Its finally time for Manchester City Women's side to get back on the pitch for real. The Sky Blue Ladies will open there UEFA Women's Champions League slate today. Let’s get you caught just in time for the action.
Saul has the goods from the Women’s boss.
A new season is upon us! The Manchester City Women’s side has a ton of new faces and had many departures. How will this impact the new season, what are the expectations? All that and more as Gareth Taylor held his manager’s preview ahead of it all!
Taylor on competing
“We want to go deep in all the competitions. We never identify one above the others,” he said in his pre-match press conference.
“For me, if I had to push for one it would be the league. We’ve won it once and we want more. But certainly, in all of the competitions we attack and try our very best.
“Some we’re successful in and some not. There’s no change in focus, the focus now is the Champions League and after that it turns to the WSL.
“We want more, no doubt about that, we’ve been close as well albeit despite the Champions League exit last season, season before we were in the quarter-finals against a top Barcelona team and ran them pretty close.
The ladies’ tournament is slightly different format. John Edwards from the mothership gives us a quick primer on how it all works.
Fifty-eight clubs are involved in Round One, which is split into two paths: The Champions Path and the League Path.
City will participate in the League Path, which includes all the teams that qualified for the tournament without winning their respective domestic league.
Sixteens clubs will enter Round One of the League Path, taking part in four, four-team mini-tournaments, which include a one-legged semi-final, a final and a third-place playoff.
City face Tomiris-Turan in the semi-final and, should they progress, they will play one of Real Madrid or Sturm Graz in the final for a chance to progress to Round Two.
Stoke win race to sign Man City striker Liam Delap on loan - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
Liam is headed out on loan, and he’s joining up with Championship side Stoke City.
Vincent Kompany at Burnley and West Brom’s Steve Bruce had spoken about the possibility of signing Delap on loan this week, while plenty of other Premier League and Championship clubs have been interested in signing him.
City decided to let Delap leave on loan only, rather than sanctioning a permanent move, and there will be no option for the Potters to make the move permanent. He has a contract at City until 2026 and has made six senior appearances for the Blues, scoring once.
Guardiola said at the weekend: “We loaned Macca McAtee, Liam is in that process because we have Erling [Haaland] and Julian [Alvarez] and he needs minutes. The EDS process has gone, is done [for Delap]. He has to try and go there and play.”
Delap will follow Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who impressed at Stoke last season on loan before joining Burnley for the season, with fellow academy teammates James McAtee, Tommy Doyle, Lewis Fiorini and Callum Doyle all also on loan in the Championship.
It’s a family affair for the Delaps.
All being well, he could be in contention to make his debut at home against Sunderland on Saturday - and will be one of the hottest and hardest deals done in the Championship this summer.
It has helped that 19-year-old Delap Jr wanted to join Stoke, amid a plethora of options. He had watched the club when he was growing up and his dad Rory, now a first team coach at the bet365 Stadium, was a key figure as they won promotion to the Premier League, reached the FA Cup final and latter stages of Europa League.
Michael O’Neill has also fostered a strong relationship with Man City, loaning and then regularly playing Taylor Harwood-Bellis in the second half of last season, for example.
How Stoke City won fierce transfer race for Liam Delap https://t.co/qRZ1KPkBb2— StokeonTrentLive (@Sotlive) August 17, 2022
Man City block midfielder’s exit – Pep Guardiola’s side declare him ‘untransferable’ - Lucas Sposito - Sport Witness
It looks like Bernardo Silva is going exactly nowhere this season.
According to the story, Manchester City decided to ‘declare him untransferable’ at this moment, as Pep Guardiola can’t lose one of the best players in his squad at this stage of the transfer window.
Marca claims the transfer had always been ‘complicated’, with the Premier League side not interested in selling, and only considering offers over €100m.
And it turns out Barcelona never even placed an official bid.
Money had always been a problem for the transfer, even though Barça still managed to make some big signings in this window. Now they’d need to make other sales, such as Frenkie de Jong’s, but still, that’s considered to be ‘too late’, especially because of Manchester City’s stance on the situation.
Will he be out the door next year? Or is a new deal in the offing?
For City, this is hopefully the end of a long winding saga until next summer when it seems likely he will exit. That can wait as this season is of huge importance.
Pep Guardiola will no doubt be happy a key player is staying after the amount of upheaval this season. Silva has been a key player and keeping him can only help, The chase while exhausting, seems to be over now.
City have been pretty strong this summer window and keeping Silva is a huge win for Txiki and company. Silva will perform well and next year with good planning and a target I foresee a deal being worked out.
Bernardo Silva Seems Set to Stay at Manchester City -report https://t.co/ph2dkSUUTI— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) August 17, 2022
Manchester City debate: Will Erling Haaland’s lack of touches affect his development as a world class striker? - Jonathan Smith - Goal.com
And finally... What is football without debate. How will a lack of early season touches affect Haaland?
With two goals in his first two matches of the opening fortnight of the Premier League he’s on his way, but early evidence shows it will take a phenomenal effort to break Mo Salah’s 32-goal single-season record.
Such is City’s dominance in possession, Haaland will face teams like Bournemouth on a regular basis, determined to limit his touches and stifle his impact. Defences that double-team to stop possession in dangerous areas because of his lethal ability when he gets any sight of goal.
To that end, Scott Parker’s side were successful – except the Norwegian striker drew so much focus that they forgot to stop the other nine outfield players that have the ability to cut them open four times.
Ilkay Gundogan driving through the middle, Kevin De Bruyne and his outside of the boot finishes, Phil Foden ghosting past the centre-backs and Joao Cancelo teasing full-backs in their own box were all helped by the presence of the Nordic Meat Shield.
Erling Haaland's lack of touches against Bournemouth has caused quite the debate...— GOAL News (@GoalNews) August 17, 2022
There you have it. Now find yourself a way to watch MCWFC as the take on Tomiris-Turan in the UWCL today. COME ON CITY!!!