Manchester City

In, Out, In, Out. You Sheikh It All About!

GEORGE CAVENEY HAS PLENTY TO SHEET ABOUT


Right then, let’s get into some badly informed, shamelessly speculative and at times cynical chatter about what the City squad’s going to look like next season. I for one do not have a chuffing clue, plus the transfer window’s not open yet. So it’s a perfect time to make myself look really stupid and rattle a few cages.

I’ll start by referring to a chat I had with a startled looking Arsenal fan in a corner shop on Saturday. He quite rightly pointed out that if we really are daft enough to get rid of particular players who don’t play every week, or even some of the stalwarts, we should at least avoid undervaluing them and flogging them to our closest rivals with justifiable chips on their shoulders.

The Dunne debacle should have taught us that. We talked about Martin Petrov as a prime example of who not to sell to an EPL club, but I think Ireland, Onoonnohuhahah and Bellamy should enter the frame here, too. And Richards and SWP – who for some reason I often imagine riding a sheep at a county show.

Anyway… Petrov may be a difficult, unsettling influence at times, and he wears gloves. But he’s one hell of a winger with an uncanny instinct and a great eye. He also communicates psychically with Bellamy, Ireland and Adeboyar. Which, if you think about it, must be quite painful for him.

Ireland has delicate morale, so this is a tricky one. With the wind behind him, he can turn a game upside down, and his awareness and ability to get through even the toughest midfield is excellent. Not a quality you should offer to fellow title aspirers, in other words. But when he’s not feeling loved, he’s ineffectual and disappointing. Maybe send him to United, then?

Sunderland apparently have their crosshairs on Onuoha. Well bugger off, Wonky Nose et al, you can’t have him. Why? I think his talent is grossly underestimated, and it brings us back to the long view – hold on to these youngsters and progressively build a stable mentality at the club, instead of buying last season’s miracles.

As for Bellamy, I’d prefer to see him finish his illustrious career at City than see him in anything other than a City shirt. Sure, he’s a travelling wilbury, but I get the impression he’s more settled at City than he’s been for a few years now, and he’s consistently brilliant. So keep him, too. And Sheep-rider Wright Phillips. He’s prone to over-egging it and ending up on his arse, which is worth his salary in itself, but he can also turn defenders superbly and steal goals out of nowhere.

There’s a pattern emerging, see? Well, until now. Micah Richards is the only one from my hastily formed list that I wouldn’t wince at wearing an opposition shirt. I think he lacks discipline, mainly. And while his physical presence might be what some squads are after, I don’t think being made of concrete is enough for what Mancini is trying to achieve. His weight fluctuates, too. Not as bad as Nicky Weaver’s used to, though. Blimey. Only Oprah Winfrey beats Nicky Weaver on that score.

As far as incoming talent is concerned, I’m going to steer clear of silliness if I can. We’ll be sick of it all before long, anyway, but let’s look at some of the names in the mix. Boateng is a done deal it seems, and a shrewd one at that. That, to me at least, is a very reassuring move on Mancini’s part, and clearly something he’s been working on for a while.

Milner? Not bothered. Way, way overpriced, even at £20million, and welcome to keep an incumbent top four bench warm – it’d keep whatever danger he’s pose out of the equation. One good season isn’t enough to justify such mindless coveting.

Cavani I don’t know much about, but the ladies would like him. Especially with that headband / olive skin combo. The danger is having too many strikers and keeping the supply chain guessing, but I’m no expert so I’ll shut up. Or look into it and get back to you.

And finally – what to do with Roque Santa Cruz? Is he worth keeping? I was excited by his arrival, and I know he’s had a niggling injury, but isn’t it time someone shot him and sold him for dog food? He’s not really a must-have for anyone else, is he? Maybe he’ll blossom this season. Maybe he’ll be in a tin of Chappie or two by the end of it…

If any of this turns out to be prophetic, I apologise in advance.

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