Writer: Lorna Silva
Date:Friday November 30 2012
The Citizens are stepping up to the plate...After a shaky start, the season is finally beginning to take shape, albeit the team still seem a little shaky when it comes to the start of each match but by half time each player seems to come into himself and get the feel of the game.
Sadly, I may be seen to begin to fall on my sword when it comes to Javi Garcia. If you make a comparison to either James Milner or Gareth Barry then it is quite clear that Garcia has not quite got to grips with the machinations of the Premier League. Granted, he has not had a vast amount of 'play time' due to injury and yes, it is still early days (on the grand scale of things) so...lets give him till the end of the season and see how he has fared by then. Are we missing Nigel de Jong...I would say Yes!!
James Milner has again proved to be a strong player. He sat and quietly observed the Wigan game from the bench and knew exactly where the weaknesses were and when called upon by Roberto Mancini this was instantly relayed to Barry (and David Silva) who then proceeded to run rings around the Wigan defence leaving Milly to do his own thing. In the 72nd minute, what a piece of 'left to do his own thing' perfection that was! Shame he picked up the hamstring injury.
Silva, with the slightest touch, is back to his usual flamboyant manner with reckless courage oozing in midfield...he simply purred against Wigan. As always for me, he is such a delight to watch. Mancini, in the midst of his substitutions was criticised, to say the least by fans and commentators, by the fact that he had left Mario Balotelli up front on his own after taking Sergio Aguero off. This proved to be a bloody good decision as Silva created the chance for Balotelli to score on a rebound.
Forever temperamental, Balotelli was obviously frustrated in the first half due to failing to get any chances but soon snapped to life in the 69th minute and his energy shone through. He is a player that we really don't want to see leave City. Half the supporters say 'out' but the other half say 'stay'. I know which side I am on. One would only have to look at Sergio Aguero to know that you can't always be firing and scoring 100% all of the time, which is something sadly Kun did not do on Wednesday.
The one person who praise has been heaped upon by the bucketful is Matija Nastasic. What a superb player the 19 year old has proved to be. His composure on the ball, reading of opponents attacking intentions and his calm tackling and closing down space, all point to the obvious fact that he just slotted into his role in central defence as if he was tailored made for the position alongside Vincent Kompany. At such a young age, to show such grit is a good omen and this in itself bodes well for him to possibly become a 'spot on' defender who will prove invaluable. He works well with the captain and I am pleased with Mancini for finally picking a player to work with Kompany and sticking with his choice.
The one person who never got to step onto the pitch on Wednesday night's match against Wigan was Carols Tevez and that makes me wonder if he had, would the score have been higher? What a fantastic player he is. Tevez commits wholeheartedly every time he steps onto the pitch. When others tire he continues and never lets anything pass him by.
All of these players combined are fast becoming The Blues we saw last season, in the thick of it all, defending, attacking, scoring and never ceasing to amaze. We hit a lull by drawing a little too many times, even though those draws have saved our hide and we still remain unbeaten, but to begin scoring again as we did 'back in the day' is a welcome sight and a mighty relief.
And so to this weekend. Have we got what it takes to keep the likes of Everton player, Kevin Mirallas, at bay? Mirallas is known for his adept ability at bursting forward, at speed on the counter. He is one to keep an eye on. The Toffees clash will not be easy you can be sure of that!
From what I have seen at the games this season, following the goals we conceded initially, our main focus had to be upon shoring up our defence and midfield. We seem to be back on track.
all times East Manchester
Sa 01Dec 15h00 Everton, The Etihad, PL
Tu 04Dec 19h45 B Dortmund, Signal Iduna Park, CL
Su 09Dec 13h30 The rags, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15Dec 12h45 Newcastle, St James' Park, PL
Sa 22Dec 15h00 Reading, The Etihad, PL
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL
Date:Friday November 30 2012
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