Date:Saturday August 7 2010
After a disappointing Pre-Season- with transactions being the focal point, City secured victory in their final outing. Goals from Gareth Barry and another pre-season goal from Jo ensured the Sky Blues left Eastlands happier than their Spanish counterparts.
With an A-list fixture ending the warm-up to the Premier League countdown, the travelling fans would have expected an improvement on our previous results and performances. However, with fitness the key and the need to integrate players high in Mancini`s priority, this game again was never set to be a classic. 21 players managed to pull on the City shirt before the final whistle-Micah Richards the only player to last the 90, with that turnover, the encounter lacked fluency and the skill we had hoped for, but it gave us a great chance to watch some of our summer signings for the first time.
Mancini`s line-up was key, possibly this was set to be the side we start at White Hart Lane with? It was very interesting to see that Kompany had been paired with the adaptable Boateng in the heart of defence. His reading of the game was similar to Kompany`s, his distribution excellent and his versatility even more impressive. The back four was youthful, but what they lacked in experience they made up for in their energy and tenacity. Kolarov looks set to be the next Joey Barton, every set-piece really did have his name on it.
It was also fascinating to witness a midfield trio of De Jong, Barry and Toure for the first time. They gave what was expected, even Barry popped up with a rare goal made from the brilliant cross of Boateng`s. Toure instantly looks at home and out of the three looked to attack more freely coming close on one occasion with a well struck shot, fortunately for Nige we won`t mention his attempts at goal. New signing David Silva started and lasted half an hour receiving standing ovations from both sets of fans, if were counting the 30 Valencia fans. His touch and technique looks a step up, used in a creative role behind the strikers he also came close with his left footed swipe narrowly going over.
Adebayor and Tevez operated as the front men, with Tevez also only lasting the 30 minutes with Silva. With rumours of Ade moving to Juventus it would have been great for him to put in an all action display, but as we`ve noticed too often the smiley laboured character looks more interested in making friends than scoring goals. Even the cast-aside Jo looks a better bet for the 25 man squad. After coming off the bench- the Brazilian who went on loan to both Everton and Galatasaray last season, hit the post after some neat footwork and then scored after Patrick Vieira caused confusion in the Valencia box. Adam Johnson also showed glimpses of why England were so mad to leave him out but he didn`t get the just reward he deserved.
This perhaps wasn`t the enthralling performance we had anticipated but with the fitness improving and the new signings joining up with the rest of the squad all eyes are on Mancini for his selection of 25.
Who`s in your 25? Have your say in the City forums.
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Date:Saturday August 7 2010
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