All hail the Mighty Atom! 28 year old Sergio Aguero has now scored 149 goals for Manchester City across 5 years and 3 months. His first goal was scored against Swansea at The Etihad on his debut. He could score number 150 against Barcelona on Tuesday night. City’s greatest striker of the modern age has been key to our ongoing success and provides the gauge with his goals for how far we have come since his £38 million transfer from Atletico Madrid where he scored a creditable 83 goals during the previous 5 years.
Quite how the brilliant Argentine continues to operate under the media radar and the game’s authorities outside of the odd affirmation of an achievement or seemingly begrudging nomination remains one of football’s mysteries. City’s stock continues to soar worldwide but attention to the area of milestones and records continues to be reserved for clubs with a mind-set mired firmly in the past, not the future…Manchester’s league leaders find themselves Back to The Future this weekend and no mistake…
…A pulsating win at West Brom was just what we needed following a frustrating run of 6 games without a win which were hampered by kamikaze individual errors, poor finishing or plain bad luck. Throughout the barren run, City boss Pep Guardiola stuck to his guns against increasing hack and pundit criticism. Whatever anyone says about Pep, if you look back across the first 16 competitive games of his 4 months at the controls he clearly adapts his formations for each opponent and isn’t afraid to make bold decisions and ring the changes. Not that too many of us will need that much reassurance in these early days of the Pep era considering some of the scintillating fare that’s been served up, but the statistics across 3 competitions bode well: P16, W11, D3, L3 F 37, A 18 with 5 clean sheets registered. Furthermore, the victory in the black country over Tony Pulis’ land of the giants was the 8th time Pep’s Blues have scored 3 or more goals in a game. 5 of those counts came on the road. Rich reward for City’s brilliantly raucous travelling army who at the final whistle relished once more the manager’s directive that himself and his players will always go across en masse to thank them for their support.
The timing of this win was not only critically important in a title race that has just passed through the first quarter mark, but it was also exquisite bearing in mind the absurd euphoria we laughed at that followed the Stretford Galacticos crack papering 1-0 win over a 2nd gear City in midweek. Once again, we were being told united are back amid desperation fuelled forewarnings of a Guardiola demise only for instant karma to befall the League Cup 4th Round medal winners at the very next step. Well. This correspondent counter-forewarned that the pisspoor rags were heading for mid-table by Christmas and they appear to be ahead of schedule. Not only that but The Latest One, a high risk public image appointment accepted with reservation by the club’s weakening elders is finally breaking ranks and making headlines for all the wrong reasons. A couple more defeats in the coming weeks and the Glazer family will have a full on implosion on their hands. Long may Maureen reign!
I gloatingly digress. Back to City. I mentioned a couple of nights ago how there is no longer anything to fear from fixtures against Manchester United. I believe we are approaching that situation in our other regular “Euro-derby” with Barcelona. For 53 minutes we had the measure of them in the Camp Nou a fortnight ago. Pure and simply, one Lionel Messi on a level playing field shorn of suicidal goalkeeping is the difference. Having now rid themselves of the ludicrous “crisis” albatross the media have been striving to fuel, a close to fully fit Blues squad have an opportunity this week to really make a statement and give this season a massive boost. If City can beat Barca then Middlesbrough at home this week, we will go into the next international break in rude health. We have the boss, the players and the supporters to do it.
Give it loads, Blues!
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