Wednesday, 5 August 2009

City 2 - 3 Rangers

  • I don't mind losing friendlies. They're friendlies. Some teams have bad pre-seasons and then good starts, some teams have the opposite. It's really not worth fretting too much over.
  • There were some real positives: Martin Petrov looked as sharp as he has done for almost a whole year - since that first knee injury in late September 2008. He took his goal very well, and got the better of the Rangers right back time and time again. Petrov's link up play with Wayne Bridge (another of our better players) down the left flank was so good that it cannot be certain that Robinho will start on the left hand side against Blackburn.
  • Robinho did have a pretty good match though. There were some exquisite touches - and a shameful dive - in the first half, and after half-time he moved into the trequartista role in a 4-4-1-1. Again he produced a few moments of real quality, if never quite making the most of his new freedom. Rangers' second goal came from a move which started when Robinho declined to make a tackle he really ought to have made.
  • But we can't really blame Robinho for the failures of the defence. Richard Dunne was really very poor, and Tal Ben Haim little better when he came on. It wasn't our first choice back four - I'd like to see Zabaleta at right back and then either Lescott (or Distin!) or Onuoha in for Dunne. But it wasn't exactly Garrido, Mee, McGivern and Vidal either. If it wasn't for the fortunate fact that Rangers are a Championship side, they could have scored six or seven.
  • If there is a challenge to Petrov for man of the match, it was our other goalscorer - Stephen Ireland. As ever, he was everywhere. He took his goal well but he was making tackles within twenty yards of our goal, picking the ball up off the back four and doing every other job he could find too. Was rather limited when moved back into central midfield when we switched to 4-4-1-1 but still did his job ably alongside Zabaleta.
  • Two Academy products shared the right wing berth. Kelvin Etuhu for eighty minutes, Vladimir Weiss for the last ten. And in those ten minutes Weiss much more awareness and quality than Etuhu managed in his eighty. A great run to the byline set up Kolo Toure whose shot was blocked, and he produced a ball through to Petrov that was even better than Elano to Robinho at Goodison Park last season. Etuhu, meanwhile, is quite able at beating people but resembles Micah Richards in his decision making and delivery in the final third.

6 comments:

TPB said...

I'm not sure I'd agree that Dunne was "really very poor".

His no-nonsense style of defending looks a bit strange because our team is now so easy on the eye (It hasn't always been that way of course), especially when he plays along someone like toure, but on the whole i felt he did the simple things well.

Also when City play robinho they are effectively down to 10 men when they don't have the ball, so it isn't easy

theweeman said...

Rangers are a Championship side, otherwise they could have scored 6 or 7??

If Rangers are only Championship quality, then why did they a) Win the match and b) mange to create enough chances to score 6 or 7 goals??

Says an awful lot more about City's failings then.

If you think that this City team is going to challenge for a top 6 place you are very, very wrong.

The team has glaring deficiencies all over the pitch, and an awful lot of very average players.

The young boy Weiss looked lively when he came on and showed some really nice touches.

Damo said...

Agree that Dunne looked poor, or was it disinterested? defence needs work. Bridge is a concern as he seems to be targeted with balls over his head. He then has little help from those in front of him!Think he is a good player but is constantly left exposed. Going forward we looked impressive - Ireland especially.

tom goulding said...

"If you think that this City team is going to challenge for a top 6 place you are very, very wrong.

The team has glaring deficiencies all over the pitch, and an awful lot of very average players."

Are you referring to City generally, or City's team tonight? Because generally you have a well balanced team, with just a few additions needed to your 'squad'. And tonight, the team was:

Given, Richards, Dunne, Toure, Bridge, Barry, De Jong, Etuhu, Ireland, Robinho, Adebayor

Now replace Dunne and Etuhu (which I'm sure you'll do for the EPL) and that is more than a top 6 side. That is a side challenging the top 4. With those 2 in there, you're still well in sight of 6th place.

Where are these glaring deficiencies then?

tom goulding said...

"If Rangers are only Championship quality, then why did they a) Win the match and b) mange to create enough chances to score 6 or 7 goals??"

Because it's a friendly. Spurs lost to South China and Celtic. I'm not worrying (as a spurs fan). In fact the Celtic loss probably did us more good than harm. If we played them in a league match in October, and we lost 2-0, it would mean something different.

Having said all this, I didn't actually watch the Rangers game tonight, so feel free to find a way to shoot me down through this way.

Daniel said...

The team looked a good deal sharper than they have all preseason. Petrov even played a short pass with his right foot on one occasion! The players, especially in defense and midfield, still aren't on the same wavelength. Was anyone surprised when Ben Haim collided with Kolo Touré soon after he came on? He then went on to set up Weir's goal. I was really impressed by Adebayor's ability to play the ball and keep possession, and his link-up play with Robinho looked promising.