premier League this season and won so many plaudits. If we can up the performances another notch, something that could well come as the team gels further, Frank's MCFC future as well as our own will be all the more secure.

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 21 2007

Time: 12:45PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I don't know about you but been unable to get a ticket for the 'Trotters' game is this a signe of the times for away matches ?? I am confident we can get something out of the game next weekend if Brum can get a couple of goals against them I am sure we can and we have a better defence (if you ignore the ****ham game).
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21/10/2007 21:36:00

p.s. ...don't know why the stars came up on the last line should read Fulham...
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21/10/2007 21:38:00

Mercer knows, Alphie. Understand Chelski allocation sold out as well. Be winging my way in for Sunderland on Bonty night. Couldn't miss welcoming my old clothes peg tinkering pal Royston Vasey Keane back to Manchester!
Johnny Baguette
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22/10/2007 08:43:00

Agree Chelsea is an opportunity to benchmark progress and really put a marker down. Should've played Gio on Saturday - ideal with the travelling Elano running on adrenalin- pretty absurd if he can't get a game under those conditions? Wouldn't trade him for Ireland though -we do need to retain an academy/local core in the side and Stevie is still acquitting himself well. Can Gio play wide anyway? On Bianchi - think we have to expect that not all the imports will come off (for football or other reasons) I had a feeling some time back that he wasn't injured - the latest outburst was odd. Lets have a look at Bojinov and make a decision then on bringing another striker in ( Mpenza will not do in a lone role)
Craig Cain
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22/10/2007 09:27:00

btw Alphie - you can always start a thread in the forum. If the editors can't make an agreed commitment then fair comment, they shouldn't be doing the job.
Craig Cain
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22/10/2007 09:30:00

CC I shouldn't have to do that, if they can't be bothered to publish they should pack the job in and advertise for someone else.
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22/10/2007 09:51:00

Think we could have a gem in Bojinov, CC. Everything I've seen of the lad shows exciting potential. What a shot in the arm for a Europe campaign that would be!
Johnny Baguette
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22/10/2007 21:09:00

Hope you're right JB - cannot rely on the midfield
Craig Cain
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23/10/2007 09:25:00

CC you have to rely on midfield if you only play one up front, everyone has chipped in even OG scored a cracker against boro. I know what you mean though. The system we are playing now, we need a strong man at the front, Mpenza does a good job there, holds it up and distributes it. If you go to a 442, you still have to have that defensive midfield in front of the back four two wide a central. At present we dont have a wide really out and out right winger. Even Petrov loves to cut inside and have a go himself. I don't see Elano as an striker but he is our playmaker. The system we use now is right for us and I don't think we should change it. The squad needs adding to, because some players will need a rest. Joe Hart will be an excellent goalkeeper, but like Schmeichel he has faults and todate we have managed to get away with the errors with some fine defending. Can we beat Chelski?
Buzz Lightyear
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23/10/2007 10:10:00

Buzz: I know that the midfield must get forward and support the striker - and they are doing it admirably. I also agree that we should retain our shape - however that lone striker must give us a potent edge and a good goal return, as well as hold up play etc. On Chelsea they've settled somewhat since the departure of JM - I think Micah can handle Drogba (their main threat) and Hamman has the nouse to pick up Lampard also. They are beatable but I'm looking for a result of any kind and a combative and competitive showing. Like I said its an opportunity to benchmark progress and put a real marker down
Craig Cain
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23/10/2007 11:40:00

I agree, CC. Stamford Bridge should hold no fears for our team. We are going into this one not only with a superb league position, but with a settled side. They still have an incredible array of bought in talent however and will be very dangerous. The sight of Steve Sidwell now doing a SWP bench patrol is a glaring example of their wealth of riches.
Johnny Baguette
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23/10/2007 13:46:00

I think Sven may start with Samaras up front, the way he is playing at the moment he could give them a few problems and with Geovanni to replace Ireland I can see us getting something out of the game. Not surprised that Sidwell is warming the bench never thought he is quite good enough to get a regular place, no doubt he went there just for the money as Reading couldn't afford to pay him anything like what he is getting now.
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23/10/2007 14:44:00

well if a look at it y did wright philips go he isnt gettin his game either he was a great player for us and wud fit in perfectly in the team
dunne deal
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26/10/2007 08:27:00


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