Sunday, November 30, 2014

Great TEAM performance

Today's win against Southampton was the best performance by City this season.  Everything from
  • the key save by Hart in the 20th minute
  • the clean sheet
  • holding their opponents to four shots on target
  • scoring three goals on a team that had only allowed one at home
  • Clichy's first goal in a City shirt
  • Goals by Yaya and Lampard
  • Overcoming some questionable officiating
  • Scoring two goals down to 10 men
  • Aguero with two great assists
I could go on and on and on.  City played great foot ball, usually doing an excellent job of keeping possession and keeping the Saints away from goal.

But the best part?  the very best part?  the VERY best part?  The complete joy shown by the entire team after Yaya's goal.  They knew how important it was,  and they knew they had to get it done.  And the did.

Completely awesome.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

City vs. Bayern

Kun Aguero is my shepherd and I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pitches: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Europe, I will fear no opponent : for thou art with me; thy foot and thy head they comfort me.
 Thou score a goal for me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my City scarf with oil; my beer runneth over.
 Surely goals and trophies shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Aguero for ever.

With apologies to the religious, Psalm 23 is about how it feels right now. Once again, the little one has saved our bacon.  Where would we be without him?  Not that we deserved it mind you.  The two late goals in particular came on mistakes by Bayern, not because City was going something good and creative.

In fact, we looked terrible against a team with 10 men.  We did not win balls in the open field.  When we did deflect or intercept a pass, it went right back to Bayern.  When we were in the box, we allowed ourselves to be surrounded by multiple defenders and instead of passing to an open man, we allowed the defenders to take the ball from us.  And when we did have the ball, we had no one in the box to pass it to.  Absolutely woeful.

Can we expect that kind of luck in Rome?  I doubt it, I very seriously doubt it.  But, who knows?  As Mick was saying for the entire match today, it's not over yet.  And he was completely right.  Remember: that's why they play the games.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Luck and Quality

On Feb 23, 2014 I shared a post called 'Edin Dzeko'.  In it, I compared him to Yaya, Kun, and Alvaro and made the argument that he came up lacking because while 42% of his shots were on target, only 37% of those went in, which was not very good compared to others who were scoring goals for us.

I've run some numbers this year.  Not for individuals, but for the entire team (so far).  First, we are dominating play.  Our average possession is 60%.

But our quality is way, way down.  The numbers in that other post were for our strikers plus Yaya, so you would expect them to be better than the team as a whole, but not too many player shoot besides those up front.

So far this season, only a third of our shots are on target, and only a third of those go in.  As argued in the 'luck' posts, we were having a lot of luck go our way.  Right now, it is not.  We don't have any problems that 10 more goals wouldn't have solved, and we've been a cumulative 2 yards from 10 more goals.  My advice: stay the course, the luck will turn.

But I do miss Negredo....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Too Many Brazilians?

Elano, Geovanni, Glauber, Jo, Robinho, Sylvinho

According to Wikipedia, these players all played for Manchester City from approximately 2008-2010.  While I don't remember all the names, individually, there is a lot of talent in that list.  Together, they were frightful.

The theory was that by themselves, they would focus on football.  But bringing them together made them reminisce about Brazil, Samba, Sun, Fun, Rum, etc and that the football fell to the wayside.

Last year, we made a great acquisition of a Brazilian: Fernandinho.  He had played in the Ukraine with told us at least two things: the physical play of the Premier League would not bother him.  Neither would the cold weather.

This year, we acquired another: Fernandinho.  While NOT from the Ukraine or some other frozen land, he gives us two Brazilians.  Are they plotting in Portuguese to slip out late at night for Caipirinha?  

We'll probably never know.  But one thing can not be denied:  Neither of these Brazilians is

having the season he had last year.  Why?  Perhaps the national disgrace of the World Cup defeat to 
Germany is weighing on their souls.  Perhaps it's just bad luck.  Perhaps it's not even true.  Or perhaps its the Caipirinha's....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What luck? or What does RAG stand for?

I've written about luck before in this blog.  Here for example.  But at the moment, the luck seems to be going against us.  Yaya's shots are curling just wide of the corner instead of into the corner.  Silva is hurt.  We can't buy a penalty against United, the referee books the wrong man against CSKA Moscow and a penalty (Kolorov) and second yellow (Fernandino) against CSKA Moscow for our guys pretty much just standing there.

Regardless of the bad luck, our overall form is not that good.  The loss to Newcastle in the League Cup was embarrassing.  But there are bright spots.  As Pellegrini keeps saying, we are ahead of last year in points.  Joe Hart is playing quite well, and Aguero is playing out of his mind, scoring along against first two then three defenders against QPR.  

When I became a Citizen, someone had to explain to me what RAG meant.  The 'A' was for Arrogant for those that don't know.  If Chelsea was not playing out of their minds right now, we wouldn't look so far off the pace.  If Chelsea falter, we'll catch them.  And if they repeat the Arsenal 'invincibles' of 2003-2004 we won't.  But we have to go out and PLAY each game.  No one, particularly in the Premier League is going to 'give' us a win.  So, we should not arrogantly expect the team to win every match, or even to play well every match.  I do guarantee that if we stop believing in the players, and allow them to succumb to the attacks from the press, they will stop believing in themselves.  And then we'll be in REAL trouble.  Don't go there.  It won't do us any good.

Personally, I think our poor form is due to our lack of pressing in transition.  Even last year with all the goals scored, many of them were in transition.  This year, we seem willing to wait for the defense to set up and try to shove the ball down their throat.  Our advantage is speed and we're not using it.  Another problem is our one person attack.  As I write this, Sergio has 14 goals, 12 in the Premier League.  No one else has more than 4.  Total.  The rest of the team has 19 goal in total.  It's only a matter of time before someone figures out how to stop him.  Or he gets injured.

Let's not get Arrogant.  Let's get lucky.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Special

For the Manchester Derby, we got a Halloween treat!

Howard Web has taken possession of Michael Oliver's whistle!  It was spooooooky.......!

Obviously, it was not as if we didn't get ANY calls.  Certainly, Smalling getting sent off was huge.  But even if United had all eleven, you could argue that if we had scored on the AT LEAST three penalties.......

And while Sergio Aguero again got man of the match, for this commentator, Joe Hart was again what it was all about.

First: he forced the issue with Smalling to get him the first yellow.  Another keeper would have held the ball and waited for Smalling to walk away.  By forcing the issue with Smalling, he got him the first card.

Second, while United only had a couple of shots, they were quality, particularly the effort from DiMaria.  Not only did Hart deflect that shot wide, but he did so out of the way of a waiting Wayne Rooney.  BTW, thank Rooney for being the cheating footballer you are.  Watch the extended highlights at the MCFC.CO.UK web site.  At 9:37, Wayne RUNS INTO Demichelis and simply flops to the ground.  What a cheating piece of crap.  As usual, he spent the entire match with his arm in the air calling for penalties.  Perhaps he should spend more time regretting the fact that his team is crap and less complaining.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

This season vs. Last Season: Part II

Well, this time I will be 'analytical'.  The following applies to the Premier League:

Last season after nine games, we has scored 21 goals and conceded 10.  We had 5 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw.

This season after nine games, we have scored we have scored 19 goals and conceded 9.  We have 5 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses.

That puts us one point ahead of last year with one less goal conceded.  Our inconsistent form going forward mimics last season.

Looking at it this way, we're not that different than last year.  And, to be honest, I think at this point last year my opinion was there was no way we were going to win the league.  Particularly since that loss in the 9th game was that horrible loss to Chelsea where Hart made that inexcusable error.

On the bright side, Hart has been brilliant making a number of fine saves this season.

On the downside, Chelsea is playing out of their minds this season.  As was Arsenal last season.

The Premier League season is a long one.  Remember that before you start to panic.