City aim for high five advantage & £100m splash before deadline day!

Crisp, stylish and uncluttered – Manchester City’s opening night performance of 2015/16 was a sublime reflection of their new sky blue & white strip – a subtle combination of retro elegance and contemporary flair.

Start as you mean to go on - Yaya Toure and his team mates celebrate his goal at WBA. Courtesy@MCFC

Start as you mean to go on – Yaya Toure and his team mates celebrate his goal at WBA. Courtesy@MCFC

Of course first impressions can be deceptive, as a re-invigorated Yaya Toure would readily testify.

The giant Ivorian’s brace was later reduced to just the one stunning strike – courtesy of David Silva’s passive heel – entitling the magical Spaniard to claim City’s first goal of the season for a third consecutive campaign.

Sublime - El Mago David Silva was City's creative wizard at The Hawthorns. Courtesy@ MCFC

Sublime – El Mago David Silva was City’s creative wizard at The Hawthorns. Courtesy@ MCFC

City buttoned down maximum points and collared the top of the table slot when the once again, Captain Fantastic Kompany, thundered home a header – direct from a corner (shock, horror, big smiley face) – sewing up the game against the ‘boing-boingless’ Baggies of West Brom.

Manuel Pellegrini – with the reassurance of an extended two-year contract under his belt – presided over a nigh on perfect display, one where City were utterly dominant.

Battle Cry - Captain Kompany is back and leading his City troops from the front. Courtesy@MCFC

Battle Cry – Captain Kompany is back and leading his City troops from the front. Courtesy@MCFC

City, so often the nemesis of Albion manager Tony Pulis in his previous incarnations at Gillingham and Stoke, almost – almost – elicited a compliment from the craggy Welshman, who loves to hate the blue side of Manchester.

With 69% possession and a staggering 692 completed passes – 211 more than any other team in the opening round of fixtures – City were unplayable, prompting Pulis to say he’d ‘learned a lesson and been given a rude awakening.’

Even the massed ranks of the media had nice things to say and write about City – surely mid-summer madness that will abate in due course.

Speedy acquisition - Sterling made a decent debut as City romped to a 3-0 away win at WBA. Courtesy@MCFC

Speedy acquisition – Sterling made a decent debut as City romped to a 3-0 away win at WBA. Courtesy@MCFC

Raheem Sterling, City’s record signing – at least until Kevin De Bruyne’s £50m arrival from Wolfsburg – made his debut but, more tellingly, two talismanic figures of old re-appeared, as their former selves.

Goalscorers Yaya and Vincent will be as influential as any incoming transfers as City strive for a third Premier League crown in five seasons.

Point to prove - City skipper Vincent Kompany is determined to be back to his best in 2015/16. Courtesy@MCFC

Point to prove – City skipper Vincent Kompany is determined to be back to his best in 2015/16. Courtesy@MCFC

Their re-emergence as the world class players we know them to be, would be a huge boost for City and a double body blow to the likes of Mourinho, Wenger and Van Gaal.

After surrendering the title to Chelsea in a wretched run of away defeats to Liverpool, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Manchester United, City finished last season with six wins on the spin.

Goalbound - there was no disputing who scored City's stunning second goal - a certain Yaya Toure. Courtesy@MCFC

Goalbound – there was no disputing who scored City’s stunning second goal – a certain Yaya Toure. Courtesy@MCFC

It gave rise to some optimism, saved Pellegrini’s job (that and Pep Guardiola’s unavailability) and prompted City Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, to state City would make ‘high quality signings and be much stronger in 2015/16’.

With more than a fortnight of the transfer window remaining, it’s fair to say most City fans remain a tad underwhelmed at the volume of new arrivals.

Most appreciate that, even at £44m, Sterling represents a top quality addition, oozing potential and adding a vital element City have lacked for a long time – genuine attacking speed.

The way he links with Aguero and Silva will be pivotal in City’s title challenge this season, especially as Pellegrini moves away from his default formation setting of 4-4-2.

Supersub - Sergio came off the bench to play his part in City's stylish win. Courtesy@MCFC

Supersub – Sergio came off the bench to play his part in City’s stylish win. Courtesy@MCFC

Ex-Villa skipper Fabian Delph wouldn’t have figured too prominently on many summer shopping lists, but the 25-year old England midfielder is a pragmatic bargain buy at £8m, helping fulfil ‘home-grown’ requirements and he possesses a proven Premier League pedigree.

Having shown himself to be a motorway hazard on the M6 – how many U-turns can a man do between Birmingham and Manchester – Delph could emerge as a real asset and surprise package in City’s midfield traffic.

Off the motoway and on his bike - Fabian Delph will surprise a lot of people following his switch to the Etihad. Courtesy@MCFC

Off the motoway and on his bike – Fabian Delph will surprise a lot of people following his switch to the Etihad. Courtesy@MCFC

Patrick Roberts from Fulham is another young Englishman, identified by City as a future star, and one who could see his stock rise in a similar fashion to Sterling.

The protracted saga of Kevin De Bruyne’s move should finally be resolved next week, and the flame-haired Bundesliga Footballer of the Year will further ignite City’s creative attacking options.

With Aguero, Bony and the exciting emergence of Kelechi Iheanacho, Pellegrini does not see a new striker as a necessity, despite the departure of Balkan duo, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.

Rising star - Kelechi Iheanacho. Courtesy@MCFC

Rising star – Kelechi Iheanacho. Courtesy@MCFC

The astute Chilean appears to be opting for a more dynamic, fluid and interchangeable attacking approach, facilitated by a fast, skilled and swarming midfield.

For far too long, City have been overly reliant on the creativity of David Silva, but the pending arrival of KDB, (20 assists and 10 goals in the Bundesliga last season) , the thrusting directness of Sterling, the power and vision of Toure and a re-focused Samir Nasri, will make City odds on favourites to top the Premier League goal charts for a third consecutive time.

Record signing - Kevin De Bruyne is all set to see City smash their transfer record with a £50m switch to the Etihad.

Record signing – Kevin De Bruyne is all set to see City smash their transfer record with a £50m switch to the Etihad.

The goals continued to flow last term, even with a chronic injury build up, one which saw the now departed James Milner perform as a stand-in centre forward.

Regrettably, a constantly changing back line was breached too often – 38 in total – and such defensive frailties ultimately proved City’s undoing.

Apart from the promotion of the emerging Jason Denayer to the first team squad, City have not addressed those defensive shortcomings with any new personnel.

Surely that’ll change before September 1st.

Central target - Argentine centre back Nicolas Otamendi could soon arrive at City from Valencia.

Central target – Argentine centre back Nicolas Otamendi could soon arrive at City from Valencia.

Pellegrini is actively looking to boost City’s burgeoning Argentine contingent in the shape of Valencia’s want away centre back, Nicolas Otamendi.

The £35m buyout clause is proving to be a stumbling block, but with a possibility of Eliaquim Mangala switching to the Spaniards on a season long loan, City are favourites to get their man, ahead of rivals United.

Mangala might not be the only ex-FC Porto man leaving the Etihad. Midfielder Fernando could be on his way back to the Estadio do Dragao in part exchange for the Primeira League runners-up, left back, Alex Sandro.

Off to sunny Spain? - Could Eliaquim Mangala be loaned to Valencia to get Otamendi to City? Courtesy@MCFC

Off to sunny Spain? – Could Eliaquim Mangala be loaned to Valencia to get Otamendi to City? Courtesy@MCFC

The cultured 24-year old Brazilian left back has six international caps and would fit Pellegrini’s preference for attack-minded, overlapping wing backs, who can deliver an excellent cross.

If De Bruyne, Otamendi and Sandro roll in to the Etihad in the next two weeks, Khaldoon will have lived up to the rhetoric of his annual end of season review and City will have splashed in excess of £150m – not forgetting the £2m invested in young Turk Enes Unal – the 18-year old striker, immediately loaned out to Genk in Belgium.

Porto import - Could Brazilian left back Alex Sandro arrive at City in a deal that takes Fernando back to Portugal?

Porto import – Could Brazilian left back Alex Sandro arrive at City in a deal that takes Fernando back to Portugal?

Loan deals can work when young players are learning their trade – look at Denayer at Celtic and Rony Lopes at Lille in France – but they can be a source of irritation when it comes to seeking to offload senior players.

When wanting to shift out highly paid under achievers, City do loan deals that are more annoying than Wonga!

Obviously the supporters are not privy to the intricacies, minutiae and sensitivities of each and every deal – the minefield of bolt on clauses, image rights, bonuses, ‘loyalty’ payments, basic salaries and transfer fee instalments – but they are nonetheless aggrieved, when their club is perceived as a soft touch by cheapskate Serie A midgets, masquerading as football giants.

Arriverdercci Edin - Dzeko has switched to AS Roma on an initial loan deal. Courtesy@MCFC

Arriverdercci Edin – Dzeko has switched to AS Roma on an initial loan deal. Courtesy@MCFC

The likes of AS Roma, Inter Milan and let’s not exclude AC Milan from the equation, exude Italian chic, but in a domestic supermarket analogy, they’re wanting to shop in the food hall at Marks & Spencer, on a budget that barely extends to the refrigerated meats counter at Lidl.

Dzeko’s £2.9m one season loan deal, is destined to become permanent if ‘certain’ undisclosed criteria is met. Only then will a further fee, rumoured to be in the region of £8m, be payable.

For a 29-year old who scored 72 goals in 117 starts and 72 appearances from the bench, that’s a bargain. Other reports had previously suggested a straight £14m permanent switch, but that soon disappeared down the River Tiber in the Eternal City.

Missed opportunities - Jovetic is swapping the City medical facilities for the San Siro. Courtesy@MCFC

Missed opportunities – Jovetic is swapping the City medical facilities for the San Siro. Courtesy@MCFC

Jovetic’s 18-month loan to Roberto Mancini’s San Siro outfit could eventually net City £14.25m if, as and when the deal becomes permanent. With 11 goals scored in 18 starts and 25 substitute appearances, and at four years younger than Dzeko, Jovetic never really got going at City due to injuries.

The only surprise is the medical suite at the plush new £200m+ City Football Academy isn’t named after the forward from Montenegro.

Staying with medicinal matters, the most attractive element of Chelsea’s visit to the Etihad this weekend will be conspicuous by her absence.

Club doctor Eva Carneiro – allegedly called a ‘slut’ by ‘Gentleman Jose’, simply for doing her job in the champion’s 2-2 draw with Swansea – has been banned from the bench.

Chelsea stunner - Dr Eva Carneiro has been 'benched' from the bench by Gentleman Jose!

Chelsea stunner – Dr Eva Carneiro has been ‘benched’ from the bench by Gentleman Jose!

The Special Snide Sneer from Setubal, verbally abused Dr Eva during a hissy fit as 10-man Chelsea hung onto draw with the excellent Swans.

What a joy it would be to behold a City win come Sunday evening, with moaning Maureen having a funny pitch-side turn and Dr Eva not performing house calls – karma with a capital ‘K’.

Gentleman & Jose the Jerk - Manuel Pellegrini is a thoroughly decent type - Mourinho most definitely is not.

Gentleman & Jose the Jerk – Manuel Pellegrini is a thoroughly decent type – Mourinho most definitely is not.

More importantly City want a big victory ‘V’ and a five point advantage over their rivals after just two games.

 

#TrustOurMP

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

33 Comments

  1. August 15, 2015  6:41 pm by clement sadjere Reply

    It would be amazing to see KDB and Otamendi Nicholas move to the blue side of Manchester

    • August 15, 2015  7:45 pm by David Walker Reply

      It would be very welcome, adding flair and experience to an already talented and seemingly reinvigorated squad.

  2. August 15, 2015  6:49 pm by Ian Barton Reply

    Good stuff again Dave, hope you're right about the transfers, in truth there are too many rumours most if which have the credence of a deluded rag. However there seems to be a momentum about these albeit moving slower than most would like, it would be good to see acceleration this weekend. A good win against the abominable bunch tomorrow & complete the transfer business & the season will be well & truly underway & given a fair wind the title will come home next May!!

    • August 15, 2015  7:52 pm by David Walker Reply

      Our interest in KDB is well documented and, if we fail to land him after a summer long pursuit it would not reflect well on the City hierarchy. Obviously you can't force players to join a club if they have aspirations to go elsewhere e.g. Pogba, but all the indications are that KDB wants to come to the Etihad.

      Otamendi, whilst not the quickest CB in the world, is experienced and very competent and should add some steel to City's rearguard. Left back is City achilles heel and if Sandro joins, it wouldn't come as a great surprise to see Clichy move on, maybe to a reunion with Mancini at Inter Milan. I wonder if the Italians would offer a straight cash deal, a loan, monthly installments, Amazon vouchers...

  3. August 15, 2015  6:53 pm by Mark Reply

    Great Read as per David. We need to squash this little mans dreams tomorrow. And hopefully we get. Chorus of she's coming on, Eva's coming on tomorrow. Unfortunately due to bad holiday planning ( the wife's fault ) I'm going to watch this game in sunny Spain

    • August 15, 2015  7:56 pm by David Walker Reply

      I 'suffered' the same fate when the family booked a 'surprise' holiday in Spain, flying out of Manchester, just as City kicked off against Southampton on the last day of the season. I missed Super Frank's send off and the Golden Boot and Golden Glove awards. On the only occasion you want to hear your flight has been delayed by five hours...it's on time - bugger. Enjoy from afar and hopefully have good reason to down a few litres of Sangria on Sunday night.

  4. August 15, 2015  7:35 pm by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    Suggested song for Sunday:

    You can sit on our bench,
    You can sit on our bench,
    Eva Carneiro,
    You can sit on our bench!

    • August 15, 2015  7:56 pm by David Walker Reply

      Pure lyrical genius. I'll send you Simon Cowell's mobile number ;-)

  5. August 15, 2015  7:36 pm by CBB Reply

    I am sure we will see the most cynical and negative of tactics from Mourinho's team , parking buses on top of buses probably.

    Costa will attempt to bully the back four and probably and become a pathetic raving lunatic if things don't go his way.

    Mourinho's main tactic will be to bore the proverbial off the crowd in another pathetic and mind numbing exhibition of " not losing " - that being his main objective against the better teams.

    He even did that against the toothless and defence minded Rags last season .

    Praying for a win over the Portugese ego maniac !

    • August 15, 2015  7:58 pm by David Walker Reply

      I'm not a God fearing man...but I shall join you in prayer that we beat the repugnant Maureen and suffer a mild groin strain that requires Dr Eva's personal attention.

  6. August 15, 2015  7:51 pm by Pete lynch Reply

    Quality! Can't wait for Sunday and the demise of Chelsea. Let's do it with class like our manager.MP

    • August 15, 2015  8:00 pm by David Walker Reply

      Cheers Pete - that would be rather splendid!

  7. August 15, 2015  8:59 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Nice one again Dave. Happy with the transfers done so far & will be happier if the ones mentioned come true. But why do transfers take so bloody long to do. there becoming like soap operas. Feel that we will give the little Portuguese gnome a bloody nose tomorrow. Alas he won't have a doc on the bench to help him shame.

    • August 15, 2015  11:34 pm by David Walker Reply

      We could always stuff bog roll up his nose to stem the bleeding and then put gaffer tape over his mouth so he couldn't hurl abuse at Dr Eva! What do you mean he wouldn't be able to breathe? ;-)

  8. August 15, 2015  9:05 pm by Dave Potts Reply

    Evening Dave. Another excellent read but I feel you're holding back on us this time. There's a distinct feeling that you know something and you're not telling!

    As for Sunday, it's the return of Mr Ego. It never fails to irritate me that people consistently fall for his transparent tricks. All the fluff written about his hissy fits hides the scrutiny that he should face over his team selection and manner of play. Our team and management face unwarranted criticism because we're a more honourable club than those southern scum bags but we get it in the neck because we don't seek to hide the truth. Media conduct over the Sterling transfer was despicable and the media are complicit in their collusion/fascination with Maureen and his carefully staged arsiness.
    I'm proud of the abuse he gets when he visits because the City crowd can see through his act and he deserves what comes his way.
    Tomorrow? 2-0, City.

    • August 15, 2015  11:38 pm by David Walker Reply

      Hope you're right on the result and I totally agree with your take on the anti City bias that is normally all pervading, albeit it's been 'Be Nice to City Week' since Monday because the buggers couldn't find anything to criticise after that performance at The Hawthorns. As for your initial assertion...'I know nothing...' ;-)

  9. August 15, 2015  10:16 pm by Pete Page Reply

    Good read and put so succinctly. If we manage to acheive those transfer targets, it really will put City in the driving seat. That said, seems clubs are not that short of cash these days hence the reluctance to sell. Plus, when Kaldoon comes calling the distinct sound of 'kerching' gets louder!!

    • August 15, 2015  11:43 pm by David Walker Reply

      I think the boat has well and truly sailed on Pogba which is a great shame because he really is top drawer. Like many fans I am happy with the new acquisitions - all fine young footballers with years ahead of them - but as things stand I couldn't see us challenging for a semi final spot in the Champions League, albeit we could have a damn good run at winning the PL for a third time since 2011. KDB, Otamendi and Sandro could and should make all the difference and I could see the PL being won and City progressing well beyond the last 16 of the CL. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  10. August 16, 2015  1:17 am by Pesh Reply

    Hi Dave,

    Great read as ever. IMO your take on the transfers to date is spot on. perhaps we are waiting for cash to come in from outgoing transfers before committing. At least it would seem like a feasible explanation.

    KDB is the one that I want. I also concur that Khaldoon's words do seem hollow until we sign someone of his calibre. Has there been any contact between the clubs (ie City and Wolfsburg)???

    Either way KDB's signature would mean our midfield would match any in Europe. And would show the kind of ambition that could potentially convince pogba level performer in a subsequent window. We would then have the tools to take on the very best in Europe.

    The leftback spot I think is an issue because of Kolarov's lack of defensive quality and City's lack of quality in defensive midfield. We never really replaced the midfield royalty of De Jong and Barry. IMHO Delph seems more rodwell than Barry but i am happy to be proved wrong. How much money have we wasted here before we get it right - garcia, rodwell, fernando = 42m and with Delph = 50m.

    Otamendi seems a waste and the wrong message to a Denayer and Mangala. I would rather wait for Otamendi until Demi hangs up his boots.

    Cheers

    P

    • August 16, 2015  7:55 am by David Walker Reply

      To the best of my knowledge City have bid £50m for KDB and the player wants to come to the Etihad. Agreed, we have never adequately replaced NDJ or Barry at his best. I don't think Demi ever expected to play as much football as he has for City, but after a rocky start he has emerged as the experienced and skilled warhorse that we now know him to be. That said, it's time for youth to step up and this will surely be his last season at the Etihad. If we get Otamendi at the same time as letting Mangala play a season in La Liga, we should be well set at CB for years to come with Denayer's emergence. Thanks for your feedback.

      • August 16, 2015  11:58 am by Pesh Reply

        Your welcome.

        This KDB stuff is giving me sleepless nights - http://www.espnfc.co.uk/story/2565994/man-city-yet-to-make-kevin-de-bruyne-bid-wolfsburg

        I wonder what our Tixi is waiting for if the above link is true. Would seem errant to go into the new season having seen - dzeko, jovetic, milner and lamps go and bring in only Sterling.

        I cant see FFP being an issue at this point as those sanctions per Khaldoon, were meant to be behind us - thats a lot of money of our wage bill. Imagine a side with KDB?

        Hart
        Zab, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy (ive always been Gael over Alex)
        Fernandinho, (this is why pogba suits city IMO - im a fernandinho fan, in UCL games I however, think we need two here)
        Silva, Yaya, KDB, Sterling,
        AguerooooOOH

        keeping it all crossed for an early Christmas present from Wolvsburg.

        Cheers

        P

        • August 17, 2015  8:56 am by David Walker Reply

          Christmas is on its way this week!

  11. August 16, 2015  7:14 am by Guvnor Reply

    The doctor thing is just a ploy to take the heat off the inapt performance against Swansea. The man is a little weasel. come Sunday evening we will be 5 points clear of them. Great read Dave, good start to the new season .

    • August 16, 2015  7:59 am by David Walker Reply

      Yes, smoke and mirrors but when a lady is insulted by a pig - and such a pretty lady - it is the duty of an Englishman to jump to her aid. Dr Eva is from Gibraltar, so almost qualifies as an English lady ;-) Hopefully we can put the piece of Portuguese excrement in his place today and, as another reader, George from Israel suggested, offer Dr Eva a place on the City bench. I've no doubt the 'lads' would shift up to accommodate her ;-)

  12. August 16, 2015  7:16 am by Guvnor Reply

    Great read Dave, Sunday night 3-0, then Jose will have to go and see a doctor.

    • August 16, 2015  8:00 am by David Walker Reply

      That would be mighty fine medicine Guvnor - cheers!

  13. August 16, 2015  7:24 am by Ray W Reply

    Hi David excellent piece as usual and something I always look forward to reading.

    Personally I think more than the medias disgraceful behaviour over Sterlings transfer to City the shameful gang mentality of ex Liverpool players queueing up to attack him says a lot about that club and whats its become. Linekers arrogant assertion (On Room 101) that ex pros know more about football simply because they have played it professional is as much deluded nonsense as emanated from those Liverpool dummies orchestrated by the massive ego aka known as Rodgers.

    I like all the players we have signed and the ones you speculate we might sign. Who knows Pogba may still end up signing.

    Ignoring the three points for the moment, shoving it back up the arrogant, ignorant, cowardly, wannabe Ferguson, Mourinho where the sun dont shine would make a win so much more beautiful.

    I totally agree with you about the Italian clubs but for some reason they seem to be able to get away with it buying cheaply and selling at a premium. This cant solely be down to us having wealthy owners. Regrettably there didnt appear to be a host of clubs wanting to sign either Jovetic or Dzeko.

    • August 16, 2015  8:01 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Ray - you agree with me and I with you. We are in total agreement...agreed? Cheers fella, let's go grab the points.

  14. August 16, 2015  11:18 am by Richard Cooper Reply

    Excellent article and some good witty comments - a good start to today's clash.
    Monday waa a super night out (apart from the Car Park formerly called the M6)
    Everybody played their part even our chums Kolorov, Mangler and Sagna.
    We have to start today with the same tempo and unsettle the inevitable "parked bus".
    A bit unsure of the Mangala/Otamendi swap - It took Mangala a hell of a long time to adapt to the EPL - might Otamendi have the same problems ?.
    I agree with the comment about the length of time transfers take these days - Having said that KDB would be a super addition to our squad - Being devotees of the Bundesliga ITV4 programme he really looks top drawer, the only proviso being that the Bundesliga games appear more open and "end to end" contests so he won't have that space in the EPL but let's put this saga "to bed" and get him on board.
    C'mon City put "one over" the egotistical clown today and put down a marker for what should be an exciting season.

    • August 17, 2015  8:55 am by David Walker Reply

      KDB & Otamendi into the Etihad this week to make a good thing even better. Sensational showing against Moaning Maureen yesterday and plenty of scope for optimism. It looks as if Mangala is going to Valencia on loan, with a view to returning to City a more accomplished player for the future. An interesting development given the amount spent and the fact he seems to be performing well, albeit only two games into the season. Brilliant to witness a bemused, befuddled and totally deluded Jose spitting out his dummy along with the usual bile. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  15. August 17, 2015  8:04 pm by ayodeji Reply

    Jose lost d mind games, tactics to MP, plus d lads r making doubters swallows their words. Great performance yesterday. Would prefer isco to KDB, otamendi a very welcome development n nt with mangala as part deal.

    • August 17, 2015  10:38 pm by David Walker Reply

      I'd prefer Isco over KDB but we may end up with neither. Too early to make a judgement on our transfer window but in terms of 'high quality' - no disrespect to Delph & Roberts at this stage - we've only brought in Sterling. It may be with all the best endeavours and intentions that we have pursued players and deals have broken down e.g. Pogba, KDB, but Sterling is the only one of the generally acknowledged stellar deals we wanted to complete.

      We're off to a flyer with 2 PL wins but it's rank naivety to believe we will sustain this level of performance with this squad once the injuries and suspensions kick in. As for the Champions League there hasn't been an upgrade to take us to the semi finals, unless we draw weaker opposition than in previous years.

      As for Jose's mind games - it's called adolescent petulance. Thanks for the feedback.

  16. August 17, 2015  8:43 pm by ayodeji Reply

    Would prefer isco to KDB, otamendi a very welcome development n nt with mangala as part deal.

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