Just one more day until Manchester City Men’s team are back on the pitch to face Girona in a club friendly. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you ready for the first weekend back for the Blues. First up... Buzzer turns 80. Happy birthday Mike Summerbee.
Summerbee thoroughly enjoyed the life of a footballer and was a regular member of the first team for eight seasons, though he played more as an out-and-out winger as time went on and, subsequently, his goal scoring record began to suffer accordingly. His highlights were undoubtedly the League championship in 1968 –Buzzer scored the opening goal on the final day away to Newcastle to help secure the title and he laid on a perfect cross for Neil Young to hammer home the only goal of the 1969 FA Cup final.
He was also instrumental in the 2-1 League Cup final win over West Brom. a year later but sustained a hairline fracture of the leg during the game which meant he missed the European Cup Winners’ Cup final just seven weeks later.
Buzzer continued to give excellent service for many years at Maine Road, becoming skipper for the 1973/74 season and leading his team out at Wembley for the 1974 League Cup final against Wolves, though he had to settle for a runners-up medal on the day.
Liverpool are worried Jude Bellingham will end up at Manchester City - journalist - Shamanth Jayaram - The Boot Room
The Reds have long been linked with a move to sign the Englishman, with BILD even reporting that Bellingham has decided he wants to move to Anfield.
However, Jones has revealed that there’s a chance Manchester City could swoop in and lure the midfielder away in 2023. He claims that Pep Guardiola’s side are growing in confidence about the same, which is why Liverpool are now being linked with other midfielders, like Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez.
The journalist told GiveMeSport: “It sounds like Liverpool would be willing to match or top any personal offer he (Enzo Fernandez) gets next, but at the end of the day, he still has a big release clause that needs to be met of over £100 million.
“This is at the same time as we are also hearing they want Bellingham, who is in excess of that figure too. It doesn’t add up, Liverpool don’t have that much money to spend on them.
“Maybe Liverpool fear that Bellingham is actually more likely to end up at Man City, who are growing in confidence they can get him.”
'Liverpool fear that': Klopp is worried 'incredible' star will snub him and join Man City now - journalist https://t.co/86vaoKzEzv— The Boot Room (@tbrfootball) December 15, 2022
Julian Alvarez’s perfect partnership with Lionel Messi has been key to Argentina’s success in reaching the World Cup final - Adam Bate - Sky Sports
There is an old joke stemming from the fact that Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick for Blackpool in the 1953 FA Cup final, a game known as ‘The Matthews final’. It was said that when Mortensen died his funeral would be known as ‘The Matthews funeral’.
Alvarez scored two of Argentina’s three goals and he won the penalty for the other. It was Messi who won the man of the match award. Even the great man seemed to accept that his young partner in attack might have been the one to claim this particular prize.
“Every player did well but if I had to choose I would give this award to Julian Alvarez,” said Messi. “The match from Julian was excellent,” added head coach Lionel Scaloni. “Not only because he scored two goals, but because he helped our midfielders.”
Manchester City have topped the list for the most money paid out to Premier League clubs by FIFA as compensation for the World Cup. FIFA pay clubs every day that one of their players is away representing their countries during the tournament through their Club Benefits Programme.
The scheme, launched in 2010, was designed to compensate clubs for releasing their players. City have seen 16 players travel to Qatar, with Julian Alvarez reaching the final with Argentina.
The club has already pocketed millions, as payments are added the further players reach in the tournament, and the young striker has accounted for a substantial amount of the total pot.
A statement from FIFA read : “As part of its commitment to recognise the contribution that football clubs make to the successful staging of the FIFA World Cup, today FIFA started the application process for its Club Benefit Programme that will see $209million (£171.4million) distributed to clubs across the world. This initiative already saw 416 clubs from 63 member associations benefiting from the same amount following the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“For the first time, clubs will be able to apply digitally through the FIFA Professional Football Landscape platform with approximately $10,000 (£8,202) to be received for each one of the days the relevant player remains with his national team during the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the official preparation period. The compensation will be paid to all clubs for which the footballer has played in the two years prior to the FIFA World Cup 2022.”
None of those World Cup representatives is expected to return here, and it remains to be seen if Rodri, Aymeric Laporte and Manuel Akanji will be back in time for the friendly match.
A youthful backline - potentially led by the veteran Scott Carson in goal - should therefore take to the field, with Rico Lewis and Sergio Gomez occupying the full-back roles.
Finley Burns and Jadel Katongo may earn minutes in the heart of defence, and 19-year-old Alex Robertson could occupy a spot in the midfield alongside Cole Palmer.
Two big names who have been training for Man City recently are Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Braut Haaland, who are both in line to start this one alongside Riyad Mahrez.
The final spot in Guardiola’s attack may belong to 18-year-old Carlos Borges, who has a staggering 16 goals and 11 assists from 18 games at youth level this season.
Watch out Premier League! Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne reunite in training for Manchester City after the midfielder’s return from World Cup duty... with the pair looking to light up the top-flight in their push for the title - Kieran Lynch - Mailonline
While a big worry for Man City’s rivals is that Haaland will be fresh and raring to go, as he was able to get a break with Norway not qualifying for the tournament in Qatar.
The pair struck up a fierce partnership in the opening months to the Premier League season.
Haaland has made a blistering start to life in England followed his summer move from Borussia Dortmund, scoring 18 league in just 14 games.
De Bruyne meanwhile leads the league’s assist charts with nine to his name so far this season, with five of those setting up the Norwegian striker.
And finally... Congratulations to Ellen!!
Former Man City and England star Ellen White announces pregnancy with partner - Graham Falk - Manchester World
The news comes just months after the Lionesses’ all time leading goalscorer announced her shock retirement in August following her side’s memorable Euro 2022 success.
Born in Aylesbury in 1989, White is one of the countries most revered women’s footballers after making over 200 apperances for the likes of Chelsea, Birmingham City and Arsenal before ending her career with Manchester City.
During her time in Manchester, she won the Women’s FA Cup and FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup across her three seasons at the club.
She is best remembered for her pivotal role with England at international level though, after scoring a record 52 goals in 113 appearances. She won the Golden Boot at 2019’s World Cup in France while she also represented Great Britain at the 2012 and 2022 Olympics. White was named England women’s player of the year three times during her career.
The news comes just months after the Lionesses’ all time leading goalscorer announced her retirement following her side’s memorable Euro 2022 success.— ManchesterWorld (@MancWorldUK) December 15, 2022
Huge congratulations, Ellen https://t.co/oSggg8MlRX
There you have it Cityzens. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest form this weekend’s club friendly and the ramp-up to our Carabao Cup clash with Liverpool FC.