Tag Archives: Manchester City

Spineless Yaya Toure

Pep

I knew it was a question of time before the real Yaya Toure came to the fore after his time at City came to an end, so it wasn’t a surprise when I saw him trying to play the race card in his recent attack on Pep Guardiola and how the Spanish manager has a problem with Africans…

Let me take you back to 2016 when Aubameyang pipped Toure to the African footballer of the year, quoting Yaya Toure on stage he said he was disappointed” but told Aubameyang he had “been doing brilliantly well this year” and seemed generous in praise towards his rival. After the ceremony, this was Yaya Toure;

“I’m very, very disappointed. It’s sad to see Africa react this way, that they don’t think African achievements are important,”

“I think this is what brings shame to Africa, because to act in that way is indecent. But what can we do about it? Us Africans, we don’t show that Africa is important in our eyes. We favour more what’s abroad than our own continent. That is pathetic.”

“But even Fifa, with all its history of corruption, wouldn’t do [what CAF judges did]. Yaya will take care of Yaya and let Africa take care of itself. As I’ve been told many times, you can’t take care of Africa too much because Africa will be the first to let you down”.

Just to make it clear it was another African player that won that award and as it didn’t go his way he resorts to blaming the whole continent because Yaya didn’t get what he wanted.

The beef with Pep is a disgruntled self-absorbed player at the tail end of his career refusing to accept he is not the player he once was and playing time on the pitch will reduce. His agent doesn’t help matters either and one can see how they are a match made in heaven… His tirade at Pep an employee of Toure justified Pep’s stance on not playing Toure till an apology was received back in 2016.

This same Toure explained in a Facebook statement his agent’s views were not his views in his apology agreed to sign a one year extension on the same salary  at the end of 2016/17 season leaves the club at the end of the 2017/18 season and is now proclaiming his agent’s views he once denied, my definition of spineless.

His race card argument doesn’t hold up a look at the City line up puts holes in that immediately or going the players he has worked with at Barcelona and Bayern.

A weak man smears other when he doesn’t get his way and that is what Yaya Toure and his agents are and no amount of money or trophies can change that…

Week 7 belonged to Pep and Dyche

KDB and Pep Source AFP/Getty Images
KDB and Pep
Source AFP/Getty Images

We are seven games into the Premier League season and it’s looking like it is going to be a two and a half horse race involving both Manchester clubs and some club who wear white in North London whose undoing will be their “away home” ground at Wembley.

My performance of the week definitely goes to City, playing without Mendy, Aguero and Kompany and still managed to dominate the reigning champions at the Bridge doing it the Pep way.  I mean he got Fabian Delph playing like a proper left back! No one could have ever predicted that, it’s only 7 games but Pep and his team are becoming one it seems. City faced their first proper test at the weekend and they passed in flying colours.
United are doing a good job of beating whatever mid-table team has been placed in front of them and their latest victim was Hodgson’s Crystal Palace who are actually bottom of the table. United’s next game is away at Anfield after that it’s Huddersfield, Spurs then Chelsea.  A testing month ahead for the red part of Manchester. As for Crystal Palace I still don’t know what Hodgson is doing better than DeBoer, they are still shipping in goals and can’t score! Going by precedence I guess he has one more game to save his job. I wonder who Parish is talking to for the job.

Everton spent 150 million pounds or 150 million Zimbabwean dollars because that team presently looks like a group of guys assembled on some obscure back street and made to play together. For someone who has a chip on his shoulders it must be a humbling experience for Koeman. Saying all of this Everton play Arsenal next and are probably going to use Arsenal to jump start their season! Mark Hughes and Stoke can attest to that this season. Sean Dyche doing a good job at Burnley has a philosophy and sticks to it, stability and incremental progress all play a part.

Kane can’t just stop scoring and trust the Bristish tabloids going overboard drawing comparisons to Messi and Ronaldo, I am not even going to go there it’s not worth my keyboard strokes. He is holding up Spurs well and as usual Pochetino’s team have been efficient. Huddersfield must now know they are in the Premier League after their experience over the weekend but sit in a comfortable position in 11th.

I like Klopp but seriously what’s going on with that defence? Another calamitous goal to drop points at Newcastle. Has embraced the can’t defend narrative and taken it away from Arsene and his boys. He really should stop kidding himself, that defence needs help ASAP. Klopp plays United next at Anfield and Jose must like the look of that defence. The Ox got another 6 minutes today I wonder what he must be thinking.

Oh before I forget Arsenal beat Brighton at the Emirates, I will admit I was sleeping and didn’t watch it but good for them. They play Everton next and I totally won’t be surprised if Arsenal become the springboard to Koeman’s season It’s what Arsene and his boys do best, give lifelines to struggling managers.

Presently number one in all my fantasy league, see you guys after the international break.

5 weeks in and Manchester is the place to be

Lukaku goading Everton fans and rightly so OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
Lukaku goading Everton fans and rightly so
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Since I last posted DeBoer has been sacked after 4 games and Hodgson has since taken the reigns at Crystal Palace. While I had picked DeBoer for the sack at some point but definitely not after 4 games! I have since aired my feelings about that on my Facebook page and Twitter. Hodgson lost his first game at the weekend and he plays City, United and Chelsea next. if he loses those 3 games would he be sacked too? Anyways that’s the problem for Parish and his American partners at Selhurst park.

Another game week is gone and with 33 game weeks left it is looking like Pep and Jose will be jostling for the Premier League title this season. They are in almost identical positions at this same stage last season and we all know what happened but this season both managers seem to have gotten through to their players and they are playing how their managers want them to.
Still talking about Manchester my mate messaged me to say Jose is back after watching United beat Everton, I was like dude they played a presently clueless Koeman and an Everton team that has gone backward even with all the money spent, he responded you just don’t like the Jose. There is some truth in that response but United will face sterner test and my money is on City at the moment oh and I like Pep too.
I also don’t get when fans give it and can’t take it, on Lukaku’s back all game he scores and cups his hears back at them and you see people saying he is ungrateful! Don’t get fans like that he had every right to celebrate.

Those guys that wear red and have a stadium in North London and their manager finally realised it is important to go to an away stadium against a top side and have a plan! It was a game they could have actually won with better luck but it was a vast improvement from the pasting at Anfield. It begs so many questions but I don’t have time for that this morning. Something in me wants to believe they will play with their mindset going forward but we all know it’s not safe to hold your breath when this team is concerned.

Spurs can’t win a game at Wembley in the Premier League and Klopp and his team still can’t defend. My Liverpool friend messaged me to say Klopp’s honeymoon is over, looks like there is more unrest amongst the Liverpool fans than normal with recent showings. It’s still game week 5 and I expect Klopp to get better and Chamberlain to still be coming off the bench.

Time to get ready for work, I am still jamming in my fantasy league top in all my leagues but one!

One down thirty seven more to go!

Welcome Back Football!

With the first week of the Premier League season completed a few observations thus far;

Arsenal fans are going to need some sort of regular health check if they are to survive the season going by that first game!
Liverpool and Arsenal defend alike increasing the possibility of a top four place for the gunners.
All the big money strikers scored on their debut, Harry Kane still struggles to score in August (wonder why I had him in my fantasy league team) and Jonjo Shelvey is still stupid!
Rooney’s second coming started on a very good note.
Matic is looking like the missing piece to Jose’s midfield puzzle.
Conte looks grumpy and has started his Mourinho season in flying colours, I am wondering if he will see out the season.
Huddersfield are announcing they belong in the big league currently lying second.
The pundits still haven’t changed Jamie Redknapp thinks defending is all about leadership and heading the ball… ( I still don’t know how he gets a spot on on there all he does is overstate the obvious! )

The best performers of the week seem to be United scoring four past Hart, I am wondering if going to West ham is going to do his dwindling England career and confidence any good, that lot are playing like they are battling relegation already. Bilic’s first season looks like a very very long time ago….

I am happy to have football back as part of my weekend and look forward to game week 2.  By the time of my next post Chelsea could have lost two games in a row, they play Tottenham next and are missing Fabregas and Cahill…

Off to tidy my fantasy league, this week has been abysmal!.

 

Is John Stones a good defender?

John Stones with Pep Guardiola

I was listening to the “world class” Alan Shearer and Phil Neville discuss this point yesterday and decided to do my own little piece.
On the face of it I can see why Stones get’s so much stick and typing this I can vividly recall careless back passes from Stones that have led to goals or almost led to goals but I will say I still rate him. The potential is there but the problem is with those that are currently being asked to mentor him in the centre of that defence; Otamendi, and Kolarov. I ask myself how Pellegrin ended up with Mangala and Otamendi in the first place and they didn’t come cheap!

Let’s be honest Otamendi will not get game time in the centre of the defence for any of the top 6 teams. His anticipation is pants and he spends so much time diving in tackles and not reading the game, also let’s not forget his penchant to play act instead of getting on with things. City have never looked a solid outfit in the centre of defence without Kompany and it was the same in the Mancini and Pellegrini eras. City have got to make a decision on Kompany’s fitness issues and his replacement, only when that is sorted will Stones begin to find his feet and comfort in the centre of City’s defence. I think it’s asking a lot to expect a young centre back to be the calming influence in that deer in headlights City defence who are very easily spooked at the moment. That back four consisting of Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy and Sagna is spent and with a keeper that is battling confidence adapting to the PL Stones was always going to have problems playing the way he plays under Pep.

Stones is not your typical English defender known for their no nonsense displays usually summed up as ; kicking the ball to row Z, dangerous tackles interpreted as crunching or full blooded, leaving your foot in to let your opponent know you are there, jumping in front of shots, head bandage wearing with a bit of blood, chest banging aka showing passion, the list goes. He doesn’t come across as one of this type so he isn’t going to be the cup of tea of many English fans and pundits. Giving the right partner in the centre of defence in the mould and calibre of Kompany Stones will come good.

Return of the Old Arsenal

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his team's second and winning goal against Arsenal Photo credit OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his team’s second and winning goal against Arsenal
Photo credit OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

I have just finished watching the City Arsenal game at the Etihad and can’t say I have seen a poorer Arsenal second half performance than what I have just watched in a long time, it’s like they all stayed in the dressing room after half time. I was chatting to a friend over in the middle east during the game and he was saying the losses have coincided with Mustafi’s absence, which I agreed with to a point but his absence can’t be responsible for the lack of bravery from Arsenal and how they fell apart like a two dollar suitcase. There were so many bad displays in that half if I listed them this would end up being a very very long blog.

I spotted a similarity in the loss at Everton and today’s loss at the Etihad; once the pressure and aggression was ramped up by Everton and City today the Arsenal boys went hiding, they weren’t brave and didn’t fight, Coquelin looked like he was alone in the midfield as Granit Xhaka couldn’t manage with the pace. I am here listening to Thiery and Graham discussing both goals being offiside or not on Skysports and honestly that’s not the issue if you ask me. Arsenal taking anything away from this game would have certainly masked the mental deficiencies in this team and I don’t know how Arsene fixes that. They were second to everything all over the park in that second half, and there can be no excuse for physically dropping off because of the Champions league participation as Arsene is trying to imply in his post match conference referring to playing Basel in CL before these away games because City too have been involved in the Champions league.
I can’t say I am surprised because over the years and being an Arsenal fan who has been scarred so many times you know Arsenal have these kind of performances in their locker but a part of me was hoping it was a thing of the past. You can’t always win but you have to leave everything on the pitch and I can’t say I saw that today, they left it all in the dressing room at half time it seems.

I try not to join the angry brigade and doom sayers after a loss or two especially when it comes to Arsenal, proclaiming the season is over but honestly where does the team go from here after losing both games in very similar circumstances? The manner in which they lost both games is familiar like every season since the invincibles and it seems to me the old fragile Arsenal tag will continue lurk around Arsene’s present team regardless of winning streaks and continuously ending up with nothing, until he himself sees it as an issue that needs to be addressed and fast.

 

 

Another Week Another Change

PRemier League is here again!

Another game weekend and it’s another change at the top of the table with Chelsea replacing Liverpool at the top of the league table, I have a feeling that’s not the last time we are going to see a change at the top. Chelsea seem to be the form team right now, 6 straight wins and no goals conceded and it gladdens me that David Luiz is at the heart of that miserly defence. I get a break from the over exaggerated phrase ” if Terry was there they wouldn’t have conceded that” from the pundits particularly on Skysports. They seem to be averse to anything that breaks the mould of a “typical English defender”.

Chelsea and Spurs face off next week at the Bridge, the form team versus the only remaining undefeated team in the Premier League this season. As an Arsenal fan I am a bit  conflicted but would rather a Chelsea win I kinda like Conte, he almost makes the boys in the blue more likeable since the “fighty one” moved up North to Manchester.
Talking of the fighty one it was ironic to hear him talk about respect before the Arsenal game. I am not sure he knows what that is even if it hit him right in the face! I could go on about this but there really is no need, the internet is awash with this irony when it comes to his antics in every league he has been in.
Yaya came back with a bang scoring two goals in City’s win at Crystal Palace, makes Pep look like he got it right with the timing of his re-introduction after the very belated apology, lets hope Yaya has his employee his mouthy agent on a tight leash going forward. Yaya’s value is directly related to his pitch playing time unlike his agent who just needs a phone and contacts.

I don’t know where Pochettino keeps getting them some other Harry scored for Spurs at the weekend on his debut, the guy has a thing for developing youth. It’s Monday night football today and I have three West Brom players in my fantasy league, don’t know what I was thinking!  It’s gameweek 13 next week here’s hoping Arsenal get back to winning ways.

Pep dropping Hart not a big deal

guardiola

Manchester City kicked off their season officially last weekend and Joe Hart has been on the bench for their opening matches with Pep deciding to go with Willy in goal. There has been so much hullabaloo (my need to sound English) about Pep’s decision to drop Joe that in some quarters like those belonging to Joey Barton  it’s seen as disrespectful and disgusting.

Pep dropping Joe is not an indictment on him being a less than capable hand when compared to Willy it’s just that he doesn’t fit into the ethos of his kind of football presently. Pep has gotten rid of more accomplished and successful players in favour of less celebrated players that fit into the vision of his team. If we cast our minds back to Barcelona he got rid of Ronaldinho and Deco and promoted little known players at the time Pedro and Busquets from the Barcelona B team into the first team and the rest  they say is history. At the time nobody in their right minds would have brought in these inexperienced guys and sacrificing the likes of Deco and Ronaldinho. This same Pep who invested so much in buying Ibrahimovic, then sold him when he figured he didn’t suit his style of play or team ethos so I don’t get why dropping Joe is such a big deal.

He is England number one and has won the title with Manchester City yes, but the new man at the helm has a very clear picture of what he wants and has decided to go with Willy. If you ask me I am not convinced the Willy dude is such a great passer of the ball from what I have seen but if he is keeping Joe Hart out because of that passing ability then I would like to believe Pep who observes them everyday in training is in a better position to judge and is not being anti-English with some sort of agenda against Joe. I doubt very much there would have been so much noise had the roles been reversed as in Joe being the understudy being picked ahead of Willy if he had been number 1.

Pep has decided to start how he intends to go on and it is a bold statement to drop the England number 1 in favour of Willy, time will tell if it is the right decision.

Arsenal to romp in from behind win title? Yes or Naw

Feels like I have been given two Saturdays in a row woke up about 5am and didn’t know what to do with myself, thought of sorting my fantasy league then remembered it was a premier league free weekend. I should never complain about a four day weekend but some premier league games would have helped!

My Arsenal my Arsenal who happen to be the focus of today’s post as they make up the final trio of the title contenders as we enter the home stretch in the premier league, at least in my opinion they still have a chance. Like I did with Leicester and Tottenham in the two previous posts I will be having a look at their remaining fixtures and their title chances. The remaining Arsenal fixtures for the season are in the following order;

Watford(h), West Ham(a), Crystal Palace(h), West Brom(h), Sunderland(a), Norwich(h), Mancity(a), Aston Villa(h)

The fixtures don’t look that bad apart from West Ham away, Mancity away and maybe Sunderland away too. West Ham are still in the FA cup and have a replay 4 days after they play Arsenal. Slaven and his boys are really keen to win the FA cup, Pellegrini currently is trying his utmost best to make sure Pep starts his European adventure with Mancity in Europa and big Sam has struggled to beat Wenger since he left Bolton, so those three fixtures are not as bad as they actually look.  Like everybody else I honestly can’t say I know which Arsenal is going to be playing in any of those remaining games as Jekyll and Hyde don’t even come close to describing this team. In any case to win the league they have to finish the season perfect which I can’t see and can see at the same time.
From the remaining 8 games 5 are at home and I hope the fans realise this is not the time to be protesting this is a time to be firing the team with all that they have as long as there is still a slim chance of the title. Let’s also remember that if there is any team in this galaxy of ours that we live in that can devise the most difficult way to accomplish a task it’s Arsene and his boys!
So hold on tight to your seats the season is building up to end with a bang I will go as far to put in a prediction, the top three are going to finish like this; Arsenal, Leicester FC, Tottenham yep that’s my prediction. I was watching the game show Tipping Point yesterday and of the remaining three contestant this lady had just 200 pounds and was running  last  with a very slim chance of beating the rest with three rounds to go.  She won the remaining rounds and ended up winning, yes that’s my sign! I need help I know but I am a desperate Arsenal fan and I will grab at anything that mirrors our present situation.

Enjoy your Easter people as best as you can even if it’s without football , hit me up with your predictions people. How will the league table finish?

Arsenal aren’t the only big club behind Leicester

If I had fallen from another planet and was watching the premier league I would have been puzzled by the rhetoric directed mainly at Arsenal for the weird season that has Leicester and Spurs jostling for the premier league title while the other top clubs get some sort of free pass.
Arsenal seem to be the only club guilty of performing badly in a season where City who spent millions on Otamendi, Sterling and De bruyne risk playing in Europa next year. If you ask me I think Pellegrini is setting Pep up to play in Europa. Manchester united have spent close to 300 million pounds since LVG arrived and I haven’t factored in how much Moyes spent in his short stint there and they have won zilch in that time as in absolutely nothing. Chelsea the last time I checked, hiddink was happy he had managed to steer the team away from relegation, some sort of achievement I would think. Reading through social media and the media in general one would think there was a different league table which the other clubs are competing in with the disparity with which Arsenal are criticised so much for being behind Leicester in the league table.
I am not immune to the fact that Arsenal seemed to have entered their choking period in the season and passed with flying colours but they seem to be the only ones under the spotlight for being behind Leicester when resources are being compared.

Have Arsenal missed a chance to romp to the title this year oh yes they have but if we all take a look at the whole picture, resources invested versus where respective clubs are standing the other clubs should be equally under the spotlight. Arsenal as we know are the perennial underachievers.