Friday, 18 November 2011

Zabs and AJ Sign on For A Few More Years

In recent weeks the press machine has been in over drive linking Adam Johnson with more clubs than ever, quite what these rumours were based on remains somewhat of a mystery, especially when you consider that it now appears that during that period negotiations were well under way over a new contract.

When Johnson got the hook 25mins into the Champions League game with Villareal pundits all over the country attempted to conjure a crisis, the insubordination of Carlos Tevez had lit the touch paper and according to the papers the end was nigh at City, Johnson being removed was supposed to be the next stage of a spiral into turmoil.  Team spirit was questioned and once again as supporters we had to read the same old rubbish about being a collection of talented individuals as opposed to a team.  I think the celebrations that ensued after the 93rd minute winner against Villareal coupled with the scenes of delight and team celebration in the derby put those rumours to bed.

Johnson we were told though still remained an outcast, he was left out of the squad for the derby, and he supposedly refused to board the bus after the Wolves league cup game (a ridiculous claim that literally seemed to be based on nothing), one day he was going to Liverpool, then Chelsea, he was unhappy and on the way out despite Roberto Mancini stating on numerous occasions he was going nowhere, the end for Johnson at City was coming....except it wasn't, it was just another example of the media picking up on nothing, or dare I say, trying to destabilise the ship?

Confirmation has come today that the England wideman has signed a new 4 year deal that will see him remain at the club until 2016.  I am particularly pleased with this news, I sort of fall in the middle ground with Johnson, there seem to be some supporters who think he is brilliant and some that think he will amount to nothing.  I personally think he has all the potential to be one of the best wingers in Europe, if not the world, but he has to apply himself more.  Mancini knows all about that particular position and if Johnson is prepared to listen to his manager and learn from him I think he can make the most of his ability. If however he is not prepared to take on board that advice and work on the defensive side of his game I can see him wasting the talent that he has.

It may not be as high profile, but the news that Pablo Zabaleta has extended his contract is something that I am just as pleased about.  It is strange that a player who only appears in every third game could be so loved by the City faithful, but Zabs is just one of those players.  As supporters we love someone that always gives everything they have to the cause, and the sentiment is encapsulated by the Argentine, he isn't the most technically gifted player but he never stops fighting.  His versatility is also a massive asset and to have him tied down until 2015 is fantastic.  It may seem strange but he is now one of our longest serving players, and I genuinely believe he could become a legend if he continues as he currently is.

It is good to see that contracts are now being sorted out, I still fear for the future of Nigel De Jong, if nothing is tied up by the end of the season I suspect he will be shown the door.  The suggestion is that he rejected our last offer and there has been no movement since, he is hardly looking content with life, and you do wonder if he may have shot himself in the foot by choosing Kia Joorabchian to represent him.

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