Don’t Be Mislead – Man City Don’t Need To Sell Too Many

This season we are going to see a new 25 player squad rule being implemented in the Premier League. There is a lot of confusion regarding this rule and we see many articles floating around that are based on an incomplete understanding of the rule.

A while back there was this notion that Man City need to sell 12 players to comply with the rule! As an extension people decided that players like De Jong and such others were likely to be on the market.

Frankly, it sounded quite preposterous and I decided to check out the details. Normally, I wouldn’t bother about it too much but given the financial state of the football world, Man City’s activities make a difference to almost all clubs in some way or the other.

This squad list on the official website lists 38 players. We can assume Kolarov will be added to that so it will be 39. Six of those players are Under-21 and City don’t really need to include them in the squad of 25. They have sufficient home grown players as well so they don’t need to worry on that front either.

So from the 33 that they have on the roster, they need to keep 8 out. It’s not as big a deal as it sounds.

They have 5 keepers in that list so we can safely assume two will be kept out. Their fourth and fifth choice keepers are not going to make any waves in the market. It would be a different matter if they sell Hart or Given but I doubt that will happen.

That brings us down to 6 players. I’d think Robinho, Jo, and Caicedo – who were all on loan anyway –are likely to be sold or kept out of the squad of 25. Once again it doesn’t change a thing for City because these players were not in the squad last year.

That brings the number down to 3. I’d think players like Shaleum Logan (yeah, even I’d never heard of him till I read their squad list), Michael Johnson, and Kelvin Etuhu (etu who?) could miss out.

So as things stand Man City don’t need to sell Bellamy, Bridge, Ireland or anyone else. Obviously, if they bring someone in they will have to move someone out. That shouldn’t be tough for them. For instance, a deal for Milner could see Ireland moving in the other direction.

This analysis shows City have a good squad right now (albeit a bit defensively overloaded in my opinion). I don’t want to discuss their chances or likely style of play in this article, will cover that a bit later. The sole purpose of this piece is to warn you of the dangers of believing what some lazy and ignorant journalists write. Don’t get your hopes up about Arsenal signing some good players like De Jong. City will only let someone go if they are getting a better player in.

43 Responses to Don’t Be Mislead – Man City Don’t Need To Sell Too Many

  1. Shashi says:

    Wonderful, you are really good. I am becoming a huge fan of your blog, mostly due to well grounded analysis and realism and anti-sensationalism. Please keep up the good work.

    • desigunner says:

      Thanks. Good to see some people still like straight forward, no-nonsense articles. I couldn’t sensationalize something even if my life depended on it! 🙂

  2. Damien says:

    Its not the amount of players they have in their roster that is going to be a concern for them. Its the amount of money they are losing each and every week.

    They wont be living within their means and being self-sufficient until 2020.

    • desigunner says:

      That is a valid point but a little off topic. I have a feeling we will see some neat accounting tricks and other attempts by City to fall in line with the UEFA regulations. I’m looking forward to that battle and hopefully the financial fair play rules will win because that is hugely to our advantage.

      This particular article was written because I’ve seen quite a few people talk about Bellamy, Bridge, De Jong, etc. being sold as City have too many players.

  3. Frank says:

    Excellent analysis, I was licking my lips at De Jong on the cheap. I guess that’s a pipe dream. Michael Johnson did pretty well a while back, isn’t he quite talented?

    • desigunner says:

      He was quite good but I’ve not seen him for so long it all seems like a distant memory. Certainly cant be a finished article right now and we have plenty of developing talent of our own.

  4. gunner says:

    Nice article bro, but you should make a correction in your headline – we are being Misled!!!

  5. santori says:

    Arghh you burst my bubble!

    And here was I hoping that we had a choice anywhere from De Jong, Ireland to Lescott and company.:(

    Oh well. On to Ajax.

    Any truth to Stecklenberg being on sale for 4M and Ajax ready to cash in to reduce debt?

    • desigunner says:

      No idea about that. I don’t have any inside sources. But I’ll be very surprised if Ajax sold their Keeper for 4M.

  6. sam D says:

    @desi gooner.. neat and realistic u have any information about arsenal’s financial situation.. if u hav pls mention it.. proud to b an Indian!!

  7. Dipesh says:

    Very well written article but as u said Bellamy, bridge, De Jong,and let me add santa cruz, ireland won’t necessarily be sold but that means they wont get enough playing time which actually they do deserve.
    so will they rather be rich bench warmers or think about their carrier??

    • desigunner says:

      That’s a valid point but it will depend on how Mancini uses them. He has been talking a lot about rotations.

      Moreover the season is so long and strenuous that a 25 players squad will most probably see everyone getting enough games. The keepers might have an issue though, we’ll have to see.

  8. 7masters says:

    You are a genius, It no wonder Wenger is waiting for bargain that would never come. Have you also noticed the Spanish club buy players to weaken teams they face in Champion League? Check Barcelona they have consistently done it with us every season except now Fabregas would not move. But Previously Henry,Hleb to name few. Plus also sometimes players going may not matter but when Hleb went Flamini also left. And from what we know Cesc, Flamini, Hleb where best of friends on field and off, So hence Barca have been targeting Cesc for long time.

    Wenger need to move first cause from what I know Barcelona have borrowed money to buy Cesc. They would meet Arsenal asking price with last week of transfer market and it time Wenger bought replacement just in case he leave these seasons or next.

    • desigunner says:

      I’m sure Wenger knows Man City don’t need to sell. He is much smarter than I am and must have been thinking about this rule since last year because he also needs to see what Arsenal can do.

      I don’t think he is waiting for a bargain. I think he has been trying but most clubs are asking way over the value we can afford. He also needs to see how the youngsters do in training and pre-season before deciding on the squad. We’ll see some movement for sure, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  9. DemzDimmyDemz says:

    Oh my days. Do you no I was thinking about this a few days ago thinking if they do keep bringing in players how they gonna follow the 25 rule! But brilliant piece! I can defo take it you aint a lazy journalist! HA! Anyways I hope robinho goes but it sounds like they want him back ASAP! And on paper man city do have a very dangerous attacking minded squad and a decent defense not slow ever just lack how to soak up pressure like man utd and chelsea are brill at doing.

  10. ColneyBlog says:

    nice blog. I don’t like this new 25 man 8 homegrown rule. It just forces the clubs to have “token English players”. If the youngsters are good let them break through the first team through hard work not by some phantom rule.

    I know Arsenal is fine going into this season but what about 2011/2012 season? Some of the youngsters could be 21 or older by then, how would they cunt towards the rule (if it’s still in place) thanks.

    • desigunner says:

      Even I don’t like the rule too much but in some ways it favours Arsenal because we have the most depth in terms of good youngsters.

      I’ve posted the link to the Arsenal article on a comment below.

  11. gazzap says:

    So If I get it Arsenal are allowed 17 senior (over 21) foreign players in our squad. Do we have 17 foreign players?

    • desigunner says:

      No we don’t have 17 above 21 foreign players (Cesc and some others are home grown). We can add 4 or 5 more. Check my comment below for the link to the Arsenal article.

  12. aniruddh says:

    And what about the egos’ of all those over-hyped players

  13. Egyptian gooner says:

    first of all , what agreat work !

    i mean that iam realy impresed when i see a gooner with this smart simple analysis

    one look at stupid journalists at shity mail metro mirro with headlines like city must sell de jong bellamy lescot swp and others , and you will realise that , but !
    3 points should be explained

    1 – city play in ueafa cup and thats mean more games than those of champions leauge

    2 – how could manchine deal with 3 excelent keepers , Given , Hart , Shemickel ?

    3 – how could the City board pay huge salary for bench players , and will these players agree to be on the bench ?

    great work mate and sorry for my English itsnt my mother language :s

    • desigunner says:

      I think the squad for UEFA Cup is separate from the one for the Premiership. The one of Champions League has similar rules so I’m guessing it will be the same for UEFA Cup.

      I’m not sure how Mancini will keep his keepers happy. Schmeichel is no longer with City but they have to keep Hart and Given happy. It will be a challenge for the manager.

      I think most players will get a lot of games because they have to play a lot and can only have a limited squad.

      Don’t worry about English. Even I made a mistake right in the title itself. These things happen.

  14. tom says:

    city have de yong,barry,yaya,viera all defensive midfielders who are sure there starters and get paid like they are so thats a problem they have

  15. brian says:

    Thanks for doing this piece of research.What would be even more interesting and relevant would be for you to do a similar breakdown on Arsenal.

  16. kiwigooner says:

    Great Work Desi

    I wonder just what their tactic will be to live within their means? I figure they have to spend big now, before the full rules come into play, otherwise they would not be within their financial means. However if some of the salaries quoted are correct, they must be losing money hand over fist. Surely the regulations are being brought in to avoid just this scenario?

    • desigunner says:

      That’s a question most of us are wondering about. I guess they will try to circumvent the rules one way or the other.

      They could try to increase their income by showing the money from owners as some sort of sponsorship deal, or they could transfer the players to some local club in the middle east and loan them here. I don’t think they own the stadium so not sure if they can sell the naming rights to that.

      It will depend on how serious UEFA are about these things. I’m really looking forward to how this pans out.

  17. GoonerCanada says:

    Great Analysis, I wanted someone to analyze the Man city situation, It’s surprising to see they’ve been using their brains too !!! The only reason they will sell is players who want to play and not be paid for just sitting on the bench. I think Roque Santa Cruz and SWP may move,
    Side note: If you take a look at the photo on the City site they still have Petrov and Benjani LOL too bad they couldn’t get a good website designer.

    • desigunner says:

      I think they have some fringe players like Santa Cruz, SWP, Garrido, and so on who will struggle to get that many games.

      Either these players will not get many games and will be unhappy … which wont worry City because that would mean the better players are fit and playing … or these players will get games … which is not that bad either … So I don’t see much problem for them in that regard.

      Arsenal have consistently had a fantastic website. I’m not sure other clubs even come close to that. City surely don’t.

  18. Gareth says:

    The only other factor I suppose is how many of these full time international players are going to be happy sitting on the bench, or even in the reserves? With 31 players (including their under 21s) they have almost 3 teams! Surely a few of them are going to want to move on. Perhaps for a relatively small fee? We can but hope.

    Having said that, I don’t think I’d want De Jong in our team. He’s not as good as Song and we have Fabregas, Nasri, Diaby, Denilson, Ramsey, Rosicky and Wilshere to compete in the midfield, as well as youngsters like Lansbury, Eastmond, Frimpong, etc coming through. I can’t see where he would fit in!

    Maybe if a cheap centre half was available Wenger might be interested but the player wouldn’t be signed as first choice. He would be 3rd choice at best, with Djourou and Vermaelen definitely Wenger’s first choice in my opinion (for the start of the season at least).

    • desigunner says:

      Well including the U-21’s even we have 30 odd players. I don’t think it’s that big a deal. Kids don’t have a right to complain. Players like SWP, Bellamy, Garrido, etc might struggle for that many games so it will be fun to see how it’s managed.

      But the key point is that if the fringe players are not getting games then it means the top players are fit and playing well. So Mancini won’t be too worried by that.

  19. Paul C. says:

    I agree with Gareth. It isnt so much about the 25-player squad rule, as about simply keeping players happy. It is why you always have to be careful about saying “AW should buy so and so” as you have to also ask “where in the squad would that person fit?” or “who would sit on the bench and be happy about it if that player came in?”. What players want to sit on the bench? I have seen a few blogs calling for AW to buy Ozil, but where on earth would he play?????

    City’s problem is going to be keeping players happy. If Torres is signed that becomes huge because then Adebayor slips onto the bench as well. Suddenly you have a lot of big egos getting splinters and that is never good for squad morale.

    The question has always been “how big should a squad be?” Before Mourinho it was considered wise to have 3 central defenders, 5 midfielders, 3 strikers etc etc. Then Mourinho came along with Roman’s money and insisted on having 2 quality players at every position on the field and that just isnt possible unless you have unlimited finances to pay the wages (transfer fees mean nothing as far as club revenues are concerned, that is why Barca can have 70million to spend on transfers but need 150million to pay ongoing costs). It skewed everyones ideas as to what constitutes a good squad.

    Good luck to Mancini keeping everyone happy at City. The pressure is on.

    • desigunner says:

      I think in the last 6-7 years the intensity of the game has gone up a notch. We see big squads getting stretched due to injuries so it’s not fair to say 25 player squad is too big.

      I think most players will get games and, as I said in a comment above, if the fringe ones are not getting games then it would automatically mean the top players are playing and doing well. No manager will be worried by that, surely!

      I do think some ego issues will crop up because of Adebayor, Tevez, Bellamy and such players. Will be interesting to see how Mancini deals with that. So far he has been fairly strict.

      • Paul C. says:


        Totally agree about increasing intensity. To me the way to build a bigger squad is exactly the way Utd did it, and the way we are trying to do it, through internal promotion of young players. They are loyal and are far more likely to accept periods on the bench. When you focus on bringing in outsiders, especially foriegn players, is when the problems start.

      • desigunner says:

        At a general level I agree with your opinion that having a lot of foreigners and established stars can be difficult to manage. There is also some merit to having youngsters growing up at the club but I’m not sure if the really talented ones will gladly accept a place on the bench. We will have to see how Wilshere reacts to that situation or Joe Hart for that matter.

        However, it does seem like a problem most managers will be happy to have. Interestingly, City also have a lot of home grown players and quite a few youngsters from their own academy as well (all of whom might be wondering if they have a future given the massive spending spree).

        In the end, I think problems arise when an incompatible set of individuals come together. They could be from anywhere. A manager who wants to succeed at the top level needs to know how to deal with that and get the best out of his resources. Whether Mancini can do that or not remains to be seen.

  20. […] Don’t Be Mislead – Man City Don’t Need To Sell Too Many This season we are going to see a new 25 player squad rule being implemented in the Premier League. There is a lot of […] […]

  21. Josh Iwasko says:

    Couldn’t say it better.

  22. jp says:

    Great blog. Best I’ve seen. Keep up the good work.

  23. Brent says:

    That was really interesting. I just happened to find this blog when I was in the middle of doing studying on the interweb. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know I liked this blog and to continue doin what youre doing. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey, dont over-focus on the destination. *Brent*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s