Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Sunday March 4 2007
City of Manchester Stadium
I wonder if it's dawning on players, management and club apologists that City are in freefall and looking a good bet for relegation at this stage? Of the eleven games remaining four are against the top four sides with the remaining seven offering no bankers. The two games in hand are Chelsea at home and Arsenal away. Add to that the fact that we can't score goals, a prerequisite of winning football matches, and it's easy to see which way the club is heading.
This fixture was another of those must win fixtures that should have seen City climb clear of relegation trouble. Problem is the team were still in Dubai. Well they might as well have been for all the effort and commitment they displayed in this fixture.
A two week break between fixtures should have given the management and squad time to prepare for this fixture. Instead we as supporters, sorry customers, are treated to seeing the squad go on a jolly lad`s beano to Dubai for no reason whatsoever. Pearce will say it was to prepare the squad, but as he himself admitted, in a masterstroke of understatement, they were slow out of the blocks yesterday.
The problem seems to be that none of them give two hoots. If Manchester City get relegated they'll either move elsewhere or continue to bleed the club dry in a lower division.
Loyalty doesn't come into it and the blame for that lies firmly at the feet of those at the top. That the club can lose £7 million in just six months is criminal. That we are the sixth highest wage payers in the Premiership is irresponsible. If you want to spend nothing on transfers but top dollar on wages your going to get nothing other than mercenaries, and it is that policy that is dragging the club down.
The game itself was typical of the fare served up this season. Wigan wanted it more, were better prepared and had a plan. City were clueless. Ireland is not good enough in a midfield four. Weaver was at fault for the Wigan goal (why didn't he attack ball and man instead of standing and admiring). Trabelsi was rightly substituted early on but in truth any of them could have been replaced. Samaras was crap as was Corradi, however in fairness to the strikers nothing is ever created for them. Four attempts on goal in a home fixture speaks volumes and is in stark contrast to the manager's opinion that we are creating plenty of chances.
Wigan deserved their fourth Premiership victory over City and should now pull clear from the drop zone. City, it seems, are the club who were smoking the cigars too early and find themselves in a spiral they can't escape from.
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Date:Sunday March 4 2007
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