Another frustrating below par performance left us leaving the Britannia feeling grateful for the point that we were coming away with.
Stoke played well today and seem to be an ever improving team under Mark Hughes's guidance, so fair play to them but City are playing really badly under Pellegrini and if it does not improve we can forget about any sort of silverware this season.
First lets look at the team selection, no Aguero or Navas and he decided to throw Jovetic in straight from the start after just over coming injury. Ok so maybe he was trying to rest players because of the CL game but you don't drop one of the best strikers in the world who possesses premier league experience in favour of not one but two new players who are still settling in, one of which who has been injured since he arrived. Along with that he rested the impressive Navas and by doing so he left the team without energy and supply, rotate don't decimate!
Now lets look at the statistics to get a real idea of how poorly we are performing, 35 clearances had to be made in comparison to Stokes 15, out of 21 crosses only 9.5% were successful, only 42.5% of duels won, only 10 shots with just 3 on target, no offsides and yes I am moaning about not being off side because if your attacking well with fluent sharp passing and movement like we should be then you expect to be caught a couple of times and finally although Stoke have good height in their team, we only won 30.2% of aerial duels even though we had 7 players in the starting line up at 6ft plus, these stats do not make impressive reading.
There is honestly nothing I can see in Pellegrini that suggests he is any more capable than Mancini, I am not getting on his back it is still early days but when your going for the title you cannot afford to slip up at any stage and with all due respect our first four fixtures should have been victories on paper and the pitch.
I just feel that at the moment the players do not understand the way in which Pellegrini wants them to play, they look lost at times on the pitch, there's no understanding amongst the players, no shape and no real effort. Everything is trying to be executed in the most perfect fashion, the football we play is over complicated when it doesn't need to be and I can only guess that this is something Pellegrini has tried to implement into the team.
This isn't a blame Pellegrini exercise either, the players are also responsible and certain big names are not nearly pulling their weight. For the purpose of an example look at Yaya Toure never criticised but apart from his two free kicks, if you think about it, what has he contributed this season? He has been a stagnant part of the midfield, no powerful runs forward nor any defensive influence. Players of his ability should be leading by example and inspiring the rest of the team, it isn't happening though just look at todays game, Nastasic at twenty years of age was left defending pretty much by himself at times even though he was surrounded by experienced internationals, not good enough I'm afraid.
Whilst talking about experience it is the perfect time to mention Gareth Barry. On my way home this evening I decided to put my new phone through its paces so I stuck Everton vs Chelsea on, at the end of the game I was impressed by my phone but not as impressed as I was with Gareth Barry's performance. I made it known before Barry left that I thought he should be playing for City and when he did leave I was left disappointed and a bit bitter at the thought that maybe he just wasn't a big enough name for Pellegrini, what else could it have been?
Nobody can question the part Gareth Barry has played in our teams transformation, he was often an undetected top performer for City and I can not think of a good reason why Pellegrini let him leave. He is exactly what we are missing at the moment, we have nobody doing the water carrying in midfield, we need someone who will slow things down, craftily win fouls, win tackles and pop up in the gaps, all the things Barry is good at. He was brilliant for Everton today and I really hope he does well, I also think if Pellegrini were to see his performance today, against one of the best teams in Europe, he would kick himself.
To conclude, I know its not doom and gloom time just yet but things need to change quickly, fortunately or maybe unfortunately depending on how you look at it, these are the pressures of wanting to be a successful club. CTID!