City 1 Blackburn 1
Now that we've had a few hours to digest what we experienced yesterday I have to ask myself precisely what it is that Blackburn Rovers contribute to the Premier League? They played no discernable football, practically none of their so -called fans could be bothered to make the short trip (800 in all) and they spend the entire 90 minutes ensuring that the overall day represents poor value for money.
If your team has any pretence of becoming a top four resident you have to get at these teams early with width and pace, get your early goal, then patiently put them to the sword.
So City started with old man Vieira and Toure Yaya, who looked as though he has spent Eid camped out in a Kebab House, at the heart of the team. Unbelievable. Wright-Phillips might have gotten some game time for England this week, but once again didn't really deliver. Why did we buy Silva?
The back line looked solid enough and we had no reason to worry about Joe Hart (!) but why did we go out with a team leaving Tevez toiling away on his own up front amongst Blackburn's giant defenders?
There is no doubt that Johnson terrified them down the right but time and again his great work is undone because there is no supporting surge from midfield to convert the chances he creates into goals.
This was a performance of the type that cost the former manager of both of these teams his job last year. The bottom line is that if you can't get your new players into the starting team because they are injured, in the end you can only pick a similar team to that which you had last year. As a consequence you get similar results.
This match needed Toure Yaya and Milner to take midfield by the scruff of the neck. They didn't. It needed SWP and Johnson to get wide and deliver the killer ball into the six yard box. They did to an extent but poor Tevez could only work like a warrior amongst men as he was hustled, bustled and battered in the land of giants.
The sick bay at Carrington must be the most expensive one on record and it is very important that we get these players up and running. One performance and six weeks off is not too good (or a handful of performances and 18 months off if you are Santa Cruz). There is no doubt that Balotelli would have sorted Samba et al out yesterday.
It is time that Silva started to get involved. If there is a fear about his build, we shouldn't have bought him, but if you examine his short cameo yesterday, his ability to drift off defenders, receive the ball and then place a deadly pass is incredible. It was his pass that created the mayhem at the end when Tevez was denied by Robinson and Jo could not scramble the pickings into the net.
And what of Blacburn? They get a free kick in stoppage time, which is crying out for a far post onslaught, all giants present and correct and what do they do? Waste time by asking the manager what they should do. They end up playing it into the corner looking for a throw-in. I ask again - what do Blackbrun contribute to the premier league?
So for the first time this season we come up with a result poorer than last year's corresponding match. It is difficult to operate a squad system when you have not played your best eleven yet, but at least it was a weekend of odd results and the only predicability was Chelsea, who look to be in different gear so far this year. Arsenal and Stretford are already losing ground and need us to deliver the goods on 25 September. Based upon yesterday I doubt that it will happen. Does anybody know the whereabouts of Craig Bellamy?
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