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Benjani, Banja Langa MCFC!

The bizarre events surrounding Benjani's transfer from Portsmouth, a club that he appeared to be well settled with and clearly adored to Manchester City have been head spinning to say the least. It's been a conspiracy theorist's dream and will remain so for some time to come.

The latest revelation is that City will pay Portsmouth only £3.87 million initially for the player, who will turn 30 in August. According to Pompey's Chief Executive, the fee will then rise once Benjani has turned out 25, 50 and 75 times in sky blue.

If you consider the fact that in these days of Premier League squad rotation mayhem, Jihai Sun has only appeared 88 times in 6 years for City, then this signing is certainly a back of the net job for MCFC.

One thing's for sure, if I was a Pompey fan, I would be rightly livid. It's been a sinister business all told. Agent riddled cloak and dagger boardroom wrangling and strange, contradicting media fuelling public statements from managers and executives combined to carry out a shambles of a transfer all overseen by the hapless Premier League. This episode also serves as a reminder that top flight English football continues to drift out of the fans hands. Loyalty clearly has a price.

Here are Benjani, MCFC Squad Number 27's career statistics...

1999-2001 Jomo Cosmos:
35 apps, 20 goals

2001-2002 Grasshopper-Club Zürich (loan):
25 apps, 1 goal

2002-2006 Auxerre, signed:
72 apps, 19 goals

2006-2008 Portsmouth, fee £4,100,000:
69 apps, 19 goals

Benjani is now in contention to lead the City attack in Svennis' lone striker system for the Manchester Derby on sunday.

All that remains for me now is to welcome him to Manchester City, in the form of a Nyanga greeting from Malawi, his family's country of origin courtesy our MCFC Vital man in Africa:

Benjani, Mulhi Bwanji Bwana Mwaluwalu Madyella? Banja langa Manchester City!

Benjani, How are you doing? Welcome to The Manchester City family!

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 5 2008

Time: 5:17PM

Your Comments

JB are you fluent in Nyangan ???.... Would like to see Benji & Sturridge up front in a 4-4-2 formation. Do you think Sven will dare chance it .
Livid here! Having wanted to keep Benji AND have Defoe, I then decided that, given the choice, I would prefer Defoe. From that point of view, I'm happy. However, methinks you have an absolute bargain there. The saga over transfer delays, how much and when is typical of today's game, I'm afraid. Somewhat ashamedly, this is not the first time we have courted controversy over such a transfer and it probably won't be the last.
Nyangan courtesy of MCFC Legend Clinton of Africa, alph. According to the Pompey VITAL crew who we have a sound rapor with, Benjani is as strong as an ox and will give it a right go. I'd like to see him get in amongst Camel Gob and his mates with Sturridge in "The Elano Hole." This is the first of Sven's signings that knows what the Premier League is all about. We can head into sunday's no win situation with strengthened fire power, at least.
Johnny Baguette
Absolutely, UKTony. English football will be rife with corruption at all levels. These repeated transfer sagas make the recent bungs inquiry even more of a damp squib. I always remember when Mad Kev drove up the M62 to sign Fatty Fowler over Bordeaux's then Pauleta. Leeds were still paying part of his wages well into his City contract!
Johnny Baguette
Alphie, no comeback from Chix, I mean if you step into Enemy territory you should not expect to escape unharmed.
Buzz Lightyear
I certainly don't think City have come out of this looking "very amateur" as Chix saw it, Buzz.
Johnny Baguette
Would Svennis be crazy enough to go 442 against the swamp squatters on there own ground. I very much doubt it, I also think that although Sturridge will be a big success he would be eaten alive on Sunday. If you play 2 Strikers who is the playmaker. so it is either Hart Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball. Ireland Hamann Geovanni, Petrov. Vassell Benjani. OR Same defence with Geovanni Ireland Hamann Gelson Petrov, Benjarni. BENCH Garrido, Caicedo,Etuhu Vassell/Sturridge/Geovanni/ and I hope the BOJ.
Buzz Lightyear
The Boj surely still some way off first team action, Buzz. If carefully brought back to full finess, his presence like Sturridge and other arrivals in the summer will mean that it will take Benjani some time to reach 75 appearances.
Johnny Baguette
Was just reading the poll to the right. I would start Benji against the Evil Ones. He's terrific at holding the ball up (like having an extra midfielder really). Good luck Benji. Sorry you had to leave mate but enjoy yourself.
Another Livid here Johnny B... It's all gone off down on the South Coast I can tell ya.. this smacks of a bad deal and a big rip-off after a fee had already been agreed.. I'm not blaming you City fans though ;)... One thing to be wary of though is if Sven plays Benji in a lone striker role.. you'll not see many goals from him.... Even when we played 451 so successfully away from home for the first half of the season it was Kanu who was the '1' not Benjani... he's best played in a supporting role to an out and out striker.. which of course you haven't got !... he's not the answer to your goalscoring problems alone .. Oh and another thing ..You do realise that he took 14 games to score for Pompey.. which probably means you ain't gonna see a return on your investment this year and you are going to have to be patient into next season..Good luck to the fellas though he was a legend down here..
Damn you!! You've got a great player for an absolute steal there! I don't need to explain how much time us Pompey fans have for Benjani, and I can only wish him all the best at City and hope he scores a bagfull for you (not against us though, obviously!) Felt really sorry for him getting stuck in all this mess and possibly left feeling unwanted, but everyone knows we'd have happily kept hold of him, and you boys are obviously delighted to get chin up fella!
Also (and no offence to the sky blues either) you get the impression that the rest of the league is starting to figure out city's style of play and adapt tactics accordingly. I think Benji will add a different component to your attack in a bit more "physicality" which could make a huge difference. Good luck & hope we both make it to europe next year.
you juswt bought the best form african - in the world - for less than we bought dave nugent! add to that that he is (was) 4th in the actim index, 3rd top scorer in the prmiership, and only player so far to score 2 hatricks this season, in addition to the fact he is by far the best supporting attacker in the league, who also thrives in the the 4-5-1 position. you have one VERY *****ED OFF POMPEY FAN (well, probably more than one actually)
Thanks for all the interesting feedback Pompey fans. Entirely agree with Toronto4Pompey. City have been sussed and small, young squad with a serious lack of options means sit on Elano, job done. We could certainly use a striker who puts himself about, that's for sure. The Caicedo signing is intriguing, and I sense he could be the surprise package.
Johnny Baguette
Livid also here. Defoe will score the winner at your place. Can't wait. PS. Remember to shut the F Up for the silent tribute.
LOL storagematt! I rate Defoe highly. Could be some game that! As for sunday, dreading it. City in a no win situation and set up to be the villains. Not one sports hack has considered the nutter element at united who could cause trouble too. Problem is, you just cannot control the behaviour of Derby in the modern society from my experience. Christ, I wish this fixture had been moved at the first opportunity. Surely the rags board saw it. The derbies are still the first fixtures I look for each season. Same for you and Southampton, I'm sure, when in the same league of course!
Johnny Baguette
You dont have to tell us that Storagemat, I have great respect for those who lost their lives in that tragic air disaster.
Buzz Lightyear
Sorry I meant to type "Derby crowds" just then. French sodding keyboards...
Johnny Baguette
You may wish to note Sir Matt Busby played for City. I do not know where this story arose about so called City fans intending to disrupt the minutes silence and if anyone does it will not be a City fan.
Buzz Lightyear
Interesting comment from Pompeycarpet and Chix who have opposing views as to whether Benji will fit into a 451. but interesting to note that he can play midfield. Is he right or left footed anyone.
Buzz Lightyear
Storagemat just got up after rotflmco brilliant mate, let me know when you wake up.
Buzz Lightyear
That's the clearest question I've heard for a month re the Derby, Buzz. Just where did that come from?
Johnny Baguette
Just looked at the deal. it is half now and then instalments over 25, 50 and 75 games, I think by that time he will be playing for us in the 5 a side masters on Sky.
Buzz Lightyear
JB I just wonder if the media have read more into City's letter( to the fans who are attending the match).
Buzz Lightyear
Quite agree Buzz I remember the tragedy only too well my old school pal Albert Scanlon was one of the lucky ones who survived the crash. The whole city got behind the Reds during that time INCLUDING City fans. Unfortunately there will be a lot of fans at OT on Sunday who do not really know how the tragedy affected the whole city of Manchester and beyond. Let us hope that common sense prevails and everyone respects what this means to the city as a whole.
He must play Benjani on Sunday based on the Pompey feedback alone. JB, can we get these comments to Sven. I don’t think he’ll play Geovanni and maybe try Ireland as the playmaker. It will be good for Petrov to have more pace up front with him, I hope he plays Benjani with Vassell on the break – the rags only have one quick defender. Fernandes must play to annoy their midfield plus he supports the attack well. We’ll miss Corluka – I agree with his coach, he’s the best right back in the world. Meanwhile, Richards to nail ‘the oily rag’ (Ronaldo) and send us all into Dreamland. I wonder who will take penalties, I’ve seen Benjani miss this season, which cost me a few quid. However, as this is at OldTrafford, that isn’t going to be an issue. I hope the occasion doesn’t guarantee a result for the rags.
Barney Daniels
I dunno Buzz, fellas. There'll be hacks at that game desperate for someone to even fart on sunday. Same as there have been similar after a Sven demise all seen. Manchester City's good name is on the line this sunday. Simple as that.
Johnny Baguette
Great to hear from you Barney. Here we go again aginst the rags, eh? I have it on good authority that Hans Backe, one of the coolest men out there is a regular reader and will be relaying all our plans to Sven. He's right into The Kings Of Leon, you know...
Johnny Baguette
He's right footed Buzz. I'm sure the fans will take to him right away. At times, it seems like he's everywhere.
And Chix and Matt were both correct but to be honest, we don't play a system that favoured him alone up front. may be different with you lot.
Watched the brilliant 7-4 footage on YouTube Toronto4Pompey. He was right in amongst it. Now, this might be painful, but Blues, this link gives you an idea of the esteem Benjani is held in down there. that's his song sorted then...!
Johnny Baguette
Yeah. He'll be missed. I didn't like the way he was shunted out to be honest & have never been a "Defoeist" as one of our bloggers like to call that "splinter group". But Arry knows best I suppose and picking Baros up sort of makes it less of a blow. Anyway, I'm sure once he makes himself at home (and it took a little while to do at Fratton) he'll be terrific. Enjoy.
...and for god's sake. put three men on Christina Ronaldo !
That's Ladyboy Riverdancer, Toronto4Pompey!
Johnny Baguette
What a ponce eh !
He's brutal. I can't be doing with him. I'm still trying to get a stat on how many penalties that lot have had this season. Furthermore, how many last minute goals they've scored over the last 10 years.
Johnny Baguette
Off topic, but anyone know anything about Michael Johnson's progress? We could do with him on sunday.
Johnny Baguette
flukiest team in the game I always say. Hate the ********s. Worst part is the legions of "fans" they have out here in Toronto who know squat about the game.
yep, you got it another 'livid' here, sorry for snapping earlier alphieblues, i was 'upset' to say the least... you really have signed a special player in benji, there honestly are not too many like him around, he will run all day ann never moan like some of the primma donnas around these days. be patient with him, dont get on his back if he doesnt score for a while, the goals will come but as said he will need a partner to be most effective. take care of him! good luck for the rest of the season - apart from against us - and also best of luck against united i'd love benji to score and against them as he did at our place.
JB, Johnson close to a return according to MCFCTV. Mention too of our friend Bernardo who has bagged 5 in 15 and is now the captain of Parma. I wonder how Bianchi is going to top his debut! Back to the match Sunday, I wouldn't worry if we go down a goal down, they'll get cocky and I fancy Sven taking a chance. Anyone for a Benjani headline 'Dodgy Deal Does for Fergie' or 'Rememberance Day is one for Fergie to forget'.
Barney Daniels
O.K pompeyrug no offence taken I think we are all singing from the same hymn sheet, especially when it comes to the so called "Top Four".
Like it Barney! Read about Crappadi on the MUEN site. He'll be their Craptain then! Must log onto MCFCTV and find out what Vassell has to say for himself, too. Know what you mean Toronto4Pompey. I was in "Torrana" last summer and it's full of rags. And pompeyrug, no worries. Well understood. If another top drawer Manchester City Academy graduate is prized away in the future, we'll be going up the wall, too. Our young side has a cracking goalie in Hart, superb athlete in Richards, big engine in Johnson and exciting talent in Sturridge. What a backbone that the so called big four and beyond will no doubt bid for.
Johnny Baguette
Benjani is one of a select few players who plays with PRIDE and PASSION - irrelevant of money. he has on at least 2 occasions paid the wages for the zimbabwe national team to enter tournaments, and he will run opositon players to the ground. chix and co may say he doesnt suit the 4-5-1 position, but if you have 2 wide players looking to attack, then he is perfect, as he will do all the work of the strikers when you are defending (, thata not being fair...he will do MORE than most other teams strikers put together) and then when you attack, he is the "supporting player" for the 2 wide men who move in. oh, and dont let him take a penalty...
he's a good acquisition for you. sven knows what he's doing.
Whats a penalty?
Buzz Lightyear
Buzz ..They are those things that get awarded to the opposing team for no apparent reason. !!!
You'll get thumped regardless
cyjax...You obviously have no idea of our recent record against Manure.
Absolutely alphie. Since City were promoted in 2002, the rags have only beaten us 4 times in 11 Premier League clashes. Amazing how it's always smugly assumed we'll be battered by them.
Johnny Baguette
cyjax, do I detect a southern expression there? Thumped?
Buzz Lightyear
you detect a "swanseaish" (well, i made that up...but rom swansea) expression ;-) hope your not thinking pompey fans are poorly informed ;-)

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