Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday February 11 2008
Time and again we read the same lazy lines droaned out by sports hacks tasked with describing the Manchester City team in 2008. The most relentlessly used is the one about 'Sven's Foreign Legion.' Either that or the enormous amounts of Frank Shinawatra's money he is supposed to have spent.
For the Derby, Sven once again named a City starting XI including only three of his own signings. Testament yet again to his ability to get the best out of the squad that lay in tatters when he inherited it.
But above and beyond anything else, The Sven Revolution has been built upon a foundation that focuses on youth and boy, did those young lads do us proud yesterday.
Joe Hart, our 20 year old goalkeeper is growing in stature with every game and if he carries on like this is a dead cert to become England's Number One.
Academy graduates Nedum Onuoha and Stephen Ireland both 21, and of course, Micah Richards only 19 were all dynamite for the Blue cause and hardly put a foot wrong all game.
Svennis clearly took the decision to rest 18 year old Daniel Sturridge after his recent starts in favour of Benjani's experience. 20 yr old Kelvin Etuhu also took a back seat alongside 20 yr old Shaleum Logan and Kasper Schmeicel, himself only 21. Instead, Sven gave the powerful looking Felipe Caicedo, 19 his first run out. Another of his signings, 21 yr old Gelson Fernandes is our midfield Tasmanian Devil with a big engine and is steadily improving.
When you consider that players signed by The Iceman including the suspended Vedran Corluka 21, the injured Valeri Bojinov also 21 and injured Academy star Michael Johnson 19 would have all been in contention to start yesterday, then it's clear Sven and Hans Backe are planning for City's future in a big way. We may have a relatively small squad in Premier League terms but the wealth and depth of exciting young talent now at Sven's disposal suggests great promise for the club's future.
Furthermore, Elano Blumer, Javier Garrido and Nery Castillo all have plenty of years ahead of them.
If the right on field leadership and experience in every department can continue to be blended with these lads led by Future Ireland Captain Richard Dunne, backed up by The Kaiser Hamman and the likes of Vassel, Petrov and Benjani's clear and present danger, then things can only get better for Manchester City.
The British media have been obsessed with talk of 'Sven's Babes' for years. Maybe it's time to consider the 'Babes' that er, play football under him?!
Date:Monday February 11 2008
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