Date:Monday August 21 2006
Not the greatest weekend for the Blue half of Manchester
Firstly we were given a lesson in almost every area of the game by Chelsea, and to make matters worse, the Rags are heading the table after just one game.
We can't really have any complaints about Sunday's result at the Bridge. Quite simply City were brushed aside by a team of Fantasy League proportions. You can't really fault any of our players for their performances, maybe Corradi, but let's be generous and put that down to his first Premiership start.
Oh, hang on a moment, I forgot about Reyna and Thatcher, and it still beats me that they keep getting picked; neither have had a decent game for months, if not longer.
On the positive side, Nicky Weaver acquitted himself well in a rare premiership start. I don't think any 'keeper would have saved any of the goals, especially the last from Drogba; not a favourite player of mine, but credit where it is due, it was a brilliant move and stunning finish.
Now when we first saw the fixture list, we'd probably all put that down as a home win. We may be the first, but there will be many teams this season that will get a harder spanking than us, so like Pearce said, and disappointing as it is, we shouldn't write the season off quite yet.
Where I would be a little critical of Pearce is over the tactics. I've already mentioned my despair about Reyna and Thatcher, but when we play the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal etc, we need to have a go at them and not fiddle about in the middle of the park. Now we have two of the most tenacious chasers and harriers in Dickov and Vassell, and I can't understand why they didn't feature more. I'm not saying the result would have been any different, but it probably wouldn't have been the largely one-way traffic we saw.
It's always difficult trying to find the right balance and formation when players have come and gone, and that is still likely to take some time with Hammann and Trabelsi still to make their full debuts.
So where next? Well we play a rejuvenated Portsmouth, another early table topper, on Wednesday night at Eastlands. This will be a more accurate indicator of City's likely fate this season and nothing short of a convincing victory is likely to settle our already sensitive nerves ..... expect David James to play out of his skin.
Let's hope it's not a case of 'Play up Pompey' and more
'COME ON CITY ! '
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