Sunday, 1 September 2013

Early season review

Manuel Pellegrini's arrival at Manchester City also saw the 4 new players through the door and the departure of Carlos Tevez, whilst not being impressed with the way the club handled Roberto Mancini's sacking I had seen enough to suggest things weren't right between the manager and the dressing room.  Never really paying much attention to pre season (for me about fitness and bedding in new players)  I arrived at the Newcastle game full of hope and certainly wasn't disappointed City turn on the style and crushed a hapless Newcastle side with a style and swagger that was so pleasing to watch. Though the loss of Vincent Kompany to a groin injury was a worry.

Against Cardiff the swagger went and we conceded two sloppy goals  from set plays defensively we looked like we missed Kompany.  All this after dominating play and taking the lead.   The attack was too slow and that allowed Cardiff to keep 10 behind the ball whenever we attacked.  After the match there was a change in post match interview style, Roberto Mancini was on occasions quick to point out errors where as Pellegrini  tried to point to the positives. 

Against Hull sat behind the goal I was able to see those defensive frailties, the biggest issue was there was no one leading the line marshaling and talking so everyone was on the same page.  Whenever City went forward Yaya Toure and Fernandinho pushed up leaving space for Hull to break into if the attack broke down.  Again for much of the game the attack was simply to slow it allowed the tigers to stay solid, in fact on the rare occasions City upped the work rate and attacked at pace it resulted in Alvaro Negerdo scoring a great header after some lovely quick one and two touch passing.  Joe Hart was rarely on to make a save where as McGregor did pull off a few smart saves but you did get the impression City stole the points after Yaya Toure's brilliant free kick wrapped up the 2-0 win.

It's obvious we are still a work in progress but it's also clear City do need another Centre Half to cover if and when first choice pair Nastasic and Kompany are injured.  I'd also question if Yaya and Fernandinho can play in the same side they are basically doing a similar role what is needed is someone to sit back in centre midfield to mop up should attacks break down to ensure teams aren't instantly attacking the defence.  Up front we have the creativity and talent to ensure finding goals aren't an issue indeed yesterday proved that when Negredo came on city instantly looked to have more of a threat.

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