City 0 Valencia 1
Early Days for New Boys
Saturday 4th August 2007
: GYKO at the COMSTAD
Valencia spoiled Sven-Goran
Eriksson's Manchester City welcoming party at Eastlands to
leave City's new manager with plenty of work to do before
their Premier League opener at West Ham next week.With five
new signings in his starting line-up, some of whom the
former England manager had never even seen play it was
always going to be an interesting day for the Swede.
Eriksson would certainly have been able to pick a few
positives out of the narrow defeat, not least the
performance of young midfielder Michael Johnson. But David
Silva's early winner, combined with a series of missed
chances including two by star
striker Rolando Bianchi, confirmed the theory it may take
some time for Eriksson's new-look side to gel.
With new owner Thaksin Shinawatra looking down from the
stand above, Eriksson had strode onto the pitch before
kick-off to a standing ovation, bowing politely to all four
corners of the ground. It was an enthusiastic welcome,
although the sight of thousands of empty seats suggested the
former England coach has some work to do if he is to claw
back the huge number of City fans who have become
increasingly disillusioned with life at Eastlands.
In contrast, Ricky Hatton will forever be a hero in these
parts and when he was spotted taking his seat five minutes
into the game, the world light-welterweight boxing champion
- and lifelong City supporter - was greeted like the
superstar he has become. Hatton barely had time to take his
seat before Eriksson's side fell behind.
Switzerland Under-21 skipper Gelson Fernandes was the man at
fault, gifting possession to Silva 35 yards out.
Silva laid a neat pass off to Miguel Angel Angulo but when
his shot was parried by Kasper Schmeichel - handed his
chance in the absence of injured duo Andreas Isaksson and
Joe Hart - the Spanish international stroked home the
To their credit, City responded in defiant fashion with
academy graduate Johnson leading the resistance.
Johnson rattled the Valencia bar with a fierce 25-yard shot
and not long afterwards Bianchi did the same as he tried to
steer Elano's cross goalwards.
An £8.8million capture from Reggina, Bianchi is the man
Eriksson is hoping will end a scoring crisis which condemns
City to start the new campaign without a home Premier League
goal since New Year's Day. Bianchi certainly has the
physique of a modern-day forward but the way he fluffed a
golden opportunity when Marco Caneira's attempted clearance
rebounded off Martin Petrov and spun into his path was a bit
of a worry.
Petrov sparked sporadically down the left flank, although it
appears the Bulgarian will look to cause defences problems
with the accuracy of his crosses rather than any speed or
trickery. Geovanni became the first Brazilian to sign for
City last month but did not show much Samba flair when he
smashed a long-range free-kick straight into the Valencia
wall although he had some excellent touches in the second
half and a superb scissor kick which flew just over.
Bianchi then failed to turn his far-post header goalwards
after Petrov had picked him out.
Get Your Kits Out View : On
arriving at the COMSTAD I was suddenly in the company of
more Thai's than I could shake a stick at. There were groups
of them everywhere. There were dancers, singers, protesters
as well as a large marquee with an even larger queue,
serving free Thai food. The carnival atmosphere was only
spoiled by the football which was played at around
pace. It has to be remembered though that this was just a
practice match and the real thing starting next week
hopefully will laced with a fair old lashing of passion. I
thought our old boys were the pick of the crop especially
Johnson and Stephen Ireland who incidentally seems to
have had a hair transplant. Bianchi looks awfully similar to
Corradi but a little quicker. Petrov looks classy and I did
like the look of Geovanni the little number eight - reminded
me of Ali Bernabia, oh if only....
I don't fancy their chances at West Ham but hopefully things
will start to come together in the Derby County game in
readiness for the rags. Incidentally, the Thai food
was nice but a little hard to swallow, if you know what I
Richards, Onuoha (Jihai 62), Dunne, Garrido, Elano (Geovanni
h-t), Johnson (Corradi 71), Fernandes (Hamann 71), Petrov,
Subs: Mentel, Ball, M MIlls, D Mills, Logan, Dabo, Miller,
Vassell, Dickov, Samaras.
Valencia: Canizares, Caneira, Moretti, Albiol, Marchena,
Albelda, Joaquin, Baraja, Angula, Silva, Gavilan.
Subs: Miguel, Mora, Vicente, Alexis, Del Horno, Sunny, Mata,
Arizmendi, Villa, Morientes, Hildebrand.
Goals: 0-1 (Silva 10)
City: Corradi (74)
Accrington Stanley 2
Manchester City Reserves 0
Saturday 4th August 2007
Kenny Jackett's youthful reserve side ended their pre-season
campaign in defeat this afternoon, but Jackett refused to be
too downhearted after the 2-0 loss at Accrington Stanley.
He said: "It's been a good build-up during the pre-season
for us. We started off playing non-league teams but we've
had Morecambe and Accrington the last two Saturday's and won
one and lost one.
"There's a lot of excitement around the place going into the
new season, we've had a tough pre-season, but a very good
City's team v Accrington:
Martin (19-year-old trialist), Obeng, Breen, McDonald,
Vidal, Clayton, Laird, M.Daly, Marshall, Moore, Evans.
Town 0 Manchester City 2
Wednesday August 1st 2007
Manchester City manager Sven-Goran
Eriksson is looking to add to his squad and it is easy to
see why as the Barclays Premier League side struggled to
overcome League Two club Shrewsbury.
The Swede took a good look at the players at his disposal by
fielding different teams in each half at the New Meadow.
With the possibility of four more additions to his squad, he
appears ready to shuffle his pack and allow players to
Striker Valeri Bojinov is scheduled to arrive from
Fiorentina and join fellow Bulgarian Martin Petrov at
Eastlands. There is also speculation that defenders Javi
Garrido and Vedran Corluka are also about to come on board
from Real Sociedad and Dinamo Zagreb as well as midfielder
Elano from Shakhtar Donetsk.
Petrov, a £4.7million buy from Atletico Madrid, made his bow
in this friendly and looked quick and strong. New signings
Rolando Bianchi, Gelson Fernandes and Geovanni were also in
from the start. Geovanni rattled the crossbar in the 21st
minute from 25 yards but a minute later Shrewsbury almost
opened the scoring when Michael Symes flicked a header wide.
Petrov was involved in the 38th minute but saw his shot
blocked by goalkeeper Glynn Garner after a neat one-two with
Bianchi. City nearly made the breakthrough in the 40th
minute following a delicate chip from Stephen Ireland but
Garner tipped his effort over the top. Petrov miskicked in
front of goal a minute before the break and the ball fell to
Bianchi, whose effort was blocked by Neil Ashton.
Georgios Samaras could have earned a few plaudits in the
50th minute only to see his weak effort saved by Garner.
Then Corradi headed wide for City following a corner from
Ousmane Dabo two minutes later. Corradi, however, made the
breakthrough with a header in the 82nd minute and Paul
Dickov added a second goal with a shot into the corner on
the stroke of full-time.
Shrewsbury: Garner, N.Moss (Langmead 63), Ashton (Humphrey
46), Drummond (Ryan 68), Kempson, Murdock, Herd, Hall, Pugh,
Cooke (Onibujek 74), Symes (Leslie 63).
unused subs: T.Moss, Mackenzie, Flynn.
City (1st half): Schmeichel, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Sun,
Geovanni, Johnson, Fernandes, Petrov, Ireland, Bianchi.
City (2nd half): Hart, D.Mills, M.Mills, Ball, Logan,
Samaras, Miller (Vassell 78), Hamann, Dabo, Corradi, Dickov.
unused sub: none.
Goals: 0-1 Corradi (82), 0-2 Dickov 90
City: Geovanni (42)
Manchester City 0 The Roller Coaster
Saturday 28th July 2007
Geovanni starts his first
match for Manchester City in this evening's friendly against
The Brazilian, who has played as an attacking midfielder and
as a striker during his career so far, lines up alongside
Rolando Bianchi as Sven-Goran Eriksson assesses his options
with this starting line-up.
After an uneventful first 20 minutes, City were victims of a
bizarre penalty decision. Matthew Mills was adjudged to have
pushed Dos Santos Costa in the area and Oulners scored from
City then had their best spell of the game so far, but were
hit by a sucker punch on 35 minutes. Dos Santos Costa
outpaced Matthew Mills and squared to Jovian, who side
footed it home from close range to double the home side’s
Matt Mills’ day got no better when he picked up a booking on
39 minutes, and two minutes later Rolando Bianchi had City’s
only real chance of the first half, but his weak header
never threatened to claw a goal back.
A raft of substitutions at half time added a lot more
urgency to the Blues, with Georgios Samaras having the best
chance of the game so far when his left-footed shot rattled
the crossbar on 53 minutes.
City had the best of the remainder of the match, however
they could not create enough decent chances. The best was
substitute Miller forcing a save from goalkeeper Laquat.
The Blues can now look forward to facing opposition a little
nearer to home when they take on Shrewsbury Town at the New
Meadow on Wednesday night, kicking off at 7.45pm.
Team: Isaksson, D.Mills,
M.Mills (Fernandes h-t), Dunne, Ball, Logan, Johnson (Miller
59), Hamann (Vassell h-t), Ireland, Geovanni (Corradi h-t),
Bianchi (Samaras h-t).
Subs: Hart, Dabo, Dickov.
Morecambe 1 Manchester
City Reserves 2
Saturday 28th July 2007
City's reserves have had another successful afternoon, this
time against league opposition. Kenny Jackett's
young side travelled to Morecambe to take on Sammy McIlroy's
Division Two outfit and came away with a 2-1 win.
The Blues went into half time a goal up thanks to Paul
Marshall on 17 minutes, but the home side equalised through
Curtis with 10 minutes of the second half gone.
But City came away with the spoils thanks to the prolific
Ched Evans, who lobbed the Shrimps' keeper from a long way
out on the hour. It was the young Welshman's third goal of
the pre-season fixtures.
Kasper Schmeichel kept the lead intact, with one superb
point-blank save from Baker and good work with his feet to
deny the onrushing Curtis.
The reserves complete their warm-up programme with a visit
to Accrington Stanley next Saturday.
Obeng, McDonald, Breen, Vidal, Clayton, Laird, Daly,
Marshall, Moore, Evans.
Subs: Ramsey, Mentel, Kay, McDermott, Ball.
Davies, Yates, Bentley, Artell, Adams, Baker, Sorvel,
Stanley, Burns, Curtis, Twiss.
Subs: Drench, Hunter, Howard, Newby, Grand, McNiven,
United 0 Manchester City 4
Saturday 21st July 2007
Rolando Bianchi (pictured right)
scored twice as Manchester City rounded off their tour of
Sweden with a comfortable
victory over Carlstad United.
The £8.8million Italian set up his countryman and strike
partner Bernardo Corradi to round the goalkeeper and open
the scoring after five minutes.
With 20 minutes on the clock the roles were reversed,
allowing Bianchi to drive home for City's second.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's men wasted little time in making it
three after the break as Bianchi swept home for his third in
two games in his manager's homeland.
Substitute 'keeper Kasper Schmeichel had to save a penalty
after Micah Richards' handball before another replacement,
Marc Laird, struck a fourth from the edge of the box.
Curzon Ashton 1 Manchester
City XI 3
Saturday 21st July 2007
It was back to winning ways today for
the young reserves as they won comfortably at Curzon Ashton
the Unibond Premier league outfit. Goals from Adam
Clayton, David Ball and Ched Evans for City and Michael
Norton for Curzon. Curzon are at New Mills next Saturday so
it will be interesting to see how my local North West
Counties div 1 team fare against higher opposition.
City Team: Mentel, Obeng,
Breen, Mee, McGivern, Moore, Marshall. Clayton. McDermott,
Subs: Vidal, Kay, Daly.
4 Manchester City XI 2
shapes to test Craig Dootson in the Hyde goal
started the game with some slick moves and looked very
comfortable in the opening exchanges. It didn't take long
before they pressed home their advantage as Karl Moore
drilled the ball into Dootson's right hand corner from the
edge of the box. Adam Clayton added the second within
minutes with a great solo effort to put the blues in
command. With City's oldest player only 18 it was looking
like boys against men might just be good enough. With Hyde
only just outside the Conference Premier last season they
weren't about to be taken apart by a bunch of kids. After
City hit the post they suddenly awakened and got stuck in.
On 24 minutes Gareth Seddon the Hyde goal machine pulled one
back. Soon after the City defence allowed Gareth too much
room and he brought the Tigers level with a well taken goal.
Five minutes before half time the Tigers were ahead when
Dale Johnson shot across goal to beat Filip Mendip at his
far post. The half time shake up didn't happen but Hyde grew
in confidence and Seddon completed his hat trick mid way
through the half to cap a fine comeback from Hyde United.
With a number of the regular youth players over in Sweden
(five from Saturday's team against Stalybridge) these young
City players were certainly not overawed by their senior
opposition. Karl Moore and Javan Videl both had very good
first halves and Mendip made a couple of very smart saves.
Craig Dootson also saved very well to his right to keep what
looked a certain City equaliser out from close range when
the score was 2-3. A good nights football though for the 301
crowd who turned out on a very pleasant night.
Orgryte 1 Manchester City 4
Bianchi scores on City debut
Wednesday 18th July 2007:
Manchester City's new striker Roland Bianchi marked his debut with a
goal as Sven-Goran Eriksson's side beat Swedish side Orgryte 4-1 in
Signed from Reggina for a reported £8.8m, the Italian forward opened
the scoring with a close-range finish.
Orgryte equalised through Boyd Mwila on 37 minutes before Bernardo
Corradi put City 2-1 up in the second half after a shot from Shaleum
Logan hit the post.
Georgios Samaras headed City's third, with youngster Logan getting a
The 24-year-old Bianchi, who is a former Italy Under-21
international striker, scored 18 goals in Serie A last season.
City reject Besiktas bid for
Wednesday 18th July :
Manchester City have rejected a bid from
Turkish club Besiktas for striker Darius Vassell.
The England forward scored just three league goals in 28 starts last
season and appears to have little chance of establishing himself in
Sven-Goran Eriksson's first team following the arrival of Italian
striker Rolando Bianchi.
However, the club have dismissed the offer for the former Villa
player who is part of a 22-man squad currently on the pre-season
tour of Sweden.
City have made their third signing within
a week by bringing Brazilian midfielder Geovanni to the Club.
He passed a medical at City’s Carrington
training ground today, but is not expected to join the squad on
the pre-season tour of Sweden
The 27-year-old arrives on a free
transfer and has signed a one-year contract.
Most recently with Brazilian side
Cruzeiro, Geovanni brings a wealth of Champions League
experience with him, having played for Barcelona and Benfica, as
well as having four international caps under his belt.
His diving header, when he stole in
between Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville, helped the Portuguese
giants dump Manchester United out of the Champions League at the
group stage in December 2005, and in total he scored 17 times in
94 appearances for Benfica.
Rovers 1 Manchester City 3
Sat July 14th : Justin Blackwood
for Get Your Kits Out at Doncaster
Sven-Goran Eriksson swapped Germany for south Yorkshire and
re-discovered that winning feeling. Three-hundred-and-seventy-eight
days after England's defeat by Portugal on penalties in the World
Cup quarter final, the Swedish coach was back in the dugout.
About 1200 Manchester City supporters made the 120-mile round trip
to witness Eriksson's first game in charge of the club. That defeat
on July 1 2006 in Gelsenkirchen must have seemed a world away when
Eriksson arrived at the Keepmoat Stadium. He looked fit and well,
happily posing for photographs and shaking the hand of home boss
Sean O'Driscoll. Wearing a smart suit, not a tracksuit, Eriksson
took his place in the dug out and was joined by Hans Backe, who
appointment as assistant manager was confirmed today.
Eriksson has also recruited his old friend Tord Grip as he tries to
get to grips with club management for the first time in seven years.
He has gone quickly about his business, signing striker Rolando
Bianchi for £8.8million from Reggina and midfielder Gerson Fernandes
from Sion for an undisclosed fee.
City's problems in attack were clear for all to see last season.
They scored only ten goals in 19 Premier League games - a record low
for the top flight. Bianchi was in the crowd of 6,375 this afternoon
and will head to Sweden on Sunday with the rest of squad for a
With Eriksson looking on intently, City stepped up the pace in the
second half after Sean McDaid had given Doncaster the lead in the
17th minute. Substitute Bernardo Corradi equalised in the 48th
minute then Micah Richards (62) and Emile Mpenza (64) added to their
tally to complete a satisfying afternoon for the former England
Result.....Stalybridge Celtic 1 Manchester City XI 2
Sat July 14th : Kenny Jackett's
reserves side have won their opening pre-season friendly.
A young City side made the short journey to Stalybridge Celtic and
won 2-1. Stalybridge Celtic would have been two or three up at half
time, but for a trio of excellent saves from Kasper Schmeichel.
Covering the length of his goal to palm around a Paul Tait header
from a corner, then getting his head on the ball from a Paul Tait
blast, before finally an acrobatic one hand save from a curling Paul
Tait shot. City went ahead in the second half when Karl Moore’s shot
was blocked by Martin Pearson’s legs, only to trundle towards the
goal line, Terry Barwick attempted to hack it clear, but put it into
the back of his own net. Matty Barlow got his third in two games to
equalise from a Chris Hall lobbed cross, and could have put Celtic
ahead with a rasping drive that beat Schmeichel, but was hacked off
the line by Gary Breen. Instead, City got the winner near the end of
the match when Karl Moore evaded Jamie Kay to smack home.
Team: Schmeichel, Logan,
Williamson, Breen, MacDonald, Laird, Clayton, Marshall, Evans,
Subs: Obeng, Mentel, Moore, Vidal, D Ball, McDermott.
Stalybridge's Zen for that one.
Sven completes his
14th July 2007
Manchester City have signed Switzerland
Under-21 captain Gelson
Fernandes from FC Sion for an undisclosed fee. The 20-year-old
midfielder is Sven-Goran Eriksson's second signing since taking over
as Eastlands boss following Rolando Bianchi.
"He's the best young player in Switzerland," said Eriksson. "We have
signed two young players and I hope the supporters are happy. That
is the way we need to go because young players are the future of the
Fernandes, who was also thought to be a target for Newcastle and
Bolton, will join his new team-mates on City's pre-season tour of
Sweden. Eriksson continued: "Fernandes is the best young talent in
Switzerland and I am very happy he is here. I plan to play him in a
uses Italy contacts to bring £9m Bianchi to City
By Chris Maume for Get Your Kits Out
Published: 11 July 2007
Sven Goran Eriksson enjoyed the most successful period of his career
in Italy, and it is to there that he has turned to make his first
signing as the new manager of Manchester City. Last night the
finishing touches were being applied to a deal that will bring in
the striker Rolando Bianchi from Reggina for around £8.8m, with an
announcement expected today.
Yesterday morning the president of the Italian side, Pasquale Foti,
said: " We have reached a preliminary agreement with Manchester
City... The deal will be completed on Wednesday."
Bianchi, 24, was the fourth-highest scorer in Serie A last season,
his 18 goals in 37 appearances proved vital in helping Reggina to
finish in 14th place, one point clear of the relegation zone,
despite the heavy points reduction they incurred when the Calciopoli
scandal broke last year.
Eriksson has contacts in Italy, having managed Lazio, Sampdoria and
Roma, and appears to have used his links to land Bianchi, whose
goals could help to prevent a scenario similar to last season's,
when City somehow failed to score in the Premiership at the
Eastlands Stadium between January and the end of the season and
scored 10 times in 19 home games overall.
In the last few days Bianchi had also been talking to officials from
Napoli, though negotiations fell through. Napoli lost patience with
the young Italian and instead signed the Argentine player Ezequiel
Ivan Lavezzi from San Lorenzo. Bianchi was also on the shortlists of
Milan and Fiorentina.
Earlier in the year, he was also linked with a move to Middlesbrough
not to mention Arsenal, Liverpool and Portsmouth displaying in
the process a lack of loyalty to Reggina that may cause Eriksson to
pause for thought. " I would like to be transferred, I often said
so," he said at the time.
After a stop-start career, the 24-year-old former Atalanta and
Cagliari man caught the eye with his displays last season. He is 6ft
1in, physically strong, powerful in the air and has a reputation for
having two good feet. In addition, he has scored five goals in as
many starts for the Italian Under-21 side, including one on his
debut, and has been widely tipped to gain full international honours
in the not so distant future.
The move will be Eriksson's first foray into the transfer market,
following Thaksin Shinawatra's takeover of the club, but will surely
not be his last, following the summer departures of Joey Barton and
Sylvain Distin from City.
It also signifies Eriksson's willingness to capitalise on his "
substantial" transfer kitty by utilising his Serie A contacts.
Bianchi may well make his debut in Eriksson's homeland, as City have
confirmed that they will play two friendlies against the Swedish
sides Orgryte IS next Wednesday and Carlstad United three days
Bianchi began his career in 2000 with Atalanta. He played 20 games
for their first team but had a barren run, despite being a prolific
scorer in the reserves.
He was loaned to Cagliari in Serie B in 2003, playing 14 matches for
the Sardinians, scoring two goals, then returned to Atalanta the
following January, but was restricted to one first-team appearance
in the second half of the season.
Bianchi moved again to Cagliari, who by then had been promoted to
Serie A, in June 2004; but, once again, he found goals hard to come
by, scoring only two in 25 games. Disillusioned with their
underperforming striker, Cagliari sold him on to Reggina in 2005.
He played in the 2006 Under-21 Championship in Portugal, where he
made three appearances and scored once.
In Bangkok a court has ordered the country's ousted Prime Minister
and City's new owner, Thaksin, to appear for a corruption trial on
14 August. A panel of judges agreed to proceed with charges
summarised as " misconduct of a government official and violation of
a ban on state officials being party to transactions involving
public interests". If convicted, Thaksin, who lives in exile, could
face up to 10 years in jail. Which would just be Manchester City's
Forward facts: Bianchi's statistics
Born: 15 February 1983
Place of birth: Albano Sant'Alessandro, Italy
Height: 6ft 1in
20 games, 0 goals
Cagliari (loan; 03-Jan 04 )
14 games, 2 goals
Atalanta (Jan 04-June 04)
1 game, 0 goals
Cagliari (June 04-05)
25 games, 2 goals
47 games, 19 goals