Mel: Sunderland draw shows we can win at the Etihad
- 21 April 2014 07:44
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
It may have been a long Easter weekend but it’s time to wake from your chocolate-induced stupors, because it’s back to the business of football matches at the Etihad this evening.
City are last to take to the field in this latest round of Premier League fixtures, but Monday Night Football ticks ever closer, and today’s papers are full of quotes from the two opposing managers.
Fortunately for you, you can click here and watch what Manuel Pellegrini had to say, in full, thanks to CityTV.
However, it’s always nice to see what the opposition are coming out with, so… in the blue and white striped corner, it’s Pepe Mel!
The Baggies manager has been telling his men that the Sunderland game showed they can win at the Etihad…but also to watch out following the draw with Sunderland.
Might be best if I let him explain.
The Daily Star report Mel as saying: "The only thing on City's mind will be that they have to win the game - nothing less will do.
"And this is why we have to try and cause them some defensive problems. This is why the players must really believe that we can win."
He added: "The bad thing about the Sunderland game is that it might serve as a warning for them and perhaps they might come out even stronger.
"But the good thing that we can take from everything that has happened is it shows we can go out and win.”
Well, let’s hope it’s the “bad thing” then eh..
Moving on, website EPL Index has crunched the (many) statistical numbers to come up with City’s key man in this latest clash.
Step forward Fernandinho.
The Brazilian is having a fantastic debut season in a City shirt, and opinions in the stands are backed up by detailed stats analysis.
The report reads: “Fernandinho in my opinion has been the best player for Manchester City this season.
“Mind you, they have some fantastic players in Silva, Toure, Aguero and Kompany who would feature in anybody’s dream Premier League team, but this man from Brazil has been the unsung hero for Citizens this season, doing the dirty work in the middle of the park and scoring timely goals as well.
“His abilities on the ball is quite evident being a Brazilian but what goes unnoticed is his mettle off it.
“To start with, he’s put in a total of 82 tackles, only behind Pablo Zabaleta (96), out of which 62 have gone in favour of Fernandinho with a remarkable success rate of 76%. That is 28 minutes per tackle attempted by the way, which is laudable.
"His 64 interceptions – highest in the team, is a testament to his positioning and awareness off the ball."
...EPL Index on Fernandinho...
“He’s won 49% of his ground duels while a 72% aerial duel win rate proves he can be good in the air as well. He’s played 27 games for the Citizens managing 3 assists from open play and 4 goals, which is quite a formidable return for a player that plays in front of the back 4. In the absence of Yaya Toure, his presence in the middle would be key to Manchester City’s chances of winning this tie.”
Finally, a new name has been added to the many (many) players to be linked with the Blues ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
Although there is no suggestion City are interested, John Terry is the latest name to be thrown into the ring by Chief Scout Jamie Redknapp…no wait, football pundit Jamie Redknapp.
Rednapp writes in the Daily Mail: “Terry, 33, can leave on a free transfer at the end of the season and Chelsea have only offered him a one-year deal, in line with club policy for senior players.
“I wonder if Manchester City would consider a daring raid. If they could pull it off, they get to weaken one of their rivals and they end up with Terry and Vincent Kompany in a mighty partnership.
“It would take a minimum two-year contract to drag Terry from Stamford Bridge, where you can imagine he would ideally like to finish his career as a one-club player. I can’t see him leaving, but I can see City — who have tried to sign him before — enjoying the mischief.”
File that one in the bottom of the ‘extremely unlikely’ drawer.
Remember, when the window does open we’ll be first with any confirmed deals right here on mcfc.co.uk!