Sunday, 8 February 2009

Manchester City 1:0 Middlesbrough: Poor game, Good result.

Yesterday for me was a flat, negative and generally disappointing performance. We managed to carve out a few opportunities, but it took Bellamy to finally take some responsibility and actually take a shot for us to get in front.

I thought yesterday we saw the best and the worst of Steven Ireland, he was lauded by some as a genius yesterday. His diving head move and the ball across of the box are examples of Ireland energy attacking drive. But yesterday his game was littered with mistakes. His passing quality is very poor at least 1/3rd of his balls went adrift. When he gets forward, he doesn't see the options around him. He benefited from Bellamy being very quick to cover his poor final ball. Robinho too was very poor, he was generally taking shots that were not on, but he does have great vision and was still able to release ireland into the box. SWP is another, his work rate was fine, tracking back was great, but going forward he simply ran into trouble every time. He is no doubt going to be suspended now, so a break might do him good.

The team was flat, the tempo was slow and we really were not that good. Two defensive midfielders at home, is that really necessary, especially against a team struggling to get any results at all. Elano is one of the best passers in the league, if Hughes is to persist with Bellamy on his own, we need elano's ability to cut defences in two with a simply pass. Let's not forget how often he was able to release Petrov. Caicedo came on and added bulk, he is skillful and strong, Bellamy would be a lot more effective playing with him, rather than on his own.

The defending again was shaky at times. Both Richards and Bridge caught out on numerous occasions. Richards is simply lazy, walking back whilst Boro are on a break is unacceptable. It was only Given that kept us in the game. A great goalkeeper can win you games, nothing against Hart but it don't think we would of had a clean sheet yesterday if he was in the nets. Given made several top class saves and it was his saves that got the crowd going, and that alone should signal the lack of quality in the final third, we simply didn't do the business.

I would of liked another attacking player on much earlier yesterday, i don't know why we were so risk averse. I would of removed Richards and put Zabaleta at right back.
We have a better side than Boro, we have great creative players, we simply didn't perform. A very laboured performance, we could of had three, but so could of Boro, that doesn't give a fair example of the game. Not a great performance, but three points that puts good amount of difference between us and the bottom group. City are beginning to look functional, but lack all the creative spark and flair that we had at the start of the season. It's not entertaining and difficult to watch.


A quick point on Jo. He has been labeled a misfit, bad influence all sorts of insults and attacks. He has been given 6 starts and Hughes hasn't let him finish one of them. He's a 21 year old, clearly talented striker. He was never given a fair chance Hughes wouldn't use him even when it was obvious we needed height and target in the box. Moyes takes him, a bit of confidence, he came out as a tall Target man, who take on players, use both feet and scored two goals. I find it difficult to see how Hughes failed to get anything out of him. Everton play 5 in the midfield and 1 up top, which isn't very different to what we do. I'm sure our owners will be looking on and questioned why a 19 million investment is playing well away from the club.

11 comments:

Wigan Blue said...

Agree with everything you've said. Elano should have been on for Bellamy at half time. Instead we ground out a result. With the talent we started the season with it's simply unacceptable to play like that at home. And nothing better to look forward to...

dougie said...

Elano on for Bellamy? madness! the only way to fit elano in is to drop Zab to right back and drop richards. dropping bellamy drops our most likely goalscorer - as seen on saturday.

tommytheblue said...

dougie i tend to agree with you as i highlighted in te article, Richards was poor, put zab back to his best position. We were at home, we should be less defensive against a poor boro side.

Elano has bene playing well, Hughes needs to get over what ever he dislikes about elano, he is a greta player. He is starting to produce the goods again, this ownt last if hughes doenst pick him.

bellamy needed to be partned by big felipe.

GAGA said...

Richards wasnt close to be himself yesterday but i dont get the boo boys there was a few behind me constantly giving him abuse, as for taking him off zabaleta was poor himself so it would have had to be a straight swap zabbo for elano. Bellamy looks like he will knock a couple in and wasnt one of our worse players yesterday so why you would takehim off wigan blue i do not know.

tommytheblue said...

Hi Gaga!

We need bellamy as he is the only one who looked like taking a decent shot.

I dont know whats wrong with Richards, but he isnt playign with the same enthusiasm or drive that he had last season. It's a big shame for some one so talented, he seems to be wasting it.

Gary Nolan said...

I see the general view is Richards should have been taken off and he could have been but there was also another 9 apart from him that you could have put Elano on for so he could create something which we are lacking badly, i am not sure what his problem is with Elano but he seems not to like him even though he was coming back to his best. Its also obvious we need a big target man to play with Bellamy, Hughes has just let 1 go on loan and he has Caicedo who he could also give a chance to in that role but he seems to prefer to try and buy an average guy for 20 million. So where Hughes fills these gaps is quite simple for me give Elano a chance and stick Caicedo or could have stuck Jo in for a chance.

tommytheblue said...

Hi garry, i fully agree with your views on the game a said on your blog. Elano on form is one of the best in the league, to not even use him as a sub bemuses me.


Just watching Jo top display again on goals on sunday. He looks aliek a big tall target man who can use both feet, take on players and score.

Wigan Blue said...

I would take Bellamy off full stop. I don't want to see the obnoxious man in a sky blue shirt - ever. He isn't a footballer. We could have had three or four goals had Elano come on, simply because the passing and movement he generates would have involved Robinho, SWP and Stevie in goalmouth action. Instead we got Bellamy's push and rush all through the second half.

wigan blue is a moron said...

Wigan blue r u on smack or sumut nuff said

Wigan Blue said...

Sorry, but you are settling for mediocrity. If you recall, at the start of the season we had three full Brazilian internationals and were the envy of every team in the Premiership. We were playing the best football seen at City since Tony Book was manager. We could have had Kaka - arguably the best player in the world as well, but all he had to do was look at what has happened to his fellow nationals. One is always played out of position. One only gets in the team when Vassell is sick. One gets half a dozen games on his own up front. And the other never got in the team at all. Oh yes, and the manager can't even be bothered to get on a plane to persuade him to come. And you think Bellamy is a step in the right direction?

"We have to learn to walk before we can run". Well I've been watching us learn to walk for 40 years since we last won something. He had the opportunity to hit the ground running and win everything in sight. But he's changed us into a team of plodders. And he's asking us to be patient?

I tell you - smack would be an improvement...

tommytheblue said...

I tell you - smack would be an improvement...

Hahaha