Free open day at Eastlands: Thursday 6 August

The club have announced an “Open House” event next Thursday which will feature an opportunity to see our new signings going through their paces.  It all sounds a bit cheesy for anyone over the age of eight, but there could be some interest in seeing whether Carlos Tevez’s heel and Roque Santa Cruz’s knees can manage a knockabout.  We wait with baited breath.

Highlights are set to include:

  • The squad being split into teams for some games.
  • Roving entertainers, face painting, balloon modellers and a T-shirt launcher.
  • The squad wearing their “dazzling freshly designed Umbro training kit”.
  • The presence of Moonbeam and Moonchester.
  • The chance to become the team’s mascot for the Celtic match (if you purchase the new training kit with a club membership card and are under 15).

Gates open at 2pm for a 2.45pm start with supporters encouraged to take along flags and scarves, etc.  The compare will be Hugh Ferris from Key 103 and I hope to God he isn’t the same person who was so excruciating at the recent friendly against Orlando Pirates.

Without aping the Real Madrid “galactico” introductions to much, it seems to fit with Garry Cooks desire for the club to stay connected with the local community while we also seek to build ourselves on the wider stage.

Elano explains why he left

Not surprisingly, Elano has cited a need for regular first team action in the run up to the South African World Cup as the reason for his move to Galatasaray.

“I spoke with my national coach Dunga and he told me it will be difficult to enter me on his World Cup list if I am not playing football regularly.

“I need time on the field. This season is very important. I dream of playing in the World Cup.

“I have received a few other offers, but this is the best one for me and City.

“I never had any problems with the coach, but Hughes may not have had total confidence in me.”

The last line sounds particularly diplomatic. There’s a lot I’ll miss about Elano, and not just the perfect penalty record. I still believe he was the most incisive passer within the team, better even than Ireland on his day.  Of course his good days were far to rare, but there was always the nagging feeling that a better man-manager than Hughes (I’m thinking a Hiddink or even a Redknapp) would have got an awful lot more out of him. He undoubtedly had the ability to be a City legend.

Alex and Bassong emerge as Lescott alternatives

A report in today’s MEN and a footnote in The Times both claim City have lined up either Chelsea’s Alex or Newcastle’s Sebastien Bassong as an alternative to Joleon Lescott.

The Times:

The Times understands that Sébastien Bassong, the Newcastle United defender, or Alex, the Chelsea centre back, are being lined up as alternative targets.


The Blues are preparing bids for Newcastle’s Sebastien Bassong and Chelsea’s Alex after Everton firmly rejected an improved £18m bid for England defender Lescott.

It makes sense for City to start weighing up alternatives given the flat refusal of David Moyes and Everton to entertain bids for Lescott. It also fits with City’s apparent transfer policy of judging each deal on it’s individual merits and being prepared to walk away if the sums go above what Hughes, Cook and Khaldoon Al Mubarak think it is worth.

Both these players are 6′ 2″ which would seem to be a pre-requisite for the centre of our defence given that none of Toure, Onuoha or Richards are over six feet tall.  Dunne is 6′ 2″, but appears far from guaranteed a first team place next  season.

Being a left footed centre half who could provide cover at left back were qualities that Hughes was keen on with Lescott. It’s interesting to note that Bassong is also able to provide this, as he states on his Facebook page.

Player ratings: Kaizer Chiefs 1 City 0

Given – A spectator for much of the match. Produced one decent save that resulted in the corner for the goal. 6

Vidal – Over eager to chase a ball into the box that lead to an unfortunate injury. 5

Dunne – Skipper looked comfortable prior to leaving the field for what has proved the briefest of tours. 6

Onuoha – Good to see him back and looking solid as ever. 6

Bridge – Got forward well and good to see some link up play with Petrov. 8

Barry – Quality. So comfortable that he looks like he’s played his whole career with City rather than Villa. 8

De Jong – Continues to form a solid barrier with De Jong that looks ready for the Premier League. 7

Wright-Phillips – Struggled to get involved and tended to lose possession when taking extra touches, notably in instigating the move that lead to the goal. 4

Adebayor – Eased himself into the game before showing some quality touches.  Demonstrated his mobility in pulling wide to make himself available, then held the ball up better than we’re used to seeing from Benjani or Caceido. 7

Bellamy – Industrious with some good touches, but clearly needs to work on an understanding with Adebayor. 6

Petrov – His best game of the tour.  The old quality looks to be back! 8


Ben Haim – Came on at right back where he looked good, then moved to centre half and was solid enough till Onuoha went off. He would have wanted to get more purchase on the attempted clearing header that lead to the goal. 6

Zabaleta – Solid enough when he came on at right back in what’s been a busy tour for the Argentinian.  Still lacks that bit of quality in the attacking side of his game. 6

Weiss – Has a tendandcy to try too much, but came as close as anyone in the latter stages to making the breakthrough. 6

Robinho – Came on for the last half hour in what looked like an attempt by City to appease the sponsors.  Clearly not had a sufficient break since the Confederations Cup and played like he was still on his honeymoon. 5

Man of the match: Petrov.