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Roll With It, Blues

In Svennis we trust. There's been an air of disappointment around this weekend after City's failure to see off Wigan Athletic. It certainly was immensely frustrating to see us unable to capitalise on the dream start gifted to us by the hapless Titus Bramble. But there is plenty of room for positive thinking as 'Decisive December' continues.

There are certainly areas for concern as Sven and the squad continue to build on the achievements so far, but plenty to keep on shouting about as the 'Fantastic 5000' did at the JJB Stadium. It is a measure of how far we have come since Doctor Frank arrived that we are disappointed with a draw at Wigan where we have been pasted two seasons running as well as not having moved up to only a point behind the league leaders.

If everyone associated with the club can maintain that level of expectation, then that momentum could carry us through to January with our new found objectives still intact, no matter the current limitations of the squad or the style of the wins and draws we attain. All we can ask for is 100% from the players and see where it takes us.

Four games away from the season's half way point,we now have just 12 points less than Pearce and Wigley's leadership achieved for the whole of the past two seasons.

Sure, we have not been playing that well and have continued to ride our luck on occasions, but it was a similar case for the rags for over a month this season, and they too kept picking up vital points.

Our season could have nosedived after the Chelski debacle and immense credit must go to Sven, his team and the squad for battling straight back. Unbeaten in five games since then and only having conceded goals twice, our season remains one of tremendous potential.

We should remain upbeat about our progress and focus less on the fact that we have not reached the heights of earlier performances. We remain in dreamland with an exciting young team and clearly excellent coach who is on a mission.

Now to the causes for concern.

Firstly, injuries. Again, we are looking stretched and do not have the depth of quality in certain areas needed to mount a sustained top five challenge. That's a fact and we must accept that and get behind the lads we have. The concerns should ease in the coming weeks as Johnno, Nedum and Elano will be back in action before too long.

The glaringly obvious problems are up front. A new striker is essential of course, but right now, we need some goals from the forwards. Samaras? I just do not understand it. Bloody awful again at Wigan. Bianchi? Hardly been given opportunities to shine, and City fans baying for him to appear yesterday continue to ask themselves why he is not featuring. SGE is no mug. Something's not right. Is the lad just not settling in? Mpenza meanwhile has always been injury prone and has slipped back into old habits. Bojinov's return to full fitness can not come quick enough on the current evidence.

If we are to progress in all directions this month then we need to score more goals and I am convinced they will come once this team clicks on all wavelengths again. Our team has the potential to put a good few sides in this league to the sword and it will.

Spurs losing again this weekend was very bad for them mentally and there is no reason why we can't go down there and beat them.

So roll with it Blues and keep the faith!

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 2 2007

Time: 9:53PM

Your Comments

spurs will come good sooner or later, great eason so far for city, rgds mr panini
Nice one Eddie! Is Keano on an auto suspension for next weekend?
Johnny Baguette
It is the curse of the Pharaohs >> just joke
city 81
He will miss the next THREE games
Got to be happy with a point away. I am concerned about this failure to go on from 1-0 and kill teams off. SGE had england playing this way - getting the goal and dropping off - they clearly weren't good enough to defend a small lead for a match - and city don't need to. There is enough in terms of possession and creativity to go and get a second or third goal. Another recurring concern is the left flank - Scharner was completely unmarked for their equaliser.
Craig Cain
Robbie Keane eh? One of those pleyers who always scores against us. That's handy him out of the way. Totally agree CC. If you look at "the big four," who are slowly regaining control of the league, they would have absolutely batterd Wigan after that start. I'd give Ball a start at Tottenham and ask him to shore up the left.
Johnny Baguette
I think the defence needs reorganising. I would love to see Corluka moved into the centre with Dunne leaving Micah for that important aggressive midfield role that we are lacking at the moment.
Agreed JB. Garrido may be better deployed in left midfield long term - thinking that Petrov is seemingly inconsistent? If we get our man uptop this Jan, really believe fifth place is a possibility.
Craig Cain
Micah can be a world class centre back. He has pace and power to burn and is comfortable on the ball. I wouldn't push him further than the Hamann role, and thats a risk.
Craig Cain
I was considering what cover we have for Hamman and then I read the latest embarrassing gob*****ery from Joey Barton. That led me on to Ousmane Dabo. Anybody know what the fella is up to? Could Sven get something out of him? He's still well respected in France.
Johnny Baguette
On Dabo, dont have a clue JB. Do require cover here though. Barton is on the BBC with Logan tonight.
Craig Cain
I see Gobby Barton is on 'Inside Sport' tonight 11.20 BBC1. No doubt he will tell us where we are going wrong !!!
Get away. Yet more limelight for the misunderstood one. Stunning that he is courting interviews about himself in all directions while his club are going into freefall. I've seen Dabo interviewed a few times and he seems a very pleasant quiet spoken chap. Mr. Barton alledgedly claims he had to "defend himself" from him. We'll see in June exactly what Barton's standing with his former team-mates was/is. One thing Dabo does have is a lot of experience. I can't see Hamman lasting a full season. Maybe Dabo, who has been woeful for us could do a phoenix from the flames and save Frank some money. All this and more in our upcoming pre January midfield assessment special.
Johnny Baguette
the gobby and gabby show.
Craig Cain
Sounds hideous. In other news, a friend of a friend close to the abysmal PSG tells me that one Nicolas Anelka is waiting for the call to move back to City. I was a big fan until he downed tools and deserted KK. But when I look at our striking options right now, plus the fact I would not like to see Bojinov risked in the deep winter, Anelka's Prem experience has to be an option if we are still in the mix for Europe by Christmas. He could really mess up the team spirit but I'd take him over Crouch any day of the week if there's a media fuelled choice between the two.
Johnny Baguette
451, Not benefiting from the best striker in the world
city 81
Massively disappointed Bianchi wasn't given a chance against lowly Wigan. It seemed a perfect opportunity for him. He he failed to shine then we can all understand Sven and respect him even more. I hope Petrov wasn't sulking because Elano wasn't playing. He was disappointinting, which is a shame for one so talented. If we do get a striker then it must spell the end for Samaras and Mpenza and possibly Bianchi because he won't stay on the bench. However, if you think who we got in very quickly time at the beginning of the season, I'm excited about what might happen in January. Tottenham wil be tough but the loss of Keane will be big for them. I would be happy to get a draw against Tottenham. I'd like to see us to be a bit more adventureous at home too. Maybe go 3 at the back and 5 in midfield with 2 up top?
Barney Daniels
Good thinking Barney. We may have a small squad in Prem terms but there is a degree of flexibility as long as we avoid an injury crisis. I reckon Sven is organising a Plan B in that case by blooding the likes of Etuhu. Our nemesis Keane is appealing over the red. Haven't seen many of these decisions overturned. Anyone see how bad/not that bad it was?
Johnny Baguette
BD don't change a winning system - when we finally get our man uptop the personnel will be right for 451. JB: What do you know about this striker at Marseille we're being linked with (think he's Senegalese) On Anelka, if Utd and Chelsea are involved there's no chance he'll come back. Did his best to showcase against them recently...says it all.
Craig Cain
Mamadou Niang of Marseille 28 year old striker has scored 40 goals in 93 appearances and for Senegal 13 goals in 27 appearances. Sounds just like the sort of striker we are looking for and probably at a quarter of the price of anyone in the Premiership.
CC, agree still would not like to see Anelka back on board. Has to be some sort of ready up with his family agents repeatedly signing on for new clubs. He's a mercenary. Taggart is hinting at buying nobody in January so that would explain the Anelka family olive branches going out. I like alph's angle of continuing the quest to bring in relative unknowns to England. The French league has got tighter in recent years and you can see some cracking games full of homegrown and african origined talent. Then there's the English lower leagues. Good news meanwhile, Keane ban upheld!
Johnny Baguette
Agree on Anelka btw, dodgy handlers. Would fit the role perfectly, but a risk (as you say a mercenary). On the lower leagues it used to be a great source (our championship side for example), but it just hasn't worked out for many of late (Stead, Earnshaw, Folan, Campbell etc) perhaps the gulf is greater than ever.
Craig Cain
True, there aren't many Rushies around these days. What we could do with a top drawer striker though, eh? This team young team could batter many sides week in week out with the right target man.
Johnny Baguette
We wont build this overnight, but yes JB - we have the midfield to support the right man.
Craig Cain
Johnno, if fit, in for Fernandes at Spurs or leave as is?
Johnny Baguette
The young player (ETUHU), I am optimistic it, But there something is missing when he play,He must use left leg ( I mean both ) .
city 81
If Michael is fit he must play. Fernandes debut was promising, but bombed last time out.
Craig Cain
CC Have to defend Fernandes, We had played the majority of the games with Johnson and Elano, when we lost Johnson GF came in, and played well, but badly needed games to get upto speed and also to gel with the others ie garrido, Petrov and Elano. Fernades is a different sort of player to johnson and we missed those runs into the box with the interpassing, but that came with playing and knowing what to expect. We lost Elano and it was difficult for both fernandes and Petrov to play with Geo. You could tell that with the countless number of failed passes. It was obvious that they had not played many games together.
Buzz Lightyear
Just been reminded that Hamman is suspended having reached the 5 booking mark. So Johnson for Hamman? Could even be that Dabo gets a shout.
Johnny Baguette says we are all fully fit except Elano and Boijnev. Lennon v Garrido or Ball would worry me. They have nothing on the left so Corluka can do his long loping runs. I have no doubt in my mind that Sven will flood the midfield and hit them on the break. I hope he gives Bianchi a try - what can he lose really. I think the loss of Hamann is significant and i can't believe I'm saying that. Rumoured to be offering £17m for Mascharanas. He's never worth that! As for this Niang, what were Cisse stats in France before coming to the Premiership? On paper Niang looks great but does he look tough enough for the Premiership or is he more botherered about his hair style. I agree about Etuhu, I thought of David White heading off to the corner flag before falling over.
Barney Daniels
Excellent points BD. By all accounts Sven is going after goals this weekend so a shoot on sight policy could be employed. I am predicting a traditional City and Spurs firecracker. 3-4, 4-3, 2-5 etc. Game set and match!
Johnny Baguette
BD,Did you mean (David White) who played for City in the eighties? Look I encourage Man City Since 1981, I do not see striker like him, It is best striker such as City Since that time & I see Boijnev Similar to Similar to him but I do not know if he is also Similar him in the level .
city 81
I mean ( Bojinov ) .
city 81
JB: Ball or even Richards to cover Hamann. Agree BD that the left flank is even more exposed with Lennon. Petrov and the Hamann stand-in will have to cover Garrido. Buzz, take your points about GF playing with Geo (GF did fill the Johnson role well initially) but was AWOL last time.
Craig Cain
CC I think they all played too deep and Sven wasn't the only one disappointed we only had one shot on target. Bet he plays Sun Jihai in place of Hamann, starts Johnson and the bench for Gelsen.I do point out however if I could actually manage a team other than on Premier Manager PC game, I would be able to give up my day job as a brain surgeon
Buzz Lightyear
Sun for Hamann: hope you're wrong 'bout that buzz!
Craig Cain
Lads, Clear the treatment tables. Svennis in for Hop along Owen at Newcastle. Deal alledgedly done. Good grief.
Johnny Baguette
Don't believe the Owen deal for one minute. Sven keeps his cards very close to his chest and certainly won't want any injury prone players looking for a pay day.
Not buying it either.
Craig Cain

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