MANCHESTER CITY: CRISIS AT THE ETIHAD?
Nine points taken from a possible 15, seventh in the Premier League, out of the Capital One Cup, an opening loss in the Champions League, are we really in crisis?
Lets ignore the cup competitions for a moment and focus on the league. We are four points worse off than we were at this stage last season, but have had a much tougher fixture list.
The only game of real note at this stage last season had come at White Hart Lane where we came away with a 5-1 win. But this year we have already played Liverpool at Anfield, visited Stoke at the Britannia, and welcomed Arsenal to the Etihad.
While of course our league position looks worrying, we’re in decent enough shape. It was always going to be a tough ask to begin the season with the same intensity as we finished the last, and I think we’ve seen that in the team.
The closing down isn’t there, neither are the quick passing movements we became so accustomed to last season, perhaps more worryingly neither is the defensive cohesion.
Much has been made of the seven goals we’ve conceded, but last season we’d conceded five against much weaker teams than we’ve faced so far. Maybe people should look more closely at our misfiring attackers, it seemed at the beginning of last season we couldn’t stop scoring, we’ve scored seven less goals in just five games this campaign.
That is a huge difference, admittedly not helped by the fact we did put five past Spurs at the Lane. Still, the link up between Silva and the frontmen hasn’t been there, Tevez has looked good but has missed Aguero up top.
Tevez will be looking forward to being reunited with his international teammate
The enigma that is Mario Balotelli hasn’t made an impact at all and seems to drift through games, occasionally marking it with a moment of brilliance but all too rarely.
Edin Dzeko has looked good when he has been given a chance, and perhaps he is the way to go. Consecutive international hat-tricks for Bosnia must have helped his cause.
In truth, our most potent attacking force looks to be Yaya Toure, a player originally signed as a holding midfield player. His surging runs are really what are pushing us forward and galvanising the side.
Then we have Tuesday’s cup exit to Aston Villa. Admittedly Mancini put out a weakened side, but so did Villa boss Paul Lambert, and we should have easily had enough to get through to the next round. Conceding four at home is unheard of under the new City, and dare I say it Tuesday night had a feel of the old City about it.
The Premier League Champions were slightly overawed in the Bernabeu
The thriller in Madrid can’t be looked at too harshly, yes we threw away a lead twice in the Bernabeu, but there’s no doubt it’s an incredibly tough place to go and win.
There’s just something missing, and I think everyone is struggling to put their finger on it. It’s up to the boss to find out what it is, put it right, and enable us to concentrate on defending our title again this season.
There’s no crisis, yet. But a dominant performance at the Cottage on Saturday would certainly relieve Blues’ fans worries that we’re slipping backwards.
Source: MCFC View