Sunday, 18 October 2009

Wigan 1 - 1 City

  • I've said this a few times before: our success this season will be determined by our performance on the battlefields of the bottom half. It was the standout failure of last season: losses at Wigan, Stoke, Bolton, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and West Brom, draws at Blackburn, Hull and Newcastle and a solitary win at Sunderland. Six points from a possible thirty. And in that context today's point was good: we've now got seven from a possible nine and remain unbeaten in these games.
  • It was a good point in other ways too. To come from behind to draw is almost always good, to hang on to a point with ten men likewise. And Wigan aren't a terrible side either: they've beaten Chelsea already this season and won at Villa Park. Just ask yourself this: would previous City teams - and I don't just mean Pearce and Eriksson sides but even last season's - have come back and dug in for a point? Would they have maintained that point having gone down to ten men? Of course I want us to win every game: but today was proof that we are moving in the right direction.
  • And the performance was quite good. I thought that we were the better side in the first half and that we looked good for the win after Martin Petrov's equaliser. Obviously when down to ten men we looked less threatening but we defended well and still had one or two good attacking moves. We still have a lot of improving left to do - in attack and defence - but given first team absences and other things I have already covered we did well.
  • One issue that stands out is how Stephen Ireland gets back into the team. With Hughes' clear preference for a cavalier 4-4-2 with two wingers, the two central midfielders have to bear a serious weight. And a Barry/de Jong pairing is much more able to bear that weight than Barry/Ireland. Ireland came on today and played on the right. That may be the best position for him in the current system.
  • It's testament to our big new squad that we put out such a strong eighteen today despite key injuries to Robinho, Craig Bellamy, Kolo Touré (and Nedum Onuoha who would presumably have started alongside Lescott). Our bench today was magnificent. For this fixture last year we had a bench of Kasper Schmeichel, Michael Ball, Tal Ben Haim, Dietmar Hamann, Gelson Fernandes, Danny Sturridge and Ched Evans.

2 comments:

TPB said...

A very good point in the circumstances. I doubt Arsenal, Liverpool, United and Spurs will all go there and win - if they do, it won't be from behind or when they're down to 10 men.

Hemulen said...

Yep, I'll take it, its been a pretty gruelling month, what with 3 away games and the international break. I lookforward to Fulham at home and Brum away with optimism.