Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tuesday papers round up

  • Two important pieces by The Guardian's Daniel Taylor about the unrest at City. They make the same points, with the same evidence, as Ian Ladyman did on Monday. There is a clique at City of anti-Hughes players, Elano, Tal Ben Haim and Jô, who will all be leave in January. While they are actively anti-Hughes, there are more players whose ability and attitude the management do not trust, including the three 'old pros', Hamann, Ball and Vassell. The articles are here and here. Something I wrote last month about our divided squad, along these lines, is here.
  • Ian Herbert writes about progress with transfer plans. There is not much new here, just the names we are now familiar with as Hughes' list: Given, Kolo Toure, Parker, Bellamy, Santa Cruz. Bids are being made, but there is no news of immanent arrivals.
  • Ian Ladyman writes not about the Hughes list but about the Sheikh Mansour list: Buffon, Terry, Kaka, Messi and Villa. These are all long term targets, although Villa (and to a lesser extent Kaka) remain more plausible this January. It will be interesting to see whose list is more successful. With the signing of Wayne Bridge, the Hughes list is currently 1-0 up. Ladyman also has two other interesting bits: that Robinho is fit for Fratton Park, and that Michael Johnson is out for the forseeable future and is set to sign for Everton (mutually exclusive, surely?).
  • Yaya Toure, who is probably half Hughes list half Mansour list, is the subject of £24million bid from City, according to The Sun. Better than Scott Parker, but also less likely a City player. Unless, of course, we sign his brother first...

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