Date:Wednesday March 24 2010
The biggest question on every Blue's lips up until tonight's game was if City were capable of making that 4th spot their own? Could they then hold onto it and ultimately take that all important final Champions League spot.
The question on everyone's lips now is do we have the bottle for it and will we even finish in the top six after that spineless defensive second half performance?
The talk amongst the support will be of refereeing decisions that went against City and of dirty play and the stalling tactics from the Blue side of Liverpool.
Yet the true culprits lie on our side of the Blue line and their errors in judgement could ultimately cost us a European place.
The manager himself chose tonight's game to play his most attacking front five Tevez, Bellamy, Johnson, backed up by Ireland and Barry and for a while the selection looked certain to reap its rewards as for much of the first half like at Craven Cottage City bossed the game.
The difference this time was that we didn't convert any of our chances and were undone after a dodgy decision by a referee whose name I will never ever speak again in my mother tongue as it would do it a gross injustice.
Of course the players should have had the quality to come back and score at a ground they have failed to score only once all season.
Tevez a one man army grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and tried to drag City kicking and screaming back into it with moments of brilliance that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
Yet when it came down to it, just as at Tottenham the Sky Blues just weren't up to the task and in the end bottled it completely.
Toure and Kompany for all their attacking and ball-playing strengths just don't have the concentration needed to be world class centreback partnership as both switch off at key times and are susceptible to high balls.
Thats not to say that they were to blame for this defeat as Everton did their best impression of Stoke City and pressured, fouled and bludgeoned their way to this victory with their ten men behind the ball approach so credit where its due.
Moyes has obviously done his homework and knows that City cannot breakdown teams that adopt this old school style as they are missing a playmaker to unlock those tight banks of fours.
Any hope of City doing so had been fouled out of the game and after Stevie Ireland's exit there was more bad news to come. A woefully short of confidence Shaun Wright Phillips entered the fray and the quick incisive passing and triangles went in the opposite direction along with City's hopes of equalizing.
Wright Phillips just doesn't have the passing ability to play in this front line and the fact he has now lost the confidence to run past a man has rendered him pretty useless as an attacking option.
Gareth Barry is another who is being found out to be one-dimensional, barging around giving or winning free kicks with his one paced, one-footed game designed to make up for his obvious lack of pace.
In fact any quicker, more physical opponent he comes up against manages to dominate him and draws more fouls than Jordan changes fellas.
The Manager of course has to take a large share of the blame for his changes and defensive tactics of playing with four defensive midfielders at one point when looking to get back into the game.
The fact that he went all out to sign Italian playmaker Cassano in January just illustrates what he thinks of his current options in that position.
So we began asking whether City could break into the top four and then hold onto their place. We end just asking if we really have improved since the demoralising loss to Spurs that signalled the end of Mark Hughes' tenure.
Have we progressed since then? Are we going to get that fourth spot? Is Mancini the man for the job? Are Barry, Wright-Phillips and a few others really upto the job?
One things for sure and thats the fact that every City fan will be feeling nauseous after tonight's performance. Some of you might even have to throw out a few broken things this time tomorrow- I know I will.
Date:Wednesday March 24 2010
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