Friday, 19 September 2008

AC Omonia 1 - 2 Man City

  • A win and two away goals - this was a good result, but the tie should have been decided by now. Jo hit the woodwork twice and did a Bianchi against Blackburn. Robinho missed an early chance and Ireland hit the outside of the post and missed a one-on-one. I could go on. The number of chances we created was impressive, but in tighter games we will have to take the few chances we get. One can only hope that Jô's finishing will improve as he becomes more accustomed to life in England.
  • Contrary to my previous prediction, neither Hamann nor Gelson started. It looked like 4-3-3, with Robinho and Wright-Phillips pushed into advanced "wing-forward" positions. And so we moved Ireland into the middle - the twist was that he was alongside Elano and Kompany. Such a formation and personnel may not be appropriate against better opposition.
  • Elano played a bit like Steven Gerrard for England, dropping deep to receive the ball and hitting long, ambitious passes. As usual, the further he got towards the Omonia goal, the more dangerous he looked. He may not like it, but if Elano is to start anywhere for City, it must be in a deeper position, given the recent signings of Robinho and Wright-Phillips.
  • City were playing against a visibly inferior side to themselves, but they played their best football this season. This was certainly in part down to the midfield three of Kompany, Ireland and Elano, players who are all very comfortable in possession. What is more encouraging is that the quality of football will only improve over time as the new players begin to gel.
  • Steven Ireland, TLDORC's and Bluemoon's player of the month in August, was again superb. Last night, for at least the first half, we were treated to vintage Ireland - both industrious and imaginative, both Dunne and Robinho. He seems, like many young players, to be a confidence player. If so, a run of games in central midfield will do him good as he looks to be hitting top form.


stwrtjcksn said...

I agree, Ireland is looking a lot better and its a lesson to us all to give young players time... With this crop and additions there really is no reason now that within 5 seasons we'll be a major force once again. If along the way we play open attacking and solid football then that'll do just fine for me! We're in no hurry (ADUG might be though?) after all it has been a LONG time coming!

I agree too about Elano although with his finishing being so good, he could also play as a partner for JÔ or Sturridge on occasions...?

Where we obviously really need to strengthen is in defence, especially on the left... But we all know that and we'll have to get on with it best we can and see what happens in January or close-season. Chiellini's name might start being mentioned again...?

Onwards & Upwards!


Don said...

"did a Bianchi"...! The best line I have read all day, maybe all week. Perfect.