Welcome to Tuesday, a fine, crisp winters morning with a Carling Cup match against the richest team on the planet the only thing bar a coat to warm you.
I don’t know whether I’m excited about this one. The thought of playing a team with a second string that probably earn close to what our entire squad is raking in is quite a daunting prospect. Mancini talking about the domestic campaign hindering England as a whole is giving me some faith. I don’t think he’s fussed about the game and if your manager is thinking that, those negative vibes tend to seep into the players mindsets. I mean, it’s not like Samir needs and excuse not to put a shift in. He totally bottled the second half of last season because it felt a little too much like responsibility. Still, he is earning £180k a week at the moment, which I’m sure is a fine salary to sit on the bench.
He’ll be playing tonight. We do have to remember there is talent in the boy and we’ve just got to hope we don’t give him too much space this evening. Also, remember not to give him too much attention. Who is he? Why would someone who gave us 3 good months in 3 years be worth the energy of booing? He’s a nothing. Just another fly by night player like Alex Hleb. We enjoyed patchy moments of brilliance, but I don’t yearn for him back in the team.
He wears a snood, which is the technical term for the flap of skin over a turkeys beak. I have nothing more to say on that. I just wanted to shoe horn it in so you can tell your friends at high class dinner parties.
Back to the game… Rumour has it their front three could be Johnson, Dzeko and Samir. Their midfield might have De Jong and Yaya in it!
Still, we know from seasons past that it doesn’t matter who you’ve got on the pitch providing the attitude is bang on the money. Oxo will be given a chance to shine tonight. He’s been slightly relegated in our thoughts of late due to the superb form of Theo Walcott. I totally agree with this stance. All the hype and clamour for him to start was beyond ridiculous. We don’t want another over used 18 year old who’s in the damaged goods room 90% of his career because he wasn’t given the chance to grow. Still, tonight is showcase night I’ve no doubt he’ll be humbled after being kept out of the limelight. His last game was very poor, so I’m looking to see more focus on sharp, fast passing than I am on over the top tricks and flicks that amount to nothing much.
Ryo Miyachi. Yeah. He should be called Ryo Miyinjured. Totally. Where is he?
Oh right? Are you serious?
He’s on tour with the effing ladies! Are you kidding me? Well, I hope he’s out in Japan doing that because he’s injured and not just because he fancies living the sexiest dream going.
Wenger intimated that we’ll be seeing a run out from Benny this evening. A super talent that hasn’t been given a fair crack at the whip according to the coach. Am I fussed about this? Absolutely not. Why should any football manager feel bad about not being able to play someone because there are players in better form? The boss always has this fear that he’ll sign a player then not be able to play them every week. That’s why we end up with a squad that has a great 11 then not much outside. An example of that is what we’ll be playing up front. Park Chu-Young looks ok, but is he top class? Can he trouble City this evening? Or have we just bought a cheap stop-gap that will be even more casual about being on the bench than Chamakh?
Yennaris JD Squillaci Santos
Frimpong Benny Coquelin
AOC Park Arshavin
I’m rubbish at predicting line ups, but that’s my best bet at what it will look like. I’d prefer to see Miquel given a run out over Squillaci but I guess we have to be realistic about this one, it’ll likely be the more experienced, if slightly more erratic Frenchman. I have Arshavin out wide, but we might see him drop into the hole again and a bit of a reshuffle. We could also see Chamakh playing outwide, something he used to do quite well for his last club.
I think we’ll have to contain City for large parts and we’ll have to play a disciplined game. If we leave ourselves open, we’ll find ourselves multiple goals down within minutes. The two holding midfielders have a massive part to play in the outcome of this evening, Frimpong needs to keep a cool head and be positionally aware at all times. Fabianski will have to be on his toes, he’ll be dealing with a lot of dangerous crosses and a City that aren’t afraid to shoot.
Word has it PSG are stumping up £10million to sign Chamakh. If Wenger is planning to move there at some point, it could be an awkward first board meeting explaining how that transfer happened. Interest is hotting up regardless, that is good news for all parties!
The other exciting story is Podolski has been scouted by us. The German wideman or striker comes with pedigree on an international stage, but he did bomb out at Bayern. He’s super fast, very direct and a bit of a no-nonsense player. He’d be a great addition to the squad if we picked him up for £10mill in January.
I have no idea how the match will pan out, I won’t be heading up this evening, but I’m sure if you are it’ll be fun. Just don’t be too downbeat if the worst happens, I doubt any club in the league would be able to honestly say they’re capable of turning over Manchester City’s reserves.
Crazier things have happened though… just ask Ryo Miyachi… the lucky sod.
See you in the comments and make sure you let me know how your team is lining up!
P.S. I have one spare, let me know if you’re interested via e-mail.