Sunday, 2 November 2008

Bolton 2-0 City

  • A reality check. City are very much a new team and we needed to be reminded of this.
    Today's team consisted of five new signings and some more young players. Last year we also had a new team, although the club lost its patience with it and refused to give it a chance to develop. Given what is being written on City message boards, it looks like this might happen again. People always underestimate how long it takes for great teams to develop. Benitez has only put together a team who can win the title in his fifth season. Wenger's third great team is still very much in the pipeline after three trophyless years. However, Mourinho's amazing success with Chelsea sets a standard for new teams that is too unrealistic for most to reach.
  • Martin Tyler raised an interesting point at the end of the game. He said that for tricky away games we might need to drop some superstars, with more than a subtle hint at Robinho. I don't think dropping Robinho is the answer and I don't think many people do. However, it does raise the question of whether Hughes is a strong enough manager to make desicions like dropping Robinho or other high-profile players. He has a tough, uncompromising image in the press, but who knows what he's actually like?
  • Hughes keeps on talking about how we are going to strengthen in January. Firstly, I don't think he should be talking about buying in January as it undermines the current squad. Even so, buying players in January is notoriously difficult (remember last year, nothing until Benjani and Caicedo in the last day). It is naive to think that top class left backs and defensive midfielders with Champions League experience will suddenly appear out of thin air. Also, in order to make themselves an attractive proposition, City need to win games now with the Current squad.
  • Sometimes I think the UEFA Cup is a slightly annoying distraction, but actually I think the game against Twente on Thursday will really help. It is a home game against relatively poor opposition. City should be able to control the game and see a lot of the ball. This could be an oppurtunity to win big and restore the confidence of our attacking players before the game on Sunday against a resurgent Tottenham, which I think we will lose at this rate.

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