Saturday, 14 September 2013

Why Manchester City Couldn't Beat Stoke City on Saturday

Stoke City 0 Manchester City 0

1. Pellegrini doesn't know what his best team is yet. Leaving Aguero on the bench was heart-sinking. Jovetic was invisible on his debut, Rodwell is an accident waiting to happen, Nasri is not the man you want in midfield against Stoke, Navas is too good to be saved for the last ten minutes.

 2. City were clueless. No organisation, poor passing, no width, no pace, no creativity in midfield, no Silva. Yaya is a shadow of the player that scored the winner in the FA Cup final against Stoke two years ago.

 3 City's players seemed distracted. This was an unglamorous fixture inbetween that truly awful international week and the first Champions League group match - and it showed. Significant that Aguero'a post-match tweet focused on the Uefa match.

 4. If he's even half fit, Aguero has to start. He came on after an hour and was the best player on the pitch. Superb balance, direct running, making Robert Huth break sweat for the first time in the match.

 5. Negredo was disappointing on his first start. He'd earned his chance but all we got was a couple of embarrassing fall overs and not a chance on goal.

 6. Pellegrini is struggling a bit. The fans haven't warmed to him and he's not helping himself by ignoring them with his hands in his pockets as they applaud him off at the end. Much is made of his happy dressing room. I'd rather have a miserable, winning one.

 7. Stoke were dull but should have won. Walters had a free header four yards out in the first half, Nasri gifted Jones a one-on-one that Hart did well to keep out and they went close in the second half. A typical Mark Hughes team. If Tony Pulis had been in charge they would have won.

 8. Stoke has two excellent pubs. The Glebe and The White Star about five minutes apart. Almost worth the trip on their own. Not a reason for the draw but worth noting.

9. City fans still like Stevie Ireland. And judging by his big grin and applause at the end, Superman still likes us.

 10. Javier Garcia did ok at centre half. Fair play to him. But it's a poor show and very bad luck that Kompany, Micah and the new bloke Demichelis are all crocked.

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