Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Man City 4 - 2 Viktoria Plzen - Dismal - Goals and Highlights

I wasn't expecting much tonight in way of exciting football because of the changes to the team, I did however expect to see a solid performance from the team and a comfortable win, that didn't happen.

I am not happy with our performance tonight I thought it was terrible, but a win is a win and I suppose that will do for me seems as we are already through, I am much more concerned with Pellegrini's decisions.

I am still not convinced by Pellegrini and he certainly didn't endear himself to me tonight, firstly and most importantly I am absolutely disgusted that Kolarov was allowed to captain City.
Kolarov has never played with any kind of fight or passion for City and his performances have been consistently bad for the majority of the time he has spent at our club, with tonight's performance by him a prime example of that. So my question is, how on Earth did Pellegrini see fit to make him captain?
This was a bad call by Pellegrini and I don't feel like he has taken picking someone to captain our club seriously, if you have played football you would be able to imagine the confusion and discontent in the dressing room when the other players found out he was captaining them, terrible decision by the manager.

Then there was Pellegrini's decision to include Aguero and even Nasri for that matter, these guys shouldn't of been playing tonight as far as I'm concerned and shouldn't have to be considering the squad we have. Now I am a person who does not believe in rotation and I think that professional footballers should be able to play as many games as they have to, however when you get a good chance to rest your most important players then I think that's quite acceptable, I feel like Aguero in particular was put at risk of injury tonight when he did not need to be.

I have to finish off my little rant with a few words on Edin Dzeko, if you read my blog regularly you will know I try my best not to persecute players but I have had enough of Edin.
This guy is lazy, he couldn't trap a bag of cement, his shooting is terrible and basically he just does not care about playing for City, for him to score tonight almost felt like an injustice had been done.
I can only imagine Pellegrini kept him on tonight in order to not totally kill off any kind of confidence that Dzeko has, that is the only possible reason I can think of, I know pub teams that would drag him off if he played like he did tonight. He is consistently poor now and I can only surmise that he does not want to play for City because both him and Kolarov alike for that matter do not perform this poorly for their countries, it is time to show these guys the door.

I know I am being very negative especially considering we have just scored 10 goals in two games but sometimes you have to concentrate on the negatives to get to the positives. I think I am so annoyed because the things I have highlighted from tonight's game are traits that we have seen throughout the season so far, poor managerial choices, poor individual performance and a lack of fight, all these things need to be weeded out for us to win trophies.

I think I must have needed to get these things off my chest for a while considering this was not the article I was writing in my head on the way home, no time to dwell on it though and I am already looking forward to seeing our first choice team against Swansea.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Man City vs FC Viktoria Plzen - Wed 27th Nov 2013 KO 19:45

How refreshing to be going into a Champions League tie at this stage of the competition without having to worry about qualification, of course we still want to win but it will be nice to sit in the Etihad and watch City without any pressure.

Having just smashed Spurs six nil in the league, we now go on to face bottom of our European group at home, the possibilities are of course endless.

We are not going to put six goals past every team that visits the Etihad but we should be looking at putting a few past Plzen, players are bound to be rested for this game but with our squad being so strong the lads that do play should be able to cruise to a comfortable victory.

Now I know some people who will argue that there is pressure because we want to finish top of the group, I would have to disagree, finishing top of the group would be nice but only for the significance of being numero uno. I keep hearing people saying that its important because it means that we get an easier tie in the next round, that is a load of nonsense, every game after the groups will be tough, if we finish second in our group are the teams that finish first in theirs going to get an easy tie?

The only ones who should feel any pressure tomorrow are the players who come in, the likes of Dzeko, Hart and Richards need to impress when they get the chance if they are to get regular football and these games provide the perfect opportunity for them to do that.

Man City Team News: Vincent Kompany (thigh) was expected to be named in the squad after training with the team but Pellegrini has now ruled him out, David Silva (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (calf) are also not ready to feature. Jack Rodwell is again suffering with a knock but Aleksandar  Kolarov is expected to return from illness.

FC Viktoria Plzen Team News: No information seems to be available regarding injuries but upon seeing their squad sheet for the game it seems that Plzen have no major injury concerns.

Possible Man City Line Up: Hart, Richards, Boyata, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Fernandinho, Garcia, Navas, Toure, Dzeko.

Possible FC Viktoria Plzen Line Up: Kozáčik, Rajtoral, Procházka, Hejda, Limberský, Hořava, Horvath, Petržela, Kolář, Kovařík, Tecl.

My Prediction: Man City 4 - 0 FC Viktoria Plzen.

Worth A Bet: James Milner scores the first goal in a 4 - 0 Man City win @ 70/1.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Man City 6 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur - Goals and Highlights

We all enjoyed our home comforts today, the team continue to baffle us after beating a very good Tottenham team six nil.

What a win today, to score 6 goals against any team at this level is impressive but to beat a strong team like Spurs by that deficit is ridiculous, not to mention that we still weren't quite firing on all cylinders today.

It was like the team had read my pre match, the Spurs defence were scard to death of Aguero and Negredo and couldn't cope with them, Fernandinho and Nasri won the midfield battle with a helping hand from Toure and Navas and our defence managed to keep out a very unimpressive Roberto Soldado.

Now I won't for one minute suggest that we absolutely pasted Spurs all game today because we didn't, we were very good for large parts of the game but most of all we were clinical when it mattered.

Apart from us being a goal up just seconds after kick off, the first 20 minutes of the game were quite evenly contested. Both teams were playing with a high tempo and both had good chances to score, as the game progressed we started to dictate the pace of the game and take control, adding a further two goals before half time pretty much secured the three points.

We started the second half as we finished the first, putting constant pressure on Spurs with free flowing attacking football. We were relinquishing possession due to our gung-ho style at times but we looked quite happy to let that happen if it meant that we could play with that extra bit of freedom, the team were obviously confident that Spurs were not going to cause them a problem, three more goals in the second period of play finished off what in the the end was a hammering.

We were good today there's no doubting that but I still believe that we can play better, although we won six nil we didn't really play to our full potential, we had just done enough by our high standards.

We were a bit sloppy at times and gave the ball away more than we should, the defence were left wanting on a couple of occasions and we let a few good chances go begging, all these mistakes happening while easily winning the game, which is somewhat mind boggling.

Of course when we play 'good' that is like anyone else playing unbelievably well and although it comes across like I am picking holes in the team after winning six nil, I am not. When the level has been set high then there will always be room for comparison, I suppose the main comparison should be the difference between us winning and losing because when we are capable of beating a strong team like Spurs without breaking much of a sweat, it is hard to believe we can lose games to the likes of Sunderland.

No time to dwell on lost points in games gone by though, hopefully we will kick on again now and go through a period of consistently winning, if we get the away form sorted and carry on winning at home then I am convinced that we will win the league regardless of what any of our rivals achieve this season.

Goals and Highlights.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Man City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Sun 24th Nov 2013, KO 13:30

Premier League football is back and the games come thick and fast from now on, thankfully our first game after the break is at home, because for me it is a must win.

It is rather worrying for me to be glad we are at home, of course I am always happy to make the trip to the Etihad with my dad and my brother, in fact I love it, but this week I am extra glad because it means we don't have to play away, which is a worrying attitude.

I don't like the fact that I feel relieved that we are playing at home and I shouldn't feel like that, don't get me wrong I truly believe we can beat any opposition out there on our day, but right now what we need is three points and as the team have proved, that is probably going to be more achievable at home.

We need to get three points tomorrow but I would say that Tottenham are probably thinking the same, Spurs are certainly a rival for the title and beating us tomorrow would give them a boost and leave us hanging by a thread.

Tottenham are a very capable team and have a strong squad but ultimately they don't match up to us in my opinion, we are stronger in every area of the pitch and there isn't a single player in their team that I would replace one of ours with.
I am not going to question their defence because I think that Aguero and Negredo are capable of running rings around any defence in the world.
In the midfield I think we have the edge, Fernandinho has really settled down now and I am pretty sure he will outshine Paulinho just as he did when he came up against Oscar and Ramires, then there is Nasri who will cause problems for Spurs by defending and attacking, he has been the epitome of hard work and class in recent weeks, throw a decent performance in from Yaya and there shouldn't be a problem.
When it comes to Spurs attacking us then apart from Townsend, I don't see anything to worry about. I rate Defoe and if he was to play then I would be concerned, it is also rumoured that Adebayor may play and as we know he can be dangerous, the striker that will probably play is Soldado and he is the one that I am least worried about facing. I don't think he should cause our defence many problems and in fact I would be disappointed if he did, in my opinion he is a totally overrated player and I was really surprised that the shrewd chairman at Spurs spent so much on him, ten million more than Negredo to be precise but lacks his power, movement and energy. (Cue the performance of his life)

I just hope the team prove me right in my assessment of the two teams because they need to, with Arsenal and Chelsea winning again we could be out of the title race by next week if we don't beat Spurs.

Man City Team News: Vincent Kompany (thigh), David Silva (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (calf) are said to be nearing full fitness but this game will probably be to soon for any of them, Matija Nastasic and Fernandinho are expected to return to the side after recovering from knocks, Guidetti scored a couple of goals for Sweden during the break and may finally make the squad.

Tottenham Hotspur Team News: Christian Eriksen (ankle) and Danny Rose (toe) both miss the trip to the Etihad, whilst Zeki Fryers (groin), Nacer Chadli (hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (concussion) are all available for selection for the visitors.

Possible Man City Line Up: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Milner, Nasri, Aguero, Negredo.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur Line Up: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen, Paulinho, Dembele, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Soldado.

My Prediction: Man City 2 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur.

Worth A Bet: Fernandinho scores the first goal in a 2 - 0 Man City win @ 115/1.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Sunderland 1 - 0 Man City - Not good enough!

Our manager and team should be ashamed of themselves, poor team selection and poor performance saw us defeated away from home, again!

Now I don't want to rain on Sunderland's parade because they did thoroughly deserve to win today, they wanted it more than we did, they worked harder than we did and they defended better than we did, but they are not a side that should come close to beating us, we allowed it to happen.

Our problems started with the team selection today, the pretender that is Kolarov was preferred to Clichy, although lacking game time Richards was picked before Zabaleta and Garcia was played before a number of better players most notably Navas, but why?

There was absolutely no reason why Clichy and Zabaleta in particular shouldn't have played today. Kolarov was awful, at one point I heard someone say that he should be taken down the tunnel and shot, that was how bad he was.
Richards was to say the least rusty, he wasn't his usual self going forward and didn't look ready to start a football match.
Then there was Garcia, he isn't quick enough for premier league football and instead of playing Milner out wide he should of started Navas and put Milner in the middle from the get go.
Most annoyingly about Pellegrini's selection today was the fact that when Zabaleta and Navas came on today they made a difference, we had some energy and width all of a sudden and began to pile the pressure on Sunderland, unfortunately they didn't get enough time to make a difference to the result.

We were poor in the first half today, we were arrogant and looked like a team that had won before the game had started, Sunderland were not doing anything special but they were doing the basics very well, they were working hard and defending well, for me they deserved their lead at the break regardless if it was partly down to our lack of competing.

In the second half we were much better following the introduction of Navas and then Zabaleta, we took control and put Sunderland under immense pressure, they didn't buckle though and when they had to they threw everyone behind the ball and stopped us from making a breakthrough.
Some would say we did deserve something from the game based on our second half performance, not me though, I think Sunderland were worth the win in the end.
If Pellegrini hadn't put a weak team out thinking they were good enough to win and had the team not approached the start of the game to cockily then maybe I would feel differently, but considering Sunderland's persistent hard work and determination, I think we got what we deserved for our poor approach.

I don't normally do a team assessment but after today's game it is the best way to give a run down on the players and I think it is needed because there were players that did try today and others that did not.

Pantilimon - Didn't have anything to do apart from when they scored, some are saying he should of done better and some are blaming the defence, I would say both could have done better.

Richards - Was clearly not ready to start a game, without that reason/excuse backing him up though, he was poor and didn't have any kind of effect on the game.

Demichelis - Not 100% convinced by him yet, he did work hard today though and his experience did show through when keeping calm at the back.

Lescott - Can't fault his commitment and never have, I can only remember thinking 'oh Joleon' once today and he recovered from that mistake straight away, another player clearly affected by a lack of game time.

Kolarov - Terrible defending, terrible going forward, lazy and an all round waste of space, he had looked decent at times earlier in the season but seems to have reverted to form, he never plays badly for his country which suggests to me his heart isn't in it at City, needs to go.

Milner - I'm a big fan of Jimmy's but in the first half today he let me down as he was very poor, he did redeem himself in the second half and was pulling the strings when moved in field.

Garcia - Feel a bit sorry for Garcia, he isn't a bad player, I just think the tempo of the prem is too quick for him and maybe the way we play football is to, perhaps a player to save for European football.

Toure - Yet another poor performance by Toure today, he was poor earlier in the season but when Fernandinho started to get better Toure seemed to do the same, I have pointed out in the past how much work Ferna puts in to help Toure and without him there to hold his hand today he didn't perform.

Nasri - Nasri has been in good form lately and he played well today, he was trying his best to get the play flowing but he was constantly having to go and help Kolarov defend, which he did well, good hard working performance overall.

Negredo - Not his best performance today but he didn't have a lot to work with either, there wasn't a great deal of supply to the forwards.

Aguero - His usual self buzzing around up front trying his best to create or score a goal, just didn't come off for him today.

Navas - Got 45 minutes and made a real difference, he was direct and was only interested in getting the ball into the box, he made a few good deliveries that someone should have been on the end of.

Zabaleta - Only brought on in the 71st minute but made a noticeable contribution, he was going forward well and supporting Navas, having an attacking full back gave Sunderland something to think about, something that Richards didn't pull of before being replaced.

Dzeko - Dzeko was also brought on with just 19 minutes to go, had a decent shot at goal and that was about it, wasn't given enough time to make a decent impact to give him a bit of leeway.

To sum up, I am just glad there is a break before our next game, Pellegrini needs to sort out a range of things, some of them are big things like players that earn so much money not pulling their weight for him and some are little things like maybe practising in swinging corners instead of ineffective out swinging ones, whatever the problems may be they all need ironing out and quickly.

Sunderland vs Man City - Sun 10th Nov 14:05

Our next game takes us to the stadium of light to face Sunderland, Sunderland have been poor this season and shouldn't prove to be much of an obstacle.

Today's game should be an easy win by rights, unfortunately for Sunderland they are a very poor team at the moment.
I just cannot figure out why Paolo Di Canio was ever allowed near the managers job at Sunderland, he has shown himself to be an absolute idiot in every possible way over the years, so why would you put him in charge of a football club?
He sold Sunderland's best player in Sessegnon, then signed a load of mediocre rubbish, then got sacked and that is all he did whilst at the club. It is a shame because Sunderland haven't been shy of spending a few quid over the past few seasons and at one point they looked like they were progressing well, Di Canio has left them in a right mess.

Sunderland wont be looking forward to playing us today, we are winning games in first gear and scoring plenty of goals in the process. We have scored 20 goals in our last 6 games and have done it without having to play to the best of our ability, the team are flowing and playing with confidence.

Our only worry at the moment seems to be with injuries, of course Kompany has been out and now it looks like we are going to be without Silva, who has been on fire this season, for at least 3 - 4 weeks. There is also doubts over Nastasic, Fernandinho and Garcia, whilst Jovetic is still recovering from a calf problem. We need to get a bit of luck concerning injuries, every time an important member of the squad suffers one they seem to be out for a minimum of a month, if we pick up any more it could really start causing us problems.

Man City Team News: Vincent Kompany (thigh), David Silva (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (calf) are all ruled out, Matija Nastasic and Fernandinho are doubtful after suffering knocks against CSKA Moscow, Javi Garcia is expected to undergo a late fitness test.

Sunderland Team News: Ondrej Celustka had a knock but is expected to shake it off in time to feature for Sunderland, Emanuele Giaccherini is a doubt with a back problem, ex City youth Keiren Westwood is expected to return to goal after recovering from concussion. Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena are both suspended.

Possible Man City Line Up: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Milner, Nasri, Aguero, Negredo.

Possible Sunderland Line Up: Westwood, Celustka, Cuellar, O'Shea, Bardsley, Johnson, Ki, Larsson, Giaccherini, Fletcher, Altidore.

My Prediction: Sunderland 0 - 4 Man City.

Worth A Bet: Samir Nasri scores the first goal in a 0 - 4 Man City win @ 100/1.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Man City 5 - 2 CSKA Moscow *GOALS*

Seven goals, two penalties and a hat trick, you could be easily led to believe that this was an exciting game but it wasn't, we are through the group stage though and that is all that matters.

It was an easy win tonight, almost boring at times because we were just going through the motions, CSKA are not a good side and only managed to score two goals because of our poor defending.

We played some beautiful football at times tonight, you just have to look at our goals for examples of that, but it wasn't an outstanding performance by any stretch of the imagination but to be fair it didn't need to be.

Sorry for the brief post match, I have to be up for work very early unfortunately, to be fair I have pretty much covered the details of the game in those short paragraphs anyway.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Man City vs CSKA Moscow - Tues 5th Nov 19:45 pm

The Russians are in town for our next champions league encounter, this is an important game for us because if we win then I would imagine we will get out of the group.

All the headlines are about Hart not playing and the racism row from the away leg, a shame really considering that a win for us would probably mean getting past the group stages.

I am looking forward to the game tomorrow, firstly it has got me out of going to any bonfires (miserable so an so I know) and secondly I think we are going to hammer them and put one foot into the knockout phase.

CSKA come to the Etihad in slightly better form than they were in when we played them last time out, they have won their last two games scoring seven goals in the process. Does that mean that they are going to come to the Etihad and perform against us? No it doesn't, CSKA are a poor side and they just don't have the quality in their team to match our abilities.

As for us, we are in good form at the moment and look confident with it, this leads me to believe that CSKA are going to be the next team to get a hiding at the Etihad. We have far too much ability to do anything but win this game, couple that with playing on a good  pitch and I think we will see a much larger scoreline than we did in Moscow.

Man City Team News:
Vinny Kompany remains sidelined with a thigh injury and Stevan Jovetic will also miss out due to a calf injury, Joe Hart will take up a place on the bench for the second successive game.

CSKA Moscow Team News:
Vasily Berezutsky (knee) and Alan Dzagoev (hamstring) are both expected to miss out along side Aleksandrs Cauna who has a toe injury.

Possible Man City Line Up: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Negredo.

Possible CSKA Moscow Line Up: Akinfeev, Nababkin, A.Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov, Elm, Wernbloom, Tosic, Honda, Zuber, Doumbia.

Worth A Bet: David Silva scores the first goal in a 5 - 0 Man City win @ 80/1.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Man City 7 - 0 Norwich City *Goals Video*

68.5% possession, 27 shots, 772 passes, 100% of tackles won and 7 yes 7 goals, what a performance by us today, Norwich were lucky it wasn't much worse.

Firstly I feel disappointed with Norwich, so how Chris Hughton feels is any ones guess, we were quality today but Norwich were very poor, they are a much better team than they shown. Their downfall today was that they didn't consolidate and settle for defeat, they kept trying to play against us and that was a very bad idea.

Barring five or so minutes early in the first half where Norwich passed the ball well, they didn't get a look in, we chewed them up and spat them out with ease.

We were just on a different planet to Norwich today, it was almost like watching under 10s play against men at times. As a team we didn't even really exert ourselves today, everything we did was precise and effective, every player did their job and did it well.

The first players to take a bow in our team today should be Silva, Nasri and Aguero. Silva and Nasri were pulling all the strings in midfield, Norwich couldn't get near them and when they did they got turned inside out. Whilst they were busy cutting through the Norwich midfield Aguero was running the defence ragged, they couldn't deal with his movement, they didn't know whether to come or go and when they did decide to make a move on him he was already out of sight.

The whole team were exceptional today, they played like they had been told to go on the pitch and just enjoy themselves. It was a refreshing performance to watch, there was no hangover from the defeat to Chelsea, we looked confident and assured, breezing through the game.

There is a worry that has come from today's game, not a worry for us but everyone else. I have just seen Pellegrini's post match interview and he was asked if it was our best performance under his management, he said no and I have to agree. Of course we were out of this world today but it was easy and we didn't have to put maximum effort in, if we had of played like we did against Utd where we put everything we had into the game, we would of scored double what we did today.

Hopefully this quality of performance will continue, we have become more consistent lately and look more confident, if we can keep it up we will soon catch Arsenal and then leave them behind.


Friday, 1 November 2013

Man City vs Norwich City - Sat 2nd Nov 15:00 pm

Norwich City are our next opponents at the Etihad, it seems like an eternity since we last played at home, hopefully home comforts will play a part against Norwich.

So our opponents, Norwich currently sit 18th in the table and have conceded quite a lot of goals lately, surely this game will be a walk in the park? Well actually not necessarily, I do expect us to beat Norwich but it may not be as easy as their position and results suggest.

For starters 18th can quickly turn in to 9th with three points, so their position in the table is quite irrelevant at the moment and the goals they have conceded have been against Chelsea, Arsenal and Utd, in games where I actually thought Norwich looked a good side.
Particularly against Chelsea I thought Norwich were going to win the game at times, they passed it well in the Chelsea half and were trying to get the ball in the box at every opportunity, they work hard and look an all round good unit.

Having covered my bases in relation to Norwich being able to cause us problems, which I honestly believe they are capable of, I still think we will comfortably beat them. We are on a good run of form at the moment, we have won four of our last five games and when we did get beat by Chelsea it was undeserved considering the way we performed.

It is important that we keep this good form going, if we drop anymore silly points we could end up trailing the league leaders by 8 or 9 points in the blink of an eye and at such an early stage in the season that would leave us playing catch up for a while.

Man City Team News:
We are likely to be missing Stevan Jovetic who suffered a calf injury against Newcastle, Vincent Kompany is expected to miss out again having not fully recovered from a thigh strain.

Norwich City Team News:
Robert Snodgrass suffered concussion against Utd and Nathan Redmond picked up a hip injury in the same game, both are expected to under go late fitness tests. Alexander Tettey is definitely missing for Norwich with a knee ligament injury and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (foot) and Elliot Bennett (knee) are also expected to miss out.

Possible Man City Line Up: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Negredo.

Possible Norwich City Line Up: Ruddy, Martin, Turner, Bassong, Olsson, Howson, Fer, Johnson, Snodgrass, Hooper, Elmander.

My Prediction: Man City 4 - 0 Norwich City.

Worth A Bet: Fernandinho scores the first goal in a 4 - 0 Man City win @ 125/1.