Hello, hello, it’s good to be back!
More efficient than spectacular, more workmanlike than brimming with attacking flair; it was a solid performance from Manuel Pellegrini’s men that has earned them heaps of praise in the first media post-mortem of the 2014/15 campaign.
Man of the Match Edin Dzeko put in a serious shift against the Magpies and the Mirror reckon that the Bosnian hitman could be the next City player to commit his long-term future to the club, adding to the recently announced new deals for Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Aleks Kolarov.
“Dzeko is close to agreeing terms on a five-year deal at City and could sign this week” reports David Anderson.
“Manuel Pellegrini confirmed the striker will become the latest big name to pledge his future to the club and is delighted with the Bosnian.
“Dzeko had a hand in David Silva’s opening goal for City and boss Pellegrini said: “It’s not strange for me to see him play like that, he finished last season playing very well.
“"He has grown as a player. He’s a team player and I’m very happy for him. He is renewing his contract here because he has a very important duty in our team.”
“Dzeko was outstanding for City as the champions racked up an 11th straight win over Newcastle.
“He made the first goal with a clever backheel and was a handful all afternoon for Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson as he led the line with power and panache.
“Big goals: Dzeko has scored some important goals for the champions
“Dzeko is happy to commit his future to City and will follow Samir Nasri, Silva, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero in signing a new long-term deal.
“With Dzeko in such form, City did not need last season’s top scorer Sergio Aguero, although he came off the bench to score their second in stoppage time.
“This was a clinical and efficient display by City and it was the hallmark of a title-winning side.”
Arsenal legend Alan Smith saved special praise in his Telegraph column for new boy Fernando whose debut showing was bursting with power, athleticism and grit. Three traits that the former Gunners striker believes City will need in abundance in order to retain the title.
“He seems the type, after all, to revel in the ugly side, the messy parts of the job that form part of any team's successful campaign. Taking one for the team could become his catchphrase in the matches when City do what they must to win all three points.
“Spectacular Fernando is not. Neither will he threaten the opposition goal. One look at his statistics confirms that well enough. six goals in 236 appearances for Porto point to a player who does not tend to wander forward very often.
“Still, that does not really matter when you look at City's formidable attacking arsenal. Horses for courses. Fernando knows his place. As does Pellegrini who had been chasing the player, along with Eliaquim Mangala, for quite some time.
“So with Javi García surplus to requirements, sold to Zenit St Petersburg, and Jack Rodwell departed to Sunderland, Fernando takes his place as a key member of City's game plan, one that incorporates great power as well as great talent.”
And finally, as far as incomings, the champions’ transfer dealings appear to be complete with a few days still to go until the window closes, however the Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan reckons we can expect at least four players to leave the Etihad as Manuel Pellegrini looks to trim down his squad.
“Manuel Pellegrini has sounded the death knell on the City careers of Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti by confirming the club will sell them all if reasonable offers come in.
“Pellegrini has picked Dedryck Boyata as the Blues' fourth centre half, ahead of (Matija Nastasic), even though Nastasic would still be a "free" under-21 player in the Blues' Champions League and Premier League squads this season.
“But Pellegrini finally confirmed it: "Matija needs to play. We already have important players here with four full backs, Demichelis, Kompany, Mangala and Boyata," he said.
“"So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player, but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play.
“"We will see what happens, but we have until the end of August to see what kind of offers we get for Matija.
“"That also goes for Micah Richards, who didn't want to continue here because he wants to play more - he had a contract to renew but didn't want it.
“"So we have three or four players extra - Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti are also important players, but I don't like to have so many in the squad.
“"I think 22 players is enough and they are all players who have a lot of quality. It is good for them to play."”