Manchester City Forum - Manchester City vs Watford - 3pm BST Saturday 29th Aug - Barclays Premier League Match Day Thread
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Manchester City vs Watford - 3pm BST Saturday 29th Aug - Barclays Premier League Match Day Thread
27 August 2015 20:24 Post ID: #554514
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The Champions League Draw behind us, time to focus back on the principal business at hand - the Premier League and the City players must continue to demonstrate the same hunger that has so made the pundits start to contemplate having to swallow large slices of humble pie.

Continuing with the culinary theme, the Hors D’oeuvres have gone down a treat with a large helping of Chelsea bashing and the not insignificant matter of avoiding indigestion from the often unpalatable Scouse Dish in the shape of a hard working and difficult Everton. Next on the menu? Premier League new boys, Watford Town.

I have to confess that the blistering start to the season that has been made by the team has confounded my expectations. Exactly what has changed is difficult to put a finger on but there is to my mind an intangible, subtle change in the mentality, the belief and the desire in the squad. Perhaps it is the departure of some of the ‘nay-sayers’ in the shape of Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic whose down at heal looks when sat glumly on the bench must have carried over into training and the general air about the club? Perhaps there is the impact of the removal of the UEFA FFP restrictions both in practical terms in the form of new signings, what they bring to the team in the pressure on places and the balance that we have witnessed on the pitch and also mentally in lifting the cloud that being so hampered might have created? Perhaps it is the confidence that has been given to Pellegrini by the owners and senior managers in the extension of his contract that is feeding through into the players…….

What I do know is that there is not just one factor and coupled with these outlined above plus the club captain finally remembering where he left his mojo, the appearance of the real Mangala and the freedom City’s new shape is affording Silva and Kolarov……..

And what is for certain is that the combination is proving electric, exciting and very, very promising.

But it remains early days and complacency is NOT an option. Watford will come to the newly enhanced Etihad with a ‘nothing to lose’ mentality. No one expects them to win and THAT is where the greatest danger lies. Hopefully now Pellegrini has learnt his lesson in that there are NO easy games in the Premier League and that you underestimate clubs such as Watford at your peril. In the past City have been guilty of stepping off the gas and drifting into a mentality that they just have to turn up to win. Every single member of the squad must be under no illusion that what is required is the same standard of performance that saw off the current Champions and the perennially tricky opponents from down the East Lancs Road. Getting the job done, giving no quarter and NOT relaxing are now absolute givens for this team - no one coasts, no one switches off, you go out and deliver the same irrespective of who the opposition is.

Perhaps that is what I had missed from my earlier list? Perhaps what has changed is that as well as the whirling mass of intangible changes, the ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances which have emerged since the end of last season, that the squad now individually and collectively ‘get’ what is needed to deliver at the highest levels demanded by their owners. They are fully ‘in the zone’.

In more prosaic news Pellegrini has only one player absent from his roster - the injured Pablo Zabaleta. Delph, Fernando and Clichy appear to be available for selection along with new signing Otamendi and so one of the big remaining questions must be - will Pellegrini resist the urge to rotate wildly. Personally I hope that he does so. Something tells me that this is one of those periods when the maxim “Don’t change a winning side” could not be more apt. There is a momentum being built and I would not tinker with the chemistry and the self belief that has been created by the start City have made. This must not be squandered and now is the time to step up to the next level and build on that momentum. Those players WILL get their chance - there are many, many games to come. Patience is a virtue.

What are your views? Would you change the starting eleven?
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27 August 2015 20:51 Post ID: #554515 - in reply to #554514
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So when do you give the others a game? I can see the merits in playing the same 11, but I've always got and supported both Manuel's and Bob's decision to rotate the squad. It's a hell of a long season and I feel we've benefitted towards the end of the season because we've rotated throughout :thinking:
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27 August 2015 21:33 Post ID: #554521 - in reply to #554514
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I thought I recall Pelli saying something like ; "Until Vinnie or Mangala stop playing well, Ottamendi doesn't get a game". Not an exact translation but something like that.

If the story is true and Mangala was furious at the suggestion of being a loan to clinch the Ottamendi deal and he wanted to prove himself, then the boss will probably give him a run to prove himself. Anymore 'headless chicken' moments and he gets benched and in comes our fourth main Argie. But Pelli will give him a chance as he is a fair and decent human being.

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27 August 2015 21:38 Post ID: #554523 - in reply to #554514
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It is a long season C . There are bound to be changes and rotating for the sake of it upsets the momentum and when the opportunity for a replacement comes, then it is down to that player to show his stuff.

We no longer look predictable where teams just pack the centre, we have attacking capability left right and centre and is beautiful to watch, even the tough games like Everton.

I think we will get better as we strengthen even more.
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27 August 2015 21:40 Post ID: #554525 - in reply to #554514
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I'd go with the same XI. I'm sure there'll be opportunity to rotate following the international break given players travelling far and wide and the potential to pick up injuries representing their countries. On that note I see that Yaya has requested to be left out of Ivory Coast's upcoming fixtures ( I presume they're just friendlies? ), hopefully he's granted his request.

It's a difficult balancing act with such a deep squad, you have to keep everyone sharp but don't want to upset momentum, then there's egos to consider on top of that.
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27 August 2015 21:51 Post ID: #554528 - in reply to #554523
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Buzz Lightyear - 27/8/2015 21:38

It is a long season C . There are bound to be changes and rotating for the sake of it upsets the momentum and when the opportunity for a replacement comes, then it is down to that player to show his stuff.


Absolutely, but the problem is, if they haven't played a competitive game for weeks\months, it's difficult, if not impossible to hit the ground running :thinking:
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27 August 2015 22:06 Post ID: #554535 - in reply to #554514
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It is the same each season C, that why we never get the best out of the Berti because they are not match fit unless they play regularly and it does not work with rotation, but I am sure that is why Pellers gets paid mega bucks to sort it.

The other point I'd make is that you always play your best fittest team, we have tinkered with the cup comps and I assume we still will, but Pellers in my opinion has played his best team in the three starts.

I am sure that come Saturday we may well all pick the starting team again. A first for the VMC members who entered the comp v Everton.

I just can't see where he would give anyone else a go just yet.
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28 August 2015 07:51 Post ID: #554539 - in reply to #554514
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It's difficult to change a winning team that is playing so well.

Then again, as CZ says, how do the fringe players stay match-fit whilst sitting on the bench for extended periods.

The answer is probably rotation, but on a gradual, calculated level. Players need to be kept in the loop in training and brought into play as subs with 20 minutes to go here and there a few times and then given a start the next game.

It's a regular conundrum so it is.
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28 August 2015 09:02 Post ID: #554540 - in reply to #554514
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Just a thought but if a game is going well ie suppose that after 60 minutes we are 3-0 up against Watford (for sake of example) and in control of the game then give two players half an hour ie Bony for Aguero and Nasri for Sterling or Otamendi for Mangala and Clichy for AK13 - that way they would get more minutes rather than coming on at the 85 minute mark star players would be protected. It would also leave one player on he berti in case of a later injury etc.

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28 August 2015 11:15 Post ID: #554542 - in reply to #554514
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:eek:



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28 August 2015 11:16 Post ID: #554543 - in reply to #554514
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FFS :doh!:That is NOT what we want to see :no:

Listed on Physioroom as an 'ankle/foot' injury with no return date yet. Presumably a training ground incident unless he tripped over a rug at home. Either way looks serious enough to keep him out for a while.

Young Iheanacho may get some game time earlier than he thought.
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28 August 2015 11:29 Post ID: #554547 - in reply to #554514
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either that or we sign a striker asap
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28 August 2015 11:42 Post ID: #554548 - in reply to #554514
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I hope we don't panic buy because of this. Ian is supposedly 3rd striker for a reason, and we can also play Raheem and Merlin or (hopefully) Kevin up front. Oh!, and that young Kun lad is quite good
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28 August 2015 11:47 Post ID: #554549 - in reply to #554540
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kennyclementstache - 28/8/2015 09:02

Just a thought but if a game is going well ie suppose that after 60 minutes we are 3-0 up against Watford (for sake of example) and in control of the game then give two players half an hour ie Bony for Aguero and Nasri for Sterling or Otamendi for Mangala and Clichy for AK13 - that way they would get more minutes rather than coming on at the 85 minute mark star players would be protected. It would also leave one player on he berti in case of a later injury etc.



This highlights the other big problem we've got though. How do you play the kids if you're having to use your substitutes to keep older squad players near match fitness. Conundrum indeed!

Nice problem to have though :thinking:
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28 August 2015 13:10 Post ID: #554550 - in reply to #554514
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Bony just has a cut on his leg according to Pellers.
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28 August 2015 14:35 Post ID: #554554 - in reply to #554514
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Well that's good to hear but the massive protective boot seems a bit of an over-reaction! I was thinking ligaments when I saw that. Let's hope it heals quickly :-)
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28 August 2015 14:52 Post ID: #554558 - in reply to #554550
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These guys are worth millions I am surprised they don't wrap them in cotton wool
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