Terry grabs silver but Sergio is all gold – Spurs 0 Man City 1

The Sergio Show came to the capital in search of gold rather than silver…and duly gave Spurs the order of the boot.

Midas touch - Sergio has to be the finest striker in City's history. Courtesy@MCFC

Midas touch – Sergio has to be the finest striker in City’s history. Courtesy@MCFC

City’s Argentine super striker proved, once again, to be Tottenham’s nemesis, showing the Londoner’s defence a clean pair of heels as he sealed City’s 1-0 win – the now dethroned Champion’s eighth victory in their last nine league encounters with the not-so-hot Spurs.

In one exquisite move from back to front, involving the three players who emerge with any real credit from a disappointing campaign, City arrested a hideous sequence of four consecutive away defeats.

Sublime - Silva's pass to enable Sergio to open the scoring was precision perfect.

Sublime – Silva’s pass to enable Sergio to open the scoring was precision perfect.

Captain for the day, Joe Hart lobbed the ball to David Silva, El Mago conjured up a pinpoint precise pass to surgical Sergio and Aguero duly delivered the clinical execution.

It was the fifth time Aguero had scored past Spurs skipper Hugo Lloris in two games this season and his 22nd PL conversion since August – two more than his closest rival, Tottenham’s more than able Harry Kane, in the race for the Golden Boot accolade.

Sergio salute and now Aguero's en-route to the Golden Boot. Courtesy@MCFC

Sergio salute and now Aguero’s en-route to the Golden Boot. Courtesy@MCFC

In four sensational seasons with City – twice Champions and once League Cup winners – Aguero has never been accorded the individual recognition his supreme talent so richly deserves.

He’s never won either the PFA or Football Writer’s Player of the Year, nor featured in any notional best Premier League XI of the season.

It speaks volumes for the short-sighted, petty-minded anti-City bias of those who vote on such subjective affairs.

100% effort - Sergio brings sheer class and maximum input to every game.

100% effort – Sergio brings sheer class and maximum input to every game.

In a season, handicapped by a debilitating injury, Aguero is 270 regulation minutes away from being acclaimed as the PL top scorer. It would be scant reward for a player who sits at world football’s top table of strikers with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo & Suarez.

Once again denied a stonewall penalty – the second in eight days – Sergio’s sheer class, indefatigable work rate & all encompassing zest for the game, makes him City’s prize asset.

If, as and when Real Madrid come calling, seeking a long-term successor for Ronaldo, City have to be resolute in their resistance.

Off balance - even Sergio can't score them all.

Off balance – even Sergio can’t score them all.

The men from Manchester can match moneybags Madrid in terms of wealth – Financial Fair Play nonsense notwithstanding – but the allure of the Santiago Bernabeu may prove irresistible for Sergio.

The history, the heritage and the here & now capabilities, Real are undeniably the biggest club in world football and an odds on perennial favourite for Champions League glory.

If Sergio is fuelled by ambition and a certain impatience for the game’s top club honours, it’ll be one helluva challenge to keep him at the Etihad.

Spanish connections - Pellegrini and Pochettino have spent a lot of time in La Liga - does Sergio want to return to Spain this summer? Courtesy@MCFC

Spanish connections – Pellegrini and Pochettino have spent a lot of time in La Liga – does Sergio want to return to Spain this summer? Courtesy@MCFC

City and their Blue Mooners are seemingly lunar years from being Europe’s top club, having just been so unceremoniously shoved aside in what, at best, has to be viewed as an average to mediocre Premier League.

With no ‘English’ representation beyond the last 16 of the Champions League, few could blame Aguero if he craves a return to Spain’s capital.

He’s priceless in the hearts and minds of City’s supporters, but for all the Abu Dhabi driven aspirations in Manchester M11 3FF, the Sky Blues can’t realistically hope to retain Sergio’s services if he elects not to ignore the ‘Spanish proposition’.

Champion of Champions - will Sergio ever win the Champions League in City's colours?. Courtesy@MCFC

Champion of Champions – will Sergio ever win the Champions League in City’s colours?. Courtesy@MCFC

When signing his contract extension last summer, Kun, was quoted as saying he wouldn’t leave City until they’d won the Champions League.

As laudable and sincere as that sentiment was – and hopefully still is – City are now facing an unexpected rebuild of an under-achieving and ageing squad.

It cannot be what Sergio envisaged when making such a proclamation of loyalty and good intent.

Focused - Joe Hart produced another excellent display in City's 1-0 win. Courtesy@MCFC

Focused – Joe Hart produced another excellent display in City’s 1-0 win. Courtesy@MCFC

With so much speculation surrounding the immediate future of manager Manuel Pellegrini, as well as the imminent break-up of a team that has delivered the most successful period in the club’s history, it places even more importance on City’s transfer wheeler dealing this summer.

Exit strategy - will Yaya be leaving this summer as City rebuild their team? Courtesy@MCFC

Exit strategy – will Yaya be leaving this summer as City rebuild their team? Courtesy@MCFC

The very welcome win at White Hart Lane, establishing a virtually unassailable lead over fifth placed Liverpool, opening up a five point advantage on fourth placed Manure and bringing an automatic Champions League spot one step closer, was crucial to attracting new signings to take City back to the top.

A spirited Spurs ran City closer than they have in recent encounters, with the visitors having to endure a torrid opening quarter, belying the myth that Mauricio Pochettino’s men were desperate to swerve Europa League qualification.

Battle of the Golden Boot - a maturing Eliaquim Mangala helped keep free-scoring Harry Kane under control. Courtesy@MCFC

Battle of the Golden Boot – a maturing Eliaquim Mangala helped keep free-scoring Harry Kane under control. Courtesy@MCFC

The hosts will find little solace in their greater possession levels and goal attempts. It’s been an all too common occurrence for City in 2014/15, they’ve had the statistical high ground on several occasions only to emerge painfully pointless.

Of course, the jaundiced journalists and putrid TV pundits weren’t interested in giving credit to City for grinding out a win, on a day when Chelsea secured the title with a performance to cure all but the most extreme cases of insomnia.

'Sergical' strike - even in adversity at The Swamp Sergio notched up goals 99 & 100 in City's colours. Courtesy@MCFC

‘Sergical’ strike – even in adversity at The Swamp Sergio notched up goals 99 & 100 in City’s colours. Courtesy@MCFC

And what of the rebirth of Louis Van Gutteral’s Gaalacticos and the return of the days of ‘Glory Glory Man Ushyted’?

It’s only 21 days ago since Manure lifted the Cup, you know the ‘We beat City & went above them in the table for 2 weeks in April’ trophy.

The derby day win was supposed to signify the sound of silence from the ‘Noisy Neighbours’.

In the parlance of an institution synonymous with making a racket – the Eurovision Song Contest – Manure have attracted ‘nil points’ in three games since overcoming City 4-2.

Nine out of nine points - Fernandinho smashes home a late goal against Villa during City's present three game winning run Courtesy@MCFC

Nine out of nine points – Fernandinho smashes home a late goal against Villa during City’s present three game winning run Courtesy@MCFC

In contrast City have secured all nine from a trio of wins, albeit the performances have still left something to be desired – but let’s not be picky.

City, by their own very high standards, are in the midst of a ‘crisis’, and yet they’re winning consistently and striving for a fourth straight top-two finish.

The upgrades to City team – not just the squad – are obvious for all to see. The need to recruit three or four home-grown talents is a necessary evil. Buying English means City will have to pay overinflated prices for good, but not great, players.

Farewell Super Frank - Lampard is one of the English contingent leaving City at the end of the season. Courtesy@MCFC

Farewell Super Frank – Lampard is one of the English contingent leaving City at the end of the season. Courtesy@MCFC

Sterling, Barkley, Rodriquez, Ings and Wilshire are just some of the names being linked with City.

Of course, the finest home-grown talent who City might wish to attract – Gareth Bale – plays for a certain Spanish side who wear all white.

Juventus’ Paul Pogba – seen by many as the closest thing to a successor for the diminishing talents of Yaya Toure – almost qualified as ‘Grown in England’ after his time at The Trafford Swamplands. Alas he missed out by a couple of months.

Bargain buy - Martin Demichelis blocks one of England's rising stars Harry Kane. Could they be City team mates at any stage? Courtesy@MCFC

Bargain buy – Martin Demichelis blocks one of England’s rising stars Harry Kane. Could they be City team mates at any stage? Courtesy@MCFC

Whoever City buy – and God knows they have to do much better than in the past three summers – it’s going to cost big money.

One of those earmarked by many as a probable Etihad departure, Aleksander Kolarov, had one of his best games in a City shirt, at the ground where he made his first team debut in 2010.

Thumbs up - Kolarov produced one of his best showings of the season at White Hart Lane. Courtesy@MCFC

Thumbs up – Kolarov produced one of his best showings of the season at White Hart Lane. Courtesy@MCFC

AK47 has one of the sweetest left feet in football and, when he’s up for it, he is very capable of making a more than valid contribution. The trouble comes when he – like some of his less than professional colleagues – don’t seem too bothered about fighting for City’s cause..

The infuriating air of complacency and perceived lack of effort was conspicuous by its absence in a City side who, only moments before kick-off, would have seen Chelsea’s Jose and JT take the spoils after being confirmed as champions 2015.

Dynamic duo - David & Sergio had Chelsea on the ropes back in January. Courtesy@MCFC

Dynamic duo – David & Sergio had Chelsea on the ropes back in January. Courtesy@MCFC

The yawning chasm of 13 points, with three games still to play, might suggest a gulf in class between royal blue and sky blue. Not so.

City could and should have won both the 1-1 draws with Chelsea this season. City could and should have had the nouse and determination to dig out points at West Ham, Crystal Palace and Burnley.

Pointless - Pellegrini and his men came away with nothing from Burnley. Courtesy@MCFC

Pointless – Pellegrini and his men came away with nothing from Burnley. Courtesy@MCFC

They should have had the guile and steel to unlock and then shut-out the likes of Stoke, Burnley and Hull City at the Etihad.

‘Could and should, but ultimately didn’t’ would be a fitting epitaph on the gravestone of City’s 2014/15 effort.

Timeless classic - even legendary Zaba has experienced a dip in form this season. Courtesy@MCFC

Timeless classic – even legendary Zaba has experienced a dip in form this season. Courtesy@MCFC

Pellegrini has taken a lot of flak – some deserved – but as The Engineer, how was he to know that primary components Yaya, Kompany, Nasri, Dzeko and to a lesser degree, Fernandinho and even the legendary Zaba, were going to suffer dramatic dips in form?

Jovetic hardly ever ventures off the treatment table and Fernando – the latest pale imitation of Nigel De Jong – just lets the world, and most opponents, go by.

Sicknote - Jovetic's time at the Etihad has been riddled with injuries and false dawns. Courtesy@MCFC

Sicknote – Jovetic’s time at the Etihad has been riddled with injuries and false dawns. Courtesy@MCFC

A maturing Mangala is beginning to show that he could yet fit the bill in seasons to come and a more settled Bony will surely return to his prolific Premier League best, without the distractions of the bloody African Cup of sodding Nations!

Who knows, City Football Academy talents such as Iheanacho, Ambrose, Pozo and Barker could even be ready to start sniffing around the periphery of the first team squad.

Stop-start - Bony has had a frustrating opening few months to his City career. Courtesy@MCFC

Stop-start – Bony has had a frustrating opening few months to his City career. Courtesy@MCFC

Three more wins, automatic Champions League qualification, no punitive FFP measures and a glut of exciting acquisitions will see City challenging Chelsea’s supremacy next season.

Thanks but no thanks - that's all Sergio has to say to Real Madrid if they come in for him this summer. Courtesy@MCFC

Thanks but no thanks – that’s all Sergio has to say to Real Madrid if they come in for him this summer. Courtesy@MCFC

It’ll be an enormous help if the man with the Midas touch, and matching footwear, says ‘ Gracias pero no gracias’ if Madrid come shopping in Manchester before the end of August.

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

26 Comments

  1. May 4, 2015  5:30 pm by Edwardmcfc Reply

    very well written! I enjoyed reading it and do agree with all you have said!

    • May 4, 2015  5:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      And I agree with you 100% ;-) cheers fella.

  2. May 4, 2015  6:06 pm by Dave Leyland Reply

    Spot on David. I had Kolarov as MOM his tackling, attacking and general positional play was excellent. Sadly my biggest idol Zabba is getting worse each week. I think he needs a holiday.

    • May 4, 2015  9:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      Cheers Dave - agree on Zaba but Argentina are in the Copa America this summer so little or no chance for Pablo and Sergio to get the rest they need. Bloody international football!

  3. May 4, 2015  6:37 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Could of, should of, but didn't sums us up this season Dave. It's all about pts now we weren't great on Sunday but got the pt, Aguero, Silva, & Hart were great but defence wasn't unfortunately. Going to be a big summer for us just hope we keep hold of David & Kun how could we ever replace them. MP has to be a casualty of the changes unfortunately, I do like the guy but just feel we have gone backwards, but what do I know just hope the men at top read your blog & take aboard what you & us fans have been saying about this season. Great read Dave by the way.

    • May 4, 2015  9:21 pm by David Walker Reply

      We should have been more than capable of retaining the title, but just as we did in 2012/13 we blew it seemingly through a lack of application and desire, aligned to a lesser degree with injuries and loss of form. We have also continued to operate poorly in the transfer market. If MP goes then Txiki should go as well, he's the Director of Football and 'Master Negotiator'of transfers. Hopefully Abu Dhabi will look beyond Pellegrini if they decide to institute changes at the top levels of the club.

  4. May 4, 2015  7:16 pm by Mark Reply

    great read as ever David. Can see City spend upwards of 200m with the sales of Edin Jovetic Nasri and possibly Yaya plus some fringe players. I'd love to see Pogba arrive but can see him signing for PSG. I'd happily settle for De Bruyne Koke and Reus plus an additional Left and right back

    • May 4, 2015  9:17 pm by David Walker Reply

      Nice shopping list BUT we also HAVE to stock up on homegrown players to meet Premier League and UEFA quotas. If we gave the Falklands to Argentina could we claim Sergio, Zaba, Demi and Willy as Anglo Saxon twice removed? And before anybody thinks that is a serious proposal...DOH!

  5. May 4, 2015  8:15 pm by Stuart Reply

    Spot on again Dave. I'm looking forward to the rebuilding of our team over the summer as you say we'll need to spend big. If our scouts are any good at all, there should be names and deals well under way now, the problems are there for all to see...Just hope Aguero and Silva haven't quite give up just yet....Looking forward to your next post mate keep up the good work.

    • May 4, 2015  9:13 pm by David Walker Reply

      Transfer activity helps the summer go by...as long as City have learned the lessons from three summers of sub-standard trading. Just keep Txiki out of Portugal and Sergio out of Spain! Thanks for your generous feedback.

  6. May 4, 2015  8:23 pm by pete lynch Reply

    Gave up on any media credit months ago David. Excellent read as usual and a splendid end to a lovely weekend. Surely city, without the constraints will spend big this summer?

    • May 4, 2015  9:11 pm by David Walker Reply

      Yes, when we regain the title we can stick it to the media and the overwhelming majority of tw*ts who masquerade as experts - bloody laughable. If can shift the half-a-dozen or so who have let themselves as well as City down, we might get north of £80m. Stick another £100m in the pot, monitor and give clandestine support to the challenge to FFP and let's get this show back on the road. Thanks Pete.

  7. May 4, 2015  8:39 pm by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    Cheers David.

    One question - where was the fighting spirit displayed in this game when we needed it against the likes of Burnley and Stretford a few weeks ago when it might have still made the difference? We certainly look to have more spirit in the squad when certain players don't put in an appearance! Onwards and upwards, and here's to finishing second.

    • May 4, 2015  9:07 pm by David Walker Reply

      Good observation No5. There is a clique in the dressing room and the sooner it no longer exists the sooner we'll see improved levels of harmony. Here's hoping for half-a-dozen departures of the 'names' and an influx of top quality players with the hunger and desire to get City back on track.

  8. May 5, 2015  9:17 am by Eileen Fullen Reply

    Phew! The first 20mins gave me the need for oxygen..but we regained composure to get those valuable 3 points- saw signs that's been missing all season. Kun David We must hold onto them at all costs. Few additions and lets get back on track for next Season. Brill read once again puts it all into perspective.TY

    • May 5, 2015  9:57 am by David Walker Reply

      Absolutely - we have to retain Sergio and David. I saw some tripe written about Silva going to Barcelona or Real Madrid and that at the age of 29 it'd be good business for City. These people are either mad or Manchester United fans - probably both as the two go hand in glove. However we mustn't let recent wins paper over the cracks - fundamental change is required but City can put it right with the right signings and, with it, a much more harmonious dressing room. Obviously the managerial situation is key and this must/will be resolved sooner rather than later.

  9. May 5, 2015  12:08 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    What a super game of football that was - 2 teams who went out to get a win
    We got home just in time to watch MOTD2 (I don't know why I bother turning it on - banging on all the time about our defence)
    What I saw was a gutsy, committed performance - Yes, Mart got caught out by the pace at times and yes, The Mangler 's positioning is suspect at times but we kept a clean sheet against the lively Spurs - credit where it's due please BBC
    You didn't mention the penalty claim for the challenge on Zaba. We were on the front row and only about 6 feet away from the incident. As I think it showed on telly there was no ball contact - If I saw it, (and I have had a letter from Specsavers saying I haven't had an eye test for 3 years), surely the officials could see it.
    Merlin and Sergio excellent and Kolorov was certainly fired up for that game - his best for a long time.
    Can't change history of course, but had we applied that attitude in other games as mentioned above we would have made a better "fist" of chasing Chelski to the title.

    • May 5, 2015  5:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      Quite so - definitely a penalty for Rose's challenge on Zaba - albeit in the blink of an eye, one that the officials could conceivably miss. Not making excuses for Marriner he himself is a poor excuse for a referee at the best of times.
      As is so often the case, I totally agree with your observations on City. We are left to rue the missed opportunities and misdirected efforts of the team on days when they really should have done so much better. Chelsea have managed to be more consistent than us - they're certainly no better than us - but it would be churlish to go into the ifs, buts and maybes. We have no one to blame other than ourselves, notwithstanding some woeful officiating throughout the entire season.

  10. May 5, 2015  4:22 pm by James HouseOlogy Reply

    Great read David as per.... Frustrated that our performance against Spuds couldn't have came sooner... But that's football for you. We must at all costs not let Kun go and build a team around him... One thing I hope the summer break brings is that Mangala get's his CD role sorted and show he's worth his money. Building needs to be done and now pressure off us getting top 4 we must pip Gooners to 2nd spot and that in my mind that's, compared to a month or so ago it's okay. But Maureen will not get an easy time of it next season and we must show our class.

    • May 5, 2015  5:42 pm by David Walker Reply

      Vital to keep Sergio and equally critical that those doing the buying of new players up their game BIG TIME. Change of personnel and with it a change of attitude.

  11. May 6, 2015  10:48 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

    I feel under the present regime standards on and off the field are dropping, Replacing Milner with the ‘sick note’ AKA as Jack Wilshere would/will be the last straw.

    If my dreams come true and our two Spanish executives are repatriated, we would probably need to replace Pellegrini. Ancelotti, Benitez and Klopp are all excellent managers, but my choice would be Paul Clement currently Ancelotti #2 at the St Bernabéu. He's worked with the best and at 43 is ready to branch out on his own and prove his worth.

    Whilst we do need a root and branch sort out, what we don’t need is a consignment of overpriced injury prone British ‘world beaters’. If we require a home-grown talent, let’sdoit by promoting young men from our academy. Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, Michael Johnson, SWP and Richard Edghill were 19 or under when they made their City debuts.

    • May 7, 2015  1:13 pm by David Walker Reply

      Couldn't agree more about Jack Wheelchair - the Arse equivalent of Stevan Jovetic - except he likes a crafty fag outside of the sick bay. City should say 'adios' to the two Spanish waiters - whatever they once either created or sustained at Barca is very slow to come to fruition in Manchester and IF, if, Txiki is the transfer 'mastermind'then he should be gone asap - he's been a bloody car crash since his arrival.

      Interesting shout about Paul Clement, especially as Ancelotti is staying at Real Madrid next season. I begin to wonder if Pep Guardiola is actually as good as his record suggests, afterall he inherited a superb set of players at Barcelona from Rijkaard and has still to emulate, let alone, better, what Heynckes left him at Bayern. One can only hope that any whispers about Brenda coming to City are way way way of target.

      As for the CFA boys coming through, Iheanacho must be in with a shout for next season. Will Denayer come back from Celtic and Rekik from PSV? Will it be too soon for Ambrose and Barker, probably yes. It sucks that we have to buy overpriced English players - it wouldn't be so bad if we were buying on merit rather than conforming with quota regulations.

  12. May 7, 2015  3:33 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

    'It sucks that we have to buy overpriced English players' Agreed, but what then the purpose the EDS side, other providing free football for pensioners?

    We are not growing orchids. We will never know how good players are until they emerge from their comfort zone. If they cut the mustard great, if not transfer them to Fray Bentos, and try another. If they can't play at home against the likes of QPR, Burnley or Hull they shouldn't be here.

    Is there any dialogue between Pellegrini and Vieira? Is Patrick Empire building?

    If I were running City, I would target Vieira with the job of providing four graduates a year to the first team, and Pellegrini to give each of those graduates say a minimum of 4 hours playing time.

    I am surprised Mr Mubarak hasn't already set those sorts of targets. Problem is I think, that his football knowledge isn't all that it should be and the Spanish waiters are running rings around him. Maybe its Basil Fawlty we need to recruit!

    • May 7, 2015  8:59 pm by David Walker Reply

      Basil Fawlty? Well we already have Manuel. The questions that need addressing are:

      Do we have any rats who have been mistaken for hamsters?
      Are we, or are we not, completely out of Waldorfs?
      Did we start it, or did they...because they invaded Poland?

      • May 7, 2015  10:39 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

        You're going to have to start paying me.

        • May 8, 2015  3:50 am by David Walker Reply

          You just keep bowling them down...and I'll keep knocking them over the grandstand ;-)

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