Monday, 18 January 2010

More Everton reax

Tom Dart, The Times

The aim was to pass their way past Everton, to overcome energy with elegance. It was naive, but with four successive wins and one goal conceded in his first month, such optimism was understandable. But Everton would have beaten just about anyone, with the guile of Landon Donovan and Steven Pienaar blending with a fierce collective energy that squelched most City attacks at birth.

Mikey Stafford, The Guardian

Everton's record signing [Marouane Fellaini] was as imperious here as Manchester City's was feckless and if the £15m Belgian is beginning to look like he would be cheap at twice the price (which would still be £2.5m less than Sheikh Mansour shelled out on his yellow‑booted statement of intent) ­Robinho's future looks hopeless.

John Edwards, Daily Mail
Mancini’s City were overrun and overpowered and would have been overwhelmed but for Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill heading against the bar near the end with Everton already two goals to the good.
Sandy Macaskill, Daily Telegraph

The strings had snapped, with Manchester City so comprehensively outplayed that when Mancini was asked whether there was anything that he could take from the performance, he replied simply: “Nothing.” If his numerous instructions had fallen on deaf ears, none were more hard of hearing than Robinho.

Ian Whittell, The Independent

As far as Mancini's own future is concerned – and remember it is generally accepted that anything less than a top four finish could result in him suffering the same fate as Hughes in the summer – this month will be telling in terms of whether he is given money to improve a squad that is patently limited, especially at the back. "It's possible but I don't know now," said Mancini when asked if he will spend.

1 comment:

Johnny Crossan said...


How were Manchester City set up?
Roberto Mancini, satisfied with his winning start as City's manager, replaced the willing Benjani Mwaruwari with the technically superior Roque Santa Cruz and asked Martin Petrov and Craig Bellamy, each cutting inside on their stronger foot, to play wide in what appeared to be an expansive system for an away game. The wingers were charged with exploiting Phil Neville and Leighton Baines, the opposing full-backs, on their weaker sides, with City's 4-2-1-3 technically offering their midfield cover and shielding strengths in Nigel de Jong and Gareth Barry, with Carlos Tevez working feverishly in front of them. It looked well balanced to contain Everton's recent improvement.
Did it succeed?
No. The injury to Santa Cruz forced an adjustment, allowing Robinho a chance to show he has the attitude and determination to perform away from home – something he failed to do – but City's wingers found Baines and Neville resolute and quick off the cover to close. Tevez only occasionally eked out space in the first period, when Marouane Fellaini was never far away. The visitors were pinned back by Everton's early passing and their delivery of a more direct ball to the front. Louis Saha made life uncomfortable for Richards and Vincent Kompany, with Tim Cahill, Steven Pienaar and Fellaini aggressively anticipating the knockdowns and squeezing the play. The supply lines to Petrov and Bellamy became scarce as Everton bossed the game, bypassing City's midfield with the alternative of the direct-ball approach as they mixed up their game.
How did City react?
With their 4-2-1-3 system second best, City's chances of recovery were damaged by an apparent susceptibility to pick up knocks. Benjani replaced the limping Petrov, forcing Robinho and Bellamy to switch, but the system went unchanged. Good teams react and show tenacious qualities. City, in contrast, continued to concede all round the field. Tevez was pushed flatter, staying further up-field and alternating with Benjani – the Argentinian's game is at its best when he is linking the play. Neither Barry nor De Jong, denied Tevez's support, was able to free himself from a spirited marker to receive, and both failed to cope with the industry and pressure of Pienaar, Cahill and Fellaini. Mancini had effectively lost his midfield. Pablo Zabaletta and Javier Garrido, passive full-backs, were deprived of passing options when in possession with Everton's players positioned expertly to deny them a get-out forward ball. Maybe Mancini could have flooded midfield to gain more possession, but it was a day when his side's body language was laboured.