Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't Panic

While I was away in Barcelona, I only got to see bits of the City and Wigan matches. Given Cities home form, I don't think that a no score draw was that surprising or that bad a result. They've already had good home results at home against top four clubs. But the Wigan result was terrible. It was another match where we created a good few chances but were unable to finish the opposition off. Torres scored a superb goal after some great build up from Finnan and Gerrard. But Kirkland pulled off some great saves to deny Gerrard, Mascherano and others, to make sure that we were vulnerable to a sucker punch like the one delivered by Titas Bramble with 10 mins to to go. Sickening.

I don't know why our home form has been so bad this season. Part of it can be explained by the lack of key players at vital times. Agger and now Sami missing, we aren't half as resilient at the back. In previous years we would have beaten Wigan 1-0 by shutting up shop once we took the lead. I think that Agger's return will bring a bit of stability and confidence back to the defense which has been a bit panicked of late. Xabi is back now and he should also bring some stability and passing penetration to the attack. I know that he wasn't at his best against Wigan but I think that his passing sharpness will return with game time.

It's the "magic" of the FA Cup 3rd round on Sunday when we face lowly Luton We have to travel to Kenilworth road to face Kevin Blackwell and his hatters. Like the Carling cup, this is a good competition if you win it but doesn't matter all that much otherwise. I wouldn't be unhappy to see some of the youngsters play on Sunday even if they get beaten.

Goran Pandev could be on the move. He's done pretty well for Lazio over the past few years. I don't know how much he'd cost but he might be a good option if we're looking to offload Crouch who's only 18 months left on his contract.

There has been some online chatter that we are looking to buy Ezequiel Garay from Racing Santander at the moment. He's a 21-year old Argentine central defender who can also play at right back. He also has an impressive record of scoring free kicks for a defender. The fee being mentioned is around £8m which would be a bargain.

Fulham are looking to steal a march on Bolton and others by lodging a £3m bid for Danny Guthrie. He's done well while on loan at Bolton and Roy Hodgson sees him as the man to inject some life into Fulham's bid for survival.

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