Date:Sunday September 24 2006
All Blues, both on and off the pitch must have breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday when the final whistle went and a desperately needed victory and more importantly, three invaluable points had been secured against a shaky-looking West Ham.
I can't remember the last time City enjoyed back-to-back victories in the Premiership ( I'm sure one of you anoraks out there will tell me), and our next game against Everton is perhaps not the game we would have wanted next up as City strive to put a bit of a run together, but we can't change the fixture list and Psycho and the team will just have to get on with it.
Although yesterday's game was not a classic by any means, the team had a much better balance about it which Pearce now needs to maintain and not be tempted to tinker with.
Strike partnerships don't just happen, they need to develop and although Samaras took yestrday's honours, Corradi supported him well and although still early days, their partnership shows a lot of potential, as long as they get the right service. Both strikers will know that Vassell will be back soon and that they also face intense competition from the precocious Sturridge and the rapidly improving Etuhu.
On the left, Miller was a revelation showing raw power and blistering pace. He's crying out for an extended run in the team to boost his confidence and hone his skills; he'll scare a lot of defences this season.
The defence pretty much picks itself at the moment, which really only leaves one spot up for grabs in the midfield and that seems to be a straightforward choice between Dabo and Hamann. Didi didn't have the best of games yesterday, but he's a quality player and still building up to full match fitness and will come good.
Just like Miller, Hamann needs some games under his belt to recapture his Liverpool form and I would give him the nod over Dabo at the moment, but only just. Reyna for me, doesn't justify a starting place, although he's not a bad option to have on the bench.
It's a great opportunity for individuals to stake their claims for their places, and they will know that when City's injury list begins to sort itself out in a few weeks, that they will face intense competition to keep their places, something that can only be good for the club.
Let's leave the team as it is for now and give them a chance to gel together. Even if we don't get a result at Goodison next week, let's have a bit of team stability for a while, injury and suspension permitting of course.
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