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City continue to defy the odds and remain in the Premier League's fifth place thanks to some terrific defending against Liverpool...

A lot of people in football, and a good degree of Blues, have drifted into expecting far too much from a City side hastily assembled only four to five months ago. I myself was holding out for 40 points by tonight!

That City have been able to trouble the Champions League positions divine right of 'The Big Four' for so long this season is testament to some no less than brilliant work by Svennis and his backroom team.

The fact that there is some disappointment around Sportcity and in the sports media that we did not go for it more readily today gives cause for a reminder or two.

The Liverpool side repelled repeatedly today by a City side absolutely led by Richard Dunne cost a hell of a lot more to assemble, with resources on a different planet to us down the years and have absolutely battered some sides this season. With a bit of luck, and the ball rolling for us on the odd occasion, we could have sneaked a goal.

That we are able to hold one of the Big Four underlines some unbelievable progress under Sven's leadership. We've out-defended the rags and Liverpool and were worth a point at the Gooners. We are slowly becoming a no mug's side. Two league defeats in 15 games now, 36 points by New Year's Eve. I'll settle for that and would have never believed it in the summer, let alone after we were battered at Cheslki.

Above all else, take a look at that starting line up today, especially any visiting sports hack looking to guage the mood. Only 3 of the players starting today were brought in by Sven: Elano, Corluka and Petrov. All the remaining 8 players stumbled along under Stuart Pearce!

One thing's for sure, and I can say this clearly now that we are at the half way stage of the season. From what I've seen across the Premier League and the long haul, if Frank Shinawatra had not bought City and brought in Sven we would be sure fire relegation certs, unable to live with a good number of sides.

In conclusion, we have a team with bags of character to be proud of at long last and the future for MCFC is burning bright.

So see you in 2008 for three tough away assignments to take us into the second half of the campaign. We also have an intriguing transfer window swinging open...

A Happy Blue Year to all Manchester City fans world wide!

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Writer:Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday December 30 2007
Time: 7:35PM

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Comments

0
We had the same score last season, before your summer investment, and I remember City playing us better then. You played for a point at home, and you got it. Elano was non existent, Petrov showed some glimpses early then disappeared as well. If it wasn't for your CB's, we would've won easily. Good luck the rest of the season.
JohnDoe
30/12/2007 19:55:00
0
As I said, only 3 of the starting line up were part of City's 30 odd million summer investment. I don't know what you'd qualify as "playing us better then." I don't recall Liverpool looking that good back then either, even after a shedload of money was thrown at your squad again. In fact, the likes of Liverpool, the rags, Arsenal and Chelski should be battering sides like City week in, week out. It speaks volumes for your superstars that they are unable to do so. City defended as a team and clearly have a strong spirit. To say that you'd have won easily were it not for our centre backs is pretty dismissive and smacks of classic Big Four arrogance. Joe Hart, 20 years old was outstanding. Credit where it's due. All the best for 2008 and here's to the end of the Big Four domination!
Johnny Baguette
30/12/2007 20:34:00
0
I was praising your CB's, not being arrogant. Your midfield was not existent, you didn't have one shot on goal, you only had two shots attempted, and you were the home team. While we on the other hand had 16 shot attempts, and six on target. It looked that we were the home team, not you. Based on that performance, you'll not be ending the big four domination any time soon. By the way, your net spending was more than Liverpool this summer, so lets not use our spending as an excuse.
JohnDoe
30/12/2007 21:01:00
0
I think that this is the last match we play the defensive plan, With the addition of Castllo, back for Bojinov, presence Vassell Mpenza Bianchi and Perhaps there one striker will buy in few week come, For this it will be difficult to play 451, I think the plan will be 442 & Changed to 433, So I say goodbye to 451 & Goodbye to 2007, I wish to all ( Especially Manchester City fans ) the best in 2008 .
city 81
30/12/2007 21:27:00
0
I think we proved today that with a couple more quality signings we are ready to break into the top four especially if Liverpool continue to play like they did today and at Derby last week we haven't much to fear. It will be interesting to see how Chelski perform over the next few weeks without their African Cup players. It could well be a seven horse race this year with Everton and Villa joining us in the top four tussle.
alphieblues
30/12/2007 21:32:00
0
Understand you were praising our centre backs, but Ball, Onouha and Hart all played their part. Have to disagree re spending. You have to take into account the money it has taken to assemble this Liverpool squad in recent years, giving top drawer options all over the park. derby fans will agree that it's not quite coming together. Never said city would finish in the Champions League this season. Under no illusions, but some teams, including City are slowly getting stronger. The small squad Sven has assembled have achieved the unthinkable in the first half of this season. The odds have to be in favour of being able to give sides like Liverpool a real game in the years to come!
Johnny Baguette
30/12/2007 21:33:00
0
Interesting points, city 81 and alphie. Could be that Svennis and Hans will aim to kick on from here and see where it takes us. We're now on 36 points. Looking backwards, City's last 5 Premier League seasons saw us attain 42, 43, 52, 41 and 51 total points. We are well on course to beat all those totals. Here's to City giving it a right go. Miracles can happen!
Johnny Baguette
30/12/2007 21:50:00
0
Johnny, have to disagree regarding Ball, Onouha and Hart, We've gotten behind your fullbacks on several occasions, especially Onouha, and we either didn't cross the ball well or it was cleared by your CB's. While Hart only made one good save if I remember correctly, from Kuyt's header, and even then it had to be cleared of the line by Dunne. All other shots were straight at him, or missed the goal.
JohnDoe
30/12/2007 21:53:00
0
I don't even think the Kuyt save was a good one. He seemed to spill the ball and knock it towards the goal.
Aamir
30/12/2007 22:26:00
0
JB, look what JohnDoe say ( your net spending was more than Liverpool this summer ) ! look JohnDoe With the exception of the first season we come in Premier League, We had Spent in the last five years what the Liverpool spent in one season, We were not in the past have a base of the stars & In this season we started to Building team able to achieve championships in the future. With club & fans wants to restore glory, With the coach wants to Response Mind & Investor wants to achieve success, For all this factors I say we will achieve the goal .
city 81
30/12/2007 22:30:00
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