The City Academy - impressive, but is it fearsome?

September 14, 2012 in Premier League

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Today, construction work on the ‘City Football Academy’ has officially kicked off. The 80-acre site, adjacent to the home of the current Premierleague Champions, the Etihad Stadium, is to be transformed into a state-of-the-art training facility where players from the first and youth teams alike will train day-to-day. The plans include a 7,000 seater stadium to be used for reserve and youth team matches, 16 training pitches including an indoor facility, special areas for goalkeeper and fitness training, medical facilities as well as the headquarters for the club’s office staff.

Manchester City are investing £100m to create one of the world’s most premier sporting institutions, which has been designed after a long consultation period, including visits to similar training facilities across the world. So when Patrick Vieira tell us it will be the world’s very best facility of its kind, he is undeniably saying it with a weight of evidence behind him.

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Season Preview: Manchester City

August 10, 2012 in Premier League

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For more years than many of their number care to remember, Manchester City fans have had to suffer in silence as city rivals Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm, swept all before them. Founder members of the Premiership in 1992, City flattered to deceive in those early years and only became a permanent fixture among the elite of English football in 2002. Prior to that, the club had spent five of the first ten Premiership seasons in lower categories, including a year in the third tier, the second division of the Football League, before successive promotions back to the top flight. For the sky-blue half of Manchester, everything changed in 2008 when the Abu Dhabi United Group assumed control, thereafter putting the club on a firmly upward trajectory. In December 2009, Italian Roberto Mancini was the surprise choice to replace the sacked Mark Hughes and led City to fifth place, their best ever Premier League finish. It would prove to be just the start.

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Spanish masterclass destroys Italy

July 2, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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Spain rewrote the history books to claim their second successive European Championship with a sublime performance that further strengthened their claim to be the best international side ever. Two goals in each half were sufficient for Spain, who simply stroked the ball around a hard working Italian side who, at times, appeared to be chasing shadows. On this occasion, the Azzurri were a pale imitation of the outfit that played so well in the group game between the two sides and didn’t even look like gaining any kind of foothold in the match. Quite simply, Spain were ruthless and passed the Italians off the park. On this evidence, those commentators who, ahead of the final, scornfully derided the Spanish as boring should now be hanging theirs heads in shame. That also includes you, Arsene Wenger!

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Italy vs Spain II: The Prized Possesion

June 30, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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Italy and Spain find themselves battling it out for victory for the second time in just three weeks after they had their first, original stalemate in Gdansk. This time, however, it’s for the only major trophy of European international football, not just the three points.

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Echte Liebe: a proper introduction to Borussia Dortmund

June 29, 2012 in Bundesliga

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Sat in Berlin’s Olympiastadion on a breezy mid-May evening, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson witnessed Borussia Dortmund’s first domestic double. Though just a week before the climactic finale of the Premier League, it was clear that Ferguson had the future in mind. Shinji Kagawa, the Japanese maverick, opened the scoring within four minutes, prompting a dominant Dortmund display that led to a 5-2 victory over rivals Bayern Munich. Kagawa, 23, has since signed for United in a deal that could reach £17m.

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