Monday, 1 December 2008

City 0 - 1 United

  • After two good wins in a week, it was disappointing to see us sink into bad habits so quickly. All that was wrong with the Bolton, Boro and Spurs defeats was on show: the lack of bite in midfield, the lazy, sloppy defending, the poor forward play. Perhaps I was wrong to identify a meaningful improvement in midweek.
  • But then, United did play well. Not the best they've ever played (last year's team, at its flying best, would have scored seven or eight past us), but they gave us a bit of a lesson in error-free defending, keeping the ball, and creating chances. What I'd give to see us get Carrick and Ferdinand...
  • The whole Vassell on the right, SWP inside experiment works less well every time we try it. It restricts the play of our second best attacking player, while ensuring that Darius Huckerby stays on the pitch. I know we're not overwhelmed by great options in central midfield, but to play SWP there means we're bluntening one of our best weapons and playing someone who shouldn't be on the pitch. I'm not as pro-Elano as many, but surely he'd be better off there?
  • The one person for whom the lack of strong midfielders is a good thing is Micah Richards. Yesterday showed that as good a centre back as Kompany is, we can't afford not to have him in midfield. This, of course, means that Richards has to partner Dunne at centre back. Because if Kompany played in defence, I'd rather have Dunne alongside him and then restore Zabaleta to right back. Kolo Toure is sounding more and more attractive.
  • We've now played all of the big four at home, and taken three points. Last year we got four. Now, I'm not expecting that we can get 10 points or even 8, but it would be nice to get closer to 5/6. It's not like our results against the weaker teams are good enough for this not to matter much.

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