Guardian: Barry caught in two minds
- 20 April 2014 08:52
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
As the clock ticks down to yet another crucial Premier League clash, what City-related stories are in today's headlines?
Well surprisingly, there is little in the way of pre-match build-up for tomorrow's clash with West Brom, as many media sources seem to be turning their attention to other matters at hand.
"Barry could be making his final Goodison Park appearance for Everton, against Manchester United, on Sunday afternoon," declares Paul Wilson.
"He is not certain whether it will be; nothing has been decided for next season yet and there is still the possibility of extending his loan or making his move to Merseyside permanent, but he knows for sure he will be unable to take part in the last home game of the season, against Manchester City.
"As a City player, albeit one farmed out to Everton for a season, Barry would like to see Manuel Pellegrini's side win the league, and believes they still can.
"As an Everton player, he refuses to believe that Wednesday's surprise home defeat by Crystal Palace will end up costing them a Champions League place. The midfielder is convinced they will get another chance if they can win all their remaining matches, though doing that would involve taking points off Manchester City."
Quoted in the article, Barry admits: "I have been thinking about the City game for a few weeks now. I noticed straight away it was the last home game of the season, so that was disappointing for a start.
"We could be challenging for the top four, which has been our focus all season, or maybe City could secure the title at Goodison in front of me watching, which would have been interesting, to say the least. I suppose, speaking for both clubs, it is good still to have things to challenge for at this time of the year. It is a sign of a successful season."
Elsewhere and never shy to voice his opinion, Ian Holloway believes City should stick with Manuel Pellegrini - although in all honesty, I don't remember hearing any talk of him leaving in the first place...
Anyway, in his column in the Mirror, the Millwall boss notes: "The conduct of Pellegrini at Anfield was an absolute masterclass in dignity. I am told the City boss waited in the tunnel at the final whistle to shake the hand of every single Liverpool player.
"And he had the good grace to give Steven Gerrard a personal message of congratulation on what must have been a bitter-sweet day for the Kop skipper.
"Steven lost his young cousin to the tragedy at Hillsborough 25 years ago. No wonder he was in tears at the end of a game that took him to within touching distance of a championship medal and Liverpool’s first title since 1990.
"But what a magnanimous gesture it was from Pellegrini to lose with a grace that all of us strive for, but few achieve. He had seen his team weather an Anfield hurricane to come back from two goals down to draw level.
"For a spell, City played like champions – despite being on the wrong end of some dubious refereeing decisions – only for a mistake by Vincent Kompany and a swing of Philippe Coutinho’s right boot to settle the game in Liverpool’s favour.
"So, while I was delighted that Brendan Rodgers got the result he wanted, I really felt for Mr Pellegrini.
"Of course, City produced an end-of-season miracle two years ago to become champions under Roberto Mancini, so they have beaten incredible odds before.
"If they don’t do it again, I just hope that Sheikh Mansour recognises there is a fine line between success and failure in top-flight football and that the Chilean is still at the Etihad next season."
Well, as always Mr Holloway, your input has been... acknowledged. I'll pass it on.
In other news, there are a few snippets of tranfser gossip amongst the headlines, with Goal.com suggesting the Blues are considering bids for Athletic Bilbao's Iker Muniain and Sampdoria's Shkodran Mustafi.
On the subject of Muniain, Paul Clennam writes: "Manuel Pellegrini's side are keen to force Athletic's hand, with the 21-year-old out of contract in June 2015, and have been given indications by the Spanish network at the club that he could be available for as little as £15 million.
"Bilbao were hopeful of tying Muniain to a new deal, and inserting a sizeable £40m buy-out clause, but, with talks continuing to hit an impasse, the Liga club are concerned their prize asset could have his head turned."
And on Mustafi, he states: "A reported target for Juventus, Mustafi has gone on to flourish at Sampdoria, making 31 appearances in all competitions for the mid-table Serie A club this season.
"The 22-year-old defender's form was rewarded by Germany coach Joachim Low back in February, when he was called up to the national team for the first time for the friendly with Chile.
"City are looking to bolster their defensive options with Matija Nastasic having struggled with injury all season and Joleon Lescott set to leave on a free in the summer."
Interesting! I guess we'll just have to wait and see how those stories develop...
That's all for today. Check back to mcfc.co.uk tomorrow for what I imagine will be pre-match build-up (though I could well be wrong!)