Sheikh Tactics

by Dexy Longshot

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

City must be prudent in January

Hands up, does anybody else take a perverse pleasure in looking out for the team who’s totally out of their depth in the Premiership? You know the ones I mean. The Sunderlands and Boltons of bygone years. The Derby County of last season – ha! Just 11 points! They’re rubbish! These are teams you need in your life to make you feel better about your team. Unless, of course, the team you support is the exact same aforementioned team excelling in crapness.

There was a time when Manchester City were the epitome of awfulness. Who can forget that fateful last day of the Premiership 95/96 season, when Manchester City needed to better both Southampton’s and Coventry’s result to stay up. Manager Alan Ball heard that Coventry were losing and instructed his team to indulge in some keep-ball. What he forgot to overlook was that Southampton were holding Wimbledon to a stalemate, and that City’s draw against Liverpool wouldn’t be good enough to save them. Maine Road held their head in their hands at the sight of Steve Lomas keeping the ball in the corner and timewaste the team into Division One.

There doesn’t really appear to be a truly God-awful team this season – perhaps a testament to the competitiveness of this year’s league. Bottom club West Brom did themselves proud with a win against City, who for all of their money also find themselves languishing in the drop zone once more. It’s not surprising either. City’s tact or brainpower has failed to match their financial might. There they went talking up signings of world-beating players by triggering their silly-money release clause fee. £128 million for Cassilas. £135 million for Ronaldo. Hell, they’d even snap up Efan Ekouku if he had a silly price on his head.

This is NOT how you do business, for two reasons. Firstly, you’re not doing your current players any favours. Why should they want to put their heart in to playing for a club that’ll be looking to show you the door as soon as their big names arrive? No wonder they’re in the relegation zone. Secondly, this money doesn’t just disappear once you spend it. Your rivals will have this money to SPEND THEMSELVES. Don’t they get what this means? It means they’ll be just as rich. They’ll be able to tussle for the talent themselves when the next big name becomes available. The distribution of wealth arms your rivals with the weapons you use yourselves.

At least Chelsea were half-sensible when Abramovich arrived; they brought in Glen Johnson, Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Geremi and Claude Makalele with the new millions. Not exceptional talent, but good enough to get the ball rolling. Bigger stars follow once you’ve got the primary talent on board. Manchester City need to do the same in order to keep a balanced team and have any chance of proving themselves as world-beating contenders in years to come.

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  • Stevie

    couldn’t agree more, City need to steady the ship and not go for superstars. They need a spine which they haven’t got. Build the team around Stephen Ireland and Micha Richards, get a new center back to partner him and take it from there. Mind you, it would be nice if they did go down!

  • Darren

    City look all over the shop, they need more than a few superstars to get back to winning ways. I would like to know what the dressing room will be like when these so called superstars arrive.

  • Stevie

    a new manager, a new defence, new midfield & a new set of strikers, apart from that I think they’ll be ok.

    0-3 at home to Forrest, what a disgrace!!

  • Jamie Farrier

    Extraordinary result, given that Forest probably wouldn’t mind going out of the Cup early in order to save their season. But Forest have just sacked Calderwood and are playing as a team again.

    Back to City, anyway, they’ve signed Wayne Bridge. This is just the sort of signature they needed – sensible, but quality. One of the names that got the ball rolling for Chelsea. If City can do the same for the rest of January, they’ll be in line for a decent finish this year.

  • Stevie

    Bridge is a decent player, although his performance against Croatia when we lost 3-2 was the worst by an England player since a Carlton Palmer was employed as our playmaker!

    City have to be careful not to sign to many egos otherwise they will be fighting over who gets paid the most. Bridge is a good start followed by Toure, if he goes that is.

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