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Halfway To European Paradise?

City's next fixture, with a Blackburn side who have not won a game since 1st December, will mark the half way stage of a season that has defied all the expectations that we could have possibly dreamed of when Frank Shinawatra and Sven-Goran Eriksson came to town.

Apart from our young team's inability to secure a win away from home, thanks to Fortress Eastlands 100% home league record we now stand proudly in the Champions League places with 34 points. That's just 8 and 9 points less than those acquired for the whole of the previous two seasons! For a club that spent less money in that torturous, dramatic summer than Sunderland did, that's some going.

Sure, there have been some disappointments along the way as we have grown to expect more and more from a squad of players who came together only 4 months ago. Outside of the mauling at Chelski, no show at Blackburn and our failure to reach the League Cup semi-finals, I'd say that not seeing off Fulham and Wigan on the road were the only other blips.

This has been a stunning turnaround in our fortunes but there remains a lot of hard work to be done before this season can be credited as an absolute success.

'Decisive December' has proved every bit as tough as we anticipated and there's more to come. Blackburn are uncompromising and Liverpool often tantalising, but both have to come to Sportcity and both are certainly beatable by a City side that just hasn't got going at full throttle in recent weeks.

I get the impression that Svennis's mix of young international and MCFC Academy stars are tiring and in much need of reinforcements. Yet, they keep digging deep and showing the occasional flashes of brilliance that with consistency, could see us maintain this totally unexpected push for Europe.

Sven has given the squad (beaten only once in the Premier League since the six niller on the 27th October) Christmas Day off with their families and friends and I'm sure you'll agree they've earned it.

The next two home games present a real opportunity to end 2007 on a massive high before a potentially fascinating January arrives. Castillo and Bojinov, two mad for it defence terrifying nutters are waiting in the wings to entertain us and I'm really looking forward to seeing those lads getting stuck right in amongst it for the Blues.

But with Sven-like caution, I'm going to end this half season report with a 'let's take this stage by stage so far so good!'

In the festive meantime however, thanks for your MCFC Vital support during this unprecedented year and savour the moment as you tuck into your Christmas dinner...

...Man City are fourth in the league having played some of the best football we've seen from The Blues in a long, long time. There could be, maybe should be, much more to come.

Keep the faith and a very Merry MCFC Christmas to you and yours!






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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 23 2007

Time: 3:01AM

Your Comments

The only thing that gives me concern was when SP gave them Christmas Day off last year the rest of the season went pear shaped. However this year there is an extra day before the next game and I am sure Sven knows what he is doing. Unforunately I will miss my first home game of the season against Blackburn...another of those teams we owe bigtime... Just hope they can continue the fantastic run without me. Merry Christmas to everyone TURN THE VOLUME UP ON THURSDAY !!!
alphieblues
Alphie, same to you, have a good Christmas. This team bears no comparison to Pearces' team, if only Pearce could have motivated players better and played them in thier correct positions, we wouldn't have been sweating and the takeover would have gone through sooner. Frankie was waiting to see if we stayed up. Alphie you are right about richards, he should be right back, Corluka who is an oustanding player dropped because of lack of pace against villa. Svennis could have just swapped positions. I would still have played Ball in front of garrido. Best Wishes everyone.
Buzz Lightyear
Cannot agree on Micah playing RB. Would as advised previously stick with our back four as played yesterday - although there were some uncharacteristic errors from the CBs. Give Nedum a run, he needs to play at this point in his career. Corluka may translate to holding player given time - although there was a lack of discipline yesterday. My view on full backs is the 'water carrier theory' - solid and reliable in the Book/Donachie tradition. Richards is better deployed in central positions (as are all your most effective players) - he will become a world class CB - stong, pacey and comforatable on the ball -wasted at RB
Craig Cain
 

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