There`s always a silver lining to be found – whether it be the few in my mother`s hair, after you`re given the elbow by a girl, or after a deflating loss against a lower league team – if you look hard enough you can always find a positive. I think I`ll have a look at the third there.
On Wednesday night, West Bromwich Albion caused a right old stir, one of many that night, to beat the Blues and send them out of the cup with a crash, bang and a smile from Adrian Chiles (I found Daybreak harder than usual this morning) with a 2-1 win.
The silver lining of course, is the kiddie-winks! Last night Roberto Mancini may have underestimated West Brom by sending out a weakened side – to say the least – however, he put his faith in certain players to show what they can do and, although they lost, debuts were made and we should take this opportunity to celebrate both the youngsters who have broken through, and our academy who produced them!
City`s world-renowned academy is famous for developing a wealth of top draw players such as Shaun Wright Phillips, Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge and Nedum Onuoha – and this season we have a few on the fringes of the first team. Full debuts were handed out to a number of new boys on the block on Wednesday – Javan Vidal, Greg Cunningham, Ben Mee, and John Guidetti all featuring in the starting 11.
Belgium U21 International Dedryk Boyata showed last season how easily it can be done after he had a good stint in the team around Christmas, including the Carling Cup games against United where he started ahead of Onuoha. The defender looks a class act with an extremely cool head on such young shoulders. With the ability to make important tackles at crucial moments in the game, he could certainly be something special and is worth looking out for.
Roberto Mancini has shown once more that he has faith in his youngsters by giving Norwegian starlet Abdisalam Ibrahim his debut last season against Scunthorpe where he impressed in midfield. With a lot of competition this season in the centre of the pitch it can only be healthy for the boy.
Our debutants for the West Brom game had within them our Elite Development Squad captain – Ben Mee, who has a bit of Dunney about him to say the least and is known as ‘Mr Man City’. At 20-years-old, the Manchester born defender will be trying to get as many minutes on the pitch as possible this season as he tries to make the break through into the first team.
We also have left-back Greg Cunningham who has impressed enough to get a few games for the Republic of Ireland, and who had a good tournament in America this pre-season. With the constant injuries at left-back (Bridge, Kolarov, Lescott and Boateng – although he should be back in a jiffy) Cunningham could find himself with the first team football he craves for.
Vidal! Vidal Sassoon? No! Our very own number 36, Javan Vidal. He`s crept up the pecking order and with only three fit regular defenders, he may find himself with more than just his single appearance for the club under his belt soon – even if he will probably find himself as a nice bench warmer more often than not. Although his performance on Wednesday was nothing spectacular (it`s a learning curve – none of the youngsters had a wonderful game to be fair), he has talent in there, and he`s certainly with the right club to bring it out of him soon.
John Guidetti is probably one of our most highly rated youngsters, the striker finding himself being compared to the likes of Ibrahimovic not too long ago. He scores some wonderful goals and is a top man, especially after setting up Jo with a goal on Wednesday, and with the lack of strikers we have at the moment (Adebayor and Balotelli on and off with his injuries, Santa Cruz left out in cold and Jo being? well ? Jo) he could find himself having some fun in the first team soon ? or on the bench at the very least.
The kiddies may have had a bad game last night as we crashed out to the Baggies, however, they have promise, an exciting future and a bright blue sky ahead of them!
We`re ruining football don`t you know!? By giving these young, talented footballers a chance to work alongside some of the best and most experienced players in the world, day in day out, and giving them an opportunity to make a name for themselves – we are ruining football. By having no less than six players feature in the last England game and rejuvenating the team by bringing the likes of once Championship starlet, Adam Johnson, into the fold – we are ruining football. By helping local teams like Hyde FC, by trying to break the top four monopoly, by providing a better match day experience, by bringing a wealth of great players to the Premier League, by using our money to fund a number of charities, by breaking new boundaries, by being Manchester City? we are ruining football. Is it just me that`s proud to say – we are ruining football?
Bundo over and out.