"We have the new stadium, 48,000 people at every home game, the basis of a good team and we really felt as though we were moving forward. It's hard to be critical of Shaun, though perhaps there should have been a bigger hands-off message Now we are getting Andy Cole instead. We don't want to go down that route again but who knows, maybe he'll do a Denis Law and relegate United with a back-heel."Yesterday, Cole flown out to Thailand to join his new team-mates after passing a medical at Eastlands.City prepared to commence life without their irrepressible winger in Bangkok, where they face Bolton today. In Lee Croft, Willo Flood and Bradley Wright-Phillips, the younger brother with whom Shaun shares a home, there is optimism about more home-grown success.City were the only team to beat Chelsea on their drive to the title but, even with reduced debt and at least £10.5m to spend, they have been weakened by the magnetism of the ?te.
And so has the Premiership."Even a United fan said to me that it's not good for the game when what used to be top clubs are losing their best players to other clubs purely because of money," Wallace said. "It used to be a fall-out with the manager or something extreme for top players to leave, now it's whoever has the most money."The league has always been dominated by a few clubs but in the not so distant past other clubs were capable of winning a championship or a cup, like Everton, Spurs or even Derby. But there is more to supporting a club than winning the biggest prizes and that will remain. It is a way of life."You have to have hope, and Everton proved last season to an extent, that you can move on without your star player It's the same with music. People said Pink Floyd couldn't continue without Syd Barrett, but they were sensational at Live 8!".
Manchester City have expressed an interest in Crystal Palace's England striker Andy Johnson and will wait to see how any potential bid from Seville, who are considering a move for the player, progresses before they act. Johnson, 24, has submitted a transfer request and publicly declared his desire to leave Palace despite the insistence of Simon Jordan, the chairman, that he will not sell the striker. Tottenham Hotspur have been the only team to make an official bid for Johnson, understood to be about £5m, which was turned down. With Peter Crouch off the market after his move to Liverpool, the City manager Stuart Pearce will pursue Johnson and, failing that, Aston Villa's Darius Vassell with the money he has raised from the sale of Shaun Wright-Phillips. Although City will not receive all of that £21m fee this summer, the board has pledged at least £10m to Pearce for immediate use.While Jordan has appeared in no mood to change from his position that Johnson is not for sale, the fee that Palace would find hard to resist is in the region of £7m. The proposed bid from the Seville president, Jose Maria del Nido, will be contingent on the Spanish club selling their Brazilian midfielder Julio Baptista, but if Jordan accepted itthe deal would flush out other clubs interested in Johnson like Tottenham. Johnson has four years left to run on his Palace contract and City are aware that any attempt to sign him will not be made easy by Jordan, who has had to sell Wayne Routledge to Tottenham this summer.Pearce, whose team are in Thailand for the Premier League Asia Cup, yesterday defended his decision to sell Wright-Phillips."In the long run, I think this will actually benefit us," he said.