Merry Christmas all! Keep out the doom and gloom for this one!
Today was a nice treat, and it was great to see the players actually put a bit of effort it. We have been waiting for a result like this for some time, i was beginning to question why it hadn't happened! This is our 1st win in December, which meant we have been festering down at the bottom of the table. We are back above spurs now with an extra point and a brilliant goal average.
A win was much needed. Hughes is under pressure and needed to show the squad was on his side today. I noticed pre-game glauber, clayton, evans, ben haim and hamann were being beasted on the pitch, I'm not entirely sure why but they didn't looked like they enjoyed it. The team gathered in a huddle before kickoff which showed there is some unity in the side. I was delighted to see Hughes picked our best squad. Caicedo deserved his chance, he should of been given earlier. Elano was a great addition today, it shouldn't be a problem for Hughes to deal with a player who's only gripe is he wants to play for the club more. He came out today and showed how good he is. I mentioned this early in the season, his role in collecting the ball from the back goes largely unnoticed but it's blessing as it allows us to build up play with our better players. Robinho returned and SWP played out right instead of vassell. Stevie Ireland plays better when he has better players around him, funny that!
The 1st half was great for the fans, we deserved it after some of the performances recently. Big Felipe Caicedo showed the power of having a striker who hold he ball, dribble and shoot. He is a young lad and hopefully will be given time to develop at city along side Henry, Villa and Ibrahimovic. Ireland was inspired today apart from his shooting, they were pretty hard chances but he seem to hit them all the same way. Robinho was Brazilliant along with elano who cam back with a bang, Hughes needs to keep him motivated. Swp was unlucky to score, his 1st effort should of been in, but again a great game. Kompany sat deep and showed why he has been the most consistent top performer this season.
Hull's attacker were sporadic in the 1st half, Ball looked the most vulnerable at the back, with Hart second. Phill Brown gave has side a good going over in front of the hull fans at half time and it did improve their performance in the second half. City were always going to be less than great in the second half, 4-0 there it little motivation to push on. Jo and Onouha came on and we looked awkward.
Our Defence is still the problem. Dunnie had a much improved game today, but he still had shaky moments against king and gives away needless corners through poor clearances. Onouha came on and was an improvement on Richards, he looked up for it and did what he was supposed to do. Zabaleta was great again, he is a quality right back, i think he will enjoy his time in the premier league, he has no time for show pony's. Ball wasn't so great, couple of good tackles, but otherwise he was easily skinned, struggled to deal with the hull attack. We need a excellent left back to replace him not bridge. Joe Hart to looks shaky, I'm not confident at set pieces that his punches work, his distribution is a joke, we must lose the ball most times he kicks it out.
The work starts here. I really hope Hughes can build on this, I've said that plenty of times before. I'm not a fan of Hughes, but he is going to be here for the rest of the season at least, and i want my team to do well. Our attacking play is brilliant at times, Hughes need to be able to harness that and sort out the charade at the back. Picking Elano today, meant Hughes went up in my estimation. He did what was right for the team not for his own ego. Blackburn is next, crunch tie against Allerdyce at Hughes former club. Needless to say, but it's has to be 3 point and nothing less if we are to go into the transfer window with a decent position, it may help our course in attracting someone, anyone, better than bellamy!
Hart: shaky at corners, poor distribution 6
Zabaleta: strong tough tackler, great character. top player 8
dunne: better today, some faults, but create run up the pitch. 7
Richards: only played a half, didn't do much. 6
Ball: wasn't all that great, couple of decent tackles. vulnerable, extra work for dunne.5
Kompany: He is always in the right position, great work rate along with ability.8
Swp: Unlucky not to score today, three clear chances. Great to see him out right, or strongest flank with pablo pushing forward. 8
Ireland: Brilliant performance, great run into the box, got a goal himself. Top effort from him. 9
Robinho Skillful, elegant, could of had more than 2. Can score tap In's as well and beautifully crafted strikes. At his best today. 9
Elano: the carrier in the midfield. majestic passing, 90 mins of class. 8
Caicedo: He much be the most prolific player we have considering he has probably had less than one game in total to score 4. Big strong, skillful, in the right places in the box. A proper striker at last.8
Onouha: good solid, dependable. 7
Jo: The lad looks wrecked confidence wise. Put himself about, goes down to easy but won his fair share. He will need allot of time, city fans are not so forgiving due to his price tag, if he was an academy player he would be given the luxury (like a certain welsh striker). He is after all, only 21, i wont accept that he is shit, he wouldn't of partnered pato at the Olympics if he was. 6
Is this the start of Hughes fightback or another false dawn?