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Monday, December 26, 2011

It's a Blue Blue Christmas..



It's a Blue Blue Christmas, but of a different shade. The 1st time since 1929 that Manchester City have been at the top of the table going into the Christmas season. You could also call it the Manchester Christmas in the Premier league coz not far behind are United with only a couple of points separating them from their rivals. And by the looks of their win against Fulham the title doesn't seem to be leaving Manchester for another season.

Mancini's side have been on a roller coaster ride since the start of the season dropping only 7 points out of a total of 51. While Manchester United have dropped only 9 and are in 2nd position they haven't been as convincing as the fans would have wanted them to be. On the other hand City have looked in command and have majestically surged ahead dismissing teams with ease. The number of goals they have scored in less than half the games played in a season have been testimony to the aggressive play. And it doesn't seem difficult for Mancini's men to beat the premier league record of 103 goals in a season set by Chelsea a couple of years ago. The attacking prowess at Mancini's disposal is something greatly feared in the premier league.

Europe's best however didn't consider Mancini's men a great threat probably. That is why the competition enchants you every year. City's 1st year in the Champions league didn't start easy from the time the draws were out with them being pooled in what was the 'Group OF Death" . Bayern Munich are Europe's stalwarts but definitely Napoli and Villareal were no pushovers. Villareal did succumb to the pressure ultimately but Napoli were in no mood to gift the Sheikh's men an entry into the next round at their expense. A bad start to City's European ambitions,  but they did sound a warning to the other teams that they would be back next year when they beat Bayern in their last  group game.

Who have been City's best players?
Undoubtedly City have bought the world's best players but to be the best one has to perform consistently and this season one could  find players who had arrived last season finding their feet in the team. Balotelli and Dzeko who arrived starting and mid of last season respectively have been scintillating scoring 8 and 10 goals respectively. Silva has been good all round chipping in  with goals and assists. And you couldn't forget Maradona's son - in - law Aguero who has put City in a position from where they would always be striving to be the best. However there are 3 players who have quietly been instrumental in City's success. The lanky Yaya Toure, the hard working Vincent Kompany and the sensational Joe Hart. Yaya Toure has been instrumental in holding the midfield for the City team since his arrival from Barca. His work rate has been excellent and he chips in with goals when required. Kompany though is of pre Mancini era has improved tremendously under Mancini with his attitude and mentality and certainly has the chance to become one of the best defenders in Europe. Joe Hart is someone who has grown from strength to strength. One cannot keep Hart out of the picture when City are playing. Since the departure of David Seaman there hasn't been an English goalkeeper who has shown such sharp judgement and reflexes. His lack of fear for the opposition drives his best. You might want to disagree with me but these 3 definitely are the one's who perform the best on the other end of the goal week in week out.

Problems?
Big Egos - With big players comes the baggage of big egos and City certainly has a lot of them. For all the talent he possess you still wouldn't want to step into his shoes. Tevez who is a wonderful footballer on the field, certainly has incurred the wrath of the Manchester teams for his of field actions and his big head gets into his way of success. Luckily for City they have surplus requirements and dishing out Tevez wherever he wants to go shouldn't be as tough a task as it made out to be.

The Toure brothers - While one silently performs on the pitch the elder one, Kolo has tried to seek attention by his off the pitch actions and comments. With both of them off to the African Cup of nations in January, Kolo's absence will be less felt as his position has be well taken up by others. The dope test failure and subsequently his limited chances have frustrated the guy leading to remarks against the manager and surprisingly against his younger teammates like Savic. Leaving to the ACN with such bad taste might just have booked him a ticket to another stadium on his return.

Why Always Me - Balotelli has gained the reputation of being an extrovert character and while his on field performances have been praised, his off field antics might land him in trouble sooner rather than later. And being off the pitch for all the wrong reasons might hurt his career and also put the club into some kind of trouble if he could be out for a longer period.

Fringe players - Manchester City have a bunch of players many of whom are looking for 1st team opportunities. With the Sheikh sponsoring the new project of going all out for the silverware combined with the players ambitions , players such as Adam Johnson are spending lesser time on the pitch and longer periods on the bench. And with City being dumped out of the Champions League , the club might want to turn it's ambitions soon into reality failing which there could be an exodus of players who do not get enough 1st team opportunities.

All these problems are a drop in the ocean for Mancini who looks set to guide his team for their first Premier League title this season . What better time for them for them to crash out of the Champions league. It's a boon not a bane as it will let them focus on the Premier League. To win the league is in City's hand and come May it could only be a late Christmas gift if City manage to end their campaign with anything less than the 1st spot.




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