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Beyond The Pitch

Now We're Talking Football

Daniel Taylor

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Daniel Taylor

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Anto is joined by Daniel Taylor, Chief Football Writer with The Guardian, to take a look at what is beginning to look like the expected battle inside Manchester for the Premier League title this year yet again, as two giants are showing signs of gathering results while not appearing to come close to their best form. At the center of all this is Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini who reflected on the proceedings wearing a mask, talking aim with questions about Pep Guardiola, swirling rumours about Liverpool sensation Luis Suarez and whether we could be looking at yet another striker bonanza in the winter transfer window like we did two seasons ago with some very expensive casualties once again. At the one end is Liverpool who will have to fight off challenges for a very talented player and even perhaps SuperMario who may have to look for greener pastures given his lack of playing time and growing restlessness as his minutes appear to be reducing with increasing regularity. We examine how both Manchester City and Manchester United continue to wrestle control of this league while not playing their best football, the moves that are shifting the ground beneath the feet of Mancini, how the Champions League performances for Mancini continue to be an ongoing concern with Pep Guardiola on a speed dial with loads of speculation circling about. We touch on the politics, the perceptions that continue to echo in the press even while Manchester City continues to be the only team with an unbeaten record. We also reflect back on the England-Sweden match and whether lost in the Zlatan Ibrahimovic show has been whether Montenegro taking a two point advantage in World Cup qualification over England may in fact narrow some options for Roy Hodgson and potential for evaluating younger players such as Wilfried Zaha. We close on the matter of Wayne Rooney who has not been able to replicate his 2004 form for England and we examine whether supporters can ever expect that type of performance again given his age, the type of game he now plays and whether England may ultimately move him to a slightly different role in the future.


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