Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Sunday December 24 2006
City of Manchester Stadium
It all started to go downhill around this time last year. Boxing Day saw us humbled 4-3 at Wigan and the rot well and truly set in. Another North-West derby defeat yesterday confirmed the fears of many blues.... this team is in a relegation fight when it doesn't look capable of showing any fight.
Perhaps Stuart Pearce should take a look at the opposition goalscorer because that is what the club is quite clearly missing. Pearce suggests Anelka 'could have been world class' if he had stayed at one club throughout his career. Sorry Stu but the guy is world class and was when he was at City. He was also delivering at 17 years of age for Arsenal. Strange that, especially when our £6 million investment finds himself dropped to the bench with lots to learn at 22 and replaced in the side by Paul Dickov. It really does speak volumes, as does the number of Pearce signings absent from the starting line-up.
That Anelka should score was inevitable. That he should highlight his old club's inadequacies is lamentable. This is Stuart Pearce's side now and it quite simply isn't delivering.
Bolton were worth their victory without really trying. People can blame Mike Riley for his incorrect sending off of Barton or the linesman for not calling Dickov's header a goal. But when all is said and done City do not look like scoring in any fixture at the moment and as a result don't look like winning games.
Sheffield United and West Ham are now crucial. Defeat in both and it could be Pearce's final act. The board may need to be strong for once, let's hope it doesn't come to that.
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Date:Sunday December 24 2006
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