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City 0 - Birmingham 0

Eastlands

15.00

Attendance: 44,501

Pressure Increases With Another Stalemate

As the full time whistle blew and the dark, cold night was settling in, Eastland`s wasn`t a place for the faint hearted. Boo`s rang out, criticism was fired at Mancini from pillar to post and a deflated City side left the pitch, again failing to score, making it five consecutive hours without a home goal.

After the derby day slaughtering the manager and players received, nothing could have lifted spirits more than a crushing victory over Birmingham, a side who crumpled 5-1 to a pulsating City side last year managed by Mancini.

However, with goals becoming less frequent than sun amongst the City, it was again, one of those days.

Roberto Mancini felt the harsh criticism of the media and City fans with his tactical decisions in the derby, today the criticism doubled, but is what we`re really witnessing the managers fault? Can the blues boss pop up with that clinching strike or diving header?

Agreed, over recent weeks the cautious set-up has been far from ideal and certainly frustrating, but with 16 attempts at goal surely that demonstrates a different approach than what we`ve been witnessing?

Mancini isn`t blame-less, but neither are half the team.

The chances weren`t presented enough in a dour first half and that was recognised. Despite, Johnson`s inclusion- after more media backlash- he again proved why he is much more effective as a super-sub, for now anyway.

We didn`t look a side full of confidence and are attacking play was steady rather than explosive, we were measured rather than crazy and we had chances to defeat a resolute Birmingham side, but they were ultimately not taken.

Portraying a striker fed-up with his lack of service, Carlos Tevez tended to sit deep and try to orchestrate the encounter. It nearly worked when his magical ball found Johnson and with Silva also waiting for the tap-in the England midfielder struck wide, missing the game`s first great opportunity.

Looking more resurgent and desperate in the second half- after a chorus of boos and probably a managerial dressing down- City attacking more willingly.

30 seconds into the second half, the pendulum should have swung in City`s favour. James Milner had two fantastic opportunities to get the opening goal and he would have if it wasn`t for the interventions of both Foster and Carr.

Still, City pressed. All the pieces of the jigsaw weren`t coming together perfectly, but chances were coming and the intensity of the players had changed.

With a resurgent defensive line who would literally throw anything in the away of City`s attacks- Scott Dann`s head for one- it wasn`t easy to break them down.

Despite this, it was becoming more apparent that one goal would seal the encounter- something both sides knew- with Birmingham coming close on two occasions with Jerome leading their line.

Countless pressure wasn`t proving significant enough, Tevez had a great chance after Santa Cruz hassled the away side`s midfield, but the finishing was woeful.

De Jong also had the chance to get on the score sheet for the first time in a City shirt, his curling effort tested Foster, it was still inadequate.

Time was quickly running out and with Tevez taken off for Barry, it was hard to see where the goal was going to come from.

All those chances and pressure and the goal never did come. Instead, the scrutiny of City just increased and the poor results are far from pleasing.

However, this is our football club, a team that most have followed through the thick and thin of Division 2, so are the problems we`re experiencing now really that bad?

Star Player

DE Jong- Played very well, again.

Player Ratings


Hart-6

Had very little to do.

Boateng-6

Defensively solid, needs to attack more.

Kompany-7

Very Solid.

Toure-7

Had no problems.

Kolarov-7

Was good to see him back, hopefully will prove a great buy.

DE Jong- 8

Again was solid, was the midfield link.

Y.Toure-5

Laboured, lethargic, poor.

Johnson-6

Maybe he is better coming off the bench?

Silva-6

Didn't have that support he needed.

Milner-5

Should have scored early on in the second half and failed to beat his man too many times.

Tevez-6

Ran around like crazy again, but probably should have found the net.

Zabaleta-6

Late replacement for Kolarov.

Santa Cruz-5

The quicker he goes the better.

Barry-5

Too late to make an impact, especially when he was brought on for Tev.




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The journalist

Writer: Yak Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 13 2010

Time: 6:42PM

Your Comments

Would somone kindly tell me when the pressure won't be on?
fifthcolumnblue
Great article OAB The knee jerk Mancini out is in my view premature we all need the success. Having said this we do need to up the tempo to beat teams such as B'ham yes they were organised yes they were here for the point but we still need to structure a team to beat this sort of approach (groundhog day) It always felt that one goal could have been a repeat of last year...but of course it wasn't as for the Tevez sub ..he has a strategy that us mortals comprehend
taggarts nose
Tired of the kneejerking and the booing fans really riled me up. Some of the chants were disgraceful. What has happened to our fanbase, the money and pressure (via the media) has driven them crazy. We had the chances, we had a disallowed goal that I am quite confident wasn't handball, we had a goal cleared off the line, we had a total of around 20 shots on target. The media is all over us and using the booing as justification to call us boring when we attacked for 80 minutes and Birmingham parked the bus. Without a Balotelli or maybe even Adebayor to support Tevez, we didn't have sufficient cutting edge. BTW, Mancini was completely right about Johnson, he is no better than an impact sub at this point. Every time he plays 90 minutes, he disappears constantly and has very limited impact on the game. The media, in an attempt to destroy another young English career by convincing Johnson he is god's gift, are trying to pressure us to play him all the time when Silva is twice the player he is at present.
StuMCFC
In the famous scouse words,the muppets who were booing vociferously today,need to calm dowm.As sheep,they are too easily led by the media,who do not want city to succeed.Look at the facts.Up to today mancini's team had scored more league goals than redknapp's team.God forbid anybody say redknapp is defensive.On Wednesday,according to opta stats we had more attempts than the scum.Today,we had 21 attempts,which does not look like a defensive set up.Why let the truth and undeniable facts get in the way of media frenzy,lies and character assassination of Mancini.Today we could see why Johnson does not start games,he was awful.He needs to concentrate on recapturing last season's form and not believe the hype.By the way,we are still in 4th place.
giolib921
Barry for Tevez? Ugh. Gotto be the worst substitution ever.
JT_daniel
Wasn't pleased with that substitution either but that's besides the point. The 'pressure ' is being created by certain sections of the media and so doesn't reflect what goes on within the club and so should be ignored.
Oziman
 

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