Sunday, 28 September 2008

Wigan 2 -1 City

  • The central test of the Hughes regime, in comparison with Eriksson, is this: can we go to difficult places, play physically and grind out wins? Our record in this regard last season was shameful. On today's evidence the answer seems to be - not yet. Wigan were just too quick, too strong, too willful for us. The Brazilian trio were starved of the space they enjoyed last Sunday and just seemed unable to cope with Wigan's gameplan. Replacing Corluka with Zabaleta is a step in the right direction, but our first team needs to be a bit tougher in situations like this.
  • I find it difficult to get as worked up about the referee as other City fans did. I don't think any of his penalty decisions were disgracefully wrong, and whilst we certainly did poorly out of those calls, it's by no means the only reason we didn't win. I thought Wigan's penalty was probably just a foul by Garrido, even if Palacios did exagerrate his dive (which isn't actually the issue here). Dunne's tangle of legs in the box could have been given - but then if I'd seen it awarded against City I'd be pretty angry. The Richards/Bramble incident seemed to be a collision with no infringement on either side, as was the alleged trip on Evans. Yes, Steve Bennet could have given us more today. But the ultimate reason why we lost? Please.
  • Going forward, we were unrecognisable from the Portsmouth game. There was none of the vigour, imagination or wit we saw last this time last week. The few good chances we carved out were missed - Robinho put through by Ireland, Jô's delaying in the right channel, Ireland's one on one, SWP's shot etc. And next Sunday we have a team who have conceded two in six league games this year.
  • Wigan are a pretty good team, and this was not an easy game. But if we really want to finish near the Big Four, we have to win games like this. We're still only in September, and we shouldn't really draw too long term conclusions from games now. But this is a semi-serious set-back. And a dropping of points we may well regret months from now.
  • This year's change kits seem as unlucky as last year's. In competitive matches, we've played one lost one in orange, and lost both our games in red/black (albeit one on penalties). We have won away from home this year (EB/Streymur, FC Midtjylland, Sunderland and Omonia): but they have all been wearing blue. We travel to Bolton on November 2nd: the day we can turn this curse around?


Jon said...

Good analysis as usual but I disagree with you about Bennett. He's a poor ref, doesn't let the game flow, too willing to brandish cards, and inconsistent with them. I think both "penalties" were dubious. But for the Dunne one he gave Wigan a free kick - why? There was no foul, and if he gave it for diving that's a mandatory yellow card. He's rubbish.

Martin said...

bennett is an idiot. ive seen countless lame decisions by him in crucial games. that dive (looked more like gymnastics) took the biscuit, cake and cream. refs who make as many bad decisions as him should recieve suspensions. as for cheaters, i reckon if the video footage following the game shows blatant diving (such as ronaldo vs bolton or palacios vs city) then tough fines, suspensions or point deductions should be imposed. i personally am sick of the number of cheats in the prem. drogba, cronaldo and co would think twice if they knew theyd get found out and punished eventually. overall though, i thought city looked good going forward in the first half, and what can you do against a talentless, boring, longball bunch of knobheads like wigan? unlucky on the day for many reasons. liverpool at home is going to be a real test.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis but the referee is less of an influence than our kit? Please! Bennett is a rubbish referee and always gives eccentric decisions... Ok we were less good than v Pompey, but that's to be expected away against a time in the same form as Wigan. Yes we should be getting more out of games like this and a point would've had us all being a lot more positive. We'll play worse than this and win.
I thought it suicidal to start with Elano instead of Hamman and don't understand why he was left on the bench after the first half-hour.
But it all goes to show once again where we HAVE to strengthen...

Onwards & Upwards!