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It's a Deal, It's a Steal?

Clear Blue water required. 10 days until the transfer window closes and the rumour mills are going into overdrive...

...Blues are waking up this morning to the latest 'Street of Shame*' generated transfer rumours. What has been noticeable this past three weeks is that the rumours have focused frequently upon who is leaving Fortress Eastlands, as opposed to arriving and to an extent that we hadn't bargained for.

Alledgedly, one Kevin Keegan, a man all too familiar with the brilliant work of the Manchester City Academy is after Micah Richards who has been increasingly touted in some circles as a potential makeweight or transfer funding sale in the absence of any big money signings by City to date this month.

Not only that, Mad Kev is said to be in for Bayern Munich's Daniel Van Buyten and Chelski's Shaun Wright-Phillips. If realised, that's two signings that would infuriate a good number of Blues as they are assets that would clearly strengthen our own relatively small young squad.

One thing's for sure, this morning I'd bet my croissant that City fans worldwide would never have predicted that there would be no significant squad strengthening signings made by the club during the first three weeks of this month. Given that the Nery Castillo deal was arranged before Christmas. The inactivity reminds me of the January torture during the Pearce-Wigley era when we knew we were in deep merde. I recall that our by now widely accepted Greek Tragedy, Georgios Samaras, came in at the last minute one year and the rest has been pisspoor history, lest we forget.

Maybe when Svennis talked about big name signings at the turn of the year he misjudged the fact that major transfers are rare in the January window. He has since acknowledged that fact, but when we steadily see the clubs around us strengthening their squads for the end of season run-in, there is cause for concern. Not least because our side is clearly underperforming now, looking dead legged and needs a lift. The stuttering performances this week against West Ham United should set alarm bells ringing considering the far tougher challenges February will bring.

I maintain that City are still contenders, have a terrifically talented young squad and that the future remains ours. Late January finds us in fifth place. What an opportunity to play in Europe next season this presents. Considering the size and lack of depth of our squad, the team have certainly done well to stay in the European places but you can see they are flagging.

If the club fails to recruit this month, I am sure it will not be for want of trying by Sven and his team, but we need some reassurance that Academy graduates will not be sacrificed in order to strengthen the squad elsewhere. Considering Dr. Thaksin's statements upon buying the club, selling to buy should not even be an issue, but a clear statement of intent and an update on the progress made both off an on the pitch would be welcome.

I appreciate the fact that City are aiming to not be held to ransom by other clubs and I like Sven's straight bat style in dealing with press conference transfer inquiries.

But if we are to compete at the very top level and build upon the tremendous achievements of the season so far then we are going to have to recruit and recruit quickly.

- Street of Shame* copyright Private Eye

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 21 2008

Time: 8:49AM

Your Comments

When you say other clubs have been strengthening their squads, has there been any signings that would have benefited our Club ???
Of signings made across the League this month, I'm not a fan of Anelka's "downing tools when he want's to leave" track record, but his style of play allied to his goal scoring record would have suited our playing system. Other clubs have already got squads with depth and options, especially our European rivals. This City squad is very much in it's infancy under Sven and needs bolstering. Play like we did this week against Arsenal and the rags and we will be soundly beaten.
Johnny Baguette
Can anybody out there back up the rumour that Dimitar Berbatov's agent was at Eastlands for the West Ham game yesterday invited by Sven?
Johnny Baguette
We just looked tired and they need a rest, a full week before the next game. I think if the Wham FA Cup match had been decided first time round, we might have played better having had more rest, having said that West Ham played well, and they have two wingers attacked from both sides, are we predictable, when sides stop Petrov and Elano we seem to dry up. Buying for just the sake of it does the club no good. Quality is needed in the midfield to allow Svennis to rest players. Strikers like Bianchi needs more time to gel, but the only way that can happen is for him to play week in week out, I am sure he will benefit from this.
Buzz Lightyear
JB I am sure the talk about SWP and Richards and all the other players being banded about going to Newcastle are just paper talk unless of course KK has a very large bag full of money. I think we are still good enough to get into Europe and Svennis is still hopeful of signing someone before the transfer window.
Buzz Lightyear
I'm certainly not advocating buying for the sake of it, Buzz. I'm advocating continuing the steady rebuilding of our squad by bringing in quality players out of neccessity if we are to make Europe this season. Vassell could have sustained serious injury from Boa Morte yesterday. As it stands, he took a nasty knock, the full extent is unclear. Samaras is going any day now and Bianchi could follow. Should we be prepared to see the team continue as it is without reinforcements? If Bianchi goes and Vassell is injured, that would leave us with no match fit strikers. Mpenza the likeliest to return first. I am sure Sven agrees and will be urgently trying to bring players in. A degree of Blues are mindful of the fact that we are on a different planet to where we were 12 months ago and should be happy with that. I'm not. A hell of a lot of hard work has been put in to get us where we are now and it would be gutting to see that momentum and maintained status fall away.
Johnny Baguette
The Barcodes billionaire owner is ready to splash the cash apparantly, Buzz! He's riding the Mad Kev euphoria wave and will know that a couple of big signings will boost their fans optimism (if misguided) even further.
Johnny Baguette
Stop press: Football 365 the first to report this morning that Lukas Podolksi might becoming in on loan from Bayern. Watch this space...and the back of the opponents net.
Johnny Baguette
JB I know you dont want buying for just the sake of it, but if we do buy then we should buy quality, if we can't get it now, then we should wait and hope that we can achieve Europe with this squad.
Buzz Lightyear
Yes I have seen the same report re Podolski. I just cant belive that Kevin in a few days now knows where he needs to strengthen his squad, but we all know that he can charm players to him, but not all his buys are good ones. If he wants Richards then he will have to pay through the niose for him, dont forget any tranfer fee we get Oldham get a chunk of it too, so I cannot see us selling below 30 mill, then we can go and get DVB for 2.
Buzz Lightyear
News loan Podolski started to grow .
city 81
THe rumour about Podolski has been denied, I would like to see more rumours about a midfielder or he has to consider does he put all the effort into the FA cup, but I doubt wether we are strong enough to win it or does he rest some of our players and has another go at consolodating a top six place.
Buzz Lightyear
Tell you what, midfield wise I'd go for the likes of Gattuso in Italy. His style of ball winning would be ideal. Definitely need to bring the right people in. Got to be team players. Good point about the Cup or the league, Buzz. I say go for both! But we are going to need options all over the park! I'm just looking right now for us to bring in a couple of exciting players to take the mood up another notch. Some Blues have begun to expect too much of this team and the players look like they could use a lift.
Johnny Baguette
History says that the Germans are the most successful foreign players in Man City unlike the Italians, BL, I did not find any denied of the news!!
city 81
BL, Please Visit this page. ( newsnow ) >>>>>
city 81
City 81
Buzz Lightyear
JB I could not agree more, I am more than pleased with our season and is beyond my expectation already, I think because of the excellent start to the season we have expected more from a team that has only been together for 7 months. It is just that we dont have enough quality to rotate and too many games in a short space of time has had its toll.
Buzz Lightyear
I have read comments from the MUEN that have had a go at Dunney for the error and suggestions that he be dropped, you just cannot credit comments like these.
Buzz Lightyear
BL, I think that the news ( www.goal ) more credible than the rest of the news.
city 81
I am amazed at Sky Sports today that they have made such a fuss about DV's goal, they evn disputed a retired referee's comments of some 30 years who said it was a good goal in favour of email from a wham fan. I am sure they didn't make this much fuss regarding the Blackburn game, when they said the Blackburn Player was not interferring with play, how can you not interfer with play when you go to try and head the ball?
Buzz Lightyear
City 81 I hope we do sign him, he may be the fresh legs we need.
Buzz Lightyear
On another angle, what about the amount of shrieking reports the press dished out when Bally went for Ladboy Riverdancer last season pumped by SP. Not one eylid has been raised about Boa Morte's appalling go at Vassell and his flailing elbow a few minutes later. Surely the inconsistency of referees over dangerous career threatening tackles is a bigger issue than offside. Basically, the sportshacks are desperate for City to lose at home and intensely frustrated. City should target going the whole season in the league undefeated at Eastlands. Seven more games to go!
Johnny Baguette
me too .
city 81
JB, I do not know what you talking about, Sorry .
city 81
Boa Morte was only booked for a terrible challenge on Vassell last night, city 81. Players such as our own have been sent off for less dangerous challenges.
Johnny Baguette
Lukas Podolski. If we can sign him, we go up a gear. Simple as. That German league can be a bit rough. The lad looks powerful in Bojinov's style.
Johnny Baguette
ah, Now I understand, And also in cup game whan Fernandez Kicked Bianchi when he fall on the ground, The referee did not give anything !!!
city 81
JB, On the other hand, Do you remember the missing selection in the last poll, It was (Cup Win, League Draw)!!.
city 81
I am afraid again be the missing selection ( Cup Defeat, League Defeat ). :)
city 81
No worries, I think we corrected it ok mate!
Johnny Baguette
What to spend the dirty Thai money on next?
You in Thailand, storagematt? Give us an update. All views more than welcome. To be honest, I have no clue as to what has gone on there other than conflicting reports down the years with our owner deposed by the military and not in jail. Tell you what though, we've suffered big time for decades and we've got a cracking young football team now, and City spent less than Sunderland!
Johnny Baguette
JB ..I have replied to storagematt on the Pompey page.. I guess he must be really getting worried.
Cheers alph. What a ridiculous posting that was. Obviously has nowt better to do! Back in the real world, not sure Bayern will give up Podolski and horror of horrors hairdressers dream Gerbil Cisse's name is being knocked about again!
Johnny Baguette
I think the Cisse saga is just that the media have run out of names to link us with so they must be starting from the beginning again. I see there could be a bidding war for Bianchi with Torino and Lazio supposedly interested. Maybe it is a case of cut and run as far as he is concerned as he lacks a yard of pace for the Premiership.
At least the picture will be clearer in a week or so, alph! It's as if there's a press campaign to get rid of Bianchi, but then again there has to be something in the comments coming out of Italy from other clubs. Effectively, he has to stay if Sven can't recruit whatever happens!
Johnny Baguette
I think the press and Sky have had a real good poke at us. Stirring the waters and see what floats.
Buzz Lightyear
Tell you what Buzz, unable to watch the Man City fall yet still pushing for it they are relishing the upcoming Derby and are drooling for trouble.
Johnny Baguette
A reply to Alphieblues: Low life, fckin cheek. I'm very tall. Yes our money is probably as dirty as yours that's the point. We call it irony down in the south. No offence meant to anyone.
Looks like any deal to bring in Podolski, even on loan is now a non starter. At least Sam Harris still here to provide cover....!
Johnny Baguette
Johnny Baguette, everybody spent less than Sunderland, that's a given. It's no wonder Man U made such a big profit this season, Sunderland have been paying over the odds for all of their players, hehe. Don't you boys have Bojinov, he can bloody play.
Carolsio, spot on. Bojinov can be like an explosion on the park. With Bianchi in Italy we need him back sharpish!
Johnny Baguette

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