When you have more money than a small country or Greece, having a summer clean out of players isn’t the end of the world unless you’re one of those players.
This time last season, Manchester City had blown their Premier League ambitions after choking on a huge lead, however, thanks to the generosity of the neighbors, United, they managed to claw their way back thanks to ‘the goal‘ and the title was secured.
City and Roberto Mancini then embarked on some serious back slapping and basically forgot about the summer transfer market, which is why they are in the current situation of 2nd place in the Premier League and in need of another miracle to retain their title. No offence to the likes of Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia or Maicon but they’re not even close to the class of Mancini’s prefered targets last summer, Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard or Daniele De Rossi
Lesson learned by ‘Bobby’ then as he’s already laying down the big stick by promising massive changes at the Etihad. The Italian is emptying the pool with careless driver Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, top scorer Edin Dzecko and permanent sulker, Samir Nasri all rumored to be handing in their pool toys and heading to the exit showers.
Now, obviously a lot of this movement is dependent on Mancini even being in Manchester come the end of May. With Jose Mourinho lurking in the shadows, one wonders whether the ‘special one’ would be in such a hurry to jettison players of quality.
What we do know though is that if City are to comply with Uefa’s fair play rules, the wage bill is going to have to come down.
Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.
Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).
Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).
While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.
Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:
The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.
“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”
Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.