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The Ped Report - City 1-1 Fulham

Can you believe what we have seen this afternoon?

Fulham fall into the category of a team that doesn't offer a great deal to the Premier League - only 450 of their fans turned up and their team is hardly inspiring - but our multi-million pound so-called superstars couldn't dispose of them, indeed could hardly match them for effort and integrity.

The game got under way with our two sets of singing supporters taunting each other and that was about as good as it got.

Mancini's line-up was perplexing. Why was Zabaleta played in front of Boateng? Was there a perceived threat there? Why not play him on the left and release Kolarov as we had tried in a couple of matches recently?

Why play three strikers with no effective supply line? No doubt Roberto will tell the world that this was the only team he could put out due to the demands on his squad but did I not say in my story yesterday that if you don't want a lot of fixtures at this time of year then you are out of everything and on your way out? Could not Guy Assulin have got a match under his belt today?

From the off the team looked disjointed. No midfield schemer (I assume Silva was injured), no slide rule balls to engage the strikers. Tevez looked confused, Dzeko out of sync and Balotelli in a world of his own, never really looking part of a team.

The one time Tevez and Balotelli hooked up - guess what - we scored! It didn't happen again though. Even from corners Balotelli was looking to score seeming lacking in confidence that his colleagues could get their heads on anything. Kolarov rattled Schwarzer's hands with a dipping thunderbolt, but City looked way off the mark and Fulham gained themselves an easy point when Johnson carved open the left hand side following a poor Hart clearance and Duff had the easiest task of the day.

Yes Balotelli's goal was well taken and impeccably placed, but when the best player in sky blue was Zabaleta and the best passes and tackles around midfield were coming from Vieira when he came on - what is this?

We need a wide man to feed the forwards. We know SWP feeds full backs, so we send on Milner. He couldn't feed the Canadian Geese flying over Ancoats Skies (sorry Dom!). I sense a cut-price sale coming on with this kid. He has proved to me so far to be probably the poorest so-called acquisition in recent years. He started life as a winger and I recall one conversation I had with Mike Summerbee when he told me that Milner was the only true English winger in the game (at that time). Now he couldn't beat a carpet. He is supposed to be full of energy - well he hasn't had much game time lately so he should at least have looked effervescent. Once again he made zero impact. Well, James, you can go and make zero impact for someone else on a third of your wages.

Who could have played wide and opened them up a bit? Do I hear Craig Bellamy?

Fulham offered a bit of resistance and Schwarzer joined the endless array of goalkeepers taking five minutes over each goal kick, but come on boys, teams like this should be goal difference boosters.

So are we on a slippery slope as we start to slip down the league and open the door to teams we thought we'd dropped off. Well maybe.

Houllier is starting to get something right at Villa and could hand us a surprise on Wednesday. Dinamo Kyiv are no mugs either. Maybe we are trying to emulate Arsenal? One day sun the next day rain? As Ashburton's finest slip up in the Carling Cup Final and possibly head for deafeat by Barcelona in the Champions League and at Stretford in the FA Cup, what price City to do likewise? Or do we depend upon our less than charitable neighbours to beat Chelsea twice and Spurs once to maintain our hope?

The only saving grace on a less than graceful day was the manner in which Arsenal lost the Cup Final! Do we recall Koscielny when signed by Arsenal saying City couldn't by spirit and dissing us before he'd even got on the ferry? I referred to him as a pub player who had played for two pub teams in France and was joining another in England. Maybe I called that one right.

The spectre of Mourinho is once again arising over the Premier League....take note!




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The journalist

Writer: Tranmere Loyal Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 27 2011

Time: 8:39PM

Your Comments

This was a day where we got it all wrong. 10 league game left for City to reassert themselves.
Johnny Baguette
it amazes me how surprised people are about this result, we were barely able to rotate today and fulham were always going to make themselves hard to beat. I would play some of the youngsters against Villa and see how it goes, Wigan is a much more important game
arthur7171
Yes, something has to give and it may be one of the cups. Mancini said we only have 14 first team players who are 100% if I didn't misunderstand him. Get Guidetti, Boyata, Shaun, and a couple of other fringe players out there against Villa. I hate the idea of a cup slipping away but I fear we could lose out on EVERYTHING if we don't start making some sacrifices.
StuMCFC
Couldn't resist the Arsenal dig could you? Despite spending an absolute mint putting your team together you can still only eek out a draw against Fulham. That is the beauty of this game.
Wyn Mills
Not great, but not the end of the world at the same time. Despite injuries we should be able to beat Fulham. But with Silva and VK back on Wednesday I am confident. For me more than anything else, this game highlighted our over reliance on Silva. Without him we lack incision and creativity.
scragg
"We need wide men to feed our forwards" that's so funny becasue for the last week our knee jerkers at spurs have been suicidal becasue our strikers can't keep pace with the midfield. Man, if we mereged we'd be unstoppable! Race for the top 4 still on, spurs and city just physically can't make it easy for themselves. CL play-off mk II on April 17th. See you there
Phartman87
Once you get in front at this level that City are expected to keep the lead they didn't and Fulham were happy with a draw.
Buzz Lightyear
I found a positive - no more injuries and no suspensions!
fifthcolumnblue
City fans, what do you think your team will be Wednesday? Strong or youngsters/reserve players? Im hoping it is reserve players anyway dont fancy our chances at your place and i no for a FACT that houllier will rotate so expect to see some of our youngsters and bench warmers playing.
P.Avfc
Depends on Mancini's mindset, our squad is struggling to cope with three campaigns, injuries and weariness. However, Kompany and the all-important Silva should be fit for Wednesday. But whether he plays them is another thing.
StuMCFC
P.Avfc, he has already made the excuse that they are tired so it could be anyone from 30, probably your best chance unless we have an over night trip to Lourdes and a miraculous recovery for the whole squad. One thing for certain he wont play three attackers up from, but if Silva is playing then watch out.
Buzz Lightyear
I think both teams will be making changes, we can all agree that the fixtures are a nightmare at the moment, the FA need to sort it out especially on city's part with europa league aswell. Houllier has already said players need to get use 2 rotation so im expecting it and a decent game.
P.Avfc
 

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