Adriano can be the catalyst for a top - 5 finish for Man City
|Under Sven Goran Eriksson's tutelage and funded by Thaksin Shinawata's deep pockets, Man City have made huge strides forward. In fifth place in the league going into the busy Christmas period, Eriksson must now firmly have his sights on a Eufa cup place for next season and he may even be hoping to sneak a Champions League place from under the noses of the" big four".|
However, if they are to continue to flourish in the league, Erikkson will need to address the major problems that his side have in the final third of the pitch. City have scored only 19 goals in the whole league campaign. Only West Ham have scored fewer goals in the top half of the league table and even then the Hammers have played one game fewer.
It is telling that Martin Petrov and the brilliant Elano, both attacking midfielders, are the club's top scorers with four goals each, but the contribution from the City strikers has been negligible. Rolando Bianchi was brought in for big money in the close season to be the lead striker, but he looks like one of the few players that Eriksson has made a mistake on. Bianchi has not settled at all and I will be surprised if he is not sold back to an Italian club in January. Valeri Bojinov, undoubtedly talented, has been injured for some months, and with Vassell, Samaras and Mpenza clearly not up to the grade, City need a solution to their goalscoring problems - fast!
Clearly Eriksson knows where his problems lie. In recent weeks, City have been linked with Peter Crouch and Adriano. I do not think that Rafa Benitez will part with Crouch in January, he has already proved that he is valuable squad player to have around. However, Adriano is a distinct possibility.
Adriano was a player who I rated highly in his Parma days. His pace, power and direct approach reminded me a lot of (the original) Ronaldo. He appeared to have everything and his first season at Inter Milan was the success that everyone thought it would, be scoring an astonishing 40 goals in the 2004-2005 season. However it has been downhill for Adriano since then. Weight problems, personal difficulties after his father passed away and loss of form has meant that he became a shadow of the player he once was.
Eriksson will need all his managerial wits about him if he is to get the best out of Adriano again, but I think that City may be the ideal club for the troubled Brazilian. It seems that he needs a change of scene and there won't be the expectations that Adriano has had to face at Inter, one of the most profile clubs in the world. City's direct style will also suit his game. If Ireland, Petrov, and Elano can exploit Adriano's pace and power, I can see Adriano adapting to the Premier League and becoming the "last third" player that City desperately need.