Ahead of Saturday's clash with Newcastle, a story that has being doing the rounds today is Glenn Roeder's comments regarding Antoine Sibierski.
Roeder spoke highly of both his presence on and off the field at a difficult time for the Geordies:
Sibierski moved as the transfer window closed back in August, and it was a move that caught City fans by surprise and one that dismayed Newcastle fans who were hoping for a more high profile (and costly?) name to arrive at St. James's Park.
"Antoine is a key member, if not the key member, of our
squad at this moment.
"He gives us height and power in the air at both ends
of the field, and he has already paid for himself.
The people who rubbished
his signing will probably feel a little bit stupid now.
And with the
situation with Shola Ameobi, it is vital for us that Sibierski stays fit for the
next couple of months.
part from his prowess in the air and his ability to
play some good football, he has a terrific deft touch and also an eye for
Off the field, he is a very intelligent and unassuming young man, and
there is nothing you can dislike about him."
However, amongst a glut of injuries to some of the bigger name strikers - namely Owen, Martins and Ameobi, Sibierski has been given a prolonged chance this season and to be fair has responded well by chipping in 3 goals so far (although none in the Premiership).
I can't confess to have seen him in Newcastle so far, but he is outscoring our entire strike force and maybe having the chance to have a run in a striking role rather than on the bench or out on the problem left hand side (can we copyright that or does the England side still have it?) that he found himself at City, and despite his limitations on the field he was well-known for being a positive influence off the pitch and on the training ground.
City fans on the whole never warmed to him though and were not particularly sorry to see him depart, although I don't see that translating into any bad feeling on Saturday.
What odds on Sibierski scoring though?