A week or so back, the invaluable shuddertothink put up a wonderous chart detailing which players were being used and which were not. You can check that out here. In the middle of the chart were five players who have been on the business end of more than a few barbed comments. They all make a mint, they've had more ups and downs than Keith Richards on a bender (bada-BING!) and all have prompted this question at one time or another: what on earth do we do with them? I got five of the guys together in cyberspace to discuss the fates of the following: Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko, Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Javi Garcia. Feel free to add your own feedback in the comments.
NOTE: If I was any good at all with this tech thing, this post would include photos of each player. My teenage son cannot stop laughing at me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go chase some kids off my lawn.
Danny Pugsley: Keep him. A down season for sure but let's not forget he is some player. Often overlooked us his role in attacks which is overshadowed by the likes of Silva and Aguero and I don't think Mancini has fully utilised him yet. Mancini's words last week are a definite threat though.
Lafaitel: Move him. He hasn't ever found the kind of form he was expected to since he's been at City. He needs a team where he can fit the role of Silva. As it stands, Nasri provides no width, and a total lack of desire to win the ball back. Straight liability when played opposite Silva. Sell even at a loss. Just make it happen.
Kmoney: Move him. Should I elaborate? Fine I guess I should; Nasri has been a shadow of the player we expected him to be, and who he was at Arsenal. He doesn't seem to fit the game plan of Mancini, ever, and with Silva being the featured midfielder combined with our lofty summer signing plans, Nasri will be phased out if he stayed.
Harkiano: Keep him. The Frenchman has been anonymous for long spells this season and has failed to really link up with our main playmaker Silva throughout his time at the club. BUT. There is no doubt that the Frenchman is extremely talented and as Mancini has suggested he is guilty of taking his eye off the ball this season like a few players in the squad. He deserves one more campaign to put that right and prove he belongs at the club.
Sonics097: Keep him. It's been a disappointing season for the Frenchman but I don't think we should give up on him just yet. City's best attacking play this season came in the first 40 minutes against Newcastle away, and Nasri was a huge part of that. I think a good run of games when Silva is in form alongside him will help a lot. And let's not forget how important he was down the stretch last season.
Danny Pugsley: Move him if a Cavani can be landed. At times a real threat, at other times lost in the system; behind the play and a touch not suited to the quick paced attack. There is a need for his type of player and I have a feeling he would be missed more than people think.
Lafaitel: Move him. He's at the point of his career where he is done coming off of the bench. If he stays, and falls behind a big summer signing, I think it will be a disaster. He's a great talent, but not quite the right fit for the style of Man City. Needs a more open game where he can attack in space. Perfect fit for Dortmund. Try to maximize sale value, but get it done.
Kmoney: Move him. He only seems to make an impact when he comes on as a sub late in the game as added height and pace. He is being linked to the Bundesliga, it seems he aleady has one foot out the door. Much like the others in this list, City's summer plans will see him out anyway.
Harkiano: Move him on the condition that we are able to bring in a top class striker in the summer. Far more effective off the bench than when he starts, the big Bosnian is not technically gifted or quick enough to be a long term solution for city.
Sonics097: Move him. Honestly I'm saying this for his sake rather than City's. I do think we can upgrade and that his type of striker isn't necessary for our team, so there's no need to keep him around. City's style of play calls for strikers with quicker feet and better footwork than Dzeko's.
Danny Pugsley: Keep him. It's a surprise how quickly Nastasic has usurped him after he spent so long battling Kolo Toure and showing the form of his career. Kolo Toure's future may decide his fate though. A short term (relatively cheap) deal could see them cash in on Lescott and bring Rekik through.
Lafaitel: Move him. Nastasic is vastly superior to him already, and is only 19. He will extend his career by 4 or 5 seasons if he moves to a team where he can sit deeper and not have as much ground to cover. The City back line tend to play high, and he is too slow to make it work.
Kmoney: Move him. It's pretty obvious that Nastasic has really come into his own at the back, having been heavily featured throughout his first EPL season. And paired with Kompany, there really is no need to keep a slow, aging and average center back.
Harkiano: Keep him. There is no doubt that lescott has been supplanted in the first choice XI by the hugely impressive Nastasic, but with Kolo Toure certain to move on in the summer then City will already be in the market for a centre half. The experience of Lescott will continue to be extremely useful, as will his aerial ability and the left footed balance he provides at the back. Remember Nastasic is still young and dips in form can affect all young players. Lescott is professional enough to step into the breach as and when required.
Sonics097: Move him. I've been wanting him to leave for about a year now. He is poor aerially and can be slow in the tackle at times. Nastasic has obviously shown himself capable of handling big pressure in the PL and CL, so he should have cemented his parternship with Kompany by now. Get rid of Lescott, bring in an experienced, commanding CB in his place, and all is good
Danny Pugsley: Keep him. Suddenly the unfashionable one is in vogue! Milner's stock (at City) has never been higher and rather than his versatility hindering him it is proving the making of him. As productive as anyone in 2013 so far.
Lafaitel: Keep him. Very few players have the drive that James Milner brings week in and week out. His motor is insane, and his style of play will make him valuable for another couple of seasons, even if as a back up. The one caveat is that at age 27, he is probably at the highest point of value if they do want to sell him. Mancini loves him, so I think he stays.
Kmoney: Keep him. He is essentially the Pablo Zabaleta of the midfield. He covers so much area in the midfield, and his "team first" mindset, he will never cause problems on or off the field, unless it's by being a thorn in our opponents sides.
Harkiano: Keep him. No question that Milner is a vital player in the city squad and he is arguably in the form of his life at present. His versatility, work rate and football intelligence makes up for his technical deficiencies. Title winning squads need players like Milner.
Sonics097: Keep him. No brainer. The engine in our midfield, his importance is paramount. It's guys like Milner that win those close matches, and every winning team needs one of him. If only we could clone him...
Danny Pugsley: Keep him. I'm loathe to judge until at least a season in. Injuries haven't helped but an underwhelming start to his City career. Maybe it's the role he plays which doesn't attract praise but the concern is he is more squad player than integral part; not what was expected.
Lafaitel: Move him. I don't know if he will ever adapt to the Premier League, and looks hopelessly lost far too often. He was a poor replacement purchase when the de Rossi speculation went nowhere. If we sell now, we can recoup a portion of his fee, and get a world class holding midfielder instead. Garcia could come good, but I am not optimistic at all.
Kmoney: Keep him. Now, I am a total victim of the moment here with Garcia cause if you asked me at the beginning of the season, I would have totally shipped him out. His versatility as a defensive option for City will be extremely valuable in the future.
Harkiano: Move him. It's still relatively early days in his City career and one hopes that if he stays by next season he would have adjusted further to the pace of the premier league but if we are able to upgrade this summer then Mancini should look to move the Spaniard on.
Sonics097: Keep him. I really think his perceived 'poor' performances this season have been vastly overblown. Over the past few months he has been gelling more with the squad and I think he is adapting more to the pace of the league. Too early to call it quits on him.