Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday October 21 2007
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.
Date:Sunday October 21 2007
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