27 July ~ The recent Premier League rule change limiting clubs to a 25-man squad will be causing some managers a fair few headaches, not least of all Manchester City's Roberto Mancini. Since the Abu Dhabi takeover two years ago, the once quiet neighbours of Manchester have been doing their own impression of Real Madrid, staging their own galáctico revolution as they continue to stockpile the best footballing talent.

Players and managers have come and gone at an alarming pace but, with £82 million spent this summer and more players promised, City are in danger of becoming authors of their own downfall. They have 38 first team players currently on their books, 13 over the required 25. Although eight of these senior players are under 21, the manager will be forced to sell or loan at least eight first team players quickly as the new season approaches.

The current dilemma facing the club somewhat mirrors their previous experiences during the 1990s when no less than nine managers took charge of City. During this fractured time, the club played in three divisions and accumulated a massive squad on account of various managers bringing in their own players while not being able to jettison some who were already there.

Amid worries that City's unlimited financial power would effectively buy them success, the new rules will at least prevent them from simply accumulating players who would otherwise be regular first teamers with some of their rivals. As the rules come into force, Roberto Mancini may find that he has got more problems than he bargained for. Peter Lam


Comments (12)
Comment by Kaini Industries 2010-07-27 14:30:01

"38 first team players currently on their books". I assume this number is from the official site list, so let's see.

Add Kolarov
Boyata, Cunningham, Ibrahim, Weiss, Nimely all U21
Nielsen out on loan
Logan, Robinho, Gonzalez, Caicedo, Etuhu, Garrido, Vidal, Jo all with little-to-no chance of making the squad
Also feasible that Onuoha, RSC, Bellamy and Ireland may leave, but I'll keep them in for now

*does sums*

And the number comes to 25.

Comment by burnageblue 2010-07-27 16:06:40

Kaini Industries - Don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant by the bitter Toffees and Villains at WSC :0)

Comment by shadsworth cloud 2010-07-27 17:56:05

well, where do you suppose that onouha, santa-cruz, bellamy and ireland will go? their wages mean that there are at most 2 or 3 other clubs who could afford them and with all due respect i don't any of those clubs wanting them.
Of course, man city can just stick them in the stands as the money is no issue but it hardly makes for a harmonious team.

Comment by bearlion 2010-07-28 09:58:26

Heh heh - the City fans are starting to get defensive. "Embarrassment" is right

Comment by burnageblue 2010-07-28 10:20:25

shadsworth cloud - Thanks for your faux concern. Onouha, Santa-Cruz, Bellamy and Ireland are all included in our squad of ‘25’ as pointed out by Kaini. Ireland and Onouha won’t be on significantly higher wages than other Top 7 clubs players. Bellamy is an integral part of our squad for the coming season. RSC - What do they do with lame horses? Maybe we could turn him into a pritt stick. Although Marseille are reportedly interested

bearlion – Sorry, what point were you trying to make? Tick Tock, your time is running out.

Comment by Paolo 2010-07-28 13:40:18

Lazy, lazy, lazy and, as other posters have noted, wrong, wrong, wrong.

C'mon, WSC, you're supposed to be the antidote to this kind of kneejerk, unthinking analysis. I've not been a subscriber for the best part of 20 years for you to turn suddenly into the Daily Mail...

Please jettison lazy thinking immediately.

Oh, and Bearlion, when is pointing out inaccuracies the same as defensiveness?

Comment by David Agnew 2010-07-29 19:35:16

"Onouha, Santa-Cruz, Bellamy and Ireland are all included in our squad of ?25? as pointed out by Kaini. "

Logan, Robinho, Gonzalez, Caicedo, Etuhu, Garrido and Jo are not included in your squad of 25. As also pointed out by Kaini (although Vidal is considered an Under 21). They won't suddenly stop being paid.

"Kaini Industries - Don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant by the bitter Toffees and Villains at WSC :0)"

He clearly didn't let facts get in the way. Like he said, if you ignore some players, you've only got 25 in the squad.

(Ps, I'm neither an Evertonian nor a Villa fan)

Comment by Kaini Industries 2010-07-30 13:40:28

The point is that the players I listed have no future at City, squad rules or no squad rules. "First-team" is an extremely loose definition for most of them, and I expect most clubs have senior players who won't play for them again. For example, Gonzalez is fourth-choice goalkeeper, Logan has spent the summer on trial at Doncaster and Sheffield United, Garrido has left, and Etuhu has spent more time in the courts than on the training pitch.

The way this situation is being reported, you'd think Mancini is up all night trying to work out whether he should drop Tevez or Adebayor.

Comment by Kaini Industries 2010-07-30 13:41:25

Oh, and "defensive"? No, just using facts and research - two concepts which seem to be lost forever in the world of football journalism.

Comment by David Agnew 2010-07-30 15:21:11

Of course those players are the ones of the periphery of the team, the ones you only really need in an injury crisis. That's hardly rocket science and a point that Peter Lam shouldn't need to point out, so as not to insult the reader's intelligence.

Although I note you've automatically included Robinho, who isn't due back until next week, and who Mancini has gone on record as stating his intention to use.

Gonzalez is fourth choice goalkeeper? Tell me, how many goalkeepers did you use last season? Four wasn't it? Given, Nielsen, Fulop and Taylor - I know Taylor didn't play in the league but he was on the bench for 30-odd games, but you can't be named on the bench if you're not in the squad list, so does Mancini name four keepers (bearing in mind the reserves and youth teams don't appear to be providing a keeper, and his squad list will be full, so even a Fulop-style emergency loan may be out of the question)? That's the first tough decision.

How many players did you use overall in the league? 28 that aren't classed as "Under 21". The players at the end of the list are the ones only likely to be used in en emergency, and if you name a striker and a midfielder at the end, and you have an injury crisis, and need a fullback, someone's got to play out of position. That's why they're tough decisions, because you need hindsight to make them.

I mean, if we ignore everyone on your list, even if you exclude Robinho (against Mancini's plans) and Gonzalez (and hope you don't have the same keeper injuries as last season), you're still trying to sign Milner. That would take you to 26. Who do you drop then? It would either be a new signing, or someone who featured at least 10 times last season. Like Peter Lam says, tough decisions.

Comment by PeterVincent 2010-07-30 17:31:38

I'm surprised to see this type of story in this publication. No City fan I know considers the 25 man squad rule to be a problem for us. Of course I don't include Jo or Caciedo in my squad but I don't think anyone else does either. The people who do think it will be a problem-it would be nice if they could tell us which players are in danger of not being picked.

David Agnew writes long about it posing problems and apart from suggesting we'll need 4 goalkeepers but conveniently forgetting Joe Hart wasn't available to us during our period of difficulties, he is lacking in detail about which players will have to be left out. He might also like to know we have a number of players who can play in more than one position eg Kolarov/Lescott/Onouha/Kompany etc etc etc

In short, we will be fine.

Comment by David Agnew 2010-07-31 20:54:48

Joe Hart wasn't available to you, but Gunnar Neilsen (who is on loan and won't be in your 25) was. And you still needed to bend the rules last season to bring Fulop in. It doesn't matter which specific keepers you did or didn't have available last season, because you still needed four regardless of who you used.

"he is lacking in detail about which players will have to be left out. "

Mancini's choice, not mine.

"He might also like to know we have a number of players who can play in more than one position eg Kolarov/Lescott/Onouha/Kompany etc etc etc"

Many players can play in more than one position, but many clubs down the years have injury crises that through sheer back luck affect one position. If that's centre half, and Mancini's left Onuoho and Michael Johnson out, you're spending tens of thousands on players you need, but can't play. That won't go down well with the owners (the very rich don't get rich by throwing money away needlessly).

"In short, we will be fine."

The Manchester City Arrogance. Back where it belongs.

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