SAT, 7:45AM ET
WHU2
MCFC1
SAT, 10AM ET
LIV0
HULL0
SAT, 10AM ET
SUN0
ARS2
SAT, 10AM ET
SOU1
STO0
SAT, 12PM ET
REAL3
BARCA1
SAT, 12:30PM ET
SWA2
LEI0

Can Manchester City Survive The Turmoil?

Mario+Balotelli+West+Bromwich+Albion+v+Manchester+1PEjll0M5Pwl Can Manchester City Survive The Turmoil?

So I wake up this morning, a day off for me. I fire up the laptop, check the news, and see that Manchester City’s splash signing, Edin Dzeko, would have preferred signing with Juventus according to his agent. You have to put two and two together, since that article doesn’t do it for you, but the Juventus offer was less than Manchester City’s offer, so it wasn’t money that lured him to City, it was desperation.

Over the past two or three weeks, there have been a lot of questions about City’s practices. We know they have the money to do all of this wheelin’ and dealin’, but as has been talked about on our site’s podcast, they currently have player-after-top-player, so much so that many high-quality pieces are languishing on the bench.

Take the Arsenal match for example. Granted, David Silva and Mario Balotelli were unavailable due to scrapes. Mancini used that as his excuse for playing his normal “stonewall against a better team” philosophy. What, Emmanuel Adebayor isn’t good? I could think of several clubs in the league who could use his skills. Every week, it’s like, “Everton needs a striker. Brum needs a striker.” And presumably, the thing that would prevent all of this is that City wants $$$ for players like Adebayor. Big $$$. But he’s not worthwhile enough to use in a game where, according to Mancini, if he had a second attacker he would have played an open game? Right.

There were the reports of Tevez wanting out. Who knows what calmed him down, maybe they had puppet José come in and tell him, “Shut up Carlos! You’re getting paid!”  Then Balotelli is heartbroken for Italy. I guess everyone prefers Italia, that’s where Dzeko would rather be. Hey, maybe they can relocate to Mancini’s hometown of Jesi! Everyone will be happy, with tummies full of Tuscan cuisine, remarking how effectively that 4-5-1 worked against AC Milan the other night.

In all seriousness, you now will have 4 coveted strikers at City. Tevez, Balotelli, Dzeko, and Adebayor. To claim that any squad, even United, stacks up to this group is a stretch. It is true that, in prime form, Wayne Rooney is a better footballer than all four of those City strikers. This season Berbatov has shown himself to be roughly as good as Tevez. Javier Hernandez was a bit of a gamble for Sir Alex, and that has paid dividends. But to say that Hernandez is as good as Balotelli or Dzeko is likely a stretch. Out of the remaining forwards, the only one that could be considered close would be Danny Welbeck, having a very good campaign on loan with Sunderland.

So let’s say that Roberto Mancini decides to take a quick course at the Arsene Wenger University of Positive Football. And let’s say Hell freezes over. But I repeat myself. Can Mancini keep 4 strikers happy employing a markedly defensive system? He hasn’t kept 3 happy, and Tevez gets to play nearly every match. The interesting thing is…this post has covered only the striker position. This depth of talent is spread throughout the squad, at nearly every position. Another well-publicized case is goalkeeper, with Shay Given sitting stagnantly as Joe Hart starts every game. This is a role reversal from 2009, when Given was purchased to solidify the position. But Hart’s reputation and ability soared on loan at Birmingham City, and now City has two high profile keepers.

So my question is, can City survive what seems to be a potential clubhouse disaster? Can Mancini effectively assuage the swollen egos that have been apparent even before the acquisition of Dzeko? Will City sell (or loan) Adebayor and/or Given? I do think that Manchester City will finish in a Champions League slot, but these issues to me seem potential derailing points to an otherwise solid City team.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Can Manchester City Survive The Turmoil?

  1. frank says:

    hello
    sadly you again have not done your research, the dzeko to juventus is a rehash of an old made up story, dzeko by his own admission is a milan fan
    dzeko has also said champions league football is essential to him and with juventus in fifth place its not looking good for them AGAIN
    “but the Juventus offer was less than Manchester City’s offer”
    how on earth do you figure that, even you must know juventus are over their quota and could not register dzeko in their squad
    please do a little more research for your next article

  2. Alan Leishman says:

    Earl,

    Oh, where to start. This article contains so many inaccuracies that I wasn’t sure where to start but I will have a go……

    Firstly, the ‘agent’ of Dzeko was quoted in the Juventus story was not Dzeko’s agent, it was a random FIFA accredited agent who was giving his opinion which Dzeko himself has now clarified. He wrote to City in August asking them to sign him. Hardly the behaviour of a player who wanted to go to Juventus I would have thought. Still, I can’t expect you to check your facts eh?

    Secondly, Adebayor is injured. Again check the various football sites which document and detail these things or any of the newspapers which informed us days in advance he would not be available. Therefore, not likely that Mancini would play him eh?

    Thirdly, Balotelli has clarified the story about him being homesick for Italy. In a rare interview with the Daily Mail he insists he is happy and intends to see out his contract at City. Again, check if you like. It would be better if you did.

    Fourthly, (I’m getting bored now) it is well documented and understood by anyone with even a sprinkling of Premier League knowledge (or EPL) as you annoyingly insist on calling it that Mancini’s ‘clubhouse disaster’ is no such thing. Of course, there are players unhappy that they are not playing regularly. There are others who know they are being shipped out either in this transfer window or the next (Bridge, SWP, Adebayor, Bellamy etc) and that will restore equilibrium to Mancini’s ‘clubhouse’.

    As for Rooney, Berbatov and Hernandez being as good as Tevez, Balotelli and Dzeko that is a matter of opinion to which of course you are entitled. You will find few people that agree with you.

    Finally, consider the following results (West Ham 1 City 3, Newcastle 1 City 3, City 3 Liverpool 0, City 4 Aston Villa 0, Fulham 0 City 4) Do you see a pattern there. That’s right goals, more goals than ‘entertaining’ Arsenal and Tottenham if you check. The other thing you may notice is the lack of goals conceded, less than any other ‘EPL’ team.

    Anyway, let’s not let facts get in the way of a dreadful story.

    Please try harder, research your subject, check your facts and I look forward to your next article. (in the same way I look forward to going to the dentist).

    • Earl Reed says:

      Well I have two other sources that claim that Petralito was his agent, which makes me believe the Goal.com article was updated. Nonetheless, the articles I’ve read indicate that indeed Juventus was Dzeko’s preference. Maybe this Petralito doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      Yes, Adebayor is listed as injured. He sure looked injured as he was scrapping with Kolo. I’m sure his shin scrape is holding him out. Yep.

      Thanks for your comments.

        • Mike says:

          Megan Fox is my preference to be my girlfriend but I am with someone else. Does that mean I don’t want to be with my current girlfriend? Up until 2 days ago, Infan Redzepagic is listed as his agent. Now Mirror comes out with this other guy as his agent because of his quotes and most other sites just copy and paste it as fact. Here’s just one of many articles listing Irfan as his agent http://www.manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=226302

        • Why? says:

          Oh dear Gaffer have u still not learnt!! The Mirror writes total boxxocks. I can’t believe u are even reading it nether mind giving this pile of dung publicity here, the story is supposed to originate from the Italian paper tuttosport a paper from Turin that backs Juve and Torino!! but I can’t find the story in it anyway. Dzeko’s agents are Irfan Redzepagic and Alen Augustin?i? the agent in the fabricated story is an agent who represents players at Juve and funnily enough he’s Italian and is quoted as being ‘a FIFA agent‘ in most of these shite stories (probably covering themselves as they know he isn‘t Dzeko‘s agent unlike the moronic Mirror).
          The writer of this story is just another prat who is completely wrong and couldn’t be bothered checking anything, must like making a fool of himself while having his little dig at City. He clearly has a strong dislike of City like many writers on here and is a total fantasist when it comes to Berb or the curb crawler being better than Tevez, yeah right, poor very poor.

          • The Gaffer says:

            I try to stay away from The Mirror as much as possible, but The Mirror and several other news sources printed that Dzeko’s agent was that bloke.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Alan Knut says:

            Because they are an English news source! They can write damn near anything they like, it is all completely fabricated. A blog can write a story with no sources and then the biggest news agencies read it and then use that blog as a source, conducting zero journalism of their own.

    • SoccerLimey says:

      I always smile when I read comments by people who are quick to trash an article for it’s “inaccuracies”, and then proceed to serve up their own “inaccuracies”. Quite amusing.

      Firstly, Balotelli is homesick. He said so himself. He’s staying, according to the retraction printed in the Daily mail and other news sources, but would prefer to be home. Those are the facts. Whether it effects his performance on the field remains to be seen.

      I would also bet my paycheck that there are more football fans who believe the United trio are better than the group that Mancini has, considering that we’ve seen strikers like Crespo, Robinho, and Shevshenko run home to mommy when faced with Premier League defending, so Dzeko is just a guy right now,waiting to prove himself.

      Your statement that shipping out 4 players will “restore the equilibrium in the clubhouse” is idiotic. Squabbling is a function of the staff and how the manager handles it. Ferguson and Mourinho have had the same issues, and dealt with it. Discontent is part of the culture at City.

      Oh, and finally, Man City HAVE scored more goals than Tottenham – 2 in fact but playing one game more, and since Tottenham’s game in hand is against Blackpool, the difference is questionable. They have not however, scored more goals than Arsenal. They lag 9 goals back.

      Please try harder next time, Alan. Research your subject, check your facts and I look forward to your next comment (in the same way I look forward to going to the dentist).

      In case you were wondering, your high horse is out back……….

      • Alan Leishman says:

        1) Balotelli said in the daily mail interview that like anyone of his age away from home he misses it, but he is happy in Manchester.

        2) Even my most red tinted friends without exception said they would swap the City forwards for Uniteds with the exception of Rooney. So I wouldnt go betting your paycheck whatever the hell that is. Wage perhaps?

        3) So I ws wrong about Arsenal, right about Tottenham and right about City not being defensive minded (except for perhaps the United game and of course Arsenal ) good tactical judgement I would call it.

        4) if you think discontent is part of the culture at City then you have been reading too many tabloids. This team bonds closer and closer by the day. I know many people close to the club or indeed other Premier league clubs who all believe Mancini to be doing a terrific job of managibg his squad. I trust their judgement more than yours (particularly when you insist on using the term soccer which to use your phrase is idiotic)

        Have your high horse back Soccer boy.

        • Guy says:

          Alan,

          You seem to be new here. This is an American based site. If our using the term “soccer” irritates you, go somewhere else….we can’t help it. Bringing up a well known cultural difference as a criticism is simply tiresome.

          FYI….Most of our English readers have forgiven us our sins.

        • SoccerLimey says:

          Dearest Alan,

          Years of living in Manchester amongst the whining, dissatisfied and bleating City fans is enough to drive anyone nuts. I’ve stood on the Kippax and the Stretford End (wearing the same scarf both times, too) and although times have changed for many, the Tevez posters around the City in August show that the culture is still there.

          Tevez’s transfer request obviously indicates that “the team is bonding closer and closer every day” and we’ll see how long the honeymoon with Mancini lasts. All is wine and roses when they are winning, but in true City fashion, the whole fragile house of cards comes crashing down when things start to unravel.I can’t wait.

          I do apologize for my Americanisms. I made the mistake of trying to improve my life. Damned foolish, I know.

          • Alan Leishman says:

            You didn’t improve your life that much, you’ve started talking bollocks about soccerball , a subject you claim you used to understand.

            There is only one empire coming down it’s colour is red. As you said, I can’t wait.

  3. mankmanuk says:

    Join the legiance of idiots will you. It was a Fifa agent not his agent… Dzeko’s agent is “Irfan Redzepagic” and his preferred team is not Juve, he is a boyhood fan of Milan… Who would blame him for wanting to play for his boyhood team but no in this case it’s Juve, erm and another thing don’t forget he approached City and wrote to us.

    You really ought to get you facts right you IDIOT!

  4. Melon Man says:

    I think you may be right.

    City will probably get relegated and go into administration as a result of stuff and er, money, and defensive tactics.

    Or,
    Mancini, the board and the Sheikh have got it all under control and City will go on to win the Uefa Cup, the Premier League and the FA cup, due to the strength in depth of the squad and the steely resilience and technical brilliance of the manager.

    In which case you’re badly wrong on all levels.

  5. JP says:

    What is your main concern here and I guess the question is why are you really concerned? City had one manager in Mark Hughes when the money came in, who spent on players that really did not show their worth, in my opinion everyone Mancini has brought in bar Tevez has been better. So Mancini spends time shaping the squad to his liking, with an ok from the owner who has more cash than most small nations. So what’s the issue here, Mancini does not care if Adebayor is unhappy, why should he? He can move elsewhere or he can sit on the sidelines. They can afford his wages. They can afford everyone’s wages. A draw against Arsenal, no big deal away from home when you are looking to cement a top 4 position and build on that based on a deep squad. Or Mancini with key players out could have gone the Tottenham mentality which has cost them games due to attacking football hence why they are behind city in the Table. It is a game of numbers, gift points to Arsenal who have a game in hand and you will see the back of them most likely for the rest of the season. Why is everyone so concerned about what city does? Is it because they are ultimately jealous?? I just don’t get it. They are having a very good season and everything Mancini has done so far seems to work. SO anything else anyone wants to say about the situation really does not matter, it just sells papers. Who cares how much the squad costs, do you have any idea how much Tottenham have spent over the past 5 seasons combined?? Players in and out?? How much Chelsea spent when they came on the scene. Mancini does not owe the neutral attractive football, but he does owe the City Fans a top 4 place, and at the moment he is on track so everyone else can bugger off!

  6. Alan Knut says:

    Just because this is an American blog about English football doesn’t you can emulate English journalism and make up anything you’d like, quote inaccurate stories as fact, and let your biases get in the way.

    And if Rooney in his prime form is better than Tevez, what is Balotelli in his prime form? Balotelli is, in my opinion, a better goalscorer than Tevez. Balotelli has 11 in 11? Is that figure correct? And I don’t think all of the 11 appearances are starts. A 20-year-old switching leagues as well…

    Also, Adebayor has proven very ineffective at times, and I am sure he doesn’t fit into Mancini’s system.

  7. Fifthcolumnblue says:

    I think some congratulations are in order to Roberto Mancini for picking up the December Manager of the Month award – and deservedly so for picking up 13/15 points.

    Although I’m sure in the eyes of the “Gaffer” this is yet another sign that it’s all about to implode at City!

  8. Mike Parker says:

    What a stupid article……………

  9. somervillain says:

    Yes, it’s looking pretty dire for City. A whole two points off top spot and just three “tough” fixtures left (at United, at Chelsea, Spurs). I’m so glad the storm clouds are gathering like this, otherwise it would be pretty frightening for everyone else if (gasp) money did buy success for City like it has everywhere else and that band of infighting mercenaries actually accomplished something so quickly. Good thing, right?

  10. Earl Reed says:

    OK, let me add something.

    The #1 question in the EPL right now is whether ManUtd can continue and/or improve upon their first half to secure the title.

    In my mind, the #2 question is whether Manchester City can make the push given the amalgam of star talent. It’s one thing to be talented, it is another to make that talent work together and be champions.

    I was asking a question, and if you read the article, at the end you see I come to the conclusion that I think they will finish in the Top 4. Nothing about relegation.

    I think that it’s great that these teams have such passionate fans. I’m not looking to pick fights, only ask the question. Enjoy some football!

    • somervillain says:

      Earl, if City fans seem a bit testy, it’s because we’ve grown tired of suffering the slings and arrows of a media (and apparently a footballing public) opening rooting against our club. Whether motivated by the threat posed by City to the status quo or simply by jealousy, it’s disheartening to run into so much negativity. The talk about City right now should be how things appear to have come together so quickly for a group of players that added six new signings to their ranks. Instead we get this sensationalist pablum about altercations on the training ground (it happens at EVERY. SINGLE. CLUB. but City’s training ground is the only one in the Premier League not hidden from public view), supposed player unrest (some are unsettled — they’ll be sold either in this window or the next), and whatever other storyline they can come up with to paint City in a negative light. It’s ultra-lame and those of us who support City can’t wait for this annoying phase to be over.

      • The Gaffer says:

        Jake, I understand where you’re coming from but the best thing City can do is do their talking on the pitch. Many of us at EPL Talk hope they do well and give United a run for its money, to open up the Premier League more so it doesn’t become so predictable.

        Earl’s piece was an opinion article. He has every right to express his thoughts as do you, and the rest of the readers, in the comments section.

        This is not a premeditated attack on City. Far from it.

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

        • somervillain says:

          Oh, I agree this wasn’t an attack piece. I was explaining why City fans were quick to express annoyance with it. We’ve had it with the negativity and misreporting of facts, so we’re not really in the mood to read pieces that do either (or both in this case) of those things.

          • The Gaffer says:

            No worries. I appreciate your response and totally get where you’re coming from. I get similar abuse from the blogs and soccer fans around the US who hate anything to do with soccer in Miami, so I can sympathize.

            Good luck on Sunday. Leicester beat my team, Swansea City, this past Monday, so I hope you stuff ‘em!

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • King Eric says:

            No, come on Sven and his Foxes!

  11. hobbykas says:

    May I call the writer of this bilge,a less than polite name? Oh I may………….Tosspot!

  12. Alan Leishman says:

    I was wondering how someone could get almost every single fact wrong in an article and then I saw you quote goal.com as a reference in your reply and once I’d stopped laughing it all began to make sense.

    Petralito is not Dzekos agent. There are as yet undiscovered amazonian tribes that could have told you that. And to be crystal clear, they would be a better source for you than goal.com.

    I’m pretty sure the guy that runs goal.com is Han Christian Andersen who presumably is also editor of most uk tabloid newspapers.

  13. Guvnor says:

    How does someone who has such little knowledge of football get a forum to spout your playground drivel????

    “Tevez, Balotelli, Dzeko, and Adebayor…..Wayne Rooney is a better footballer than all four of those City strikers. This season Berbatov has shown himself to be roughly as good as Tevez” That, my friend, is going to tickle me all weekend

  14. 1fingerwillie says:

    I won’t rehash all that has been said here. I will correct you on your comments regarding Adebayor, it is well known that his departure is an important part of the January transfer plan. He is not injured (despite claims to the contrary). He is sidelined, waiting to move to his new club. He will never play for City again. His departure is more important for the team than any individual game. Mancini knows what he is doing; he is not going to risk injury to a player who has his bags packed and is simply waiting for the deal to be completed. If that happened, the deal would be scuttled and City would be stuck with that worthless piece of crap for another 5 months.

    If you are going to write about a team, do some research. And, stop looking at goal.com.

    • Why? says:

      In the words of the Clash, I (Adebayor)fought the law (Mancini) and the law won. Taxi for Ade. Shame but the only way is down 4 u my lazy big mouthed friend!!

  15. Edikan Umana says:

    City fans as annoying it is, why are you getting worked up by an opinion piece? An opinion piece!! It means absolutely nothing to how your boys perform on the pitch and that’s where the focus should be. You think these journos or opinion bloggers are going to change their minds because some city fans don’t like what they write? No.

    We live in the world of sensationalism. Just get on with it. If you don’t like it, find something else to read. As far as I can tell, Mancini is trying to secure fourth place. Anything else is a bonus. By bringing in a january signing, things can get tricky in the sense of how Dzeko will adjust and how it affects the team balance.

    As solid as City has been, I think they will fall off because for one they don’t have the experience of the title run-in. Also, these players still have to get used to each other but for now they’re doing pretty well.

    I feel Manchester United are in pole position and if their performances pick up, then they will run away with the title. It’s a long way to May so my warning for City fans is to stay realistic and not worry about all these people say. What should matter the most is how City does on the field. Right now, they’re doing pretty well. However, we all know football can be. Things can change in an instant. Just look at Chelsea.

  16. Guy says:

    Answer….”Yes.”

    Does Mancini have his hands full? Sure, but most of the other clubs wish they had the same problem. 13 out of the last 18 points available is the kind of turmoil most fans would find perfectly acceptable. Hell, ship some of it to the Cottage.

  17. Dave C says:

    Regardless of the various fact-checking issues people have pointed out above, I think the strangest error was this one:
    the Juventus offer was less than Manchester City’s offer, so it wasn’t money that lured him to City, it was desperation.

    Surely if Man City offered the biggest money, and Dzeko ended up at Man City, then it is fair to say it is money that lured him to Man City?? What suggests any “desperation” for anything other than money?

    • Earl Reed says:

      I read two or three different articles, probably sourced the same. Dzeko is desperate to get out of Wolfsburg; the reason, I’m not sure. Juventus would not be able to transfer him to Italy until Summer due to Serie A rules. So while he preferred Juventus (maybe he thought a move to Italy would eventually lead him to AC Milan), he didn’t want to stay at Wolfsburg any longer.

      This was the first source I read: http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/agent-admits-man-city-never-first-choice-dzeko-1369761

      • Why? says:

        You need 2 understand that Giacomo Petralito is not Dzeko’s agent therefore this makes the story you have yet again written ‘So while he preferred Juventus’ about as rubbish as his real agents nor himself have ever mentioned anything like this (Giacomo Petralito is just a misquoted Italian agent and I say again just for u NOT DZEKO’S do ya get it?) people have told u this but u seem ignore them, that says a lot about u my friend or could it be that your just plain Pat & Mick? Who knows?

  18. sanel says:

    this guy earl has no idea what he is talking about obviously stating that rooney is better then all 4 of these strikers come one where is rooney at all year at bars and cheating on his wife. The best striker is edin and he will prove that and take Man City to the champions league and win many titles with him do you research before you post an article Earl……

  19. Adnan Hamidovic says:

    dude you said wayne rooney is better than all of them, are you stupid or something currently dzeko is one of the best strikers in europe, get your facts straight before you open your mouth

    • Earl Reed says:

      Read it whichever way you want. If you want to ignore the IN HIS PRIME part, then that’s your prerogative. Dzeko may be a better player, but let’s let his performance speak for himself when he joins the league.

      I know that this article makes me sound like a ManUtd fan, but I’m actually far from it. Here’s a question for you…at this moment, who do you think would pull a bigger transfer fee, Rooney or Tevez?

  20. Amel says:

    My god, opinion? this article ain’t even opinion, its pure shit!

    Edins agent is Irfan and one more thing Edin denied writing a letter to Man City…http://sportsport.ba/ino_fudbalp-48837.htm

  21. Alan Leishman says:

    Seriously, goal.com & tribal football are laughable sources of information. You’d be better making it up yourself.

  22. City as the new Leeds says:

    From The Mirror:

    Dzeko’s agent, Giacomo Petralito, said the 24-year-old striker was so desperate to leave Wolfsburg immediately he accepted City’s offer, even though they were not his first choice.

    “Juventus could have signed Dzeko, but he didn’t want to wait until June,” said Petralito. “The clubs had already reached an agreement that Edin would be allowed to move in January.

    “But the absurd rules of the Italian FA prevented the move from happening. Edin would have preferred Juventus, so much so that he would have been prepared to accept less money.”

    Nuff said.

    • Why? says:

      Giacomo Petralito is not his agent idiot. Cos the Mirror wrote it this only means one thing, go on guess what?

      More than enough said!

  23. JC says:

    I don’t think the personal attacks are necessary. Please be critical of the opinion, not the man.

  24. Ardwickian says:

    And on and on it go’s,just two days since CITY got a well deserved point at the emirates and heard arsenal fans of all people chant booring booring CITY,what a laugh that gave me,i guess its hard to think they had a team before wenger.and talking of short memories the chant aimed at CITY fans at a few away games of where you when you were sh#$ as me rolling on the floor laughing,its accepted that long before we started our campaign to ruin football in 08,that one of the things CITY had going for it was the unending loyalty of the fans,and now this crap piece of writing,on and on it go’s.

  25. mm says:

    “I am pleased to be at such a good club with such big ambition. They were my first choice and only choice”.
    Edin Dzeko yesterday

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>