Periodic Analysis & Opinion from Andrew, Supporter's Club Social Secretary:
It had to be like this, it just had to be.
After walking into the locker room at halftime 2-0 up against Manchester United, City managed to lose the game 2-3 when the final whistle blew. One would like to say we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and other cliches, but we essentially did get played off of the pitch. Now that the early morning whiskey haze has worn off, and the dust has settled, here are a few of my thoughts about the game.
Defence - 6/10
Poor Vinny Kompany. He has been nothing less than a stalwart for us since moving from Hamburg SV in 2008, a rock in the back, and (now) an able and inspiring captain. While not having a career-bending terrible performance, his entire back line never seemed completely cohesive today. Kolarov seemed dejected in his smothered wingback role, Lescott defensively strong and present but essentially rendered invisible, and of course old Vinny having both the unluckiest and uncleanliest give away goal in stoppage time. Micah Richards actually had a fairly decent game, but lack of communication with your compatriots can make a good game look... not so good. Anywho, what more can I say about the Premier League's #1 rated defence of 2010-11 other than it was not their day. I give them a 6/10 for a solid if incoherent first half, and despite the 2-0 lead at the half, anyone watching might have seen the signs of a defensive implosion in the second 45.
Midfield - 5/10
I guess after this match I might have to add James Milner with Edin Dzeko in my "I'm a fanboy" column. I personally think he was the only thing worth mentioning in the midfield, modern City relics Yaya Toure and Nigel de Jong included. He was quick on the defensive edge, the only midfielder truly running to the ball, and was hungry for an attack when we actually managed to put one together, which (today) was a rarity. Yaya and Nigel de Jong seemed to be speaking a different language than their forwards, never being able to realize their usual vision as our strategic tunnel for defence to attacking ball movement. Considering how consistent and solid these gentlemen are on most matchdays, that's about as far negative as I'll go on their performance, but again, today was not our midfield's day.
Attack - 3/10
Considering changing the lyrics of "We're not really here" to "Balotelli's not really here."
Mario, Mario. If Dzeko and Milner comprise my "I'm a biased fanboy" narrative this season, Mario Balotelli is the president, vice president, CEO, and secretary, for my "You're beginning to look like a waste of time AND money" column. Look, I know he's young. When I was 21 it was just enough of a life goal for me to stop drinking Natural Light and "mature" to regular cheap beer, like PBR. So I'm excusing him on that front, but we as Manchester City, we as the team who are trying to change the face of not only our club's history but the English Premier League in general, do not have time for a player whose head is in the game 30% of the time. We do not have time to worry about a possible red card any time he throws his hands up in the air, and with that being said, maybe he should take a card from Carlos Tevez's book and leave his diva ways off of the pitch, and just show up to play. At this second, as pointed out in The Guardian, we never know which Balotelli we are going to see. I'll give him until we see how he performs in the Champions League, and if he continues this crap, I'm requesting a break-up. "It's not me, it's you," Balotelli.
Ironically, we paid more for Edin Dzeko. Now you know he is my homey, seems like a true Blue, and is a refreshingly honest and invested player in the club. But you can't pay 27 million pounds for a mannequin. I want to see Dzeko do better, and fair play to him for scoring that goal (an admittedly soft goal), but metaphorically speaking, his clothes just never seem to fit. I still barely know what his role in the attack is, other than to trap incoming long balls with some mild efficiency before losing the ball to a nearby defender. What say you, Edin? Speak!
Silva had one of his worst games as well - overshot corners, lack of ball control, miscommunication. By christ that man is City gold and our best attacking player, so I won't dare touch any kind of major complaint about him, but he had a bad game. Enough said.
-Adam Johnson is all cool by me, and he had a cracking attempt at goal this game, but why the hell Mancini would take off Milner, the only successful defending midfielder at the time, and put on Johnson was beside me. I don't know what planet that Bobby Manc lives on some times.
-With that in mind, NO AGUERO?!? Are you serious?? Now alot of folks at the pub were saying "we need to rest him, make sure he's good for opening day"...
-Opening day is a SWANSEA at HOME. If we can't deliver a win without Aguero for that... we can forget Champions League, silverware, any history. Balotelli and Dzeko have a combined cost of roughly 48 million pounds, plus wages. If we are nervous against Swansea at home with that, then Mancini should just be fired right now because he would be wasting money. No, I don't think Mancini should be fired. I think we will be fine against Swansea at home. We should have played Aguero, even if for just 5 minutes.
Anyway, I'm getting ranty, but I hope you feel me out there, Blues in cyberspace!
'Til next time...