Saturday, 16 January 2010

Everton 2 - 0 City

  • At least we're not going to be complacent going into Tuesday. 'Honeymoon periods' are good, but they are also delusory. When we get knocked out of the League Cup in eleven days time I expect it to be a disappointment. But I don't want it to be a surprise. Today reminded us of some truths: that we have serious injury problems in key positions, that we are prone to folding in this of game, that we have become reliant on Carlos Tévez, that Robinho doesn't show up in away games. We're still a good side with some excellent players. But too many people read too much into Mancini's first four games. Teams with Benjani and Javi Garrido starting don't win domestic trebles.
  • For the second time in five weeks we went to one of our rivals and just didn't show up. This had too much in common with the White Hart Lane performance which ultimately cost Mark Hughes his job. Like that match, we were brainless in defence, spineless in midfield and toothless up front. Everton started the season slowly but they're coming into form. We can't go there, play that badly, and expect not to lose. Everton were excellent, certainly. But we made it easy for them.
  • For the first time I thought that we needed Patrick Vieira out there. There are games when for all of Gareth Barry's experience and Nigel de Jong's tenacity they can't impose themselves on games. White Hart Lane is a good example. The 4-3 at Old Trafford is another. Today they were outclassed by Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar. De Jong is a terrier but he's 20cm shorter than Fellaini. Barry has been out of sorts for a while. Maybe someone with the experience, the size, the willingness to kick and be kicked of Vieira would have improved us.
  • Mancini's willingness to bring off Robinho was admirable. But I'm not sure that he ought to have been on the pitch in the first place. It seems to me that Carlos Tévez - like Wayne Rooney - plays best in behind a target man. That's how he started today. But when Robinho came on Tévez had to lead the line with Robinho supporting him. Not only did this effectively reduce us to ten men, such was Robinho's usefulness, it also seemed to blunt Tévez's intuitive style. And it meant that there was no-one who could hold the ball up, until Benjani came on at half time.
  • When the League Cup semi-final was postponed I was pleased. Having two more matches for Mancini and the players to get to know each other was useful. But this sort of result is the worst possible preparation for Tuesday. Santa Cruz got injured, Tévez may have picked up a knock, while Craig Bellamy played 90 minutes without our gaining anything. So I'm not sure what sort of team we will put out in mid-week, or how well they will play.


Thomas said...

to those who dont think we need vieira ...think again!

wizzballs said...

oh dear

here was I just about to agree wholeheartedly about hunneymoon periods. then you go and talk about exit from the carling cup as a done deal.. JPB have you ever hear yourself speak?

where's that block site button

city_slacker said...

i wont go as far as 'block site' but that piece was certainly very reactionary. Frankly it was a shocking call for the penalty (Saha thought the call was against him) and that sealed the match because Everton were that much better than us. We might have scored one goal through blind luck ut never two. We were very poor, and we probably will lose 2-0 at OT. But that won't matter after we dick o them 3-0 at ours, so cheer up!

trinder said...

So what can we be positive about from yesterday's performance?

1. City demonstrated what an increasingly tight-knit team they are by all being shit together.

2. It'll focus minds on Tuesday's game. Five wins coming into that game would have set us up for a nasty fall. Now Mancio's going to be sticking his fine Italian size 9s up some cold arses today and tomorrow.

3. Nothing tells a new manager who's up to the task and who needs to be sent packing than defeat. Recent victories disguised a handfull of the problems that are still there. Mancio knows much better today where the squad needs changing.

4. Whatever you think of Robinho and his future at City (I think we should give Mancini a chance to get the best out of him), he was taught a sound lesson yesterday: play like that and you'll be substituted, however embarrassing it is. Remember that Robi wants a World Cup spot as much as anyone, and though he might be given a place in the Brazilian side on reputation, his form isn't good enough to keep him there.

Trevbrierley said...

It's a pity you didn't write a preview for this match - I was eagerly awaiting it! Most, who wrote one thought we'd walk it - but typical city took over again. Hopefully we'll see a reaction against the rags - 4-1? SWP hat'trick?