Nedum Onuoha, Stephen Ireland, Daniel Sturridge and Micah Richards names are all circulating in the media this week and each story has a different angle…
Kicking off with the less positive of the four is the Daniel Sturridge situation. A sizeable new contract offer remains upon the table from Manchester City yet the talented, but by no means established young striker looks to be drifting towards the SportCity exit doors as he holds out for more money. Bad advice? Only time will tell, but we can expect to hear of a conclusion to this protracted saga within the next fortnight as Mark Hughes’ squad rebuilding goes up a gear.
Sturridge knows that His Highness Sheikh Mansour, Club Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Hughes’ management team are committed to blooding MCFC Academy players in an effort to create our own stars blended with experienced internationals. Vladimir Weiss’s end of season run out against Bolton underlined that commitment.
If Studge decides to accept City’s superb salary offer for a 19 year old and commits to battling for a first team place whilst learning his trade, smiled and made a statement to that effect, then he can be assured that City fans will be right behind him. Our mate Chris Bailey at the MUEN has published a cracking piece on the subject today. Over to you, Dan.
City’s defensive strong man Micah Richards’ name has started popping up across the news wires again whilst the youngster prepares for the European Under 21 Championships with England next week in Sweden. Hacks at Das Daily Mail have come up with the idea that City have circulated Micah’s name to every Premier League team in an effort to secure a few million quid off the back of a poor last season for the lad, not considering the standards he had previously set. This is surely absolute nonsense considering the potential Micah has and the fact that players of his ability who have grown up with a Premier League club are like gold dust.
Meanwhile, somewhere up in the hills around Glossop at this moment in time, City Player of The Year Stephen ‘Superman’ Ireland is undergoing his second consecutive summer of punishing fitness training. The Irish Times has confirmed it’s very likely that should he look over his shoulder on one of his long runs, a white haired Italian man on a scooter could be there in hot pursuit of him.
Giovanni Trapattoni remains determined to bring back the brilliant Ireland to the Eire shirt:
‘We have to know if he wishes to come back or not. I saw two or three City games and I like him, and I will try all possible ways to get him to come back.’
Should Ireland make himself available to run the Irish midfield later this year, then what a boost that would be for the Republic’s battle to reach the World Cup Finals.
Finally, Micah Richards’ England Under 21 colleague big Nedum Onuoha has spoken to the soon to be gone bust Setanta Sports of his delight at the current siuation at resurgent City:
‘It is exciting, hopefully this will be the start of something special and I will be honoured if I am a part of it. With these players that are coming, the club are trying to tell them about the ambition.
‘To get into the team you have to have that ambition and be on the same level they are to get into the team or make the squad.
‘For as many big players come in, you have to raise your game yourself if you want to be a part of the Manchester City team that people want to see.’
Ned went on to discuss new City signing and rumoured new captain Gareth Barry:
‘I am excited about playing with him next season. It is a big challenge for him and for us next season, but the type of player he is, I expect him to make a big difference.’
The outstanding City defender then went on to underline his faith in Mark Hughes:
‘The best success comes from stability and while he is in charge I think we will always improve. Sometimes change is not always the best thing to bring success.’
Onuoha, Ireland, Sturridge and Richards are young lads with potentially brilliant futures. There is every chance that they could become household names with the club they have grown up with.
With the right guidance and determination, they can sieze the day, every day that next season brings.
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