Saturday, 5 September 2015

City u18s 3 - 0 Sunderland / u16s 9-2

Another day, another league game and another victory for the u18s. That's five in five now as Wilcox's team deservedly extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League u18 table. Two tough, uncompromising, but ultimately successful games, at Blackburn and Middlesbrough were followed by this, up against a confident Sunderland team. It was always going to be a difficult - Sunderland have started the season well and they were second behind City at the start of play. It was evident early on. Both teams worked tirelessly, cancelling each other in a niggly, scrappy, non-event of a first half. There was effort and energy, plenty in fact, but neither keeper was really tested, with the game resembling something more approaching a rugby game as the ball moved side to side repeatedly. Whatever Wilcox said at the interval, it worked. City were good. Very good. There was an added impetus, and with confidence City pushed forward ruthlessly with the three resulting goals a fair reward for a convincing display of attacking football. 

Nemane and Buckley were the catalysts for the turnaround - they were brilliant. Like most, it didn't happen for them in the first forty-five, but they ran Sunderland ragged in the second with their skill, desire and pace. It was Nemane that broke the deadlock, wonderfully cutting in from the left, leaving the right back for dead before cooly slotting into the far corner. Lovely stuff, and it was just rewards for the manner which we had started the second half. Buckley was even better, scoring two and terrorising their left-back repeatedly with his Sterling-like approach. His goals were clinically taken - both drilled efforts into the bottom left hand corner, the first coming after some magical footwork left Sunderland's left-back dazed and confused. The second was emphatic, placing the ball beyond the keeper's reach after a strong, driving run from Diallo had set him free. I commented last week on his development and it rang true again here. He's improving rapidly - a real technically proficient handful, something of a talisman for this team now too, and this could be an exciting season for the young English forward.

7. Isaac Buckley

Nemane and Buckley were joined by Nmecha up top and it wasn't quite as productive a day for the usually clinical forward. He made his debut for the EDS last week, despite being only 16 - just rewards for a fine start to the season, but it didn't fully happen here. He showcased some lovely footwork, as ever, but he would have been disappointed with a sitter he missed at the back post after Buckley had tore away down the right hand side. In midfield u18s regulars Sadou Diallo and Jacob Davenport were joined by the u16s midfielder, Tom Dele-Bashiru, for his first appearance at this level this year. It was a confident, bullish outing too. He's a pleasingly direct presence - not overly huge, but powerful and a real handful - technically strong as well, as you'd expect of any City academy prospect. He was here in place of Will Patching, away on England duty, and he stood in well. Davenport, too, was the beneficiary of an international call, stepping into Marcus Wood's slot in the defensive midfield role. He was typically everywhere, snapping into challenges and spreading the ball confidently. Diallo was strong, elegant and it was his burst forward that freed Buckley for his second. Good displays by all three as City dictated proceedings.

Defensively we were solid. Charlie Oliver, days after signing his first professional contract with the club, and Ash Kigbu, stepping into the injured Tosin Adarabioyo's shoes, both marshalled the defence aggressively, with real purpose. Sunderland barely mustered a shot in anger and on the one occasion they did, Albinson threw himself to his right hand side to just tip a twenty-five yard effort around the post. Bullock and Duhaney both came out on top of their opposing wingers, and with no real threat the other way, they took the opportunity to get forward. Both played their part as City upped the game in the second half, each whipping in some tempting crosses that could have lead to more on another day. There was cameos for Fernandes, Joe Hardy and Lewis Blackshaw, but the game was long won by then as City held out for all three points on yet another highly satisfying day for Jason Wilcox. The season's shaping up impeccably, and this was without Kongolo, Wood, Faour, Dilrosun and Patching, five regulars so far this year. Hugely encouraging and the league title seems a very plausible aim.

Tom Dele-Bashiru

Elsewhere, the u16s continued their phenomenal form. 10-0 victors last week, they followed this up with a 9-2 victory over Sunderland's u17s today. Outstanding stuff. Nineteen goals in two games is simply incredible, regardless of the level. They were shorn of numerous regulars too. Matt Smith only played half the game before running across to join the u18s at half-time. Tom Dele-Bashiru and Blackshaw were both fully involved with the u18s too, and Brahim Diaz, one of the jewels in a glorious attacking crown, wasn't involved either, carrying on his EDS involvement as the club waits for his international clearance that will happen in two to three weeks time. In a nutshell, it was far from a strongest eleven, yet they still did this. Frightening. Jadon Sancho, Tyrese Campbell and Phil Foden did most of the damage, all grabbing a brace, as Colin Rosler, son of former City legend Uwe nonetheless, Luke Walsh and Luke Bolton scored the other three. They're a hugely promising generation, and big things are expected of them and rightly so. The amount of attacking talent they seem to possess is frightening to be honest. Something tells me we'll see plenty of them as the season progresses, with many increasingly likely to see u18s game time before the end of the campaign. You can't keep this good a thing down, and I can't wait to witness it. Next up for both teams is West Brom a week Saturday.


  1. I like your optimism, got this link from Bluemoon forum you post on, and was surprised and gutted to hear that we had lost Rafael Camacho to United, but then again with the way the development at this club is treated (and just like Neville Kneville on Bluemoon) I can understand why he chose to go there, as staying here would only stunt his development, I really struggle to understand why any youngster would opt to join City or Chelsea these days, knowing they will never see the light of day in the first team, irrespective of how well they perform in their ceiling level (EDS).

    All you are watching is a load of players who we are training an showcasing for a move to another club when they reach 19/20 years of age, and although I have always and will always watch the youngsters at this club (just so I can say, I saw them play long before they won a CL, Ballon d'Or etc) I now no longer will ever watch them with any excitement about "what is coming through", as trust me Ste, there is nothing coming through for this club, the white elephant is all a PR stunt, and is not valued by this club, you only have to look at the treatment for the likes of Lopes, Pozo, Denayer and Rekik this summer to realise that we are NEVER going to bring them through, 2 of them are full Internationals for top nations, the other is the future of his nation (according to a certain Cristiano Ronaldo) and the other one was one of the best players at the academy over a period of time.

    By all means watch Brahim, Manu, Nemane, Humphreys etc play and enjoy them, but don't ever expect to see them in the first team, all that will happen to them is they get loaned out to various sides all over the continent and then sold for peanuts a few years later.........and I WILL be there next weekend to watch the games, but none of the young lads are ever going to make it and it is nothing to do with talent

    1. You're a very negative person, and I get why to an extent, though I don't quite think we can say for certain at all if this whole thing is indeed a PR stunt, simply because the cycle for the most talented generations is only just happening. This is the best generation we've had for a very long time, and they're still only kids. IF we ruin Garcia, Humphreys, Barker, Maffeo etc and all that then I'll believe that. We haven't yet, and they're all still very much City players. Good ones too. For years we've not had good enough players and the club's focus has been very much one of trying to establish the club at the very highest level over the past five years and, yes, the youth setup was a relative side thought during all that, but it WAS revamped from the very bottom down. Right from how they train kids of eight years old. Bit thorough for it to be a token gesture. There's a thought process there. Don't mention Razak, Scapuzzi, Huws and Suarez etc as none were ever gonna make it at City and its only now and last season that we realised we had players finally capable of making an impact.

      Pozo wasn't good enough and hasn't been for ages - he was quite often (sadly to say) the worst player on the pitch last year for the EDS and I struggled to defend him in the reports on here. Likewise, Rekik was a slightly poorer Nastasic, who wasn't good enough for City either. I wasn't in the slightest bit fussed that either left the club. Lopes was a huge shame and I'm gutted about that but Denayer is still a City player and I haven't given up on him yet, nor has the club. Iheanacho's (albeit brief debut) has given me a glimmer of hope. Four games in and we already have a youth player involved which is nice. It may not amount to much in the future, but it also could so we dont know either way yet. I'd rather be reactive and wait it out. That's the rational thing to do - cos its the only way we'll know.

      Plus, you sound awfully like you're trying to convince me to lose faith, which is a very sad way to look at things. Why? If I give up on it, then its easier for the club to as well, if they even have any intention of doing so. We have no idea what happened with Camacho, but for every Camacho we lose (and that rarely, rarely happens) we sign a Jadon Sancho, a Brahim Diaz, a Taylor Richards, Erik Sarmiento etc etc.... clubs lose players all the time, and we rarely lose any but we will lose one or two. Its natural. We have no idea if City rated Camacho that much, or if the player was offered loads by United, or he was simply a United fan and found the idea of being a portugese winger and following in CR7s footsteps impossible to ignore. Who knows? I actually remember watching a tournanent with him in May where he started showboating doing ridiculous stuff and you could hear the coach quite clearly castigate (rightly so too) him at half time for bad sportmanship, and Camacho looked livid, like a scolded child. Perhaps there could have been issues with that side of things? City expect a lot from their prospects as individuals...perhaps it was nowt to do with that and it was sumat else entirely - my point is, we don't know the full details of it and Camacho leaving doesn't mean the floodgates have opened and everyone's jumping ship. Far from it. We still have all the rest don't we? And those u16s, the first true generation of very young kids to be effected by the changing in coaching several years back, something definitely worth pointing out, are something else entirely. We finally have kids good enough and we wont know until they're adults. I hope you're 100% wrong, but thing is, neither of us actually know cos we haven't got a crystal ball. So just enjoy the games and wait it out. Chances are we'll have a certain Pep Guardiola next year too....can you honestly tell me he won't fall in love with the likes of Garcia and Diaz? I think he will.