Article by Jake Hartley
This season will see the introduction of a 25 man squad rule introduced on the 20 Premier League clubs. Each club has to work with the same rules and have a 25 man squad for the Premiership season. Here’s a look of how City are looking with regards to the new rule coming into effect.
A minimum of 8 players included in each team’s 25 man squad must be home-grown. This term means that each of the 8 players must have received three or more seasons developing their footballing talents in England prior to their 21st birthday. For this rule City currently have:
- Joe Hart
- Stuart Taylor
- Micah Richards
- Joleon Lescott
- Wayne Bridge
- Nedum Onuoha
- Adam Johnson
- Gareth Barry
- Steven Ireland
- Michael Johnson
- Shaun Wright-Phillips
- Craig Bellamy
These 12 home grown players mean City will be in a healthy state when they are picking the 8 players required to meet the regulation. Even with the futures of players like Nedum Onuoha, Steven Ireland and Craig Bellamy being reported in the media as being uncertain under Roberto Mancini, City would still meet the quota of players required.
Will Bellamy and Ireland still be at city after pre-season?
Along with the 25 players chosen to be in the squad by Mancini, he has no limit on additional players he can play that are under the age of 21. This is the way of the Premier League to encourage more academy prospects to be given a chance at clubs. City has a number of talented under-21 players that could be given a chance to perform in the senior side this season:
- Dedryck Boyata
- Javan Vidal
- Greg Cunningham
- Vladimir Weiss
- Andrew Tutte
- Abdisalam Ibrahim
- Alex Nimely
- John Guidetti
I’m sure there will be even more talented players patiently waiting in the academy side from a call up from Mancini. With the potential signing of 19 year old, Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan reportedly being close to completion, due to his age he wouldn’t be required to be in the 25 man squad which would leave a place open for another player.
With this in mind, this is my predicted City 25 man squad for the 2010/2011 Premier League season which begins for the blues at White Hart Lane against Tottenham on the 14TH of August.
- Shay Given
- Joe Hart (Home-grown)
- Stuart Taylor (Home-grown)
I’ve gone for three goalkeepers because two of the three keepers would help meet the quota of home-grown players and it provides three solid goalkeepers for a long and challenging season. Given would be my number one due to my personal opinion that he is currently ahead of Hart. Who would be your number one for the season?
- Jerome Boateng
- Micah Richards (Home-grown)
- Joleon Lescott (Home-grown)
- Kolo Toure
- Vincent Kompany
- Wayne Bridge (Home-grown)
- Aleksander Kolarov
- Pablo Zabaleta
In wake of recent comments from Mancini stating he wanted two quality players for every position, I have gone for eight defenders with players like Kompany, Zabaleta and Kolarov also being able to play in midfield if needed.
My back four would be Jerome Boateng at right back after some impressive displays against stiff opposition during the World Cup in South Africa. My left back would be recent signing from Lazio, Aleksander Kolarov. The tough tackling defender has been given the tag of the “Serbian Roberto Carlos” due to his explosive long range shooting ability which I can’t wait to witness at Eastland’s this season.
My two centre backs would be Vincent Kompany and either Kolo Toure or Joleon Lescott. Kompany is a definite at centre back for me due to his great aerial ability and strong tackling. But, I can’t make my mind up on who I would like to partner Kompany at the heart of the blues defence after inconsistent seasons from both Toure and Lescott last season. Who would you choose in defence if you were Mancini?
- Adam Johnson (Home-grown)
- David Silva
- Gareth Barry (Home-grown)
- Patrick Vieira
- Yaya Toure
- Nigel De Jong
- Steven Ireland (Home-grown)
- Michael Johnson (Home-grown)
- Shaun Wright-Phillips (Home-grown)
Midfield was an area Mancini was reported to be unhappy with on his arrival at Manchester City last winter and has strengthened it with quality signings like Adam Johnson and Yaya Toure. I have picked nine midfielders for my 25 man squad with five of them being home-grown. I believe each position of the midfield is covered with the additional support of the likes of Craig Bellamy, Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta if needed.
My first choice midfield would be tough men, Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong in the centre of the midfield. These two would help break up the play and retrieve the ball for their team-mates with Yaya Toure having the licence to move further forward when City have the ball with De Jong sitting in front of the back four. I would then have the world cup winning Spaniard, David Silva and Adam Johnson constantly swapping sides to give the opposition fullbacks nightmares.
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- Carlos Tevez
- Craig Bellamy (Home-grown)
- Santa Cruz
This is where the position which I believe we are weakest in. Of course we have the lethal first choice pairing of Adebayor and Tevez, but after that I can’t see where many goals would come from if either one of the first choice pairing were to be missing.
I have missed out the potential signing of Balotelli because he could play as well as the 25 players due to him being under 21. Bellamy played a more left wing role for the club last year and both Santa Cruz and Jo have been hugely disappointing. Many of you may question my inclusion of Jo, but after some recent good performances on the tour of America, why not keep him and have him as a fourth or fifth strike option. If we sign Balotelli, I would sell Santa Cruz and give a place for another player in another position. What do you think of City’s striking options?
My First Eleven For The Premiership
Jerome Boateng Vincent Kompany Kolo Toure Aleksander Kolarov
Adam Johnson Yaya Toure Nigel De Jong David Silva
What do you think? Agree or disagree? Let us know your thoughts
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