Johnny On The Spot - January Review
#MIND THE GAP...While there weren't quite the pastings dished out in terms of goals scored within one game that Manchester City's scintillating midwinter football often merited in January, Pep Guardiola's mercury men still averaged more than three goals scored per game taking their total for the season through the 100 barrier against Alan Pardiola's dreadful West Bromwich Albion. In light of that fact it seems churlish, almost cluelessly Collymore-Brazilesque to bemoan the spurning of golden chances by City's forwards throughout a magnificent seven pulsating contests but if some of the more simple opportunities had gone in, the ride would have been much more brandy and cigars.
This was always going to be an attritional, pivotal run of games in the context of what the club is striving to achieve this season and City's manager has recognized the lung bursting effort it took to deliver nine more league points from a possible twelve, secure a League Cup final and ensure FA Cup progress ahead of our return to European action in Switzerland. Regardless of the result at Burnley this weekend, City's players will be stood down for three days to do whatever they please to unwind within insurance guidelines. I understand that the hiring of Dutch taxi drivers is forbidden.
The grinding aspect of these results was intensified by some of the most appalling refereeing that this correspondent has seen in the English top flight. The gobsmacking leniency afforded to some shocking fouls on City players in December continued into the new year unchecked and one hopes it reached it's zenith in the Cardiff and West Brom turkey shoots. When you consider Kyle Walker's pisspoor dismissal against Everton in our opening home fixture last summer, the laissez-faire of the officials is all the more galling.
The injuries to key City players that Carlton Pogba of transfer champions the Stretford Galacticos declared unchallenged on Football Focus he would like to see prior to the wave of flailing boots have subsequently er, kicked in. Foden, Sane and Jesus have all literally fallen foul of the gutter tactics and we can be immensely thankful that Gundogan, De Bruyne and David Silva who were all openly targeted have not joined them in long term absence.
Through all of this the City juggernaut has maintained its course and the platform to realise the titles for what could yet become known as the greatest football show on earth has been built.
How Did Johnny Do?
City 7 Watford 0 W
City 2 Burnley 1 W
City 3 Bristol 1 W
Liverpool 2 City 2 D
City 5 Newcastle 0 W
Bristol 2 City 2 D
(Cardiff 0 City 2 W N/A)
City 4 West Bromwich Albion 0 W
And Lo It Came To Pass…
City 3 Watford 1 W
City 4 Burnley 1 W
City 2 Bristol 1 W
Liverpool 4 City 3 L
City 3 Newcastle 1 W
Bristol 2 City 3 W
(Cardiff 0 City 2 W N/A)
City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0 W
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