Oh Oh 7 – Sterling is spectre of doom for City’s opponents

Sterling is on the rise at Manchester City like never before in a week of ‘firsts’ for the Premier League leaders.

Raheem Sterling’s maiden hat-trick in senior football, came just 72 hours after the club posted its first annual profit since the Abu Dhabi takeover seven years ago.

Come in Number 7 - Sterling proved to be the spectre of doom for Bournemouth.

Come in Number 7 – Sterling proved to be the spectre of doom for Bournemouth.

The stock of both player and his employers continues on an upward trajectory, following City’s 5-1 demolition of Bournemouth, and Sheikh Mansour’s ambitious Mancunian ‘project’ declaring a £10.7m surplus for 2014/15.

As the 20-year old England starlet confounds his legion of Liverpool-obsessed critics, so too, City are finally able to stick it to those who decry the club’s transformation since 2008.

Scoreboad puzzler - Chairman Khaldoon could be asking CEO Ferran Soriano if the Etihad scoreboard can cope, if as & when City reach double figures in a match.

Scoreboad puzzler – Chairman Khaldoon could be asking CEO Ferran Soriano if the Etihad scoreboard can cope, if as & when City reach double figures in a match.

Under Sheikh Mansour’s ownership and Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak’s stewardship, City have been propelled from the brink of financial ruin to ‘the best run club in the league…’ according to eminent football finance analyst, David Bick.

Bick is a familiar figure on Sky Sports News whenever they require sage like comment and interpretation on football’s finances, so it’s a glowing endorsement of City’s off-the-field business strategy and on-field investments.

Money expert - Respected football financial analyst David Bick, says City are the 'best run club' in the Premier League.

Money expert – Respected football financial analyst David Bick, says City are the ‘best run club’ in the Premier League.

At £44m Sterling was fleetingly City’s record buy, and his three-goal haul against Eddie Howe’s side represented a nice interim dividend.

The first was the simplest of tap-ins.

The second was beautifully set up by KdB – Kevin de Bruyne, the only player to have commanded a bigger City transfer fee.

Pure Class - KdB is already a firm favourite with City's supporters.

Pure Class – KdB is already a firm favourite with City’s supporters.

Lightning quick, Sterling latched on to the 30-yard through pass, sold the Bournemouth defence more ‘dummies’ than you’d find in the Baby Section at Boots, before a suitably soothing outcome.

Raheem’s ‘Triple Crown’ came via bizarre divine intervention as Jesus Navas somehow contrived not to score, leaving Sterling to shimmy and dummy once more, before slotting the ball home from six yards out.

High Fives - Sterling & Navas celebrate.

High Fives – Sterling & Navas celebrate.

Navas may have lost his composure to score, but it was his blistering pace that created the opportunity in the first place.

Similarly he provided the right wing cross to Wilfried Bony as the Ivorian swivelled with his back to goal, before firing home City’s fifth in the 89th minute.

Bony had earlier benefitted when stand-in keeper Federici spilled a Bacary Sagna cross, and the striker stroked in City’s second goal of the afternoon.

Feverish show - Bony has shaken off the effects of Malaria to return to goalscoring form.

Feverish show – Bony has shaken off the effects of Malaria to return to goalscoring form.

Pre-match, the £25m man acquisition from Swansea revealed he had suffered from Malaria during the summer, but was now ready to fill the void in Sergio Aguero’s absence.

His two goals doubled his career tally with City and delivered a timely confidence boost.

The novelty of the Premier League saw the South Coast visitors bring a large and enthusiastic support, helping achieve a record 54,502 attendance at the Etihad.

Net profits - Sterling pushes City's stock even higher.

Net profits – Sterling pushes City’s stock even higher.

It was the second record-breaking milestone of the week for City, with the financial figures revealing revenues of £351.8m for last season.

Khaldoon simplified City’s fiscal position: “We are now a profitable business with no debt and no outstanding restrictions. Our financial model and strategic investment is proven to work.”

The Chairman put the achievement into an even rosier context when he added: “The fact we consider last season to be below par is testament to how far we have come in the last seven years.

Doing the business - Ferran Soriano and Khaldoon have a great financial model at City.

Doing the business – Ferran Soriano and Khaldoon have a great financial model at City.

“This is a level of ambition that we should not shirk or shy away from.”

It’s worth noting that for all of the jibes, media bias and bile from those who can’t stomach the success of the blue side of Manchester, the Swamp Dwellers of Trafford Borough actually had a higher wage bill than City.

The club is now valued at £676m, but place that figure alongside Sheikh Mansour’s family’s estimated overseas assets of £648 BILLION, and you get a measure of the staggering wealth of the City owner.

Au revoir - Could City, UEFA, FIFA and the world at large soon be saying goodbye to Michel Platini if he is imprisoned for corruption?

Au revoir – Could City, UEFA, FIFA and the world at large soon be saying goodbye to Michel Platini if he is imprisoned for corruption?

With UEFA’s ‘Financial Fair Play’ regulations already under scrutiny in the European Court, and the architect of the fatuous rules, Michel Platini facing potential criminal charges of corruption, what chance that FFP crumbles in 2016?

City have already shown they are no longer reliant on the funds of their generous benefactor, but it can’t hurt if, in the future, the Sheikh has the option of ‘topping up’ the coffers from his own personal wealth.

Dynamic Duo - Khaldoon Al Mubarak & Sheikh Mansour continue to take City to new heights.

Dynamic Duo – Khaldoon Al Mubarak & Sheikh Mansour continue to take City to new heights.

The rich seam of talent already within Manuel Pellegrini’s squad showed they could withstand the loss of their two finest players, maintaining their two point advantage at the top of the league.

Without a recognised left back due to injuries, Sagna played well in an unorthodox role, even managing to whip in a left-footed cross for Bony’s first goal.

Sterling charge - Bournemouth didn't get any change out of a rampant Raheem.

Sterling charge – Bournemouth didn’t get any change out of a rampant Raheem.

Captain Vincent Kompany was an unused sub, with Pellegrini stating his skipper had been ‘unable to work’ on the Wednesday and Thursday, having played – against City’s wishes – for Belgium on Tuesday night.

One wonders if the trusted MP was making a point, but expect Kompany to be back for the Champions League visit of Sevilla.

Captain Fantastic - Kompany forced City's goal against Juventus in his last Champions League appearance. Courtesy@MCFC

Captain Fantastic – Kompany forced City’s goal against Juventus in his last Champions League appearance. Courtesy@MCFC

Pellegrini’s plans to safeguard other key players ahead of Wednesday was clear as Yaya Toure was replaced with Fernando for the second half, de Bruyne made way for Nasri and Iheanacho was introduced for Sterling.

It didn’t quite go to plan with sub Nasri showing highly visible problems with his left hamstring.

Just what is it with this club and dodgy hamstrings i.e. Aguero, Kolarov, Delph and Nasri all at the same time?

Nasri knock - Samir must be a big doubt for the Sevilla game after a hamstring injury. Courtesy@MCFC

Nasri knock – Samir must be a big doubt for the Sevilla game after a hamstring injury. Courtesy@MCFC

Sadly the prodigious Iheanacho is not in City’s Champions League squad. He scored an exquisitely chipped 6th ‘goal’, only for it to be wrongly ruled out for offside.

Credit to a depleted Bournemouth, who didn’t park the proverbial bus or resort to gamesmanship, but had Aguero been playing the Argentine would probably have bagged the first ever double hat-trick in Premier League history.

Celebration - will City be in celebratory mood after the clash with Sevilla?

Celebration – will City be in celebratory mood after the clash with Sevilla?

Fair to say Sevilla and the Trafford Troglodytes will offer sterner tests.

Sevilla languish 12th in La Liga but, they did beat Barcelona 2-1 earlier this month.

Similarly, City’s other Group D opponents, Juventus and Borussia Moenchengladbach have underwhelmed in their domestic leagues, but proven extremely tough opponents.

No Mercy - Jesus needs to put Seviila to the sword in the Champions League. Courtesy@MCFC

No Mercy – Jesus needs to put Seviila to the sword in the Champions League. Courtesy@MCFC

Pellegrini should expect more of the same with the Spaniards – a match which sees Jesus Navas face his former team, with whom he spent 10 years, making 285 La Liga appearances and scoring 23 goals.

A win is vital if City are to progress to the knockout stages for a third consecutive year.

Carry On Wilfried - Bony taps in after Federici's blunder.

Carry On Wilfried – Bony taps in after Federici’s blunder.

Champions League progression and ultimate glory, is the Holy Grail as far as Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon are concerned.

The only currency they deal in is ‘success’ – not a bad exchange rate for all City fans.

#TrustOurMP

 

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

13 Comments

  1. October 18, 2015  8:56 pm by HeavyRiffs Reply

    Any thoughts on the Mirror headline and other 'news' then repeated headlines from the likes of ZapSportz (No, it's not a made up website, but yes it does appear to having 'journo's in their 50's , with a name than painstakingly shows they're down with the kids) proclaiming City generating more revenue than Arsenal for the first time? Obviously oblivious to the fact that this is in fact the third year on the trot that we're the 2nd highest revenue behind the rags. Yes, The Mirror changed their headline at a later stage, but surely a simple fact like that is easily researched?

    • October 18, 2015  11:44 pm by David Walker Reply

      Sadly, it does appear that the bulk of the media - not all - like to portray City in a negative fashion, wherever and whenever possible. By the same token certain elements always like to portray the likes of United, Arsenal and Liverpool - those with traditionally large support - in a favourable way. Some of it is jaundiced 'journalism' and embittered pundits, but a lot of it is is fuelled by a fear of alienating readers, listeners and viewers of a red persuasion.

  2. October 18, 2015  9:25 pm by Pete lynch Reply

    Thanks David, enjoyed game however in patches we were very average. Crazy I know considering score line!

    • October 18, 2015  11:25 pm by David Walker Reply

      Completely agree. We need to tighten up that backline, close people down a darn sight faster, be more clinical in our finishing and stop conceding goals from 20 yards out. First Moses with West Ham and now Murray with Bournemouth. It's frustrating because we have the players/the squad to dominate this season, but we have to work work work!

  3. October 18, 2015  9:32 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Great read as always Dave. Maybe the fans moaning at Sterling & Bony will get behind them now. How we have upset some this week with being in profit & no debt. Just need Napoleon Platini to go down now & a win over them next week.

    • October 18, 2015  11:31 pm by David Walker Reply

      In fairness Bony has never had a run in the first team - daft at £25m - and he has suffered injury and illness. Having Malaria is no walk in the park and the after effects can linger on. Just hope both he and Sterling take heart and confidence from their goals, but truth be told we could have scored three or four more. That said Bournemouth could easily have had a penalty with Otamendi on Gosling.

      Two more wins by next Monday would mean such a lot! As for Platini, the sooner we get rid of FFP - or at least the element that precludes additional investment by club owners - the better. If Napoleon goes down for corruption, it'd be the icing on the cake, not forgetting UEFA repaying our £16m+. Thieving swines. Thanks Doug.

  4. October 18, 2015  10:41 pm by JB Reply

    Good article but still a bit mindful that some of our revenues are from sponsors controlled by the owners but we are definitely moving in the right direction. Saw also that the Chinese president (?) is a fan and is due to be visiting this week. This may also help in revenue growth. Imagine all those shirt sales and sponsorship from them assuming fakes can be kept out!!

    • October 18, 2015  11:39 pm by David Walker Reply

      The Chinese market in particular is being targeted by City, hence the appointment of Jihai Sun as MCFC Ambassador. City can gain a march on the old guard of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manure who have long been the favourites in the more commercial areas of the Far East.

      Of course we have deals with Abu Dhabi friendly sponsors and partners - that's just sound business practice - but the Etihad sponsorship broke virgin ground, due to its holistic nature with the CFA etc. It was unprecedented - is there any other club in Europe who gives more back to the communities in which it operates?

      FFP is blatantly unfair, flawed and I'm pretty damn sure, will soon be shown to be illegal. If that happens then City will have greater latitude for investment, but the City 'brand' is evolving all the time and self sustainability will be easier in the future. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. October 19, 2015  12:03 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Good article David
    The defence is a problem as titles and cups are won by clean sheets. Mangala has 'come on' a lot but he still gives the opposition chances by giving them far too much space and Otamendi is still getting used to the EPL.
    Expect Kompany and Mangala to start on Wednesday
    Unfortuneatly Navas is a 'Marmite' player - love him or hate him. Personally, I think this season he has been very good and his work rate and pace have certainly been instrumental in the last 2 victories
    Hopefully the financial results and the ongoing investigation will mean we have seen and heard the last of 'Le Petit Kermit'
    Apparently Nasri is extremely doubtful for Wednesday - It is a pity we would not be allowed play in Sky Blue cotton wool to avoid any more injuries

    • October 19, 2015  2:50 pm by David Walker Reply

      It was obvious Nasri had come a cropper and credit to him for staying on until full time. That said, what the hell is going with the hamstrings at MCFC - it's bloody ridiculous. Is there a flaw in the training or medical treatment. Yes, we give far too much space away and don't close the opposition down quickly enough. This is basically down to a work ethic and if you watch Bayern Munich and Barcelona, you see highly successful players who work their rocks off. I wonder if there's a common denominator ;-)

      Not sure if MP might opt for Kompany and Otamendi on Wednesday on account of Otamendi's La Liga experience. Like you, I would never question Navas' application to the job, but he really should work on that left foot. That's Palace ann Bournemouth where he's fluffed his lines with the goal gaping at his mercy.

      Le Petit Kermit - :-) Cheers RC.

  6. October 19, 2015  12:23 pm by makir2 Reply

    April 4, 2013 1:52 am by ManCityFC This is an amateur diconstructeon, for what it's worth:This season was always going to be the underachieving perfect storm - when it came to our ability to retain and relinquish the title. Every team that faced us this season was always going to want to beat us...we are champions and this is a great CV filling opportunity. But we knew this was coming.But let's go back. Think right back to the back end of last season...we were struggling, winning, but we were struggling. The incredible Agreurooooooo goal is indicative of this, and winning that game was very typical of a team that was hanging on and running on hope and pure passion - and it wasn't, most certainly not, coasting to a foregone conclusion. The team seemed to be declining towards the mid to back end of last season. Was this the famous 'City Curse?' I don't know. But it wasn't comfortable. We dragged that cup to the Etihad...the hard way.Fast forward to this season, and we have simply not been living up to the performances of the early part of last seasons promise. We were simply awaesome. Tempo, one touch, creative....we were incredible....were!This season isn't really a shock for me. It should be a shock, when you compare teams on paper, but it isn't a shock when you look at reality;On paper:The strike force for me isn't debatable. Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko, and (the late) Balotelli trump RVP, Wig head, Wombledon, and the lad that sounds like a green Fiat.The defense we have is without question the best in the UK football league, and undoubtedly better with Nasti to boot (pardon the pun). The record speaks for itself on this - although it took a while to get sorted early on this season, and this didn't help. We also have great, full time or part time wingers (Zabba and Cliche) to join the action too, and allow Mancini's 3 at the back to work - on paper!Midfield is a quandary. Is Smalling, Jones, Young, Cleverly and the stand-in OAPs of Giggs, Scholes -- really better than Silva, Yaya, Milner, Nasri, Barry and Garcia. As much as it pains me to say it - we have much better players in there on paper, but they trump us. It's a better midfield than ours - collectively. Look at acquisitions; Was Garcia a worthy replacement of the incredibly consistent and often brilliant De Jong...and was Maicon or Sinclair the greatest replacement for the 'off and on' Johnson? For me, no, they never were and aren't - and if you don't strengthen, then you are weakening your side...but Mancini has kind-of explained this.We're told we missed out in the transfer window, but we aren't PSV who buy with reckless abandon assuming that if they break and ignore the FFP rules, they will be somehow overturned to allow great players in to the ECL. Our balance sheet looks incredible considering where we have come from - and a small price to pay for benign froogle for one season? There's also lot's of dross to be taken off our wage-bill at the end of this season, added by the previous manager (was RSC a decent buy????)At the end of the day we need to be patient, Winning the most important league in Europe has cemented City into the Elite Hierarchy that is possibly untouchable by honest businessmen that want to invest to profit from football in the future. We should be thankful to be in this Tupi FFP induced club. Next season will be different!

  7. October 20, 2015  8:24 am by Suzy B Reply

    Great writing as always, a joy to read! All best and CTWD David

    • October 20, 2015  12:45 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for your generous feedback - always welcome and your views always respected. CTWD and beyond...if there is a beyond ;-)

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