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And We’re Off – Sort Of

Well finally, after a long summer of speculation and accusation, City got their Premiership season under way but not without making an additional signing and, as usual, not without a bit of controversy.

Bellers On His Way?

After the blues were drawn against Romanian opposition in the Europa League, Roberto Mancini drew up his 25 man European squad and, in doing so, omitted Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland.

The fiery Welshman have never really seen eye to eye with Mancini so it was no real surprise to see him left out of the squad and it is now evident that his future lies elsewhere. Spurs seemed his likely destination but, after the blues blocked any move to North London, it looks like the much travelled striker is on his way to his hometown of Cardiff on loan.

It’s a shame what has happened to the striker, who endeared himself to the fans and was one of the better performances last season. But, like others before him, he was the signing of a previous manager and Mancini seems to want to clear the decks of those players. Petrov, Benjani and Garrido have already gone and it looks like Bellers is next.

Ireland Demands How Much?

Stephen Ireland was supposed to move to Aston Villa in a cash plus player deal for James Milner. The move however has stalled in the wake of Martin O’Neill’s resignation as Villa manager and, although it is expected to be concluded on Monday, Ireland threw a spanner into the works by demanding £2m to leave the club.

When I read this, I suddenly found myself remembering the Joey Barton move to Newcastle, but that idiot was only asking for £300,000, which the Toon ended up paying. Can’t see Villa doing the same somehow.

It always amazes me how these players think they can make such demands and get away with it and it just shows the greed that exists in the game. If I was Mancini and Ireland came to me asking for £2m to leave, I’d give him a choice; either join Villa like a good little boy or rot in the reserves until your contracts up. And that goes for any player thinking the same. No player is bigger than the club and if the blues want to sell Ireland, or anyone else for that matter, they can do. Sorry but you’ve got your options Stevie, make a decision.

Out With Bellamy, In With Balotelli

Okay so here’s the thing; we get rid of Bellamy because he’s a trouble maker and replace him with, hold on, another potential trouble maker. Does that make sense? Well I suppose something’s never change with City.

The Italian signed too late on Friday to be included in the squad for the trip to Spurs and there have been mixed feelings over the signing. Balotelli is a talent, there is no doubting that, but his comments about leaving Italy only make me feel nervous about signing him. It is quite clear that he wanted to stay in his homeland and my feeling is that he was coerced into joining City, rather than a desire to join and that can only mean one thing: trouble.

But he has worked with Mancini before and the boss might know a thing or two to keep him in order. If he manages it, Mancini may well have just signed a player that can take us to the next level. If he’s wrong, it may well cost him his job. Let’s hope he’s right.

Take Hart From Spurs Game

Of all the teams to play on the opening weekend, it had to be Spurs away. The Londoners have held the voodoo sign over us for how many seasons now so to come away with a 0-0 draw was good enough for me. Of course I would have liked the win but after our first half performance, I’m happy to settle for the draw.

But the game did show us one thing; Joe Hart. Watched by Fabio Capello, Hart’s performance will surely have been enough to secure the England number one slot for the City keeper, particularly after Capello dropped both David James and Robert Green before seeing Paul Robinson call time on his England career.

Hart fully justified his selection with a string of good saves and effectively won us a point. Watching Match of the Day on Saturday, the pundits, or should I say Alan Hansen, were quick to slate City. “A million miles from winning the league,” Hansen said gleefully, basing his facts on a dismal 45 minutes.

Yes we had problems that will be addressed. That’s what happens when new players play together for almost the first time. I for one never thought City would win the league this season and still don’t think we will. But, just to ram Hansen’s words down his throat, it would be great if we did.

Coming up

OTBM Fantasy Football Update – Monday 16th August.

James Milner should sign for the blues on Monday as well but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

City travel to Romania on Thursday in their Europa League first leg game. Anyone know where we can watch this live?

Monday 23rd August: MCFC v Liverpool at Eastlands. 8pm kick off.

Have a good week blue boys and girls.

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