Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The good, the bad and the ugly (UPDATED - 27.08.2014)

Thanks to regular readers for their patience during the recent break in service; sorry to all for the lack of pre & post-match Blog postings…especially so early on in a new season.

The good

Having come away from the match last night completely satisfied with all things Manchester City ON the pitch it was tinged, only ever so slightly, with disappointment with regards to other things within the Etihad. And having been invited, along with hundreds of others recently, via the Club’s City Voice to comment on various issues surrounding the match-day experience; I thought I’d incorporate some of last night’s experiences in a post-Liverpool match posting.

At the very least I can then copy & paste some of these comments when contacting the club about my experience last night…

So, ‘the good’…

I could go through the entire team and heap praise on each and every one for their individual performances last night. Instead, I’ll just pick out a few that I believe deserve special mention. Starting from the back…

I thought Martin Demichelis stood out not only for his cool and oh-so-obvious experience, organisation and leadership last night but he’s found some serious pace too! Question 1 would have to be, “Is that due to the reduced weight after his severe hair cut?” Question 2 would be, “Due to his performances so far how long will Eliaquim Mangala have to wait to get a look-in?”

The only flaw in a very good 8.5/10 performance was being muscled off the ball by Sturridge for their only goal. Other than that, carry on Martin!

For “Fernando” read “Security”. He just gives you that extra layer and that more solid look than his similar-named Brazilian ever did. That’s not being unkind to Fernandinho in the slightest; it’s now clear that the ‘inho’ version likes to play his game slightly more advanced.

Stevan Jovetic is living up to everyone’s hopes and expectations. Simply put, we’d have won the league by the end of March / early April last season had he not have been injured for the most part. Fluid, creative, skilful and ‘goals’. What more can you ask for?

Edin Dzeko – Edin getting stuck in Dzeko! How often can you say that? He was throwing himself in and even ‘clattering’ with one Liverpool player last night and that was very impressive. Impressive that is, of course, until he limped off…and perhaps was as a result of his rare, new-found addition to his game. He looked (and looks) more ‘fleet of foot‘ too. Get well soon Edin…

Sergio Aguero is in danger of getting a ‘Super Sub’ label here. I’m joking of course. But what an ‘impact player’ he truly is. He did this on occasions last season if you recall. What a player – WHAT a player! Might get his starting chance against Stoke with Edin limping off…

Jesus Navas OR “Navas the hungry”. Whether it’s because he missed out on the World Cup [through injury at the last minute] or whether he’s just more settled [after a season at the club] but he looks like a man on a mission.

He’s just added 15 / 20% to his game and can count himself very unlucky not to start games at the moment. But once again - and like Sergio – what an impact player to be able to bring on!

And speaking of ‘the bench’; a look at last night’s was just ‘jaw dropping’. But what’s even more impressive is the players who WEREN’T on the bench! Yet to make it to the touchline are Mangala, Lampard and, of course, Negredo. What a squad!

I thought we pretty much dominated the first 20 to 25 minutes before a cautious Liverpool began to press us back. I decided, on 36 minutes, to nip to the bar and, yep, missed the first flippin’ goal! A goal which, you could say at that stage of the game, was slightly against the run of play.

But I was impressed with the (now familiar) patience and relentlessness we showed last night and we were ‘good’ for our 3-1 win against last season’s runners up. In fact, I would say that their fortunate Zabaleta own goal made the scoreline very flattering for them over ‘the 90’. Taking that one step further, I thought we could well have increased that scoreline by a couple more.

Solid start after two tricky fixtures; Stoke City at home next…

Also good? The speakers in the East Stand. We did not have distortingly loud ‘blurb’ of last season but rather loud enough, clear music / announcements throughout. Well done to ‘whoever’ at MCFC…


The bad

Oh my LORD the bar “service” near to where I sit was appallingly bad last night. It just does NOT…GET…ANY…BETTER with time.

And I swear that if I was a dishonest person I could have got away with TWICE not paying. In the carnage that was the supposed organisation of the staff; at my end of the bar you had one startled-looking girl taking the orders & cash while an equally bewildered and manic lad then ask me – and NOT his till-tapping colleague – what it was I had ordered and paid for. The first time it was “2 pints” and the second time “a pint and a [lukewarm] Bovril”. Each time I could have said “½-dozen beers and 2 pies”, as he had no clue whatsoever and never once checked with his colleague. Madness!

And the prices have jumped up ANOTHER 20p per pint. Crazy!

New season card readers on the turnstiles whereby, at first [game] try at least, my wife & I weren’t able to keep them in their wallets to hold up to the device for it to read. No, we now have to take them out and fully insert the flippin’ things.

A big hardship and travesty? Perhaps not. But in times of crowd issues / congestion surely a step backwards…

No working TV above the bar showing pre-match stuff and team news etc. and the now-tatty and ripped advertisements in the loo were showing pictures of LAST season's (better) home kit. That's really quite shoddy...

The ugly

Oh my stars and garters! I’d heard about this middle tier, electronic replacement of the flags and banners about a week ago; thinking it sounded half-decent and “modern”. But, for the moment at least, the permanent, in-your-face ‘light show’ is at best an over-the-top distraction that just shoves advertisements and various messages into your retina while you’re TRYING to enjoy the piggin’ game! Truly beastly!

If the eventual plan is for fans to create / re-create the previous material banners and they stop flickering / flashing up images and adverts etc. then perhaps it will be a good thing. But for now, at least, it’s a BIG ‘thumbs down’ from me.

The extra clock images at either end of the ground were okay I suppose…

To add to your overly-stimulated visual senses at the Etihad are now live pictures of the game you are watching – not on one but TWO MASSIVE SCREENS at one end of the ground! Not sure I’ll ever get used to that either; it’s not like they’re gonna show instant replays of iffy moments and decisions is it?

Then there was the home kit. I’ve said it all before and so won’t drone on about it again. It’s just not right though; it’s just not Manchester City.

And finally…

Just let one Manyoo fan in the next few years accuse my football club of buying success and ruining football…
Vanja Milinkovic - £1.5M
Marcos Rojo - £16M

Luke Shaw & Ander Herrera - £54M
Angel Di Maria...
...£59.7M plus 'add ons'!

And MK Dons...



  1. Good to have you back, Steve, hope all is well with you.

    I saw the game on TV, and I slightly disagree with you. I thought Liverpool were the more comfortable of the two sides in the first 30 or so, without really creating any outstanding chances, aside from Sturridge's nifty footwork on one occasion.
    By the end of the game though, we were worthy winners, apart from a coupe of wobbles in the last 10 or so.

    A great start to the season, compounded by the woes in M16, haha!

    1. *couple
      Note to self - read it before pressing send!

    2. Hi Simon.

      Thank you - it's good to be able to get some City / Blog time again! Still some way to go with regards to my mum, who's not too well, but we're getting there. Cheers.

      Yep, great start indeed. Some serious spending in M16 too, hey? I thought they nurtured from within and didn't spend big... 8- )

      What about our Champions League draw! Hardly seems fair when you look at the rest...

      Love your Blog by the way; can't believe it's taken me this long to 'click on' and discover it.