Tuesday 25 June 2013

What's going on within City?

Losing out on a transfer ain't the end of the world. You try to persuade a player to join your club and tell them the ambitions that are lying ahead in the (near) future. But how things are currently going at Manchester City are alarming. Bells should be heard and flash lights should be visual by now that things are going very wrong – something that could lead to long term damage.

My question is clear: are Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain capable of representing our club? Yes, we're paying their salaries and should represent us, but I noticed some issues that make me feel quite suspicious.

Missing out on Isco is a painful one. This because City has been in talks with the lad and his father since at least last April. Early May it was basically a done and dusted deal: Isco had stated he wanted to join Pellegrini's new team and to continue his career within the Premier League. For those who by the way think that Mancini only got sacked for losing the FA cup final I honestly feel sorry for.

How come that – when you negotiate for such a long time until you reach the 'verbal agreement' stage – you suddenly hold back entirely, and do not offer a contract straight away. It happened with Navas and Fernandinho – transfer fee agreed and player snapped up. In this case the two City represents let it be and left Isco in a thick fog of mystery, making it very easy for Real Madrid to step in and gain his signature.

The same applies to Edinson Cavani – who City has been in talks with for a period of one to one-and-a-half years to lure him over to Manchester. Also this player initially got convinced that moving to the Citizens would be an exciting challenge. He even stated it in the press that he 'would definitely change teams – but not colours' – and as we know Napoli and Manchester City are in light blue.

Regarding him the transfer has not yet been binned, however just like the Isco situation the 'big two' of City walked away when a final offer had to be made and so leave the door wide open again for any other club to hijack the transfer attempt.

And let us not forget the entire failed transfer window of the summer of 2012 – last year indeed. The than active manager Roberto Mancini was convinced that Robin van Persie would join his team after (personal) negotiations. But also here Soriano and Begiristain kept the player in the dark at the final stages – making it an easy move for United to take advantage regarding the highly productive striker. I'm just saying, this is exactly the same pattern.

Also this took place regarding Daniele De Rossi – who was been spoken with for at least 8 months, I dare to state. As De Rossi was also a target for January 2012 when the club needed a replacement for the Africa Cup bound Yaya Toure.
Marwood got the blame by the majority of the fans regarding all the transfer fails, as he WAS the man in charge to get new signings in – but the truth is that Soriano and Begiristain were the ones responsible. Do not forget that Marwood did sign Nigel de Jong, Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure, David Silva etc etc!

As a result of no big players coming in the club signed highly overpriced Javier Garcia – a player who would also struggle at Norwich due of not having the spine of being suitable for the top. Sinclair was taken in. A player who would only have been a big signing to us if we would be still pre-2008. The club is slipping up – and although I seriously thought 'this is one season only being skipped', the attitude regarding dealing with transfers remained the same.

Agreed: Nastasic is probably the best young player signed by any club in the Premier League last summer. A player who adopted the English way of play and culture very quickly and shall be one of Europe's best stars. And don't forget Jack Rodwell – a player originally from the Marwood list – who as well got a bright future ahead of him. From injury prawn to now ready to shine – after some fantastic healing work by the Man City medical staff. Their future is bright, but is it for the club? Are we moving forward or are we being moled down?

The worrying part for next season is the departure of 'saviour' Tevez - the man who opened all doors for us when we managed to sign him up four years ago. That was one of the biggest scoops in football history. You don't get players with such high working rate and technique as he has. And with the failure of getting in big names, dark clouds look to set above Manchester.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

The Manchester City spirit

First of all, I wish to congratulate the good United fans for winning this season's title. Fact is they were more stable and didn't had tactical cock ups as we - my beloved Manchester City - had through out the season.

Man City, we're staying up! We're staying up! Nananananana, we're staying up! I'm breathing City, I'm living City. Not just me, together with me so many thousands more. We are City. We are super City from Maine Road. Thank you Noel and Liam Gallagher for injecting me with the City 'virus', that is introducing me your love. I love Manchester as well, one of the two most amazing places on the planet. I'm here, not going away.

Let me become personal: I have been cyber bullied here on Twitter since I started my own blog. And why? Ask them. I know names, know 7 heavily involved, but not going to name them. Karma to take care of it, but not me in person. What have they done you wonder? Reported me for spam for publishing my own blog and send it to my followers only. Gawd, I dared to ask for a re-tweet, oh my, that is 'aggressive behavior' ain't it! Me, just a writer, me not holding back and fearing the established. Me, just me, being cyber bullied due of that single reason.

I'm going even more personal. In 1999 I was fully paralyzed. I had a tumor in my neck in the size of a tennis ball. If you're interested, google image it and come back after that to understand how lovely it looks like. I had no chance to survive, they discovered it early December of that year due of first wrong diagnoses. When I finally understood what was going on, I begged for a surgery: ffs, this is it, just take it out and let me continue my life! The docs refused, due of the fact I was already so far gone that I had no single chance. I beat the odds and I survived. My surgeant Dr Teddy - who got aware I was being dismissed only 5 weeks after the surgery, fainted when he saw me walking on my own out of the building. Can you read this you bullies? I did it, you won't ever come close!

In 2004 I had my second tumor removed, as well a tennis ball size. Damn, what a hell it was, but let me now come back to 1999 first. It was May, and we, Manchester City, played Gillingham in the play offs final. I accepted I would die, I was so far gone that I lived at that stage I just wanted to enjoy single moments to feel worth living for. We were 2-0 down, that goal in the 89th minute left me in big tears - even a promotion wasn't handed to me to at least enjoy. Then the recovery took place: 2-1 and then AGUEROOOOOO, I mean, DIIICKOOOOOOOOV 2-2... No need to tell you the outcome, do I? I live City, I have my life to thank for being City and feeling the Manchester loving. Still some cyber bullies - including a fellow blogger and some forum owners - feel it's justified to deny me having my own blog.

WE are City, I might be a Dutch native, but my life is City, I live it, I once stated: if we win the league just kill me there as then I've accomplished life. I'm still alive, and am enjoying our amazing progress together with my friends, my fellow Citizens. The people I love. No one can ever pull me down.

Thank you

Friday 12 April 2013

The Paolo Di Canio bandwagon

Oh, how has Paolo became a hot topic last week! Funny that the talentless journalists praised him into heaven when they claimed he was 'appointed by Reading' just two weeks prior. Irony, now they are all silly sheep bashing him because of their lack of knowledge.

Mind you: I condemn fascism, but his personal views were known a long, long time ago. Only for those who actually observe the football world and not copycat other journalists – trying to state “EXCLUSIVE” in order to save their jobs. Some of them wrote down that Di Canio only did a fascist salute just once, but of course he did it way more often while playing for Lazio Roma. It is their club culture, and clearly a reason for me not to wish them any attention.

But what is is about Di Canio? He's a fruitcake, for sure, giving some spice to the more mentally stable elite – who can't crack any excitement into nowadays football to be fair. Have you noticed that he actually understands now that he is being seen as a 'role model', as he both got older and wiser while entering a (long term) manageral career? He knows, he tries to live to it. Politics should not get involved, and it is his to lose of course if he does any comments.

I noticed a lot of hypocrite people being the strongest followers of the 'we hate Di Canio' campaign. You only have to look at Glasgow Rangers v Celtic to understand that politics are being used in the sport of football for a long time now. But of course only attacking an individual who stated his personal views – instead of an entire team – is way more easy to target and easy to destroy. Will it work? I hope this won't. He's not really a Robin Van Persie who didn't understand the word 'no', is he?

I think it's personally best not to join the bandwagon of 'moral belief'. Did you knew that David Millibrand didn't resign due of the appointment of Di Canio, but because he had a job offered in New York? He used this situation to gain a political win only. As I began with today's article with: politics should never hijack the game of football.

Monday 1 April 2013

Why Carlos Tevez deserves a statue

Manchester City has got a great history coming to legendary players. The amount of trophies might not reflect it, but the true fans know they've been enjoying many special moments and matches along the road. Colin 'The King' Bell without a doubt the most named player – and rightly so, with his amazing pace and productivity. And we drink a drink a drink...

For me the Colin Bell of the current era is Carlos Tevez – not even a doubt about it that he is actually the biggest signing the club has ever made. The whole football elite wanted his signature, after the Man United hierarchy decided not to give Tevez a contract after some amazing games with a high work force. The fans wanted him to stay – they were there in big numbers shouting 'Fergie sign him up' and took every single opportunity to make their statement clear.

I wanted him as well. As a die hard Manchester City fan you absolutely do not want to have any former player of your enemy within your ranks – but this was simply different. It already was that moment when he joined West Ham United that something special hang around him. And he made the Premier League his own, from scratch, helping the Hammers to survive with an amazing brase of goals as first mark of big honour.

Carlos is a strong believer in 'pride in battle'. Forget Messi. Yes he definitely IS an amazing footballer, but playing in a way more comfortable league and at a way more presented team. The Premier League has got more competition going on and you need to work harder for your goals compared to the La Liga. But Carlos isn't a quitter, he seeks and tries to destroy the opposition and does it all on his own if necessary.

But how about that incident last season away at Bayern Munchen? Why do we actually still brag about it, is my answer to that one. Whatever happened then was either a situation between Carlos and manager Mancini, or it was Tevez' his agent who wanted to earn some money by forcing a transfer. It is for me quite clear that Joorabchian is very quiet ever since that fiasco. And after a couple of stormy months Carlos fought himself back into the first team and knew it would take a long time to win back the fans opinion. He accepted his wrong doing, and grabbed his single opportunity with both hands. We have to admire his will power. The Munich incident is behind us.

The current situation now is that his contract is set to expire, and he has indicated his desire to move back to Argentina due of his family life. You can't really blame him for that – two young children and he clearly desires stability for them. But I really hope we will be able to #KeepCarlos as he's City's saviour. Due of the fast we signed him, we showed the football world we meant business. Carlos his signature opened a lot of doors, it created many transfers. For example: nice that Yaya Toure's brother Kolo was already playing for us, but he would not have joined City due of him, he joined due of Tevez. And so did Silva and so did quite a lot more.

Carlos deserves a statue. Either coming from the new MetroLink stop, him standing capping his ears facing the stadium, or either on the Ashton New Road side, facing Trafford. However, I prefer the first option due of the great stream of fans arriving via that route. - #KeepCarlos

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Monday 25 March 2013

Criminal law and footballers

Football is of course a physical sport. Heads can bang against each other when two players are aiming an approaching ball, of course. A foot can accidentally remain 'planted' into the ground during a normal type of body check, resulting into a turning knee or ankle, possible. That's all in the game. But what if you use football as an excuse to just lash out to someone? Just for fun, because there's no law?

Let's go back to Sunday March 17 – the horrendous foul made by Callum McManaman during the 1st half between Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United. The action was gross and unnecessary. He stormed in wild with a stretched leg directly aiming the one of Haïdara, who got seriously injured due of that action and had to undergo surgery.

The referee – Mark Halsey – should had shown him a direct red card for that, simple. Instead he decided not to. This might have been because he wanted to lay the responsibility of judgement into the hands of the FA disciplinary commission at Wembley, who could easily investigate the video evidence. However, weird enough Halsey also didn't gave a free kick to Newcastle – making himself look foolish.

Now there is something I am very curious about: if you deliberate kick someone on purpose, being excessively wild in your behaviour that you do not care about the outcome to your action towards someone else – what would it be named according to the law? The law is simple, as secion 18 of the Offences agains the Person Act 1861 will come into force.

It is actually very weird when you think of it that the law doesn't seem to apply for those who are on a football pitch. We again take the Wigan v Newcastle game where there were Police officers ON DUTY who witnessed the assault, who saw Haïdara in serious pain after the attack, and decided not to arrest McManaman. While if you would do something similar (or even milder!) yourself on the streets than you can be assured Police Officers will jump on top of you straight away and take you into custody. But hey ho, not a footballer.

The excuse that it was McManaman début can be rubbished. He has of course never played football in his life before and was still getting used of the feel of the ball. That object he entirely missed while storming in like a 6 year old – was due to inexperience.
And the FA let McManaman escape as they were hiding behind their rule that 'only one match official witnessed the incident'. Fair of course: as did several Police Officers, as did a crowd of more than twenty-two thousand spectators and as well did millions of people world wide who saw it all live on their TV sets.

Let's put on another fine example. Joey Barton his potential head butt during Manchester City v QPR last May would have resulted into an imprisonment of up to 6 months (!) if he did it OFF the pitch. Same counts to Fellaini who planted his head into Shawcross last December. The law even states that if you are being convicted to a head butt for a second time, you could get up to a full year in jail. But of course this does not apply for a footballer.

Footballers got a role model function and should live by those standards. I really want the rules to be changed that if a player is causing a (serious) injury to an other player – the one who does the offence would not be allowed to play any football until the attacked and injured one is fully recovered. In this case it would have ruled out the remaining of Roy Keane's career as his sickening kick on the leg of Alf-Inge Haaland forever ruined his. This is probably the most extreme example, I know, but players do are being 'kicked for joy' quite a lot and my proposal will result into a fairer game in the end.

below - normal challenge, of course

Monday 11 March 2013

City v Barnsley 5-0 – Vroom! How to smack a journo with clichés

Wearing my Diesel allstars I was well fuelled up for the late kick off fixture last Saturday. It was a game in which Lamborghini were hosting a DAF truck, with the Wembley semi-final as reward at the end of a 90 minutes tunnel journey.

And the visitors – as expected – parked their bus in front of their goal. I don't know why they called their goalkeeper Luke Steele a 'captain', as he simply was throughout the game their live commentating host: “and on the left we are seeing goals, and on the right we are also seeing goals”. The only thing missing to illustrate the DAF truck visitors were the cameras hanging around their necks.

Their mechanic David Flitcroft had no doubt worked out a constructive plan on the drawing table in his garage during the last couple of weeks. With none of his bus parts missing he was relying on a strong counter attack tactic: put the gear from 1 to 2, then accelerate and when losing the ball: REVERSE, REVERSE! They only were not capable of turning into Transformers, sadly, as the Lamborghini players were too fast with their hydro petrol engines.

Pit stops were made by both teams throughout the game, but it was a heated moment when Carlos Tevez was part of one and he looked like a rabbit staring at the car's headlights when a police officer dressed up as Roberto Mancini wanted to have a word with him. Unlucky for him was the fact that a speedy camera has caught that moment – but most likely he shall escape a penalty. However if awarded he would no doubt easily take and score it from the spot.

5-0 the final score, with top speed Tevez scoring 3 goals and ordering a taxi for the other 2. The machine was well oiled and of course only the best was provided by our owners. Now it's time to focus on an away trip to Everton, and this time they should all take the train from Piccadilly instead of using any vehicle containing a stirring wheel – this in order to make sure we can avoid any more car/arrest jokes by very original journos. Let's keep the speed going and definitely not de-rail.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

The danger of the Ever Blue proposal

On Tuesday, all Manchester City season ticket holders received a 'Fan Survey' in which a proposal was being made to vote 'yes' or 'no' towards a new plan called Ever Blue. I sincerely hope the majority will understand the background meaning of this and will vote against it.

The Ever Blue means you must pay a 'deposit' of two seasons in advance 'to make sure you will keep your seat'. This comes now on top of your season ticket renewal. If you decline to pay for the deposit, than someone else in the waiting list shall do so in the end and you'll be moved out of your seat in two seasons from now.

In order to confuse the fans they stated: “fans may decline the purpose that someone else buys your seat”. But wait, by not paying the deposit – or you can't afford it – simply means that you're 'giving up your seat'. So are you then being moved elsewhere? Not if all those other seats are already claimed by other Ever Blue subscribers.

Where will this new idea lead to? It means that unpaid seats will be sold for a higher price to those who got a deeper pocket. Those who got more wealth will also spend more in the club shop. Is this a plan in order to gain more money due of the Financial Fair Play? Surely there are other ways to do so instead of forcing loyal fans out and replace them with people who got more money.