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Things I Learnt About City This Week

Joe Hart is arguably the best keeper in the world. His displays against Real Madrid, Dortmund and in general in the League have been nothing short of incredible. Admittedly Mancini`s change of emphasis in midfield (more of that later) has had the defence under the cosh and creaking more than they have in the last twelve months, but Hart`s agility and ability to get to balls he truly shouldn`t has been nothing short of breath-taking. His post-match attitude, his on field demeanour and his overall attitude is absolutely spot on and combined with his training ethic and his undeniable ability make him a truly valuable commodity to City. A keeper not even at his peak yet and with at least another ten years at the top make him truly priceless. If Messi and Ronaldo can score goals and win games, Hart is at the same level as them in terms of stopping goals and keeping his team in with a chance every game. If Messi and Ronaldo are worth 80 plus, what price Joe Hart.

Most of Mancini`s buys this closed season were second choice and clearly have affected the team. Sinclair hasn`t played enough to pass judgement on but when he has played he doesn`t seem to be a great improvement on Johnson, although attitude wise he can`t be worse. Nastasic is probably the best buy judging by his calmness at making his debut against Real Madrid. He has pace and positioning as well as being good in the air. Garcia is no De Rossi and whilst he is a good technician and footballer, his inclusion in the side has put pressure on the defence as he wants to play too much and often gets caught in possession. Rodwell will be a great player but he is clearly not ready for the pressure and intensity that comes with playing for The Champions. Two schoolboy errors against QPR and Dortmund both cost goals although it can be argued that Mancini`s tinkering with the starting line-up and formation is the root cause of this which leads me on to my next point.

Mancini is in danger of becoming the new 'Tinkerman`. Last season City won the League with a stalwart defence and a free scoring attack borne out of the formation he played. Two defensive midfielders sitting in front of defence allowing the attacking players freedom to attack and the defence a helping hand when needed. These two have to be great positionally, aware and defensively minded with the ability to read the game and distribute the simple ball. This season Mancini has wanted to supplement the attack at the loss of a defensively minded midfielder and often resorted to 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 rather than the 4-2-3-1 he used successfully last year. This has led to being knocked out of the cup, seen the defence leak too many goals in the league and lose a game against Real Madrid that should have been won.

Bye-bye Mario! Taken off after 55 minutes having been spectacular in his diving and pretty dismal at everything else our sulky striker strode down the tunnel without as much as a look at the bench, missed Aguero doing what he should have done within two minutes of being on the pitch and boarded a plane for Italy. I know Mancini sees the striker as his 'responsibility`, but his attitude and level of maturity is startlingly low. I think it is time to replace him with someone that wants to play for City, is willing to put in a shift wherever he is asked to play and can score the goals the club needs to win the League and the Champions League. Whether if be someone like Falcao who Mancini watched this week or whether we give a chance to Guidetti who is chomping at the bit to play is another question to ponder, but I think Mario has had enough chances and it`s high time he paid the price for his actions rather than being protected by Mancini and the club.

My final point is to praise another player seemingly as important as Joe Hart but with far fewer accolades and that man is Gareth Barry. He may not possess the pace or long passing ability of other players and plays with a no frills style that often gets over looked. But his positional sense, his ability to read the game and cover for his team mates, his determination and ability to hold onto the ball, his distribution and intelligence make him key for City. City`s domination of Sunderland at the weekend was partly down to him. He helped out the defence, kept possession of the ball and almost always found a Blue shirt. People don`t notice his work but if you watch him during a game you will see that the shift he puts in would put many top footballers to shame.

UPCOMING FIXTURES
all times East Manchester

Sa 20 Oct 15h00 West Brom, The Hawthorns, PL
We 24 Oct 19h45 Ajax, Amsterdam Arena, CL
Sa 27 Oct 17h30 Swansea City, The Etihad, PL
Sa 03Nov 17h30 West Ham, Upton Park, PL
Tu 06 Nov 19h45 Ajax, The Etihad, CL
Su 11 Nov 13h30 Spurs, The Etihad, PL
Sa 17 Nov 15h00 Aston Villa, The Etihad, PL
We 21 Nov 19h45 Real Madrid, The Etihad, CL
Su 25 Nov 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, PL
We 28 Nov 20h00 Wigan, DW Stadium, PL




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The journalist

Writer: Redmond6 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 8 2012

Time: 3:53PM

Your Comments

Couldn't agree more about Hart and Barry. Tinkerman made 7 changes this weekend yet we won convincingly, is it Mancini's tinkering that's causing or some of our players resting on their laurels. As for Mario, I thought he had a fairly indifferent performance but he did play that lovely pass to Tevez which led to the free kick for the first goal, he did bust a gut to try get on the end of Kolarov's cross just before he was subbed and in general despite his strops ( mainly due to the systematic fouling he had to endure ) he put in a shift. Silva walked straight down the tunnel too, where's the criticism of him for doing that?
Bluedub
Couldn't agree more about Hart and Barry. Tinkerman made 7 changes this weekend yet we won convincingly, is it Mancini's tinkering that's causing or some of our players resting on their laurels. As for Mario, I thought he had a fairly indifferent performance but he did play that lovely pass to Tevez which led to the free kick for the first goal, he did bust a gut to try get on the end of Kolarov's cross just before he was subbed and in general despite his strops ( mainly due to the systematic fouling he had to endure ) he put in a shift. Silva walked straight down the tunnel too, where's the criticism of him for doing that?
Bluedub
Hey its all about opinions....that's why I am writing!
bluerichy
Hey its all about opinions....that's why I am writing!
bluerichy
On the formation, we started out last season with 4-4-2, with Aguero and Dzeko up front with Yaya and Barry in central midfield. When Mario played we tended to go more 4-3-1-2 but Mario didn't start a game until about the ninth or tenth league game. We often started 4-4-2 last season and reverted to 4-2-31 later in games when Nigel was brought on to push Yaya further forward. Mancini tinkered just as much last season imo. As for the new signings, it's far too early to pass judgement either way.
Bluedub
On the formation, we started out last season with 4-4-2, with Aguero and Dzeko up front with Yaya and Barry in central midfield. When Mario played we tended to go more 4-3-1-2 but Mario didn't start a game until about the ninth or tenth league game. We often started 4-4-2 last season and reverted to 4-2-31 later in games when Nigel was brought on to push Yaya further forward. Mancini tinkered just as much last season imo. As for the new signings, it's far too early to pass judgement either way.
Bluedub
Absolutely Richy, I'm just giving mine mate, that's the nature of debate. Keep up the good work pal.
Bluedub
Absolutely Richy, I'm just giving mine mate, that's the nature of debate. Keep up the good work pal.
Bluedub
Silva went for treatment by the way...the same can't be said of the big sulk.
bluerichy
Silva went for treatment by the way...the same can't be said of the big sulk.
bluerichy
Bob played players who wanted to get the ball when City lost it, Zab, Milner, Barry, Tevez Richards, all fal into this category and this in turn has an effect on the others, Lescott and Kolarov played like they were worth the money we spent on them, Only Mario was the odd man out, I know he was fouled at least three times for which the referee gave nothing and when he appeared for the second half, his heart just wasn't in it and kolarov's cross where he missed putting it away was the last straw for Bob and his coaches and Aguero comes on and shows how to do it. Surprised Tevez off for Clichy instead of Aguero especially when i had us down for 4-0 in 'beat the clock'! (see forum)
Buzz Lightyear
Bob played players who wanted to get the ball when City lost it, Zab, Milner, Barry, Tevez Richards, all fal into this category and this in turn has an effect on the others, Lescott and Kolarov played like they were worth the money we spent on them, Only Mario was the odd man out, I know he was fouled at least three times for which the referee gave nothing and when he appeared for the second half, his heart just wasn't in it and kolarov's cross where he missed putting it away was the last straw for Bob and his coaches and Aguero comes on and shows how to do it. Surprised Tevez off for Clichy instead of Aguero especially when i had us down for 4-0 in 'beat the clock'! (see forum)
Buzz Lightyear
"Spectacular in his diving" - now I'm not Mario's biggest fan but this is just plain wrong. He needs to buck up his ideas and start looking more interested but blatant misreporting to strengthen your point is totally unfair and uncalled for.
rojo2010
"Spectacular in his diving" - now I'm not Mario's biggest fan but this is just plain wrong. He needs to buck up his ideas and start looking more interested but blatant misreporting to strengthen your point is totally unfair and uncalled for.
rojo2010
I think Mario did not hav a bad first half...His attitude when he came oout after half time changed which was probably down to something said at half time....still he needs to get over it. Is it just me but I think that Milner should be given a run out in partnershipwith Barry...Sunderland were no great shakes but he managed to get up and down the pitch and unlike Yaya when he plays in that position managed to get back and make some great tackles after a foray upfront. A solid paring at the back seemsjust what we need to allow Silva to get back to his level of last year....I would love to see him take a central role in a game as no-one can unlock a defense like him...it might mea giving yaya a rest..somehing Mancini has never one but with him possibly disappearing in January it wold be good to try out a plan B early.
MikeBlue
I think Mario did not hav a bad first half...His attitude when he came oout after half time changed which was probably down to something said at half time....still he needs to get over it. Is it just me but I think that Milner should be given a run out in partnershipwith Barry...Sunderland were no great shakes but he managed to get up and down the pitch and unlike Yaya when he plays in that position managed to get back and make some great tackles after a foray upfront. A solid paring at the back seemsjust what we need to allow Silva to get back to his level of last year....I would love to see him take a central role in a game as no-one can unlock a defense like him...it might mea giving yaya a rest..somehing Mancini has never one but with him possibly disappearing in January it wold be good to try out a plan B early.
MikeBlue
Milner is dynamic and never stops...Barry I have covered....both were fantastic and should be given a run in the team as a pairing. Mayo earns too much (and complains too much when fouled) to behave like he does...misunderstood or not and I have supported him in the past. However when he goes down he looks for it instead of behaving like Aguero who just gets on with it.
bluerichy
Milner is dynamic and never stops...Barry I have covered....both were fantastic and should be given a run in the team as a pairing. Mayo earns too much (and complains too much when fouled) to behave like he does...misunderstood or not and I have supported him in the past. However when he goes down he looks for it instead of behaving like Aguero who just gets on with it.
bluerichy
Mayo is Balo....Damn predictive text
bluerichy
Mayo is Balo....Damn predictive text
bluerichy
Mario only earns as much as he's offered by Sheikh Mansour. We all saw what he's capable of doing last season and at the Euros for Italy. As for going down easily, you have accused him of "spectacular" diving.
rojo2010
Mario only earns as much as he's offered by Sheikh Mansour. We all saw what he's capable of doing last season and at the Euros for Italy. As for going down easily, you have accused him of "spectacular" diving.
rojo2010
Ffs rojo I got caught up in the moment. Take a chill pill.
bluerichy
Ffs rojo I got caught up in the moment. Take a chill pill.
bluerichy
My take on it is that mario is getting so frustrated with receiving absolutely NO protection from the referees (that's the second time he's been elbowed this season) that he is trying to make sure the refs notice when he is fouled. It is not something we should be condoning, but for me it is the officials that are to blame, not Balotelli. He is right to be frustrated, what will it take, someone deliberately breaking his leg before we give him some sympathy? A forward cannot play his best football when he is constantly hacked, kicked, pulled and elbowed. Cut him some slack and let Mancini/Platt/Vieira publicise what is going on.
fifthcolumnblue
My take on it is that mario is getting so frustrated with receiving absolutely NO protection from the referees (that's the second time he's been elbowed this season) that he is trying to make sure the refs notice when he is fouled. It is not something we should be condoning, but for me it is the officials that are to blame, not Balotelli. He is right to be frustrated, what will it take, someone deliberately breaking his leg before we give him some sympathy? A forward cannot play his best football when he is constantly hacked, kicked, pulled and elbowed. Cut him some slack and let Mancini/Platt/Vieira publicise what is going on.
fifthcolumnblue
And let's talk more about the positives...we fielded five England international's!
bluerichy
And let's talk more about the positives...we fielded five England international's!
bluerichy
Yes and Barry back to his best didn't get the call he deserves
Buzz Lightyear
Yes and Barry back to his best didn't get the call he deserves
Buzz Lightyear
I for one am glad that Barry has his feet up during the international break. He's in his early 30's now, I'd prefer it if he saves his legs for City.
fifthcolumnblue
I for one am glad that Barry has his feet up during the international break. He's in his early 30's now, I'd prefer it if he saves his legs for City.
fifthcolumnblue
Exactly Fifth, England's loss is City's gain.
Bluedub
Exactly Fifth, England's loss is City's gain.
Bluedub
Good shout on the plan B Mike, it's definitely something that needs addressing. Hopefully Garcia will have acclimatised to the pace of English football by then too, there's nothing better to get the best out of players than competition for places.
Bluedub
Good shout on the plan B Mike, it's definitely something that needs addressing. Hopefully Garcia will have acclimatised to the pace of English football by then too, there's nothing better to get the best out of players than competition for places.
Bluedub
Chill pill? Haha, mate don't put yourself in the firing line by writing and submitting articles if you can't cope with a minor criticism of what you've written. If that's not possible, I'll try to remember not to criticise anything you write in future. Nice 1
rojo2010
Chill pill? Haha, mate don't put yourself in the firing line by writing and submitting articles if you can't cope with a minor criticism of what you've written. If that's not possible, I'll try to remember not to criticise anything you write in future. Nice 1
rojo2010
You are entitled to your opinion rojo just peeves me sometimes when I take the time to contribute to the site and people are just negative....but hey ho that's the world we live in. Least my articles generate the most comments so in a way earn the site more money.....if it's Vital.....it's Vital!
bluerichy
You are entitled to your opinion rojo just peeves me sometimes when I take the time to contribute to the site and people are just negative....but hey ho that's the world we live in. Least my articles generate the most comments so in a way earn the site more money.....if it's Vital.....it's Vital!
bluerichy
I would always pick Mario with Kun as our best striking pair. I think he can be much better than via Sunderland. As for protection from the ref maybe he should just get on with it.
johnkelv
I would always pick Mario with Kun as our best striking pair. I think he can be much better than via Sunderland. As for protection from the ref maybe he should just get on with it.
johnkelv
I agree in the main, a pet hate is arm chair city fans who call Barry. The guy for me was up there with the best last season and when you watch his contribution from the stands (not from what match of the day decide to show you) it is obvious why. I agree that him and Milner in there should be something we use - they get each other, have played together for some time and that understanding is not evident with any other pairing. Zaba the back end of last and start of this has been our stand out player so far his commitment is outstanding. I think Balo has his moments, but he did come in for some shoking treatment which would irk me if I was in that position - although, I also agree that we need people who are commited to the cause regardless of what is happening - Dzeko can be frustrating sometimes (especially his first touch) but he gives it his all regardless of whether it is the 1st minute or he is coming on in the 81st
GAZMHBLUE
I agree in the main, a pet hate is arm chair city fans who call Barry. The guy for me was up there with the best last season and when you watch his contribution from the stands (not from what match of the day decide to show you) it is obvious why. I agree that him and Milner in there should be something we use - they get each other, have played together for some time and that understanding is not evident with any other pairing. Zaba the back end of last and start of this has been our stand out player so far his commitment is outstanding. I think Balo has his moments, but he did come in for some shoking treatment which would irk me if I was in that position - although, I also agree that we need people who are commited to the cause regardless of what is happening - Dzeko can be frustrating sometimes (especially his first touch) but he gives it his all regardless of whether it is the 1st minute or he is coming on in the 81st
GAZMHBLUE
Imho there's a sense that City have had to rediscover themselves as a unit in the opening couple of months and having done that the squad are showing the swagger of Champions again. Unbeaten in the league going into the West Brom game. I'd have taken that at the outset.
Johnny Baguette
Imho there's a sense that City have had to rediscover themselves as a unit in the opening couple of months and having done that the squad are showing the swagger of Champions again. Unbeaten in the league going into the West Brom game. I'd have taken that at the outset.
Johnny Baguette
 

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