December 17, 2011
I know, I know, on the surface it seems an odd question. Richards isn't City's best player, that would be David Silva, or the most influential, no guesses for Nigel de Jong, but a recent reader question got me thinking about City's tactics in breaking down defenses.
January 4, 2011
The confirmation that David Silva is out of the Arsenal game, and possibly a couple more, is extremely bad news for City. Kompany has been a rock at the back all year and Nigel de Jong may be the single most important player that City have. But it is the Spaniard who is City's best player and the team will greatly miss the work rate and vision that Silva brings to the table.
January 1, 2011
Under normal circumstances City would be looking forward to today's game against Blackpool. Alas someone has a wicked sense of humour and has decided to appoint Mark Clattenburg, the man who makes Uriah Rennie look like a competent official, as the referee for the contest.
November 26, 2010
One of the problems of writing a regular column or blog is when current events are essentially a regurgitation of previous ones. We've seen this now for over a month with the stories about players wanting to leave and the pressure on Mancini regarding tactics and results. Let's see if I can put both to bed for good.
September 8, 2010
Teamwork, especially on the football field, is an over looked factor. Players take time to gel. Sometimes an understanding develops quickly, but usually this is not the case. It was therefore gratifying to see England Manager Fabio Capello make the decision to partner Joleon Lescott with Phil Jagielka in the Euro 2012 game against Switzerland in Basel. I'll freely admit that Bolton's Gary Cahill is probably a better player individually, but Capello took into account that Lescott and Jagielka had played together at Everton and would be more likely to combine effectively.
February 9, 2010
I've been grumpy the past few days. Really grumpy. I was so disappointing in the January transfer window and the lack of movement by City. I know that I have repeatedly counseled that January is not a time for major players to move and therefore expectations were low. However in a World Cup year there are enough players that are on the fringes of a first team at the major European clubs that City could have and should have made a move.
January 25, 2010
Tournament favourites Ivory Coast, and Kolo Toure, have been knocked out of African Nations Cup by Algeria. This immediately brings up the question as to when Toure could return and more interestingly given the play of Boyata and Kompany would Mancini risk dropping the City Captain straight into such an important game as Wednesday's second leg of the Liquid Cup?
January 15, 2010
Everton up next and this will be the first real test of the Mancini era. A month ago this looked like a pretty easy fixture as Everton were still slumping and while relegation never looked on the cards, a continued struggled certainly did.
January 12, 2010
I liked Joe Royle as a manager even though I thought he was, and is, a limited boss who is capable of getting a team out of the Championship but finds the Premier League a step too far. Keegan I adored. No defense, all attack, lets win the game 5-4 if necessary. Great entertainment and the mind boggles, just boggles, at what he could do with our owners money. Stuart Pearce was probably a bit over his head although honestly was in a no win situation and that he got the club close to Europe was a fairly commendable achievement. I mention all this because I'm aware I've not been a fan of the club's most recent managers.
January 6, 2010
Today's none story is the "loss" being posted by City. All kinds of negative comments being posted. Wake up! The club is owned by billionaires who have sunk huge sums of money into the club to pay for players and new facilities. Of course it is technically "losing" money but unlike teams like Liverpool or Manchester United there is no debt to service, no inability to enter into the transfer market in a meaningful way. Instead the owners essentially just write a check to pay for their investment because that is what it is, an investment.
January 3, 2010
A job well done. In terrible weather, a minuscule crowd and with one of the strangest line ups you are ever likely to see from City, Roberto Mancini's side maintained its unbeaten start under his stewardship and still has yet to allow a goal. That being said, if you've read the reports and the player ratings I have to wonder if they watched the same game I did.
December 29, 2009
Two victories against clubs that City should beat; more importantly two clean sheets for the maligned defense. Six points, five goals scored, Tevez on fire and huge optimism all around. And I'm going to talk about none of that...
November 10, 2009
I've received a couple of polite enquires from long time readers about recent results and my thoughts. My infrequent posting is not a lack of opinion, far from it, but just an overwhelming sense of frustration. I'd much rather post positive thoughts about the team winning and players playing well than harp on the negative issues which have seemed so obvious to me for so long.
October 19, 2009
I look at the table and I shouldn't complain. I look at the result against a team that beat Chelsea last time out and I shouldn't complain. I look at a gritty rear guard action by 10 men and I shouldn't complain and I look at Petrov getting a run in the side and I shouldn't complain.
June 22, 2009
A quick word on something that I saw in the Mirror today. Now, yes, it's the Mirror so grain of salt and all that but one of the comments was that Hughes was planning to buy both Santa Cruz and Tevez because he wanted to go to a formation with one central forward and two on the wing in support. Similar it would seem to Chelsea under Mourinho the first year when they were entertaining and devastating.
April 13, 2009
It would be very easy to get all upset at Mark Hughes after today's 1-3 home defeat. Easy, but wrong. Because tactically Hughes got it right. Hang on you are saying, how can he have got it right but City lost 1-3. Read on...
April 12, 2009
For today's game against Fulham
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Garrido, Etuhu, Zabaleta, Ireland, De Jong, Petrov, Bojinov. Subs: Hart, Robinho, Elano, Fernandes, Evans, Sturridge, McGivern.
Pretty ballsy lineup from Hughes, Robinho and Elano who both start for Brazil let us not forget, are on the bench while Etuhu plays.
March 30, 2009
I had to smile this morning. No manager in the world wants his players playing international football with the chance of injury but there was Mark Hughes talking up Zabaleta for Argentina. Nice example of man management in supporting the player while knowing that he is not going to lose him for this round of international call ups.
February 1, 2009
The Rambling view from the City Perspective
An unfortunate loss against Stoke after a positive result mid week against Newcastle. Same team each time, with a very interesting Zabaleta/De Jong midfield anchor partnership and the team playing a 4-2-3-1. Good. Yes I know we lost against ten man Stoke, however this was Hughes maximizing the resources he has available to him given injuries and suspensions.
December 27, 2008
The Rambling view from the City perspective
Boxing Day has come and gone. And in some ways the thrashing of Hull typifies everything that is right and wrong about City. This squad, as it is composed at the moment, is capable of doing that any particular week. That it doesn't is what drives some of us nuts. It would be too easy to point out that Vassell didn't start and Elano did and that was also the case when City knocked six past Portsmouth.
But instead letâ..s look at what City did. Nominally you could say that the team lined up in a 4-5-1. The standard Zabaleta, Dunne, Richards and Ball across the back. Kompany as the midfield anchor with Ireland to his right and Elano to his left with Robinho and SWP on the wings and Caicedo up front. I say nominally because as the game got under way there was a real ebb and flow to the formation.
Elano played a much more withdrawn role, closer to Kompany than I'd seen him before while Ireland roamed from the middle to the right making run after impressive run. Zabaleta would occasionally join on this right side with Kompany providing cover and even Elano would stray towards the middle and right.