Sunday, 16 August 2009

Blackburn reax

Ian Herbert, Independent on Sunday

Adebayor was the summer acquisition who seemed least to fit into the work ethic which Hughes has demanded from a club who he believes have lacked professionalism for years. But to go with his goal – a work of beauty – was the distance the striker covered deep in midfield linking with Craig Bellamy, who finished with a huge distance run, as well as Robinho.

"I thought his general play and attitude to team-mates was excellent," Hughes said of Adebayor last night. "If you've got front men who will chase and harry and try to rectify mistakes, those are great qualities. Everyone was bouncing off everyone else."

Paul Wilson, The Observer

As openings to new City eras go, the whole of the game was less convincing. Blackburn were slightly unlucky. Stephen Ireland's late goal put a flattering gloss on a performance that had been adequately impressive without suggesting the top four need quake in their boots just yet.

Hughes will have been pleased with a clean sheet and satisfied that his players kept their composure under pressure, but not even the City manager would argue the visitors had been a class apart from their opponents. For the 86 minutes or so between the two goals there was not that much to choose between the two sides, and several occasions when Hughes's wisdom in signing Shay Given was abundantly demonstrated.

Jonathan Northcroft, The Sunday Times

The statistics suggest City are transformed. This was their first away clean sheet in the League since August 31, 2008, and they now have half the number of away wins as last season.

The onfield indicators were more mixed. Theirs was a performance that grew more impressive as the game progressed. Emmanuel Adebayor scored a gorgeous goal after just three minutes but the next hour belonged to Blackburn. Shay Given made as many saves as in a game when his old Newcastle defence was in front of him and Kolo Toure and Gareth Barry were required to display the defensive acumen that influenced Hughes’ decision to pay a combined £28m for them. Barry was less impressive creatively, hitting too many speculative forward passes, and was not the only City player to distribute the ball poorly. Robinho going missing away from home is also one of life’s certainties.

Joe Bernstein, Mail on Sunday

It showed what you can get for £76m-the combined price paid for the three forwards involved. But if that was the good side of the City 'project', as it is fashionably called now, the rest of the first half showed why the sceptics, including Sir Alex Ferguson, doubt the club can finish in a Champions League qualification place, let alone challenge for the title.

Duncan White, Sunday Telegraph

City continued to struggle to impose themselves on the game and their forays into the Rovers half were only really effective when they counter-attacked at pace.

This approach is clearly not sustainable. City could not retain possession, the team are not designed for it. The central midfielders, Stephen Ireland and Gareth Barry, are box-to-box players — the more reflective Nigel de Jong was left on the bench and they need a player of his composure to anchor the freewheeling Robinho.


Editor said...

Blue Moon: it is rising

Ambient said...

Now this is what I call a reasonable article. A rarity from the Mirror. You could sense the bitterness oozing from the Bernstein piece though. Note that bacon face changed his tune in todays programme notes.

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