Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Monday February 12 2007
There are some websites around where criticism of anything Manchester City is taboo. Regardless of the direction the club is heading in, criticism is seen as treason and your loyalty as a supporter is brought into question. The message to those websites and their contributors has to be wake up, smell the coffee and welcome to the real world. Manchester City are in trouble and in real danger of going down if two of the four teams below us can find some form.
After Saturday's game much gloss was put on yet another defeat, with pointers being made to an improved performance. The problem is last weeks defeat to Reading was also an improved performance and that also ended in defeat. A remaining 12 games of improved performances will count for little unless Stuart Pearce and his team can deliver where it matters, that is by winning games.
City were simply awful in the first 45 minutes at Pompey. The 5-3-2 formation that served the team well over Christmas isn't working. Perhaps the calibre of opposition is responsible for that; Harry Redknapp certainly highlighted City's formation as being one to be exploited.
The second half was rather better on the eye than the yellow shirts for those of the blue persuasion. Corradi's headed equaliser left you wondering why he can't do that consistently and for a short time afterwards City threatened. Unfortunately the defence has now lowered its once fine standards and Kanu found himself unmarked on 81 minutes to seal the points for Pompey and put City in the bottom five.
A couple of interesting points emerged from the game. Barton's foul on Mendes. Was it deliberate and therefore worthy of a red card? Sorry I can't tell you whether it was deliberate or not. Only Joey knows that, not I, nor Stuart Pearce and certainly not Harry Redknapp. The referee called it as he saw it just as he did with the two penalties for handball that he didn't give City's way. For Portsmouth and their supporters to compare it with Thatcher's assault on the same player earlier in the season is ridiculous. I ask if it had been Dabo, Ireland or Sun who had committed the same foul would there have been such an outcry? Quite simply no.
Finally I can't stand Fratton Park. Pundits claim it is intimidating and has a great atmosphere. Well if you like drums, bells and der der na na sort of noise I suppose your right. For me it's a ramshackle hovel that needs demolishing. And someone please give the fans something interesting to sing. It isn't atmosphere it's noise and bloody awful noise at that.
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Date:Monday February 12 2007
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