Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Well that was sort of predictable…

I said it…I FLIPPIN’ said it! Take Wigan lightly – and he did in my opinion – and we’ll suffer for it. He still has a lot to learn about English football does our Manuel.

The signs were all there

One of the Press guys asked our manager in the pre-match press conference (3:04) about our often-slow starts in cup games. Manuel’s response was to say that not all teams play exactly the same way; adding that it’s not easy for City to play against those teams. What I take from that response is that, firstly, he DOES acknowledge that fact and, secondly, our team is set up to play Premier League outfits who, for the most part, I assume must play a particularly predictable style.

So having admitted and accepted this…why the HELL didn’t he foresee that this might be the case once again and come up with a Plan B to change it before 55 flamin’ minutes!

Another Press chappy asked Pellegrini (3:08) whether he had watched the City v Wigan final from last season and, accepting that both teams are somewhat different with different Managers at the helm; asked whether there were any lessons to be learnt. Basically, yes he’d watched it and no there were no lessons to be learnt from it.

How ironic then that Uwe Rosler decided to play an almost identical style having watched the video himself and how delighted must he have been to hear Pellegrini say that he wasn’t going to be taking any serious notes from it.

Pellegrini also added that he looks at every competition with the same importance. Well, I’m sorry Manuel, but clearly that’s not the case. Myself and every City supporter I’ve spoken too has pretty much come out with the same sentiment, which is…what competition were we most likely to get to the final of and, therefore, stand a chance of winning? Well clearly…the F.A. Cup of course. So why the HELL did he drop Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany and Fernandinho, almost the entire central core of our defensive unit?! Fool!

Ripped to pieces in the first half and although we tore into them for the final 35 minutes, it was all too little too late. Lessons learnt (4:19) from the Watford home game? None whatsoever...

As for the replacements? Pantilimon did nothing wrong and even made a nuisance of himself in the opposition box towards the end! Demichelis was WOEFUL once again – what DOES Pellegrini see in him?!

Micah just did not have a clue how to shake off his shadowing winger and get more involved; Lescott, as he often does, did not disappoint nor let us down.

Clichy had a horrible moment or two but I thought he had a decent enough game and, I have to admit; I thought Garcia had a pretty good game too…aside from a horrible couple of passes.

I’m somewhat irritated…

Quick note on the strike force

Negredo is clearly still not right physically and seems to be suffering a massive confidence crisis as well. I think that’s the worse game I’ve seen him have; I hardly noticed him on the pitch for large chunks of the game. Aguero still doesn’t have ‘that cutting edge’ and I can’t help feeling that as soon as he starts ‘firing’ once again; Negredo will come into his own too.

And not a moment too soon either – with Dzeko being, well, very Dzeko (and, fair enough, he too is apparently suffering with ‘niggles’) and no word on the return of Jovetic; we’re really suffering for it. Thank the Gods for our goal-scoring midfielder/wingers...

Credit where credit is most-certainly due

Rosler ‘did us’. He knew EXACTLY where and how to hurt us. How embarrassing is it now that we were passing, around on the lower tier of the East Stand, a giant Rosler 28 shirt before the game?

It was so obvious from our lofty position in the ground that he had pushed his wingers right up against our fullbacks…and there they stayed-put. It completely nullified our attack-supporting fullbacks (our manager’s preferred game play) and their ‘high line’ caused us all SORTS of issues. But I repeat, how worrying is it that ‘The Engineer’ didn’t know how to change it until it was too late?

Worrying also for any manager with a DVD player – now they ALL know how to cancel us out!

So where now from here?

Well, personally, I just can’t be bovered with this annoying distraction on Wednesday night; the game that cost us a great chance of a second piece of silverware in my opinion. Yeah of course if we beat Barca 3-0 and go through I’ll be WELL proud of our players…but I’ll still have that nagging feeling that any longer in this competition with this (not such a robust-numbered) squad will damage our title challenge.

We need to find our mojo and soon and we NEED to plough ALL of our efforts into the remaining Premier League games. It might just be another way of stating a time-honoured cliché after exiting a cup competition but we might just have done ourselves a favour by getting knocked out of the F.A. Cup; there are some clear weeks ahead to slot those postponed fixtures in (Aston Villa & Sunderland both at home) - plenty of time for recovery & freshness time in between games.

Let’s take FULL advantage of it!

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