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THE VITAL CITY ZEN
FOR WHOM THE BELLAMY TOLLS OR KAKA DO NICELY?
In December Garry Cook advised the media that ‘there will be some surprises’ in the January transfer window.
Well, so far he wasn`t wrong was he? The newswires have been rife with stories of City making a second bid in the area of £12 million for West Ham’s Craig Bellamy who will be 30 years old this July for starters. Now we learn that the club are reported to be in talks with AC Milan for the brilliant Kaka.
Kaka needs no reminding of, but at this stage, Bellamy does.
A hardly prolific yet combative striker, Bellamy is a journeyman player whose career has taken him through Bristol Rovers, Norwich, Coventry, Newcastle, Celtic, Blackburn and Liverpool to West Ham. The last four of those club tenures spanning the last four years.
Bellamy has a very public chequered past. An unsavoury end to his Newcastle career led to one season of relative calm under Hughes at Blackburn before revelations at Liverpool that he was involved in a fracas with John Arne Riise at a mid season Portugese training camp. He alledgedly used a golf club in the attack at the end of a night out.
The widely respected Terry McDermott once said of Bellamy after an incident when the striker was playing for Liverpool against Newcastle: ‘I take exception to little upstarts like him. Everywhere he has been he has been in bother.’ Earlier, after Bellamy was loaned out to Celtic from The Barcodes he ominously said ‘I’ve never come across so much hatred and unrest over one person – what I’ve learned about him has astonished me. You cannot have one player thinking he can run a football club.’
Let us not forget either that Bellamy has been cautioned for common assault outside of football, been in court for assault that he was cleared of and if all this wasn’t bad enough, last year Bellamy was alledged to have attacked a charity worker while drinking and gambling at a Casino in Sierra Leonne whilst he was on a charity mission.
In conclusion, Hughes’ barrel scraping pursuit of Bellamy smacks of little more than desperation and serves to underline the glaring fact that City are being priced out of the transfer market left right and centre in England and should now walk away.
It also emphasises the desperate plight his football team is in. Yes we need fighters with Premier League experience, but team spirited fighters with integrity, leadership and verve. I’d go one further to question what sort of a side Hughes is intent upon building if he persists in chasing up former Blackburn players he’s spent one season with like Roque Santa Cruz while City delegations look elsewhere. He has never spoken of stop gap emergency transfers to help us reach mid table safety whilst bridging the gap until the summer.
Only time will tell if Hughes goes back to West Ham with a further ridiculous bid, but Blues’ concerns that City are not being run at the top by ‘football people’ gains weight when bids of such magnitude are sanctioned for the likes of Bellamy while the pursuit of top international players goes on seemingly led by Cook.
In the meantime, with two weeks of the transfer window now gone, we can bank upon very few players leaving City if the current impasse on many fronts remain. As many of us predicted, Hughes could well be forced to battle on with the limitations he already has as January once again threatens to prove the month when it is very difficult to make transfers of the highest standard happen.
But City MUST make at least one top quality transfer happen this month for an increasingly concerned City faithful to be appeased somewhat and for Cook and Hughes to stave off the danger of themselves becoming a laughing stock. Many Blues wish they had both played their cards closer to their chests as Sheikh Mansour and his advisers have.
Tuesday night’s revelation of a demonically financed bid being underway to bring Kaka to Ashton new Road could reverse shedloads of negativity across Planet Blue. But meanwhile, we all know the areas that need strengthening in the squad and what needs to be more urgently addressed: Goalkeeper, centre half and engine room commander. Mark Van Bommel is still available for a kick off, but I digress…
This one goes out to City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak: Please don’t sanction placing Craig Bellamy and Kaka, nevermind Robinho in the same dressing room!
WHAT’S IN A WORD? THIS WEEK’S QUOTES
‘We are disappointed that the game has not been able to take place today, and we feel particularly for all our loyal fans, the vast majority of whom would have already set off or even arrived in Portsmouth.’
– Mark Hughes tells it like it is, but many Blues will have breathed a sigh of relief in knowing we wouldn’t have to go into a do or die scrap severely weakened.
‘We know that we would have won more games with those players available, but they haven’t been and we have to accept that they’re not available at this moment in time and the players that are available have to perform.’
– Mark Hughes rues the misfortune of losing key players like Bojinov, Petrov and Johnson to long term injuries this season. File under what might have been. But will his call to his players to perform fall on deaf ears again?
‘Robbie would have been close to playing last weekend and would definitely have played some part. He trained yesterday and will train for the rest of the week.’
– Mark Hughes declares Robinho fit to face the Pie Tasters. The question on many Blues’ minds will now be whether or not he pushes SWP back too early as he did with Robbie against the rags, such is his paucity of options.
‘I know nothing about a Manchester City offer for Kaka. I think he’s not transferable and given that is the case, he will stay at Milan.’
– Another one bites the dust, or does it? Silvio Berlusconi’s word is law in Milano and he has spoken, but what’s really going on, then Silvers?
THE JANUARY MEN: THE PLANE LOAD OF SPORTS HACKS TRUTH OR DARES NEVER ENDS
???Kolo Toure – Arsenal, Ginaluigi Buffon – Juventus, Ashley Cole – Z List Celebrities, Ricardo Oliveira – Real Zaragoza, Wayne Bridge – Chelsea (in the bag!), Clarence Seedorf – AC Milan, Michael Turner – Hull City, Lucas Podolski – Bayern Munich, Chris Samba – Blackburn Rovers, Mario Balotelli – Inter Milan, Lassana Diarra – Portsmouth, Franck Ribery – Bayern Munich, David Villa – Valencia, Gareth Barry – Aston Villa, Craig Bellamy – West Ham, Thierry Henry – Barcelona, Fernando Torres – Liverpool, Roque Santa Cruz – Blackburn Rovers, Matthew Upson – West Ham, Luis Fabiano – Sevilla, Marcos Senna – Villareal, Scott Parker – West Ham, Jermaine Defoe – Portsmouth, Michael Owen – Newcastle, Shay Given – Newcastle, Yaya Toure – Barcelona, Theo Walcott – Arsenal, Samuel Eto`o – Barcelona, Quasimodo Tevez – the rags Andreii Arshavin – Zenit St Petersburg, Kaka – AC Milan, Mauro Zarate – AC Milan, Taye Taiwo – Marseille, Carlo Cudicini – Chelsea? Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich?go on then, who have I missed?to be continued..
WE WEREN’T REALLY THERE? THE FINAL SCORE THIS WEEK 10 YEARS AGO
Football League Division One
Maine Road, 16th January 1999
Man City 3(2) – 0(0) Fulham
Scorers Goater 24, Taylor 32, Horlock 54
Man City: Weaver, Crooks, Edghill, Wiekens, Vaughan, Horlock (Whitley,88), Brown, Pollock, Taylor, Goater, Cooke
Subs not used: Dickov, Bishop
@ The City of Manchester Stadium
FA Premier League
Saturday 17th January 2009 @ 1500 GMT
The Citizens Last 6 PL games: W,L,D,L,W,D
Latics Last 6 PL games: W,L,W,W,W,W
Internet: www.wigan.vitalfootball.co.uk/ www.wiganlatics.premiumtv.co.uk
– We hope to bring you our weekly Mag 7 Fans Q&A with Vital Wigan before the weekend.
Johnny On The Spot?
To all intents and purposes, Steve Bruce has got Wigan on absolute fire. Only one defeat in their last six Premier League fixtures, a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal is something we at City can only dream of.
A big, physical side who make things happen and are bursting with confidence, they’ll be murder to beat. On current form, a powder puff and surrendering City could find themselves blown away yet again. I’m hoping that this hapless City squad have finally ‘bottomed out’ and will have benefitted in all departments from the 2 week break the Portsmouth postponement afforded them. We have to find some steel if we are to get anything out of this one. I’m suggesting that might be the case and Hughes` weakened poor team can earn a valuable point.
City 1 Wigan 1
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