Published on December 2nd, 2013 | by Ian Cheeseman0
Post Swansea Game
There have been several times I’ve watched City’s midfield maestros, Silva and Nasri, and compared them to Berkovic and Benarbia, who were fantastic to watch
One of my favourite City goals was scored by Eyal against Norwich in the penultimate season at Maine Road; I loved commentating on that goal too.
If you don’t remember Berkovic and Benarbia then let me tell you that they were magic, although there were some fans who suggested that they couldn’t play together. Looking back on that era it might seem hard to believe, but some thought they were too similar to function well in the same team. What rubbish! Quality players can always play together and it’s the same with Nasri and Silva. One fan contacted me over the weekend suggesting that Nasri is blossoming this season because he’s filled the void left by Silva when he’s injured. I don’t agree. Nasri has been outstanding this season, because he’s happy, and that always helps creative players flourish, it’s nothing to do with Silva’s occasional absence.
Berkovic and Benarbia shouldn’t have been compatible, they came from countries that have not always been seen as soul mates; again, what nonsense. I remember hosting a club forum where Eyal told tales of how Kevin Keegan had brought the two together and he’d been initially resistant but they became good friends and football soul mates, so don’t assume anything. There’s a philosophical message of life if ever there was one!
I bumped into Eyal after the Swansea game, in the players tunnel, just after I’d interviewed Manuel Pellegrini and Gael Clichy. I didn’t recognise him at first, but he was the same old Eyal, smiling and happy to chat.
“I brought the children with me to show them where Daddy used to play and they have really enjoyed it. When you’ve got Nasri and David Silva and Aguero, all those little play makers you can play good football. It reminds me a little bit, not the same, but of when we played together. These days I’ve got my own Academy in Israel and my own TV programme twice a week.
This was definitely the best time of my career at City this is why I come every two or three months to watch the games. It’s the only place I come to watch football.
“I’ve changed quite a bit and nobody recognises me these days, but when they do I get a great reception.I played in the first game in this stadium against Barcelona. Special times”
I loved watching that Kevin Keegan team and Berkovic and Benarbia were something special within it, just as Silva and Nasri can be, going forward for City, even if it was Nasri, without Silva, who shone against Swansea. His second goal was sublime.
Having dispatched the Swans it’s off to the Hawthorns. Vincent Kompany should be back in the starting line-up, just at the right time, because West Brom and Southampton away this week will be tougher tests; they shouldn’t be, because City can beat anyone.
Come on now Blues, let’s reproduce the home form away from the Etihad.
This weeks Blue Tuesday is all about captaincy, Shaun Goater and Andy Morrison will be with me in the studio and you can hear that interview with Eyal Berkovic for yourself, in full.
Blue Tuesday, 6pm, you know it makes sense!
– Ian Cheeseman