Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Wednesday April 18 2007
My apologies first of all. I've been away for the last few weeks and haven't had the opportunity to report on the games or add to my usual negative comments about the club.
Thankfully the target of my rantings of late, our beloved but inept manager, has stood up and faced the flak and delivered the results that his team should have been capable of earlier in the season.
Credit must be given where it's due and I am happy for Pearce that he was able to deliver and keep the club in the Premiership.
Whether he'll get another crack next season is still up in the air. Based on his complete record at City (rather than his last six games) I would get rid but I accept that there are those of lesser ambition who are happy to watch negative, unimaginative football as long as it is seen that we are giving someone a twenty year trial because it worked at United.
On to the football and you'll have to forgive me if I cannot comment on all the games since Boro.
The Newcastle win was a solid performance against a poor Newcastle side. The defence was solid again and Mpenza showed once more the value of proper striker in your side as his clinical finish sealed the points. Newcastle could have levelled late on but the crossbar intervened and City had back to back away wins.
On to Charlton at home and not so much a 'must win' as it could have been. Despite a bright start City once more settled into their usual home team mediocrity and again failed to score. The point suited City rather more than Charlton but showed how poor a home side we have become.
Two days later and the bright spot of 2007. A 3-1 win at Fulham was as good as it's been in this year and it was a deserved result on the back of some clinical counter attacking. Coleman was sacked shortly afterwards as Fulham got there selves dragged into the relegation mire City have left behind them.
With safety virtually assured the next opposition was Liverpool at home. While I applaud any sort of point against a top four side, Liverpool were there for the taking. That our management spoke highly of getting a point against Liverpool speaks volumes of their ability to do the job. We should be able to adapt to what is in front of us and this Liverpool side had one eye on their champion`s league semi. That we kept the unadventurous one up front shape for ninety minutes without adapting one iota speaks volumes. That the management was happy with the performance should tell all those who think Pearce should be given longer what brand of football that they can expect regardless of the level of funding available to him. The game itself was little short of a pre-season friendly and we failed to score at home again.
I'll briefly touch on last night's game as I only caught the second half. City were surprisingly unlucky from what I saw. Although Arsenal dominated possession there was little to suggest they deserved the 3-1 scoreline. What did perplex me however was Pearce's decision to throw two strikers up in the second half. If he can do this away at Arsenal why not at home against a Liverpool team that clearly weren't trying?
All in all however the last six games have brought a good haul of points. The team is now all but safe and planning must begin for next season. If there is to be a takeover let's hope it comes soon. If not the board must make some big decisions and start to move this club forward. I still fear that we'll lose two or three of the bigger names and can't fail but emphasise with Sylvain Distin's view that the club needs to show some ambition.
Date:Wednesday April 18 2007
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