Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour and Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak were today trying to explain to ‘Super Frankie Lampard’ the mystery surrounding the loss of his flight tickets to JFK Airport in New York.
City’s billionaire benefactor was also at a loss to fathom how all the luxurious 5 Star apartments overlooking Central Park had suddenly gone off the market, and Lampard’s ‘Green Card’ US work permit, had changed colour to sky blue.
It is believed the Sheikh has offered to fly City’s loan signing from New York City to the Big Apple in his own private jet, but he can’t accommodate him on board until May 25th, 2015, which by bizarre coincidence, just happens to be the day after the conclusion of the Premier League programme.
Until then, the 36-year ex-Chelsea and England veteran has been told that he ‘…may as well ‘stick around’ the Etihad…’ as he could be required to use his well practised techniques when it comes to lifting up silver pots, more commonly known as trophies.
Lamps is fast illuminating his surroundings after hitting three goals in just four days and establishing himself as a favourite with the City fans.
More cynical supporters had doubted the wisdom of his summer switch from Stamford Bridge, albeit en-route to the good old US of A, but they are rapidly becoming extinct.
Regrettably, the reality is that City’s new Number 18 will be heading across the Atlantic to star in Major League Soccer as early as next February, but not before he writes his own chapter in MCFC folklore.
Forever revered for his 85th minute equaliser against his former team late on Sunday afternoon, Frank took his City goals tally to three in three appearances after taking Man of the Match honours in this demolition of the less than sage-like Owls.
A plucky first 45 minutes might have had Sheffield Wednesday dreaming of a Capital One Cup upset, but a seven goal second half salvo blasted the Championship contenders into the middle of next week.
Manuel Pellegrini wasn’t messing around when he said he wanted to retain the trophy – his first major honour in England – despite five first team changes.
Aguero, Nasri and Silva were absent injured, Zabaleta suspended and Fernando and Jovetic still on the road to recovery list.
Caballero, Sagna, Demichelis, Navas and Lampard came in, with Hart and Kompany sitting in the supremely comfortable and stylish seats, which we still laughingly call the bench.
It was a formidable City line-up and Wednesday did well to hold the Capital One Cup holders at bay, with Mangala volleying a shot against the post and keeper Chris Kirkland saving a superb Milner strike and Dzeko header.
One City goal was always likely to signal a glut and so it was, with Lampard opening proceedings in the 47th minute, closely followed by Dzeko and Navas in the 53rd and 54th minutes.
The 6,000-strong away following never received any encouragement from the pitch, so it fell to the 26,000 supporters in sky blue to make noise as a magnificent seven goals flowed in:
- 47 mins Lampard sweeps in a close range shot after a Milner pass
- 53 mins Dzeko opens his account for the season following a Navas assist
- 54 mins Jesus the provider turns taker with a rasping drive inside the box
- 60 mins Yaya converts a penalty after Lampard felled and Zayatte sent off
- 77 mins Dzeko again, powering home a header from a great Kolarov cross
- 88 mins Jose Angel Pozo slotted home a debut goal from a Navas pass
- 90 mins Lampard completes rout after neat Kolarov & Navas passing play
Pellegrini withdrew Yaya, Fernandinho & Milner within a nine minute period, to keep them out of harm’s way before the Hull game, with Pozo, Boyata and Sinclair brought on to ease City home.
Lampard and Milner were once again the architects of City’s success, but a dream came true for 18-year old Pozo when the Spanish starlet, acquired from Real Madrid’s Academy aged just 16, fired home from a Navas assist.
For Dzeko, his brace represented 11 goals in 11 League Cup games – fair to say the Bosnian thrives in the competition.
In fairness Wednesday were 4-0 down on the hour and reduced to 10 men, as Zayatte was shown red after bringing down Lampard for the penalty.
Professional and clinical, it was pleasing to see City win so comfortably after harvesting just two draws and two narrow defeats in the past month,
Next up in the Capital One Cup is the Toon Army who City knocked out at the same stage of the competition last season – 2-0 on Tyneside. This time, it’ll be the Barcodes to Manchester as Newcastle continue their Holy Grail for a win – any win – over their Sky Blue nemesis.
Newcastle have failed to beat City in 18 Premier League and Cup encounters since September 2005, so why the urgency to start now?
Bearing in mind Fernando, Jovetic, Aguero, Silva and Nasri were injured and not available for selection against Wednesday, the 4th Round tie at the Etihad is unlikely to be career enhancing for Toon boss Alan Pardew.
Frank Lampard, on the other hand will be very welcome to take on ‘New Castle’ and put New York to the back of his mind.
By David Walker
www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu