Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Tuesday February 14 2006
Cole Injury may open new doors?
It looks like the injury that Andrew Cole picked up against Charlton may be worse than feared and he could be out for over a month. It's particularly cruel for Cole who is hoping to extend his stay for another season and needs to continue to impress to secure the deal, but it's more unwelcome news for Pearce as City's injury list just seems to keep growing.
Untimely and unfortunate as it is, the loss of Cole should provide more options to experiment with the forward line and give a well deserved opportunity for Ishmael Miller to prove he can perform at the highest level. His performances in the reserves have been impressive and Pearce has already admitted that he's had lots of enquiries about him for loan spells. Hopefully he'll now have a chance to impress at Eastlands in the Premiership rather than for a dreary and depressing club in the lower leagues. Micah Richards' display on Sunday was more proof that City's youngsters can hold their own in the highest of company.
The performance of Samaras against Charlton was very encouraging and proved that what City have been missing for a long time, probably ever since Niall Quinn left, is a big, powerful target man up front. Miller too is big, fast and skilful and defenders will not relish playing against him. Bradley Wright-Phillips must also come into the equation as he's done nothing wrong in his limited first team opportunities. A hat trick in tonight's reserve match against Sunderland is a timely reminder to Pearce what a natural goal scorer he is.
It's probably fair to say that with all the recent signings, we still don't know what City's best forward combination is, but the introduction of Samaras and hopefully soon Miller certainly looks to have given City more punch and versatility. Psycho now has an enforced opportunity to change things around and shape the team to take advantage of the extra height and strength up front; something I'm sure most of us are awaiting with great anticipation.
What then is City's best striker partnership in the absence of Cole?
“Opinion from Bluesology”
Date:Tuesday February 14 2006
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