Emz And The City
‘Without a Dream in My Heart, Without a Love of My Own’
SANTA SVEN AND HIS MERRY MEN
Hello and welcome fellow Blues to my first column of 2008. Happy New Year! I hope that everybody ate, drank and had a very merry festive time. Thankfully Sven didn’t turn into the grinch and City enjoyed a healthy Christmas period, notching up six points out of four difficult games. The points (at the time of writing) have kept us in fourth place and, if nothing else, have guaranteed us safety.
Joking aside, Sven and the boys have been a phenomenon. Nobody could have imagined we would be occupying the Champions League places come the New Year. The 2007/08 season has been a complete revelation so far, and we are only half-way through. Much has been made of Sven’s signing and I am certain that there will be more to come now that the transfer window is well and truly open.
So, I am very happy with the six point tally. After the disappointment of the cup defeat (which I will cover later on), I thought that we did well to come away from Villa Park with a point despite it previously being a happy hunting ground for us. In the Blackburn game I felt that we had done well, with Bulgarian Petrov in spellbinding form delivering crosses that were proving to be almost impossible to defend against. But I was never convinced that we had killed the game off and it took a controversial decision to put Rovers level. We were unlucky.
Up next at fortress Eastlands were Liverpool and I was amazed at what a great game of football it actually was. They passed and moved like they were at Anfield but I thought that we coped well with their pressure and that Richards and Dunne were sublime at the back. Although Corluka isn’t a playmaker, he coped well in his midfield role and gave us an extra option. But I did feel that the game proved one thing that all City fans and Sven are aware of- that we are crying out for a striker. A predatory poacher who can get onto the end of Petrov’s lethal crosses and combine well with Elano’s creativity.
An away day in the North East at St James Park proved to be very fruitful with us coming away with all three points, the first time since the first game at Upton Park this season. It was great to see Elano back on the score-sheet, even if he hasn’t played the same since his injury, and good to see Fernandes score after just 50 seconds of being on the pitch. We played some good football at a club where the pressure really is on them- to be honest I expected Allardyce to pull off a result but I was very happy to see us go for the result and end the 90 minutes in 4th place.
I was horrified to see us crash out of the Carling Cup at the hands of Spurs. We had done well to reach the quarter-final stage and it really was an excellent chance of reaching the semis and, potentially, the final. But all aspirations went up in smoke in 90 minutes. Fair play to Spurs and Ramos, they continued to dominate possession despite being a man down and took their chances well. Malbranque, Berbatov and Robinson all excelled while we ran about chasing shadows.
City had no passion, no desire, no will to win. Sven had been quoted in several newspapers as wanting to sit in the dug-out at Wembley, as he had never had the chance during his reign as England manager. His players never looked remotely like achieving his goal: Elano wasn’t match-fit, Garrido was shocking and even Dunney had a couple of runs forward that resulted in City being left wide open at the back. It was just frustrating to see City reach that kind of position and seemingly throw it away so easily. So many people call the Carling Cup the ‘Mickey Mouse Cup’ but I think it should be treated with a lot more respect. It is still silverware and a day out at Wembley. It should still be just as competitive as the F.A. Cup.
So now our Cup hopes turn to that very Cup, the F.A. Cup, and we currently have to wait for a replay at Eastlands to West Ham. If we defeat the Hammers, we then face a trip to Bramhall Lane, home of plucky Sheffield United. A seemingly ideal fourth round tie but a potential banana skin nonetheless and our only chance at silverware this season.
NEW YEAR’S PEEVE
I was contemplating not even mentioning the name Joey Barton in this column, a boycott of all things Barton-related in an attempt to limit the amount of ‘publicity’ his latest stunt receives. But I feel that it is right to address it. How can Barton, a well-known professional footballer, even contemplate having a night out in Liverpool during the festive period without having to deal with abuse from drunken footballers who support his former team, Everton, or his former team’s rivals, Liverpool?
Barton claims to have suffered drink-related problems in the past, so why put himself in a situation where he would be surrounded by drink, in a public place no less, in a city where he has so much history? Surely the best option would have been to either go back to Newcastle or to enjoy a low-key night in at one of his Liverpudlian friend’s houses. That way, he wouldn’t have ended up spending New Year’s Eve in prison facing yet another assault charge. What was he even doing in McDonalds? I am sure the dietician at St James Park will have something to say about it- along with the chairman Mike Ashley and Big Sam. Is this not enough evidence to put Barton away- he is a menace to society and should spend time behind bars.
TOO GOOD TO BE BLUE
The other day I went to the new Citystore in the Arndale Centre in Manchester and finally bought the purple away shirt. While I was there I noticed the shirt printing machine there so I thought that I would get a name on the back of my new shirt. But then I thought…who? Who should I get? I think it was the first time in my City life when I actually had to stand there and think about who is the best player and most worthy of gracing my shirt.In the past we have had players who stand out because of their class (Anelka, Goater, Wanchope, Kinkladze, Benarbia) and players who the fans love (Quinn, Rosler, Dunne, Weaver, Goater, Morrison), but I was really stumped. My gut reaction was to get Elano, but in the end I decided on Corluka- consistent and a great player. But it was nice to reflect and realise that City have a team of players who are worthy enough of gracing any fans’ shirts. Long may it continue.
THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER...Things to look forward to...another possible Cup run if we manage to beat West Ham and the Blades away…the transfer window resulting in new signings galore…U****d away…Arsenal at home…Elano returning to form…Samaras waving goodbye to City…Plus...Can I just say a big thank you to everybody who has joined the King of the Kippax Facebook group again. We now have over 200 members and that number is constantly growing. Thank you!!
Keep the Blue faith,
Emily Brobyn xx