Following on from Part 1 – The Singing Civil Servant

Rather than tales of Keeble, White and Allchurch (although he did love Milburn), I grew up in a house filled with Sinatra, Jack Jones, Dean Martin and Matt Munro (always a queue for the bathroom!). Not a professional singer grant you; Dad combined his moonlighting with a clerical job at the Ministry, as it was called back then – more Singing Civil Servant than Singing Detective, although he had marginally better skin – but not an ardent football fan either. Don’t ask me where I get it from.

So I will have gone along to my first match with a school friend unless Dad had been ‘paid off’ at the club the night before and decided to turn his back on the music business once and for all. If I had to put money on it, I’d claim that our 1-1 draw with West Ham in the 1973/74 season was the first match I attended (at 9 years and 163  days) and, although I couldn’t swear to it, I’d say Pat Howard played for us and Pat Holland for them, as I was struck by nothing more than the similarity of their names.

I don’t recall the stats or the match incidents. Again, the record shows, I took the blows on January 19th 1974, 15 weeks before the Cup Final, Supermac scored for us and I was there with 27,216 other hardy souls but, as I was only 9 years old, it was the sounds and the smells which struck me and stayed with me. The heavy, iron turnstiles, the long winding climb up the Gallowgate steps towards the deafening noise, passing the overpowering stench of those toilets along the way – toilets thankfully from another time, a time when Health and Safety were two words as far apart in our thinking as they were in the dictionary.

Then the mass of smelly blokes reeking of Tartan or Brown Ale, the lush, vivid green of the pitch, the rusty old West(wood) Stand and finally those magnificent Black and White stripes, black shorts and the classic hooped socks.

They say you never forget the first time. They are right.

alreet 5pts

I think either perez or aarons will start against arsenal. We have to have thauvin right and mitro up. Id plant tiote colback and wijnaldum in the middle. We have to use the wingers and get the ball to them early.

Virsino 5pts

@alreet IMO Tiote has done nothing to deserve a place in the team. I think you may see Anita and Sissoko in there with Colback under pressure for his place.

I think Aarons won't play because Perez showed all the wingers how bad he wants to play in this team with his tracking back and tackling/blocking against Manure. He'll take a bit of shifting from the team based on last week.

I think Thauvin out right is the natural selection.

So, in summary,


Janmaat   S.Taylor    Coloccini   Haidara

                  Anita     Sissoko

Thauvin           Wijinaldum             Perez


Virsino 5pts

Holy Catfish - I forgot about Mbemba

Too many options!!!

Hetton Mag
Hetton Mag 5pts

I thought Perez was outstanding at Manu. Great football brain, tricky, skilfull and hard working, tracking back and making a couple of excellent tackles. On that performance he would be an ever present for me. Still not sure about Mitro, new shearer, new McDonald no he looks like the new billy white hurst to me. I'm still stunned at the transformation of Anita . Expect McLaren to go for 2 holding midfielders. Wow such choices he has! Colo always plays better with Taylor beside him, apart from injury record I've always thought Taylor to be a decent player, he doesn't deserve the stick he gets re performance, public statements different matter. Bloody hell Im looking fwd to a game.

stepaylor 5pts

With thauvin and aarons playing wide and mitrovic up front, wijnaldum and sissoko box to box and either colback, tiote or anita holding we have a strong side with exciting young talent. If colocinni stays on form and creates a solid partnership with mbemba. The only weakish link may be haidara but he has the potential to be a top player. Has the pace and work ethic needed, just his touch and decision making need time.

With taylor, tiote, anita, de jong, cisse and perez not able to get into my first 11 it shows we have the best squad we have had in years. With armstrong, gillead, heardman, roberts, gihlespy, sterry and woodman coming through we have a great foundation of young players. Only cisse, colocinni and tiote in the whole squad will need replacing over the next 2 yrs and if that change is an improvement in quality then the future will be bright.

Mal44 5pts

@stepaylor  ''Only cisse, colocinni and tiote in the whole squad will need replacing over the next 2 yrs and if that change is an improvement in quality then the future will be bright''.

Given that the contracts of Williamson, Obertan, Taylor and Marveaux are up next year (plus Elliott, Vuckic and Ferguson who are more peripheral squad members), I think there will be more than the three you mention. But as you say the future is beginning to look brighter - still worried about the current depth of our defence though, especially when injuries and suspensions kick in.

stepaylor 5pts

Yeah i didnt include any of them apart from taylor in my first post as i assume they wont be around anyway. Taylor is likley to have his deal extended, on current form good value but with his injury record we have to wonder whether 40k a week can be better spent. I like having local lads in the squad and i think his personality is good for the group so i would give him a 3 yr deal

Mal44 5pts

@stepaylor  I was surprised by Taylors performance last week; he was excellent and showed some maturity which has been sadly lacking in the past. I hope it continues as a lack of consistency has always been his problem. He'll be fighting for a new contract so fingers crossed that he has a really good season.

DomUniqu3 5pts

Need to keep Perez in I think he's an asset to the team, best player last year imo

george8783 5pts

picked Alexander Mitrovic up for training today 

what a level headed young man he is 

a new hero in the making 

speaks english very well has his family with him 

looks much fitter than 3 weeks ago

and he has shown he does not have to get booked to frighten the premier league defenders his presence will create chances and he should score plenty 

good luck tomorrow 

DanH87 5pts

What is this 1998? There isn't a single team in the PL that plays two strikers anymore. Mitrovic to me is the epitome of the modern PL striker and if we are to have any chance of success this season he has to start every game he can. Forget about Cisse. 

Kazie23 5pts

Uhm...City played with two strikers last season

alreet 5pts

Need to keep cisse as a sub. He can still put em away. New era though. No more reliance on gouffran ameobi and colback to get the goals.

JohnEllis2 5pts

We have to find a starting place for young arrons his pace and eye for goal is scary

Kazie23 5pts

I know...And Ayoze perez

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

There’s plenty of time for all eventualities to occur over the length of the season…Cisse and Perez will play a major part, but the main thing now is converting the work we’ve done into a win…preferably at home against Arsenal…that must be the total motivation for the team, and nothing but that!!!