Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bolton Wanderers 2, Manchester City 3: Andy's Corner

Periodic Analysis & Opinion from Andrew, Supporter's Club Social Secretary:
Hey all, Andy here with another commentary on last weekend’s 2-3 win over Bolton Wanderers. As usual with City, it wasn’t always pretty, but unlike many years past we got the job done.

While Kompany continues to be a thoughtful player and attempts to maintain his competencies as a captain, it would seem when faced with playing along Joleon Lescott and Aleksander Kolarov, he experiences issues to communicate with his defence.
Lescott, while advancing in several improvements (more patient, less carless), seems to not know his full role in the alternative center back. Making several key stops, he also appeared to have a tendency to lose his fluidity with the midfield, and only gave a B to B+ performance if you ask me.
Kolarov persists with his inconsistency, and, as I have said before, seems to be frustrated with his clipped wingback position. He does his best when he is as understated as possible as a defender, and can push up just enough that he can get a volley or two at goal, which he did get one, utilizing his cracking left foot, but as a defender was easily the most confused and useless.
Micah Richards is a much more competent wingback, and does not cease to impress me as our choice for most active attacking defender.

Now, given the fact that the normally discordant Gareth  Barry score an amazing strike of a goal, had the heart to do it, and had a steady stream of excellently placed passes to our defenders, you’d think I’d give a higher score to our midfield.
With that being said, our loss of Nigel de Jong to a small injury was immediately visible – Yaya cannot be expected to play a full on holding midfielder role (it’s just not in his blood), and Milner, who is progressing at a truly impressive rate compared to last year’s campaign, also enjoys a bit of active freedom to get on the wings and in the attack. While it might be nice to see Mancini replacing our normally defensive positions with more attacking minding midfield, it seemed to not suit the three men (who rarely play together in tandem), and while more than enough to handle Bolton, this midfield will not work in the more difficult league, cup, and European matchups.
Yaya was surprisingly understated as well, which took things down a notch for me in midfield, but that may be because of our new-look attack, which follows…

FINALLY, my boy Džeko appears to have found his way in the world. He was, along with the all-conquering David Silva, the best thing on the pitch on Sunday. His ability to parry a healthy attacking mindset (which delivered him arguably his first self-made goal in City blue) with excellent vision and unselfish aerial passing gives me the belief he was close to being man of the match. While still slow and a bit want to lose possession, with Kun Agϋero  as a defender-drawing partner, and the ever-creative Silva to distribute balls to him (ahem), Edin Džeko looked good enough to question the use of the pernicious Balotelli at all in the new lineup, barring any injury, and with 2 big goals in 2 games, begins to add the sort of “other threat” mentality needed in attack when defenses have planned heavily to contain Agϋero, Tévez, Silva, Balotelli, and now new signing Samir Nasri.
Lastly, a word about Tévez – first, I was glad to see him receive an ovation, if not a full on standing one, for coming on the pitch. We are forever indebted to him for his 110% performances last year, and would not have been able to get the FA Cup, or 3rd place, without him. While off of the pitch frankly a nuisance, he has earned his place in City history and will always get a nod of respect from me in his style of play.
Now that that’s out of the way, for me, he looked like he didn’t really need to be there. It is only one game, and I do not think for a second if he stays until January (or ever farther) that he will not have performances that remind us of why he was able to share the Golden Boot last year, but with our other attackers performing almost better as a unit, despite all 3 of them not being a City player nearly as long as Tévez, he again began to take massive control of the ball and rarely seemed to be in parlance with our attack over the 20 or so minutes he played. Again, I believe that he will impress us in the coming weeks, but I also think we don’t need him, simply stated.
Kun Agϋero  (obviously) did not have the game he had last time, but proved an unselfish component of our front 3. I must point out the several easy, truly easy shots, he missed over the course of the game, and so I must dock points from our attack for this, but I believe as the campaign moves on this will become a rarer and rarer occurrence.

-Poor Adam Johnson, he is becoming less and less useful, almost an afterthought, not only because of his erratic creative ability, but because of our strong line up. With Samir Nasri to compete with now, I would not be shocked if he is gone by January. With that being said I respect him highly and hope to see him playing a full 60 somewhere, if not here.
-We will need to figure out a contingency plan for Nigel de Jong if he gets injured. Our holding ability was severely curtailed this match, and I believe that has a lot to do with #34.
-As Mancini has pointed out, we gave up a goal we should not have. With Kolo Touré returning soon, and hopefully Gaël Clichy and Stefan Savić receiving more playing time than Kolarov or Lescott, I hope some of these issues will be smoothed out.
-All in all, a fine performance however. It was an away match, a difficult away match with a surging Bolton (who I tip to finish top 8 this year), and getting the 3 points is most important. Top of the table, even if it’s just two matches, and a confidence booster going into an ever tougher away match against Tottenham Hotspur.
Well, that’s all for now, thanks for reading, and come on City!
Live Forever,