Date:Monday November 6 2006
City don't seem able to buy a goal at the moment no matter hard they try. We saw that very clearly on Saturday when despite creating a host of good chances, not one City player could manage to find the killer goalscoring touch.
Whilst I was trying to solve all of our problems with a fellow Blue the other day, he mentioned something profound that for some reason hadn't really registered with me, which seems so obvious now.
Basically, and not to put to fine a point on it City are complete crap at dead-ball situations and set plays, whether it's a corner or free kick. I hate mentioning the 'B' word, but when you see the goals Beckham ( and others ) seem to be able to score at will, it contrasts sharply with the rubbish we see from our own players.
This lack of dead-ball technique is a massive problem for us, as what should be a reasonable source of goals passes us by with every game. Put together with our inability to score from open play at the moment, things are looking pretty bleak in the goal-scoring department.
We haven't really had a dead-ball specialist since Anelka, and even he was pretty hit and miss (if you excuse the pun). Joey Barton seems to be the current free-kick taker-in-chief, but at every attempt the ball seems to have a strong gravitational attraction to the opposition wall. Every time it's hopefully blasted in the general direction of the wall and nine times out of ten, poses no threat at all and the opportunity is lost.
This lack of dead-ball threat brings me back to a previous hobby-horse of mine, namely the training and coaching of the squad, which apart from not being able to develop technique, also seems to decimate the squad with unnecessary injuries.
Why with all the facilities and coaches can we not get shots in on target? What's wrong with our players that they don't seem to be able to master the most basic of skills?
Pearce needs to get to grips with this quickly and should have a hard look at City's approach training; as well as additional intensive dead-ball practice, some tough decisions will need to be made to sort out a better training regime.
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