Date: 23rd January 2012 at 7:43pm
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Man City haven’t had it easy this season by any stretch of the imagination. Roberto Mancini is now preparing to take on the next phase of games without a key squad player…

From the Champions League group of death and elimination with a hard fought 10 points and six Premier League away fixtures after each game, through tough cup draws and ludicrous refereeing decisions to missing important personnel for various reasons, The Blues have faced the lot down so the message to the Football Association is do your worst.

Tonight we learned that Peter Walton will take charge of Everton Versus City for the third consecutive season next week. Two City defeats and 12 cards including a Kolo Touré sending off at this stage.

‘Just because it’s City’ is fast becoming a paranoid mantra around town with each kick in the golden knackers. It’s a hearts in the mouth job at The Etihad every time one of our lads makes contact with a rival player.

This correspondent, hand on sky blue heart honestly could not say whether or not Mario calculatedly meant to connect with Scott Parker who is reknowned for not taking any prisoners. Parker has admirably kept his own counsel to date through the Get Balotelli hysteria led by United’s Ratboy Neville and Liverpool’s Graeme Souness that has engulfed City’s win over Spurs. The smart money would always have been on next to nothing being said at all had City lost.

So it’s nailed on that The Citizens will be without Balotelli for four games following his laughable sending off at Liverpool last year.

But then again, or is it…?

In November 2010, admitted clearly by his own manager in his Sun column as being the second time he’d done it, Spurs’ Tom Huddlestone stamped with open, clear and present violent aggression on Bolton’s Johan Elmander.

Referee Chris Foy, who ridiculously sent off Vincent Kompany for a brilliant tackle against the rags this month told the FA’s disciplinary unit that he saw Huddlestone’s stamp on Elmander and did not deem it worthy of a yellow or red card.

Meanwhile, can we yet expect a similar, concerted outcry to the one we’ve witnessed the past 24 hours from all English footballing angles over the shockingly inconsistent standard of refereeing this season?

Balotelli has until 6pm on Wednesday 25 Jan 2012 to respond to the charge. Forget it. Aguero and Dzeko to lead the line.

all times East Manchester

We 25 Jan 19:45 Liverpool, Anfield, LCSF2
Tu 31 Jan 20:00 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 04 Feb 17:30 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Su 12 Feb 16:00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Th 16 Feb 20:05 Porto, Estádio do Dragão, ELR32
We 22 Feb 20:05 Porto, The Etihad, ELR32
Sa 25 Feb 17:30 Blackburn, The Etihad, PL