Saturday, 13 December 2008

City 0 - 1 Everton

  • A bitter dissapointment. Not a great performance - Everton were the better team - but we looked increasingly comfortable as the second half went on. Conceding late winners is less bad than conceding late equalisers, but this was still pretty painful. Our improved defensive solidity is the only good part of our Novemeber/December form, so to have got this far and then to lose really hurts.
  • Regardless of the result, our performance was not good enough. For the first half in particular, we didn't look like the home team: Castillo, Fellaini and Osman controlled possession - Kompany and Ireland were left chasing after them. We got a better hold of the play as the match went on, but never looked like creating much.
  • Given that Ireland, Robinho, SWP and Elano all started, we created nowhere near enough. Our good attacking play was limited to occasional sparks of passing and movement - but they only ever fizzled out thanks to the incompetence of our centre forwards. In the second half we only really had long balls to Jo and ineffective set piece after ineffective set piece. The presence of Fellaini, Lescott and Jagielka means that doing much from corners was always going to be difficult, but I didn't expect them to be that useless.
  • So much of our good play this season has come from the midfield dominance of Kompany and Ireland. But the number of games they've played (41 between them, in all competitions) has left them looking rather jaded in recent weeks. United, PSG, Fulham and now today - neither of them has looked 100% for the last four. With Johnson injured, Hamann ageing and Elano ineffective that leaves us terribly weak in central midfield. How soon can we get Diarra?
  • I can't decide whether we need a central midfielder or a centre forward more (ultimately, it doesn't matter because we'll get at least one of each). Neither Benjani nor Jo looked anywhere near good enough today. Benji was slow, cumbersome and poor with his feet. Jo looked lost: wandering around while the game went on around him. We do have some very talented attacking midfielders (and I'm sure by February 1st we'll have some more), but until we get a centre forward who meets basic competency levels we're not going to do much. Come back Rolando Bianchi, all is forgiven.


Don said...

I'm becoming more worried about Hughes' leadership. With the exception of Ireland, what player is better? Will the new owners still be happy with 14th in February? Where is that vanted Blackburn toughness and fitness?

James said...

Somebody please make it stop!
Everton are THE set piece specialists in the premiere league and what did we do? Give them too many soft free kicks and corners. All afternoon. Was it any surprise that they scored past us from a corner? The back-header from Dunne was totally sloppy, and Hart could probably have got to it. Totally unecessary and just typical! Sorry to rant, but we were not at the races today, Elano cannot beat the first man with his corners/crosses, our forwards are rubbish and I agree totally that our midfield is totally knackered after the number of games played, but an unfiot Robinho should not be on the pitch, because it makes the rest of the midfield have to work even harder. Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but can't see too many more points until we've got new signings and they've bedded in. This optimistically will be by early January, but could take as long as February. Will any decent players want to come to a team in a relegation scrap?

Rant over. For now.