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The Big Kick-Off: Manchester City

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Paul Grech


As a young kid, Paul Grech got used to hearing ‘oh no, not him’ when the others found out that he would be playing on their team. He quickly took the hint that he was crap at football. Hopefully, he’s a bit better at writing about it....
[full biography]
08/08/2007 09:00:00.
read: 791 times.

Hopes and Fears


How can you fit in all that has taken place at City this summer in just a few lines? The on – off dealings with exiled former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra which ultimately saw him taking over the club was just the start. No sooner had he done so then Sven Goran Eriksson was put in charge whilst human rights activists began to clamour over Shinawatra’s murky past.

Although a fall-back option – City had initially gone after Juande Ramos of Seville – Eriksson’s track record as a team coach in truly enviable with successes in Portugal, Italy and Sweden. Predictably, he has gone exclusively for foreign players as he tries to rebuild his side where, despite the amounts spent, most of the new buys are speculative.

The target, at this early stage, will be that of avoiding a repeat of last season where City got sucked into a relegation battle whilst at the same time fielding the most ineffective forward lines in the history of the Premiership.

Key Transfer


A new striker was a must for City and the arrival of Rolando Bianchi from Reggina is aimed at helping the side score more goals. Hopefully, he will turn out to be better than the utterly disappointing Bernardo Corradi and, with 18 goals scored in last season’s Serie A, it certainly looks that way.

Something to Prove


For someone who cost the club £6 million, Giorgios Samaras has been a huge let down and perhaps the single most important reason that contributed to Stuart Pearce’s dismissal. Unlike his predecessor, Eriksson won’t have any compulsion to play the Greek forward if he isn’t producing although, as yet, there does seem to be a place for him.

One to Watch


Reportedly subject to a bid by Liverpool this summer, midfielder Michael Johnson might find it tricky to get a game this season but the highly rated player who featured prominently towards the end of last season leads a whole batch of promising players at City.


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