King Kün’s reign to continue as Jesus helps resurrect City’s fortunes

Sergio Aguero is heading to Real Madrid this summer… just like he was in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 according to the brown stuff stirring media, but low and behold he’s still at the Etihad.

Down but far from out - Sergio wants to stay at City.

Down but far from out – Sergio wants to stay at City.

The Argentine super-striker says he wants to stay at City for the remaining three years of his contract until 2020.

Pep Guardiola says Aguero is one of the most important members of his squad, and he will get plenty of game time.

City’s hierarchy say there is no question of Aguero leaving City in the wake of the arrival of Brazilian wonderkid, Gabriel Jesus.

So that’s player, manager and club all saying ‘stick’, whereas the warped wordsmiths at the aptly named ‘red-top’ tabloids strive to ‘twist’ the story.

Staying Power - Pep and Sergio can work together over the next three-and-a-half years to bring glory to City.

Staying Power – Pep and Sergio can work together over the next three-and-a-half years to bring glory to City.

It must be hoped that Aguero is indeed staying, as Guardiola assembles an array of attacking talent to rival – maybe even surpass – the best in the business.

The sky’s the limit for Aguero, Jesus, Sane, Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Iheanacho and who knows who else?

Looks familiar - Sergio celebrates another City goal, this time against Burnley last month.

Looks familiar – Sergio celebrates another City goal, this time against Burnley last month.

Sergio is tried, tested and proven in the Premier League – 113 goals in 168 appearances tells you all you need to know, plus a further 41 goals in 66 Champions League, FA and League Cup games.

He’s a phenomenon and, in six-and-a-half years with City, he’s been a model professional. It’ll be his 29th birthday on June 2nd hardly ancient, and still classed among the world’s top five strikers. Why on earth would City want to sell him?

At 10 years Aguero’s junior, Jesus is undoubtedly City’s future.

Jesus the Redeemer - Gabriel is the face of City's future but his goals could help land silverware in the present.

Jesus the Redeemer – Gabriel is the face of City’s future, but his goals could help land silverware in the present. Artwork courtesy of Stiz of RBNR sponsors BlueRoom.

Three goals and two assists in three starts would even suggest the £27m steal from Palmeiras is already City’s ‘present’, but it’d be foolhardy to place too much on such young shoulders so soon.

Despite having no option other than to praise the brilliant young Brazilian’s start in English football, it’s worth noting the early signs of media mischief making and insidious scrutiny of Jesus’ time in Manchester.

Jesus just in time - Gabriel celebrates scoring against Swansea with City legend Zaba.

Jesus just in time – Gabriel celebrates scoring against Swansea with City legend Zaba.

Apparently Jesus getting a taxi back to his hotel from the hairdressers on a rainy Mancunian Monday is headline news for some ‘sleazy rags’ who observed he ‘…took a cab rather than walk on water like his namesake.’

How pathetic.

But the award for the most ‘persecuted’ City player goes to another burgeoning talent, Raheem Sterling.

Up Yours - Raheem celebrates his FA Cup goal at the Palace with a message for his detractors.

Up Yours – Raheem celebrates his FA Cup goal at the Palace with a message for his detractors.

The knives are out from the Scouse ass-kissing media like never before – even worse than the hounding of Super/Mad Mario Balotelli back in the day.

At just 22 years old, Sterling is already a veteran of media sniping and, latterly, outrageous officiating.

Having been denied a stonewall penalty against Spurs by Andre Marriner, and a certain spot kick against Everton by Clattenburg, referee Mike Dean really had it in for Sterling against Swansea.

Stonewall Sterling penalty - Raheem is denied a nailed on penalty appeal after being fouled by Spurs' Kyle Walker.

Stonewall Sterling penalty – Raheem is denied a nailed on penalty appeal after being fouled by Spurs’ Kyle Walker.

City’s Number 7 went down in the 18-yard area in a collision with Swans keeper Fabianski – it was potentially a penalty – but Sterling didn’t even appeal, and yet Dean booked him for diving.

The arrogance of Dean and his craving for the spotlight was breathtaking – quite incredible. He’s undoubtedly one of the most self-obsessed and reviled members of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) – the commercial ‘association’ for so-called ‘elite’ referees and their sidekick assistants.

Persecuted - Dickhead referee Mike Dean books Raheem for God knows what against Swansea!

Persecuted – Referee Mike Dean books Raheem for God knows what against Swansea!

Oh, and on that topic, congratulations to Andre Marriner for landing the EFL Cup Final gig on February 26th.

His masterclass impersonations of a blind man when not seeing the Aguero-Reid ‘elbowing’ incident from 10 yards last August, compounded by ‘missing’ Kyle Walker’s blatant push on Sterling against Spurs in January, must’ve earned him great admiration from all at PGMOL and the FA.

Blind, bent or maybe even both - just asking? Ref Andre Marriner has been rewarded with the EFL Cup Final after abysmal displays when officiating City matches.

Blind, bent or maybe even both – just asking? Ref Andre Marriner has been rewarded with the EFL Cup Final after abysmal displays when officiating City matches.

It’s become increasingly clear that Pep’s City are generally taking on more than 11 opponents at any given time this season.

To rally against Spurs after the debacle at Everton, only to be blatantly cheated inside 60 seconds when what would’ve/should’ve been 3-1 to City became 2-2, was a travesty.

One can only lament the events of December 3rd when Altrincham’s most famous Manchester United fan, Anthony Taylor, aided and abetted Chelsea’s 3-1 win at the Etihad.

The letter 'A' is for abysmal, abject, Altrincham and Anthony - all four apply to referee Taylor, after the Manchester United fan's handling of City against Chelsea in December.

The letter ‘A’ is for abysmal, abject, Altrincham and Anthony – all four apply to referee Taylor, after the Manchester United fan’s handling of City against Chelsea in December.

City were also culpable with missed chances aplenty, but that one game represents a six point swing.

How different it would be if Chelsea’s lead were down to just four points, not 10, especially with City fortified by the arrival of Jesus and the return of Vincent Kompany.

Captain Kompany's on-field presence could galvanise City's season.

Captain Kompany’s on-field presence could galvanise City’s season.

It’s difficult to envisage Chelsea dropping sufficient points for City to bridge the gap, but it’s easy to see City winning at Stamford Bridge and gaining a modicum of revenge.

City’s keeper on the day the title was, to all intent and purposes lost, was the much maligned Claudio Bravo, since replaced by a resurgent Willy Caballero.

Bravo and out? City's Chilean goalkeeper has had an unhappy stay at the Etihad since his move from Barcelona in August.

Bravo and out? City’s Chilean goalkeeper has had an unhappy stay at the Etihad since his move from Barcelona in August.

It’s a stark illustration of the changing fortunes of footballers.

This time last year Willy was ostracized by many City fans, who feared Caballero’s inclusion in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI for the League Cup Final would cost City the match.

Hero Caballero - Willy proved all the doubters wrong with a trio of stunning Wembley penalty saves as City won the League Cup last February.

Hero Caballero – Willy proved all the doubters wrong with a trio of stunning Wembley penalty saves as City won the League Cup last February.

How wrong could they have been, as Willy emerged the hero in the penalty shootout!

Whether Bravo will get the chance to resurrect his City career remains to be seen, but with City’s next three games encompassing the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, the Chilean could well be back in the firing line this month.

One man enjoying a wholly unexpected new lease of life is Yaya Toure.

On song Yaya - Toure fires home a glorious free kick down at the Palace.

On song Yaya – Toure fires home a glorious free kick down at the Palace.

Sidelined by off-field issues relating to fitness levels and the utterances of his repugnant representative, Yaya has ‘put up’ and his agent Dimitri Seluk has ‘shut up’ since mid-November.

What was once unthinkable could now well happen this summer – the Ivorian colossus could earn a contract extension under Pep.

Spot on - Yaya has never missed a penalty in City colours - long may it continue.

Spot on – Yaya has never missed a penalty in City colours – long may it continue.

It speaks volumes for Guardiola’s man-management qualities that Yaya is back in the fold and keen to impress.

David Silva has praised Pep in recent days saying: “After all the years I’ve been in the game and with all my experience, I’ve really learned a lot in 4 or 5 months with him. He truly is an exceptional coach.”

El Mago David Silva has been full of praise for Pep, describing him as an 'exceptional coach'.

El Mago David Silva has been full of praise for Pep, describing him as an ‘exceptional coach’.

Pep himself has been on a sharp learning curve and will be all the better prepared for the final third of the season and beyond.

The loss of Pep’s first signing, Ilkay Gundagon, since mid-December has been a bitter pill to swallow, but the emergence of fellow German Leroy Sane, really gets the juices flowing.

Leroy Sane is beginning to show why City paid £37m for him last summer and why Pep rates him so highly.

Leroy Sane is beginning to show why City paid £37m for him last summer and why Pep rates him so highly.

A top three finish, progression to the quarter finals or further in the Champions League and the prospect of lifting the FA Cup, would be a more than acceptable return, on what was always going to be a challenging first year for Guardiola in England.

If Pep is now having the major say in City’s transfer dealings, as opposed to City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, then the summer window should be the catalyst to transform City’s title and Champions League aspirations into reality.

On song against the Swans but definitely not Gabriel Jesus' swansong as he opens his goals account at the Etihad.

On song against the Swans but definitely not Gabriel Jesus’ swansong, as he opens his goals account at the Etihad.

A root and branch reshaping of City’s squad should see Pep saying adios to some City ‘legends’, favourites and players who just can’t cut it, namely Zabaleta, Hart, Nasri, Clichy, Kolarov, Sagna, Navas, Mangala, Caballero, Fernando, Delph, Bravo and Bony.

As well as spending big on a pacy new defence, a commanding goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder and possibly another top notch striker, City could also be welcoming back the young talents of loanees Patrick Roberts, Marlos Moreno, Oleksander Zinchenko, Manu Garcia and Pablo Maffeo…and then there’s the emotive topic of  promoting emerging CFA graduates Aleix Garcia, Tosin Adarabioyo, Brahim Diaz and Angus Gunn.

Back and set to stay a bit longer - Yaya could yet earn himself a contract extension at City, something that was unthinkable a couple of months ago.

Back and set to stay a bit longer – Yaya could yet earn himself a contract extension at City, something that was unthinkable a couple of months ago.

But even if City were to finish trophy-less in 2017, the perverse reality would be that the club has progressed under Pep, in readiness for years to come.

There’s speculation that Guardiola is keen to go well beyond his initial three-year contract, such is his determination to confound his critics, establish City as a European football power and leave an enduring legacy. It’s great to hear.

Together - Pep and Sergio can help take City to new peaks in the next three years.

Together – Pep and Sergio can help take City to new peaks in the next three years.

What would be even more harmonious to supporters, is confirmation of Sergio staying to help his manager and team mates amass medals and trophies like never before in the history of Manchester City.

 By David Walker

DEDICATION…

This edition of Read But Never Red is dedicated to Philip Entwistle – a gentleman, a true Blue and a man I’m privileged to call my friend.

Last Sunday’s 2-1 win over Swansea seems destined to be Phil’s last match at the Etihad as his battle with serious health issues continue.

Tears were shed, hands shaken and embraces shared on an emotional day, culminating in the ecstasy of a last minute winner from Gabriel Jesus – a fitting finale – and a goal that will live long in the memory for reasons both good and bad, happy and sad.

 

COMPETITION TIME…

Lifelong City fan Mark McCarthy is hosting an evening with former City and England striker David White on February 25th, to promote the release of David’s powerful new autobiography ‘Shades of Blue’…and Read But Never Red will have a personally signed copy of David’s book to give away to one lucky RBNR reader.

Shades of Blue by David White - Read But Never Red has a signed copy of 'Whitey's' new book to give away.

Shades of Blue by David White – Read But Never Red has a signed copy of ‘Whitey’s’ new book to give away.

All you have to do is tell us what year was David White born? Send your answers via the Comments section at www.readbutneverred.com or via our Facebook page or on Twitter @ReadButNeverRed using #ShadesOfBlue and the year in question.

The winner will be contacted via social media and the signed copy of the book dispatched after February 25th.

THE EVENT…

David White will be fielding questions and giving answers at a Q&A evening and book signing at 7pm at Newport Pagnall Town Football & Social Club, The Pavilion, Willen, Newport Pagnall, MK16 ODF.

One of City's favourite sons David White will be meeting fans for a Q&A session and book signing in Milton Keynes on February 25th.

One of City’s favourite sons David White will be meeting fans for a Q&A session and book signing in Milton Keynes on February 25th.

Tickets are FREE but limited in number, so please don’t delay and contact Mark directly on mmmac@hotmail.co.uk if you wish to attend.

 

‘SHADES OF BLUE’THE BOOK…

David White was born in Manchester in 1967 with football flowing in his veins. Driven by his football-mad dad, David’s prodigious talent was spotted early and he soon signed coveted schoolboy forms for Manchester City, the team that he’d supported since boyhood. A meteoric rise through the club’s ranks led to his first-team debut at the age of 18, and he continued to light up Maine Road’s right wing for the next eight years. It was a career that would take him to the heights of playing for his country.

But David’s performance on the pitch was frequently blighted by a lack of confidence and consistency, traits that baffled his fans and family. Only David knew the real reason behind his struggles. Only David knew who had shot his confidence to pieces. Only David knew that, aged just eleven, he had been sexually abused by his football coach, Barry Bennell.

Shades of Blue tells the story of David’s extraordinary life: his passion for football, the drama of his games and his fight to outrun the shadow of that early abuse. Having spent years feeling that he had to conceal his secret in order to protect his father and his football career, it is only now that David has felt able to give a full and honest account of his life – one with a powerful message that aims to repair the damage at the very heart of the sport.

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

18 Comments

  1. February 9, 2017  5:52 pm by Roget Solstad Reply

    1967
    I can still hear Clive Tyldesly shouting "no, he's given it, he's given it!!" on telly later that night. David got a brace that night at MR v. liverpool and I was happy to be there. I really admire DW for coming out with his story and contributing also to help others by doing it.

    Roger Solstad, Narvik in northern Norway

    • February 9, 2017  6:13 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Roger - Whitey certainly was one helluva sight to behold in full flight.

  2. February 9, 2017  6:59 pm by richard cooper Reply

    Apart from the 3 teams going down and coming up in the Premier League the only places Kun will be going to next season are the same ones as this season !

  3. February 9, 2017  10:27 pm by Susan Bookbinder Reply

    Brilliant as always David - you're a great writer 💙👍

    • February 9, 2017  10:54 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Suzy, as always you're very kind and generous in your comments on my scrawls. If only there were more like you :-)

  4. February 9, 2017  11:15 pm by Philip Entwistle Reply

    Cheers David, great piece, as I said to you - you keep writing and I'll keep reading!
    Keeping the faith as always.
    Philip

    • February 10, 2017  7:29 am by David Walker Reply

      I'll certainly do that fella. Hope it was entertaining and the dedication sat well with you - we certainly needed and enjoyed that last minute winner on Sunday didn't we? As per your instructions, I shall KTF ;-) Thanks Philip.

  5. February 10, 2017  9:15 am by Andrew Bradley Reply

    1967 great read as always David, keep up the good work. P.s you didn't use your favourite word Pernicious!! 😅

    • February 10, 2017  12:29 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Andy - very perplexing that I didn't persevere with pernicious every time I mention the press ;-) Memo to self must try harder. Cheers fella and thanks for entering the competition.

    • February 10, 2017  12:31 pm by David Walker Reply

      With any luck Bony may even go this month - on a permanent basis - before the Chinese transfer window closes on Feb 28th. He hasn't exactly been a smash hit at Stoke, or even in the African Cup of Nations. Cheers Blue.

  6. February 10, 2017  11:16 am by Pete lynch Reply

    Love it David . 1967 same year as me! Keep up the sterling work 😆

    • February 10, 2017  12:53 pm by David Walker Reply

      Very droll! Competition entry duly noted. Thanks.

  7. February 10, 2017  11:30 am by Bart Reply

    Great article Dave, agree wholeheartedly, I hope & pray that there is a wind of change going through our football which will eradicate the corruption & incompetence within the game.# Gilluminati
    In terms if the Jesus/Sergio situation I think we should be thrilled to have such wonderful players & I look forward to seeing them forge an unstoppable partnership for years to come. I think that if Pep can strengthen at the back & is able to play a back three then you could see an amazing array of forward players scoring for fun. Bring it on!!
    PS don't forget 🤐

    • February 10, 2017  12:34 pm by David Walker Reply

      Gilluminati - :-) LOVE IT! We can only imagine how good City are going to be under Pep in the coming seasons, and lest we forget, all is far from lost this season. We really could do with Gill being chucked off these influential bodies at the FA, UEFA and FIFA it's a bloody farce. I truly believe the lid's going to blow off football in the not-too-distant future as corruption and dirty deeds are revealed.

  8. February 24, 2017  2:41 am by Zahar Abdul Rahman Reply

    Dont forget that we have Aaron Mooy too..

    • February 24, 2017  11:17 am by David Walker Reply

      Yes, he could yet make the step up to Premier League standard.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Team GB will always be a golden hero

Gareth Barry’s reluctant departure from Manchester City was confirmed with just minutes remaining before the transfer window slammed shut last night. Having revealed to Read But[...]