The Vital Manchester City Forum’s review of our game by game poll winners across 59 fixtures concludes with some fine analysis of our top six award shippers…
The VMC Forum Men of The Season Review
Part Three: From Richards To Silva
6. Micah Richards, 3 awards
reviewed by BlueBilly
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Arsenal H, Notts County A FAC4, Spurs H)
This was the season when Micah Richards would prove his doubters wrong; rid his game of careless errors while still retaining his unstoppable forward surges.
A superbly taken goal against Stoke showcased Richards’ forward going prowess, and a Man of the Match performance in the season’s Champions League Showdown with Spurs highlighted his ability to step up on the most important of occasions.
Although injury threatened to overshadow the return to consistency of Richards, his desire to play for the club saw him fit to return for the FA Cup Final against Stoke City; when a typically solid display played its part in City winning the FA Cup.
Richards has now appeared to have ironed out the flaws in his game and established himself as not only a member of Manchester City’s current XI but hopefully one for many years to come with a new, long term contract expected to be signed soon. His pace, power and passion are second to none and continued progression at this rate is likely to next season earn Richards a place back in the England set up.
5. YaYa Toure, 4 awards
reviewed by Spooks
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Timisoara A, ELQ3 1L, Juventus H, ELGS, West Ham A, the rags FAC SF)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
There was a point this season when Yaya was accused by many media outlets, fans and pundits, of being an overpriced, overpaid, ‘defensive midfielder’ happy to jog around Premiership grounds and pick up a big pay cheque. There were occasional glimpses of his match winning potential, like the two goals away at Upton Park, which added to the frustration that he could be so much better than what he was showing. One good game was followed by a mediocre one. And so it went on. Until that is, the business end of the season. When the going got tough, Yaya got going.
We’ve never really had a ‘big game’ player of late. We’ve never had ‘big games.’ But, in the semi-final against our lovely neighbours, Yaya bullied and dominated the opposition midfield into submission with his running and finishing power from midfield. The sight of him simply brushing Vidic aside on his way to scoring the winner will live long in our memory and hopefully Vidic’s too. As if this wasn’t enough, he was there at the same end two weeks later to blast away 35 years of pain with a crashing drive into the Stoke net.
A defensive midfielder? Nope. Overpriced? Nope. Overpaid? Of course, but if he keeps turning up in the big games then who gives a toss?
4. Pablo Zabaleta, 4 awards
reviewed by Eighthsin
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Everton H, Fulham H, Dynamo Kyiv A, ELR16 1L, West Ham H)
Pablo Zabaleta started the season behind the revitalised academy graduate Micah Richards, as well as German international Jerome Boateng. With such quality ahead of him, the fact that Zabaleta managed to secure the right back berth for himself is quite a feat.
Originally drafted into the squad as an emergency left back, some assured displays caught the eye of the manager who soon had Argentinian’s name near the top of the team sheet. Moved to right back, Zabaleta shined with some smart assists and goals against Fulham and West Ham respectively.
His 100% commitment and full blooded tackles combined with the way he bravely came back after his father had been seriously injured earned Zabaleta respect from all corners, including being named in Garth Crooks’ Team of the Year and captaining Argentina against Nigeria.
3. Carlos Tévez, 5 awards
reviewed by fifthcolumnblue and robinwho?
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Wigan A, Wolves H, WBA H, Dynamo Kyiv H, ELR16 2L, Stoke H)
If anyone tries to tell you that a certain lazy Bulgarian striker who plies his trade just outside of Manchester was the Golden Boot winner for season 2010/2011, tell them where to go – there was only one winner, and it wasn’t the flat-track bully in red!
Yep, Carlos Tévez, goal-scorer par excellence, and serial dummy spitter. Love him or hate him, Carlos is and always will be one of the most prolific strikers to have ever graced the hallowed Eastlands turf. Such was Carlos’ contribution that many critics deemed us a ‘one man team,’ and at times it did look as though we lacked a goal threat without the diminutive Argentinian dynamo. That tag has since been disproved, particularly in our Wembley semi-final triumph, much to the relief of all Citizens!
That Carlos was voted VMC Man of The Match on 5 occasions last term is both testament to his contributions and a condemnation of his ‘will he – won’t he’ ongoing transfer saga – who knows, if he hadn’t handed in his transfer request on the day City went top of the league he might have won a couple more MoTM gongs. Unfortunately for Carlos, his behaviour has not gone down well with a large majority of the City faithful, and it remains to be seen whether or not he ever gets back into our good books.
The 2010/2011 season saw Carlos Tévez at his best on the football field, joint winner of the Golden Boot, inspirational team Captain, who led his team to their first major trophy since the League Cup win in 1976, and qualification for the Champions League for the first time ever.
The season started brightly for the new captain and his team, a brace against Liverpool in front of Sheik Mansour and the blossoming partnership with new signing David Silva gave no hint of the trauma to come. Even the horrendous miss of the season against Sunderland was forgotten, well almost, with goals, and victories, in 4 successive league games. City were on their way to the good times and King Carlos was leading the way. Another brace in an emphatic win at Fulham and an early goal against Bolton had City fans thinking the almost impossible. Too much reliance on Tévez, screamed the pundits – who cares when he’s in this form, answered the City fans.
His reaction towards Mancio when being substituted in the 89th minute against Bolton was a bit extreme, but surely that’s just his passion to play the game, to give his best from the minute he steps onto the field until he leaves it. But just 8 days later with City flying high after a comfortable victory at the doomed West Ham United, he put in a transfer request.
Shock, disbelief, anger and utter sheer disappointment. Was this another example of typical City, just when everything was going so well, a reality check? Not just any player wanting to leave, and not just wanting to leave, demanding to leave now, immediately, our inspirational captain, leader of the pack, the one player who made the team tick. This was catastrophic.
A week later and the transfer request was withdrawn, the one that City had rejected out of hand, but nobody believed it, even now there is no certainty that he will stay, and do we want him to?
The season continued, Carlos continued to perform. No-one can ever accuse him of not giving everything when he steps out onto the field. The partnership with Silva continued to prosper. Other players got in on the act with a special mention for Yaya here.
The injury which kept Tévez out of the semi-final against our neighbours from the red side threatened to keep him out of the final, but Carlos is made of sterner stuff and he had one eye on the kudos which he knew was his if he lifted that trophy high above his head after 35 years of suffering.
No-one watching him almost begging Mancio to put him on the field in those last few minutes against Spurs when Champions League football became a reality could doubt what he wanted and what it meant.
Victory in the FA Cup was followed just 3 days later by the goal of the season against Stoke. A fitting end to a season that promised so much and delivered so much on the field, if not off it.
Will we be sorry to see Carlos go? Well yes, of course, the man could be a City legend in the manner of Bell, Lee, Summerbee, Young and Doyle. No one player makes a team and Carlos certainly doesn’t, but at times in the 2010/11 season he came very close to it and I for one will always cherish those memories.
2. Vincent Kompany, 6 awards
reviewed by Buzz Lightyear
(VMC Forum MoTM versus Sunderland A, Chelsea H, Newcastle H, the rags A, Sunderland H and Liverpool A)
Mark Hughes bought the little known 22 year old international Vincent Kompany for £6m and I thought ‘another midfielder, we have plenty.’
In the Summer of 2010 when Hughes was long gone and the focus was on Bob Mancini, I was screaming in the VMC Forums for a Central defender to be signed. I just could not see how Vincent Kompany was going to fit in, but what do I know, not only has he fitted in, but has been arguably this season, one of the Premiership’s top Central defenders. In my opinion, he is already on the way to becoming a Manchester City Legend and with Lescott he has formed an understanding.
His play has natural calm and none of that last ditch bad tackling which saw Richard Dunne collect a record number of red cards in the Premier League. The fact that in all Premier League and Cup games last season Vincent only collected 8 yellows showed he plays with a cool head on his young shoulders and is a natural leader and surely a future City Captain.
In interviews he clearly shows that he loves the club and the fans. VMCers have voted Vincent ‘Player of the Match’ on no less than 6 occasions. His best game? The FA Cup Semi Final. He led the team brilliantly.
1. David Silva, 12 awards
reviewed by BlueDub
(VMC Forum Man of The Match versus Salzburg A, ELGS Blackpool A, Poznan H, ELGS, Poznan A, ELGS, West Brom A, Stoke City A, Bolton H, Birmingham A, Villa H FAC5, Wigan H, Blackburn A and Everton A)
David Silva – a gift sent from the Gods of football to grace Manchester City F.C. with a touch of magic.
Within a couple of months of his arrival from Valencia Silva had established himself as a key member of Mancini’s team, which in itself is a testament to the character of the lad, especially when you consider the predictions made by the so-called experts that he would be a flop at City: He’s too lightweight, he won’t handle the weather etc, etc…
The diminutive Spaniard is an absolute delight to watch with the ball at his feet.
He has mesmeric footwork and the ability to play that subtle killer ball, often leaving defenders scratching their heads wondering how did he do that?
He does this with such aplomb and ease of effort you could say that he puts the b in subtle.
It’s not only his wonderful attacking talents that have caught the eye this season, it’s also his attitude, his teamwork and his ability to mix it with the toughest of them in the physically demanding Premier League.
The only room for improvement I can see is in his finishing. He needs to chip in with more goals, something which I’ve no doubt we’ll see next season. In light of all of this, it’s not a surprise to me that the VMC forum members have awarded Silva the most amount of MoTM awards this season. All in all, a truly remarkable debut season. Asian Dave, I salute you.
VMC’s Man Of The Season:
Based upon MOTM polls won
2007-2008 Elano Blumer
2008-2009 Stephen Ireland
2009-2010 Carlos Tévez
2010-2011 David Silva
The Next VMC Forum MoTM Poll in City Chat:
Sunday 7th August versus The Rags
– See you then!
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