Blues Report Edition 2: A hell of a week for the Citizens
The season’s begun with 6 points, each position in the team is being contested by two top class players and everything is rosy in the east of Manchester. Surely, in an atypical Manchester fashion, the sun will continue to shine over the Etihad this week…?
A bad start to proceedings….
It really is equivalent to a bungee jump being a City fan; after the euphoria of pushing Liverpool to one side on Monday Night Football, the blues hierarchy travelled to Monaco for the Champions League draw. That’s where our descent began… Manchester City was drawn in the aptly labelled ‘group of death’ where they will meet German Champions Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Italian runners-up Roma. The draw was awful enough after the first three pots for the jet-setting fans amongst us who would have been disappointed by the lack of fresh away pastures to travel to and then it got worse. Roma were the side to avoid in pot 4 and of course we drew them so that our group resembled that of the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 campaign in sheer arduousness. Pencil in your diary the two crunch matches against the Italian giants on the 30th September at home and the 10th December away. There’s going to be many ups and downs to come in this year’s Champions League.
The nose dive continues….
Saturday’s defeat to Stoke was equivalent to dropping half your biscuit in your brew; torturous, deflating, miserable. Similar to last year, Stoke came to the Etihad with most team’s plan of defending deep and putting bodies on the line; Crouch and Odemwingie were as far back as their own 20 yard line often. Therefore, when issues including Silva’s radar being off, Sagna’s lack of by-line runs and Navas not being on from half time amalgamating in one game, we were bound to struggle to break them down. However, many blues can accept those kinds of days where a team just can’t be shifted; what is unacceptable is conceding sloppy, sloppy goals to such sides. The last man back from our corner should never be a player that is on a yellow card. That is just looking for trouble once the opposition breaks away as the man no longer has the option to bring the opponent down. Nevertheless, the most disgusting part of that goal was Joe Hart’s attempted save. The English man is a great keeper but he really needs to cut out the elementary mistakes from his game. Maybe Pellegrini will have less patience with Joe now that Caballero is in the squad…
Can it get any worse….?
The transfer window well and truly slammed shut on City fans clutching fingers on Monday as we were robbed of the chance to sign Radamel Falcao on deadline day by our city rivals. Nevertheless, the deal that will be leaving most blues fans minds throbbing with confusion is the departure of Negredo on a season-long loan to Valencia. Alvaro’s goodbye letter seemed to suggest that the move away from the Etihad will be made a permanent one, based on the tone of some heartfelt thanks to club and fans alike. The striker scored 23 goals in all competitions in his debut season in England; an impressive tally considering he inevitably tailed off and tired in the second half of the season. He was a major part of our impressive four-pronged strike-force hence many fans are bedazzled by his exit.
The club may argue that the signing of Fernando allows Yaya Toure to play further forward and act as the fourth striker, reflecting the Mancini days, and therefore Negredo was surplus to requirements. Yet, Yaya managed his best goal-scoring form without having to play as a second strike. Irritation peaks when fans consider the injury record of two of our three remaining strikers as well as the fact that two of our promising young forwards in John Guidetti and Marcos Lopes probably won’t be pulling on a sky blue jersey this season. The final piece of this extremely vexing jigsaw is the fact that there is a world class striker, albeit one whom is slightly over the hill, sat at one of our sister clubs in David Villa, a signing which could have been done at the click of a finger.
A nightmarish week rounded up by the loss of our current longest serving player in Micah Richards. Like in the English right back’s post match interview after his debut against Villa, many Manchester City fans will have used an expletive or two to describe the clubs affairs this week.
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