Archives for posts with tag: manchester city

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So far this season, the Citizens and manager Manuel Pellegrini, have had a mixed start to the new campaign.

Firstly, they ruthlessly destroyed Newcastle at the Etihad last Monday. The 4-0 scoreline signalled their intent on reclaiming the title from neighbours United.

It seemed as if the signings made in the striking department had an effect on their frontmen as of last season Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko. It may have acted as a motivation for them to keep working harder in order to consign Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, both signed for hefty price tags, to starting from the bench and not making their impact from the outset.

It certainly worked as Dzeko masterminded two assists along with Aguero who grabbed their second midway through the first half.

The only bad news coming out of that game was the injury to their perennial leader and centre back Vincent Kompany.

His aerial presence and leadership is seen to being vital and pivotal in gaining City points both last season and their title winning one the season before.

Bad enough at any time, that blow comes as Matija Nastasic, City’s other first choice defender last season, continues to recover from an ankle injury sustained in a pre season tournament in Hong Kong.

However, Nastasic was named on the bench for yesterday’s defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Cardiff.

In that game, Kompany’s presence was undoubtedly missed as auxiliary centre back Javi Garcia and somewhat forgotten Joleon Lescott deputised. The fact that Fraizer Campbell managed to grab two headers from a set piece must have spoke volumes about their defensive organisation and direction when Kompany doesn’t play- a fact that Pellegrini lamented in the aftermath of the defeat

So, to rectify this, we are going to suggest 5 Centre Backs that Pellegrini must sign in order to complete the jigsaw and once again make them the team to beat in the league this season.

The post Man City Transfers: 5 Centre Backs Pellegrini Must Sign appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It’s that time of year again. The January transfer window is open for business and all 20 Premier League sides are looking to strengthen.

As with every season motives are different. Some clubs are trying to stave off relegation, others advance their lot by pushing for Europe. The title race and four Champions League spot remain as wide open as they have in years at the top.

Some managers are known to dislike the winter window, but love it or hate it only the brave or foolish ignore it. Certain teams desperately require strengthening to realize their ambitions and others need to have a quiet month, ensuring they hang on to their prized assets.

Players seeking moves may have extra motivation to do so this January as we are now in a World Cup year. Competition to make the plane to Brazil will be cut-throat for many of the 32 countries involved in the greatest sporting show on earth.

National coaches want their players getting regular football in the run-up to the World Cup. That can cause crazy winter gambles by outsiders to force their way back into the fold in time for June.

All these considerations have been weighed up by the WhatCulture sports team. So, for your delectation we have gone through all 20 English top flight teams, assessed what they need, who they have been linked with and who we would like see join them. We proceed alphabetically, so click next to start with Arsenal.

The post Premier League Transfers: What All 20 Teams Need In The Winter Window appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

Date: Wednesday, 8 January 2014; Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester; Kickoff: 19:45GMT

Manchester City have only lost one of their last 15 meetings with West Ham as Manuel Pellegrini’s team entertain the East Londoners at the Etihad in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

Jack Collison scored a second half winner for the Hammers at Upton Park in March 2009, but that is the only victory they’ve recorded over City since back-to-back wins in 2006. Sam Allardyce remains short of striking options, so West Ham fans shall fondly remember Dean Ashton’s brace during an FA Cup run to the final.

The Hammers are not much better off defensively either and come into this two-legged tie off the back of four defeats in their last five. Big Sam chose the FA Cup third round tie at Nottingham Forest to blood youngsters en masse – a move that resulted in a 5-0 thumping.

City are not sure themselves of a place in the next round of the world’s oldest knockout football competition. Blackburn battled back to force Pellegrini to a replay next midweek just when he was planning on taking the team out for some sun. Both Rovers and West Ham could easily succumb to City’s imperious home form.

Allardyce sees his Hammers sit second bottom of the Premier League, but have already knocked out London rivals Spurs out of the League Cup en route to making the final four. City’s run of seven straight wins may have been stopped last time out, but they remain hot favourites to advance here.

Team News

Spanish winger Jesus Navas has joined Stevan Jovetic and Jack Rodwell as absentees for City after he picked up a knee problem. Pellegrini revealed star striker Sergio Aguero and right back Micah Richards are both back in training. This game comes too soon for both, however.

Centre back Martin Demichelis returns to the City squad after four games out, but fellow defender Dedryck Boyata is banned. Yaya Toure could be back in the XI in midfield, yet keeper Costel Pantilimon should be benched after his error led to Blackburn’s equalizer.

West Ham are highly likely to hand Wolves loan capture Roger Johnson his debut straight away in the heart of defence. Fellow centre halves Winston Reid (ankle), James Tomkins and James Collins (both groin) remain out. Several first-team players that were rested for the trip to Forest will return.

Hammers captain Kevin Nolan serves the second game of a three-match ban, but there is a small chance midfielder Mark Noble could comeback from a calf problem. Forward Ricardo Vaz Te is still struggling with a shoulder injury whilst record signing Andy Carroll is still a week away from returning to the squad.

Source: BBC

Likely Line-Ups

Man City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany/Martin Demichelis, Matija Nastasic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, James Milner, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Alvaro Negredo 4-2-3-1

West Ham: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Roger Johnson, George McCartney, Razvan Rat/Joey O’Brien, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra/Mark Noble, Joe Cole, Jack Collison/Ravel Morrison, Mathew Taylor, Carlton Cole 4-2-3-1

The post Man City vs West Ham: Match Preview, Team News & Likely Line-Ups appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Micah Richards

Newcastle United are lining up an audacious bid for Manchester City’s Micah Richards in January, according to the Daily Mail.

Toon boss Alan Pardew is a big admirer of the 25-year-old, who has yet to sign a new deal at the Etihad despite being offered a fresh contract over the summer.

The England right-back wants assurances over his place in City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI before putting pen to paper on a proposed four-year deal.

Richards has been rotated alongside Pablo Zabaleta on the right by Pellegrini this season, making just two appearances, one of which included the surprise start against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The defender can also play at centre-back, but City boss Pellegrini has preferred to limit him to his usual role as a fullback.

Richards is thought to be happy with competing with Zabaleta for a starting role, and is paid around 65,000-a-week to do so, but Newcastle could offer a significant financial incentive to move to St James’ Park.

Richards endured a torrid campaign last season, missing most of it through injury, and is desperate for first team football this term as he aims to get himself back in contention for the England side.

The post Newcastle Transfer News: Magpies To Make January Bid For Micah Richards? appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Mancini2

When the final whistle blew on Manchester City’s embarrassing (by their own standards) 3-1 defeat at Southampton, you could be forgiven for imagining that that was that in terms of the Premier League title race. If United win against Everton today – not an easy ask by any means – City will be twelve points behind their rivals with just 12 games remaining, and Mancini has already rated his team’s chances of overhauling United as “maybe 10 per cent” according to the MailOnline.

It looks an impossible prospect, so should Mancini face the axe?

By the exacting standards of the club’s owners, the answer is most likely yes. City are still in the FA Cup, but their continued failure in the Champions League, as well as in the League Cup will not ease matters for Mancini who now faces the very real prospect of winning only one cup this year, and even that is far from assured. City’s owners have spent hugely in the past few years, and that sort of return will only be tolerated for as long as there isn’t an immediately obvious alternative to Mancini lined up.

Against Southampton City looked toothless at times – whether through the fault of the manager of the owners the attack lacked a cutting edge, thanks to Balotelli’s defection back to Italy and Carlos Tevez’s absence for personal reasons. It is almost unthinkable that a team with City’s resources should be so limited, but Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero were the only available bodies to fill those attacking roles, and neither looked particularly effective.

Given those resources, City need the kind of manager who will get the most out of the expensive players the owners bring in, to make them gel and to to inspire the kind of chemistry that usually comes from a team that grows up playing together. It’s not an easy prospect, but when a manager’s role is reduced so much, it is surely an awful lot easier than having to scrape together victories for a “smaller” team battling relegation.

In that respect Mancini is no more than a glorified coach, and as long as he is making mistakes and not setting his team up right or sending out the right players to get results he isn’t doing his job. And that can only point to one thing.

It’s time to bring someone else in.

What do you think?

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The post Man City: Should Mancini Now Be Sacked? appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Etihad

  • Venue: Etihad Stadium
  • Date: Sunday, 3rd February
  • K/o: 16.00
  • TV: Live Sky Sports 1

Team News

Manchester City continue to be without captain Vincent Kompany for Sunday’s clash with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, but there is some hope for Matija Nastasic (knee), who made the bench at QPR in midweek. Javi Garcia has so far deputised for the centre-half.

Brazilian Maicon has returned to training and could soon return, while Micah Richards (knee) could be back by the end of this month.

Mancini is also without brothers Yaya Tour and Kolo Tour who are still on international duty for the African Cup Of Nations.

New signing Philippe Coutinho will not be in the squad for the City game, as he has briefly returned to Milan after Wednesday’s switch from Inter and will not return until next week. Joe Enrique is likely to start having returned from injury in midweek. Flanagan and Kelly both remain sidelined by knee injuries.

Match Preview

Brendan Rodgers might find his position a little more questioned than it has been to date, after the humiliation against Oldham in the FA Cup last week, plus the surrender of two points against Arsenal a few days later. They face the difficult prospect of a Man City team looking to push themselves on, as well as the daunting stats that they haven’t beaten a top ten side so far this season, and came away from the Etihad the last two times with 3-0 defeats.

A draw is likely to help neither team in their respective quests for points, with City in particular in dire need of the maximum to close the ten point gap that has appeared at the top of the table. Hopefully that means attack, attack.

Likely Line-Ups

Man City

Hart; Zabaleta, Lescott, Nastasic, Clichy; Garcia, Barry; Nasri, T vez, Silva; Ag ero.

Liverpool

Reina; Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique; Henderson, Lucas, Gerrard; Downing, Sturridge, Su rez.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Source: Telegraph

The post Man City vs Liverpool – Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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