Gary joins VMC again for his reflections upon City’s second gear draw at West Ham and also weighs up Joleon Lescott’s omission from the England World Cup Squad…
Gary’s West Ham Reaction:
‘As I said in the Match Preview, I couldn’t see us getting beaten. Now it looks as though a draw would have been the most certain outcome!
‘Both teams played at a different pace because the intensity of West Ham fighting relegation and ourselves trying to get into the Champions League had gone. It was a real end of season game and at some points it was played more like a practice match than a Premier League game. We played within ourselves and didn’t want to get beaten as we knew a draw would suffice in securing fifth place.
‘We weren’t pushed and we could’ve stepped up a gear but didn’t. If it were possible, we could have not played the game, not let anybody go all the way down to London and instead settled for a point each!’
Gary On Joleon Lescott’s Failure To Make The England Squad:
‘Joleon has been injured on and off all season. Having not played for numerous recent weeks, you can’t take someone to a World Cup without any match practice. The same goes for Owen Hargreaves at United and his one minute of football. It’s different from somebody who has been playing regularly then picked up an injury.
‘Joleon has been out for some time now. He’s still not match fit and with only a couple of practice games left, it’s asking a lot to go to a World Cup finals without the games under your belt to perform for your country in that tournament.
‘That said, if Capello worked on the principle that anyone who’s not fully match fit won’t be taken, then we’d only have half a squad! When you consider Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King’s injury problems, it may well be that our centre backs have to be juggled a little bit which is not ideal. That’s probably why Jamie Carragher is in the squad as he has played week in, week out.
‘There also remains a question mark over Wayne Rooney. In protecting your ankle you can put strain on other parts of your body. In an ideal world if you have an injury you give it time to recover so that it is fully healed. But because of how much is at stake now at football clubs and the enthusiasm of players like Rooney, managers allow players to come back a little bit too soon. In the long run that doesn’t help anybody. Look at Ryan Giggs and Michael Owen. Having come back too quickly from hamstring injuries, they’ve had hamstring problems all their careers.’
The VMC Forum Man of The Match versus West Ham:
11. Adam Johnson [50%]
5. Pablo Zabaleta [33.33%]
38. Marton Fulop [16.67%]
28. Kolo Toure [0%]
33. Vincent Kompany [0%]
16. Silvio Sylvinho [0%]
8. Shaun Wright-Phillips [0%]
24. Patrick Vieira [0%]
34. Nigel De Jong [0%]
14. Roque Santa Cruz [0%]
2. Micah Richards [0%]
32. Carlos Tevez [0%]
25. Emmanuel Adebayor [0%]
45. Greg Cunningham [0%]
The Final Reckoning:
FA Premier League unless stated
Carlos Tévez, 9 (Bolton A, Spurs A, Wolves A, Blackburn H, the rags H, LCSF1, Chelsea A, Fulham A, Everton H, Wigan H)
Nigel de Jong, 5 (Fulham H LC R3, West Ham H, Wigan Athletic A, Liverpool A, Chelsea H)
Craig Bellamy, 4 (Arsenal H, the rags A, Villa A, Sunderland H)
Gareth Barry, 4 (Blackburn A, Portsmouth A, Stoke H, the rags H)
Adam Johnson, 3 (Bolton, H, Sunderland A, West Ham A)
Shaun Wright-Phillips, 3 (C. Palace A LC R2, Burnley H, Arsenal H LC QF)
Wayne Bridge, 3 (Fulham H, Hull A, Stoke H, FAC5)
Patrick Vieira, 2 (Burnley A, Villa H)
Vincent Kompany, 2 (Middlesbrough A FAC3, Arsenal A)
Micah Richards, 2 (the rags A LCSF2, Stoke A)
Emmanuel Adebayor, 2 (Wolves H, Portsmouth H)
Shay Given, 2 (Birmingham A, Everton A)
Marton Fulop, 1 (Spurs H)
Nedum Onuoha, 1 (Birmingham H)
Pablo Zabaleta, 1 (Liverpool H)
Martin Petrov, 1 (Scunthorpe A FAC4)
Roque Santa Cruz, 1 (Scunthorpe H LC R4)
City’s 1-1 throwaway against Hull City and the FA Cup exit at Stoke registered no winner.
VMC’s Previous Man Of The Season:
2007-2008 Elano Blumer
2008-2009 Stephen Ireland
Very many thanks and respect to Gary Owen for this latest exclusive interview. Stay tuned for our VMC Man Of The Season Review with Gary!
As well as being a widely respected, successful media personality and commentator, Gary is the Managing Director of GTC Management, one of the UKs leading independent utility procurement brokers.
To find out more go to:
GTC Management: ‘Reducing Costs,Saving Time and Providing Peace of Mind’
Interview copyright Vital Manchester City, Gary Owen and The Vital Football Network 2010.
A Play As We Dream Production.