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Saturday, December 08, 2007

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.


Blogger T said...

Good article Abdul. For certain the Adriano of three seasons ago would be a major, major asset for Man City.

However, I saw him live at the Emirates Cup in pre-season and he received a lot of ridicule from the fans around me for his weight, slowness and lack of will to do anything of note. Remember watching Ronaldo at the World Cup and how he looked so ponderous and unfocused - that is what Adriano looked like wearing the Inter shirt in pre-season. Having seen this it is no wonder to me that a guy who was rated so highly a couple of seasons ago has now fallen off the radar at Inter.

If Eriksson can convince Adriano to get in shape and regain his focus he may be a good answer. But having seen how far he has slumped it would take some time for him to get anywhere near his best - therefore I doubt whether he could be the answer for Man City in terms of a Champs League push this season.

12/08/2007 11:33 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

I agree with T. I havent seen Adriano of late though I also remember his curt way of opening up an opportunity of the slightest and shotting hard left-foot. Defoe use to do that, shooting through the tiniest of gaps and tightest of angles on most occasions. But I sense Adriano is not getting the training and focus as a first-teamer or reserve player should.

WC2006 was not a good example of him neither. Adriano thrives onfirst-team action constantly. Dropping him will have had a negative effect on him, and he'll either have to have strong resolve to maintain himself or he is less of the player he was.


12/08/2007 11:47 am

Blogger Skipper said...

City play with one upfront. This is not a role for a sluggish striker. You need to be really athletic and full of running to have any impact playing upfront by yourself. Adrinao is not a player who would hold the ball up and bring other players into play. At his best, he was electric, direct and lethal. Now he is slow, overweight, sluggish, lacks confidence and the defenders in England would have an easy job of marking him.

I think Peter Crouch would do a much better job for City on his own, however I don’t want Crouch to leave and nor does Rafa.

January is always an interesting time for teams looking for bargains.

12/08/2007 11:48 am

Blogger SKG said...

What is it with Brazilian strikers putting on weight?

Eriksson has made some sound signings this season but I think he will be tkaing a big risk signing Adriano. He is simply past it.

12/08/2007 10:16 pm

Anonymous Blackley lad. said...

Why not? City are almost like a new club with a fresh focus on a once unthinkable vision, thanks in large measure to a GREAT manager. I really dont think there is a better club, in a better league,at this moment in time for this Fallen star to start again and prove to all he is still a force to be reckoned with. I think that Eagle on our Club crest should be replaced by a pheonix, (No not Elsie Tanner).

12/09/2007 2:52 pm


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