City boss Roberto Mancini has criticised left-back Wayne Bridge’s poor injury record.
Bridge, 30, was signed for £12m from Chelsea in 2009 but has only completed 90 minutes six times under Mancini, prompting the Italian’s comments as reported today in The Telegraph.
“At the end of the Lech Poznan game [on 4 November], Wayne was injured,” said Mancini. “But now, over the last three or four days, he is available.
“It’s very difficult if a player is always injured. It’s very difficult that he can play. It depends on him as he’s always injured and he can’t finish. If he’s available, he is part of the group, but he has been unlucky.
“He started in the first game in Salzburg and, after 70 minutes, he was injured. He played in Poznan and after 70 minutes he got injured. It’s impossible that he can play.
“But every time he was available, he played. If he’s available this week, then maybe.”
Zabaleta: We can win Europa League.
City full-back Paolo Zabaleta has set his sights on European glory at Eastlands, according to ESPN. The Argentine believes City have a good chance to walk away with this year’ s Europa League.
Speaking ahead of City’s clash with Salzburg tonight, Zabaleta said: “Can we win this competition? Yes, of course. No matter what some people say, throughout Europe this competition is seen a being prestigious. There are some great teams involved. The Europa League is a great chance to show we are capable of winning titles. We have to believe we have a great chance.
“It will be a difficult game against Salzburg but we have a strong possibility of being in the next round and that is our immediate aim.”
Santa Cruz turns to music.
Roque Santa Cruz is the latest Premier League footballer to try his hand in the music studio, reports The Daily Mail.
The Paraguayan striker is expected to leave Eastlands during the winter transfer having dropped down the pecking order under Roberto Mancini, and has been putting all his spare time to good use by recording a charity single.
His recording of Let Your Love Shine with Dutch popstress Beate Alexandra is hardly going to win any awards but it should raise some funds for Santa Cruz’s foundation which helps underprivileged children in Paraguayan capital Asuncion.
“When I grew up in Paraguay, I experienced a lot of poverty around me,” he said. “Now my status as a professional soccer player allows me to help others.”