Monday, 31 October 2011

Pipe down Barnes, you tool.

The oracle and fountain of management insight that is John Barnes should really keep certain opinions to himself and today is a perfect example. "Clash of egos is City's Achilles heel" reads the The Independent with a picture of ESPN's new 'football analyst' underneath.

Here's what he said;

"Football is all about togetherness, spirit and players being on the same level."

No shit Sherlock so what's your point? As though I don't already know where this is going.

"Manchester City are playing really well but I've always believed the test of a good side and the mentality and the character of champions is when things are not going so well."

You mean like having a man sent off after just conceding a penalty?

"I have no worries that United wont come back from that 6-1 defeat, because they have the character, as we've seen for the last 10 years. I remember United coming back from 2-0 down in key matches. Can City do that? They're playing well, winning in style, but Chelsea this time last year were doing the same thing."

Am I missing something or did City come back from being behind to beat Villareal recently? City also went on to increase their lead against Wolves despite being 2 men down (taking the ref into account).

"You can have too many star players. When a superstar coming off is replaced by another superstar, then he sees him as a threat, someone who can take his position. When City players have come off I can see a lot of them haven't been happy because they feel under threat."

So a player seeing another player as a threat to his position in the squad is a bad thing? Aren't pundits always saying competition for places is what drives players to perform better? And how many players does Barnes consider "a lot"? As this season the only players to have shown any real frustration have been Mario Balotelli in pre-season who was dragged off early and Edin Dzeko during the Bayern Munich game. Ok AJ didn't look happy at being hauled off in the first half against Villareal but seriously, what player would be?

What would have me worried is if players were quite happy to be taken off the pitch, but as it is now, the players are desperate to keep their places and are playing out of their skin for as much game time as possible.

But lets face it, all of City's new signings knew what they were getting into before signing the contract, they knew the players that were already here and they knew they weren't all going to play all of the time, and Mancini is doing a great job of managing them all.

"There are always sticky patches... So I reserve judgement on Manchester City until I see how they respond to adversity."

It sounds to me you're judge, jury and executioner here John and the verdict is already in. Yes we're only a quarter of the way through the season but I think we've seen City respond to certain adversity already.

I assume playing Last season's Champions League players in Spurs and last season's League Champions United is a cake walk is it? And City hammered them both in their own back yards. Lets also not forget the ludicrous number of headlines and stories designed to put pressure on the club, a lot of which a completely fictitious. Are they not some sort of adversity? What about the debacle that is Tevez and all the agro he has created that so called experts said would derail City's season? Has that not provided the club a measure of adversity to overcome?

"What Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish are doing is signing players they think will stay for years. Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam, they're not going to be looking to move anywhere else. Look at City now with Tevez, and what you get with foreign players who really have no allegiance to the club."

Oh my it gets better! You are correct that Jones, Young, Downing and Adam wont be going anywhere in a hurry because no other top team outside of this country wants them or would even want to pay the kind of fees United and Liverpool would ask for because of them paying over the odds for them in the first place (apart from Adam who is the only one out of those 4 who could even contemplate being sold for a profit at this moment in time).

Andy Carroll for £35m anyone? Stewart Downing for £20m? Ermmm....  Thought not.

And I love the part about "foreign players who really have no allegiance to the club." You're kidding right? So De Jong never said he would willingly see out his career at City as long as they wanted him at the club? David Silva didn't say he would turn down any advances from Real and Barca to stay at City? Kompany hasn't married a local lass and is well and truly settled in Manchester? Zabaleta is itching for a move isn't he?

What makes Barnes think that none of the 4 players he mentioned and the other English players transferred to United and Liverpool this summer wouldn't want a move? I bet if City or the likes of Milan, Real, Barca etc did come knocking for any of them (which I'm pretty damn sure they wont), I wonder how long it would take for United and Liverpool's English players' heads to be turned. Lets face it Rooney would jump at the chance if they offered more money seeing as he used City as a bargaining chip to get himself a better contract at United. And lets not forget the utmost loyalty they all showed to the clubs they have just left eh?

Does he really think City are buying players they feel will move on in a couple of seasons? Does ANY club at the top do that? I think we all know the answer.

City certainly haven't done that. If you look at the ages of the players that have come in it's a team specifically built for longevity. Lets quickly look at the 1st team players who have come in during Mancini's tenure and the age at the time of transfer

Patrick Vieira (34)
Adam Johnson (22)
Jerome Boateng (22)
Yaya Toure (27)
David Silva (24)
Aleks Kolarov (24)
Mario Balotelli (19)
James Milner (24)
Edin Dzeko (25)
Gael Clichy (26)
Stefan Savic (20)
Sergio Aguero (23)
Samir Nasri (24)
Owen Hargreaves (30)

Out of those 14, Vieira has retired and Boateng left due to family circumstances and the fact he didn't have the fight in him to compete with the other defenders.

So with Hargreaves and Vieira who were a 'quick fix' and seasoned tutor respectively, the average age of the signings whilst Mancini has been here is 24.6 years old. Without those two it's 23.3 years old. They're hardly seasoned veterans in the autumn of their careers are they?

Then take into account the current age of the likes of Richards (23), Hart (24), Kompany (25), Zabaleta (26), and De Jong (26) you begin to see that the vast majority of this team could potentially be together for another 6-7 years. How's that sounding now John? 

"I think Liverpool will be back in the top four. You can see that Arsenal are a bit inconsistent and Tottenham are similar. Manchester United will be first or second. Liverpool could pip Chelsea or even Manchester City."

In other words, and in a pretty round about way, he sees the top of the league table looking like this come May
  1. Liverpool
  2. Manchester United
  3. Manchester City
  4. Chelsea

Oh please! I really could go on and on and on about this, but anyway. On a final note... 

John Barnes, ESPN's new football analyst, analyse this...


Sunday, 30 October 2011

The 'new' City mentality.

Since joining City from Shrewsbury, Joe Hart has worked his way up to be both club and country's 1st choice goalkeeper. This was no mean feat either, and I'd say it was even more of an achievement to do it at City as he had one of the best keepers to grace the Premier League fighting him for it.

Although other players generally stand out for their performances or attitude towards the club I do think Charles gets a little overlooked (more so this season than last and a little like his 1st name) but epitomises the desire within the squad.

He was interviewed by after the derby, where City romped away as 6-1 winners, did I ment1-6n they won 6-1? 6-1 at the swamp, don't think I ment1-6ned it. Anyway... In the interview Joe describes how annoyed they won 6-1. Why? Because it was 6-ONE.

"I was annoyed. You can get carried away with the result and the three points, but we let in a goal. It kills me to let one in, it kills all of us.

"I'm so angry because we've hammered teams and then we've let a stupid goal in. It's frustrating, and we're trying for perfection at the moment."

That sums up the mentality Mancini is instilling within the squad. He's a perfectionist and we've all heard him talk about the players never resting on their laurels, always striving to do better and even after a good win there is always something to improve on. It's important you see. Bobby has also mentioned (on a number of occasions) after City have let in the odd goal that this is one thing that bugs him. It seems to bug all the players too.

Now I certainly can't speak for every team's attitude but I should imagine there are a few that don't mind conceding the odd goal if they score more than the opposition. For some teams and managers that may be fine, not City.

When Sheikh Mansour took over and installed Khaldoon Al Mubarak as Chairman they wanted to create a football dynasty. They wanted to take a club and make it the best in the world. Then they installed a manager who was absolutely driven and as demanding and focused as they were. Roberto Mancini.

That focus and drive has gradually permeated the squad and now looks weaved into the fabric of the players. Joe Hart is no exception there. Just look at his reaction to conceding a goal (or the next time he concedes), even at 3-0 up at the time, he absolutely hates it. 

"So he should, he's a goalkeeper" I hear you say, well yes, but I've not seen too many keepers look like that when they're already 3-0 up and just had a goal put past them. And the sheer look of disappointment can also be seen on many other players in the squad too. Although it will only be for a fleeting moment.

Hart also gives us a little insight into the dressing room in an interview after opening a new club house for AFC Urmston in mid-week after being asked about the derby.

"There was a lot of talk about the Charity Shield, when we were 2-0 up at the break... We were telling each other not to back off, to go for it. And we did."

We've read it a few times before that it's not just the Manager that gets a word in at half time, it seems the lads are encouraged to make their views known to each other and to encourage each other during the break. There are a number of very strong characters in the squad now and that seems to be paying dividends.

If there's one thing that City aren't short of, it's leaders. Joe Hart is a commanding and confident presence at the back. Vincent Kompany is a born leader and club captain. Nigel De Jong is another strong and influential character in the team. Gareth Barry has captained England at times, has a steady head and is a fantastic professional. Micah Richards, despite his age he is a big character and as determined as anyone at the club when he steps on that pitch. Kolo Toure can be added to that as he was club captain at one point. I should Imagine Kolo's brother Yaya, will also be one of those to get their say as he is one of the most experienced players in the squad.

Some teams struggle to find 1 good leader, City have at least 6 or 7 to choose from, and it shows. No longer are we seeing the team put their heads down after a goal, we're seeing them push from the first to the last whistle, we're also seeing them push even harder to finish the game in a strong manner.

A wonderful example of this new resolve and mental strength they seem to find themselves with is the  3-1 Premier League win against Wolves. From the moment the first whistle went City were playing against 14 men; The 11 Wolves players, the ref and the two linesmen. If you watched the game you will no doubt be of a similar opinion that it was undoubtedly one of the worst and most one sided performances from any set of officials I've ever witnessed.

Wolves, a team well known for their 'physical' approach to the game only had 5 fouls called against them all game. City on the other hand had 17. An example of one of these 'fouls' was a Wolves player leaping over and into the back of Mario Balotelli to head the ball, which caused Mario to double over (a little theatrically, but still...). What was the refs decision? Foul... to Wolves, because Stuart Attwell decided Mario had backed into the player. Ok then Stuart.

Another example would be the blatant penalty call that both the ref and linesman conveniently missed/flat-out ignored when Nasri lifted the ball into the box. Dzeko at this point was almost in a choke hold but nothing was called.

I could go on and on about the ref but the point of this piece isn't to describe how the ref was a grossly incompetent prick (just look at his record and you'll see) that couldn't referee an U10's game let alone a Premier League match.

Anyway, what affect did this have on the team? Very little in the grand scheme of things. The lads plugged away, toughed it out, gave Wolves very few chances to score and even when down to 10 men they managed an injury time goal to stretch their lead.

Mick McCarthy told the BBC the they "let [City] off the hook" in that game, but I'm not entirely sure which game he was watching. City were not at their best by any stretch of the imagination but as Alan Hansen correctly put it (yes you did read that right) at the moment even when City aren't at their best "they're still impressive".

Yes City were and are still impressive despite not being at their best, despite playing against a ref that simply refused to acknowledge any foul against a City player even if that left them on the floor clutching their ankle in pain, despite going down to 10 men (for what is increasingly looking like a 50/50 after watching it on several replays, but we'll not argue) City were still impressive. They locked out Wolves and still got themselves a goal. Maybe Fergie could learn something there.

The 'old' City would have crumbled after going down to 10 men and conceded 2 or 3 goals late on. But the team now has such a balance and mental strength that even though they hadn't been playing to their full potential it barely affected them in the end. Being able to win games when playing 'poor' is what Champions do, isn't that what Hansen said last week? I noticed there was no mention of it this week though. But City proved they can do it, and do it well under very difficult circumstance

Oh and just one more thing seeing as I've seen it in a few places this morning. The fans were NOT booing the players. Any moron with half a brain should be able to figure out that the booing was for the ref. That is all... 


Saturday, 29 October 2011

City Stats: Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Joe Hart
  • Distribution: 26/41 - 63%
  • Saves: 4/5 - 80%
  • Minutes: 90

Micah Richards
  • Shots: 0
  • Passes: 31/44 - 70%
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 4/7 - 57
  • Minutes: 90

Vincent Kompany
  • Shots: 0
  • Passes: 38/54 - 70%
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Tackles: 3/3 - 100%
  • Minutes: 75 (red card)

Joleon Lescott
  • Shots: 0
  • Passes: 37/42 - 88%
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Tackles: 2/2 - 100%
  • Minutes: 90

Aleks Kolarov
  • Shots: 1/2 - 1 blocked - 1 goal - 50% - 50% goals/shots
  • Passes: 36/55 - 65%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 3/4 - 75%
  • Minutes: 90

Yaya Toure
  • Shots: 0/1 - 0%
  • Passes: 47/55 - 1 assist - 85%
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Tackles: 3/3 - 100%
  • Minutes: 90

Gareth Barry
  • Shots: 0
  • Passes: 57/63 - 90%
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Tackles: 5/5 - 100%
  • Minutes: 90

David Silva
  • Shots: 1/3 - 1 blocked - 33%
  • Passes: 45/59 - 76%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 3/4 - 75%
  • Minutes: 90

Samir Nasri
  • Shots: 1/2 - 50%
  • Passes: 26/31 - 83%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 2/4 - 50%
  • Minutes: 71

Sergio Aguero
  • Shots: 1/4 - 25%
  • Passes: 25/27 - 92%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 2/5 - 40%
  • Minutes: 76

Edin Dzeko
  • Shots: 2/4 - 1 goal - 50% - 25% goals/shots
  • Passes: 8/18 - 44%
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 1/5 - 20%
  • Minutes: 63

Adam Johnson
  • Shots: 1/1 - 1 goal - 100% - 100% goals/shots
  • Passes: 14/15 - 93%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 0/1 - 0%
  • Minutes: 27

Mario Balotelli
  • Shots: 0/2 - 0%
  • Passes: 4/6 - 66%
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 1/1 - 100%
  • Minutes: 19

Stefan Savic
  • Shots: 0
  • Passes: 1/1 - 100%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 1/1 - 100%
  • Minutes: 14

Team Stats
  • Shots: 7/19 - 3 goals -  52% - 15% goals/shots
  • Passes: 395/511 - 1 assist - 77%
  • Interceptions: 17
  • Tackles: 30/45 - 66%
  • Corners: 5
  • Posession: 50%
  • Fouls: 17

Note: The ref was absolutely horrendously and disgustingly piss poor. The very worst I've seen in any game in the Premier League so far this season. So disregard about 50% of those fouls and you could add at least 10 onto the number of fouls Wolves committed. That is all I can say about that without exploding across the room in a visceral mess... For now anyway.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

City will face Wolves for the second time this week on Saturday after last night's Carling Cup game. Although it doesn't really have much bearing on Saturday's game, I can't do this pre-match review without having praise for the job the lads did last night. Mick McCarthy's men gave no less than 100% all game but City had too much for them to contain.

Yes there were some school boy errors from the 2 in the centre of defence which I suppose can be down to lack of game time together and over exuberance, maybe. Well a couple of the mistakes can be attributed to that. But as with the Demolition Derby last weekend it's the attacking players that will take the plaudits from last night.

After going 1-0 down in the 19th minute, and with Wolves having the better of the game to that point, the team didn't panic, plugged away, kept the ball and found the goal they needed to get back in the game as the clock ticked past 36 minutes. And what a sweet one it was from Adam Johnson! That was the first of 3 City goals in 3 minutes 42 seconds.

Despite AJ's contribution with a goal and an even better assist, Mancini was still right in saying there are areas where Johnson can still improve. His failure to track back for Wolve's 2nd goal was one point that Mancini pointed out.

"Sometimes [Johnson] thinks 'Okay, in this game I scored one goal, I did an assist, that is enough."

Without a shadow of a doubt, Mancini is right in saying Adam can indeed become one of the best wingers in Europe, he just has to apply himself more throughout the 90 minutes and concentrate more to fulfill his potential. Mancini is a perfectionist and he knows when a player has potential and demands that they give 100% to try and reach it.

The best goal of the night has to be City's 5th. It had the commentators comparing the style of play to Barcelona saying that if Barca had scored a goal like it then 'we'd be waxing lyrical about it' and rightly so.

An ever more impressive Abdul Razak won the ball 18 yards into his own half before putting on a sprint and playing the ball to his right to Nasri. Then followed a lovely 1-2 between Nasri and Dzeko after the Frenchman roamed into the centre outside the 18 yard box before threading a pass to Scapuzzi stood in acres of space on the left of the box. The young Italian then plays the ball back across the goal onto the foot of the oncoming Dzeko. Beautiful stuff.

I've been increasingly impressed with Razak in the centre of the park when he's had his chances so far. Last season he made his debut as a winger and there's no doubt he has good technical ability and pace. He looks fantastic in the centre though, very well disciplined and has shown some great passing and awareness.

City's young players looked quite impressive during the time they were on the pitch. Karim Rekik (16), Denis Suarez (17), Luca Scapuzzi (20) and Stefan Savic (20) are players that have joined the club this summer with Abdult Razak (18) having been at the club over a year.

However, expect none of the starting 11 to feature in the lineup on Saturday. Mancini didn't make 11 changes last night for no reason, so expect a completely different squad at the weekend. That is the scary thing now, although Wolves made 9 changes of their own and were just as physical and demanding as always, City made 11 changes and could still field a squad that scored 5 goals and consisted of no less than 9 full internationals, 1 of which is a world cup finalist.

This is no disrespect to Wolves, as I expect them to be more resolute and physical on Saturday but you've got to look at the players that didn't feature last night and think "WOW".

Of course City can't be complacent in the slightest as although Wolves currently sit 16th in the table having lost 5 of their last 6 in the league, they always give as good as they get when the whistle goes and have players that can cause you problems. The likes of Matt Jarvis, Stephen Hunt and Jamie O'Hara are players who cause problems.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The first of many...

Well it didn't take them long did it? I said to get ready for announcements and stories in the coming weeks. I didn't expect the first to be only hours away, however.

You will find in most places the story that Tevez and his representatives are mulling over suing Mancini for defamation of character. To be honest, he's done a pretty good job of it himself over the last 12 months without any help.

What has come as music to my ears though, after initial thoughts that at some point the club may attempt to influence Mancini's team selection in the hope to gain more interest in Carlos, is the report that Khaldoon al Mubarak has spoken to Mancini to offer Sheikh Mansour's unreserved support in what ever decision he makes regarding Tevez.

In fact it appears City's hierarchy are more than willing to let Teves sit and stew for as long as it takes to get a reasonable offer for him, and (reportedly) state that no offer will even be considered unless it represents true market value for the striker, which in the summer was around £50m. What it is now is anyone's guess.

Most of the reports are also saying that 6 days before the game against Bayern Munich Tevez was informed by the club that he would forego his loyalty bonus, believed to be around £6m, and that there as absolutely no chance of an extended or improved contract. This is due to the transfer requests and the fact City initially accepted to lower their asking price for him when Corinthians came knocking. That transfer eventually broke down because City were not provided adequate evidence that Corinthians could even meet the lowered valuation.

We've seen the official statement provided by City but Tevez's representatives are claiming the letter Carlos received informing him of the Club's decision states he 'refused to warm up with a view to playing'. They're basically saying what was reported last week that the club were backing down on the refusal to play and were instead charging him with refusal to warm up. What the real difference is between those can't amount to much as if you don't warm up, you can't play.

They're also saying there was no mention of the 4 other charges found on City's website. So despite Carlos getting off very lightly in the end, he and his representatives are still going to fight the decision and drag this on as long as possible in the hope to eventually get their own way.

Oh how I hate Kia Joorabchian...

Thankfully I think those at the club, especially Mancini couldn't care less what he does now and I doubt this will have much, if any affect on the way Bobby goes about his daily work with the rest of the squad.


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What now for City and Tevez?

So the club have released an official statement declaring the conclusion of disciplinary procedures against Carlos Tevez. The full statement can be found on

As you can see the initial charge of effectively failing to play is charge 1 on the list, despite what the media said otherwise. This along with 4 other charges of course.

And what is his punishment? A suspension that is deemed to have already been served and 4 weeks fine which may be around £1.5m in total. He has also been given a written warning regarding his future conduct. Carlos has the right to appeal this decision and knowing his 'advisor' I think we may just see at least one, although I think only a fool would do so as to many, even those outside the club, this appears to be very lenient on Carlos.

Where does this leave City, and Mancini who initially stated Tevez would never play for him again. However the last time he was questioned regarding whether Tevez would play for City again his answer was "I don't know".

I still don't want to see him play for City again, and I'm pretty sure there are quite a few to say the least who share that view. But if he does, and that's a big if, it has to be Mancini's decision and only Mancini's decision. If he is forced into choosing Tevez in the squad then it's time for him to walk away, which I personally don't want to happen. Not only that, the potential damage that would do to the Club's reputation and the message that would send out to the rest of the football world could be pretty devastating and humiliating.  

Lets face it though, why would he be forced into it? We've got 3 strikers who are each scoring at a rate of more than a goal per hour of play! We've certainly not missed him, if anything, we've flourished without him.

This leaves Tevez in a tricky situation, does he knuckle down and try and get in the team knowing there is very little chance and potentially have a few more clubs seriously looking at taking him? Does he continue to throw his toys out of the pram, and hope lets him go on the cheap in a January move? You just don't know, but you can bet we've not heard the end of it. Prepare yourselves for numerous media announcements and interviews from Kia Joorabchian as well as stories from mysterious 'sources close to Carlos' in the coming weeks.

The statement today really suggests the Club are trying not to devalue Carlos too much and are looking to recoup some money for him in January. But 2 questions remain, who is seriously going to want to pay for him, and how much are the club willing to take?


Monday, 24 October 2011

Demolition Derby

The scene was set, Mancini's 100th game in charge at City, United had gone unbeaten at home in the league for just over a year. Nani had billed this as the biggest derby ever. Pundits and so called experts were saying although City were top of the league they had not played anyone of note (lets forget about hammering Spurs shall we?). While United had well beat a capitulating Arsenal reserves, drew against a Liverpool side failing to set the world alight and were fantastically lucky to beat Chelsea with 2 offside goals and with Torres unable to hit a cow's arse with a banjo.

Admittedly for the first 15-20 minutes United were the better side. City didn't press hard enough and gave them far too much time on the ball. Young looked to be the biggest threat early on as he drew a number of fouls (not all by honest means) down City's right flank. I'll concede that the ref wouldn't have had a good view of him doing a Tom Daley over Micah's and Milner's challenges otherwise we should have seen a yellow card for simulation.

But after setting his house on fire only 36 hours earlier through setting off fireworks from his bathroom window (yeah, why not? It's Mario), Mario Balotelli set the game alight by striking an exquisitely nonchalant side footed shot into the bottom corner of De Gea's net in the 22nd minute. And in true Balotelli style uncovered a tongue in cheek message underneath his City shirt which read "Why always me?". This also got him a yellow card, and I still don't understand why that rule hasn't been scrapped.  

From that point on, City were a better team, they were THE better team and went into half time with a deserved lead. And after Evans got a straight red (and rightly so) for impeding the ever more reliable Balotelli shortly after the break the City of old would still have made a meal of it. Not this time, we're made of tougher stuff nowadays.

I wont go into detail about the rest of the match as I don't think I could do it justice. Just watch the extended highlights for yourself on, again, and again, and again.

Micah, one of the two survivors in the lineup that played in City's 2008 derby win at the swamp, received the Man of the Match award. He was absolutely immense going forward and at the back and kept the threat from United to a minimum.

Over half of United's shots, and the only ones on target, came from outside of the box, which is testament to the defensive work of the 4 at the back and indeed the work of the team as a whole, although I'm sure Mancini will have words regarding the goal City conceded as we all know how he hates conceding.

By the time that goal went in though, City had already scored 3, and although it saw United have a spell of pressure on City, it was fairly short-lived. All that goal really did was spur City on to really kill the game off. What happened next was any number of superlatives as City systematically tore United apart piece by piece. Even though United were a man down, there can simply be no excuses for how they were taught a real lesson in football to that extent.

What's really good about this is that each of City's strikers scored, as well as David Silva who once again made the opposition look ridiculous on a number of occasions. Dzeko 2, Balotelli 2 and Aguero 1. Does anyone remember what Paul Merson said at the beginning of the season? Apparently we were really going to miss Tevez. HA!

Another mention has to go to James Milner who has been in great form recently and really stepped up to the plate again today after being picked ahead of Samir Nasri. His work rate and awareness today were 2nd to none and he is really showing why he was brought to City in the first place.

I'm not sure we'd have seen a performance quite like that had we walked over Villareal in midweek. The tough test they provided coupled with the last gasp win looks to have given City an added belief that wasn't quite there before.

I mentioned the games against Everton and Liverpool at the end of last season and the results directly following them. We've seen a certain mental strength developing at City over the last 12 months coming off the back of difficult games or disappointing results. The game against Fulham and the result after that is another example of this mentality that Mancini is instilling within the club.
City have now scored a record number of goals in the Premier League after 9 games. A record that was previously held by Arsenal's invincibles. Now I'm not saying City will win the league but that was as big a statement of intent as you could possibly give. 

The rest of the season starts here. This was billed as the big test of how City really measured up to the title challenge and City past with flying colours. Next up is Mick MacCarthy Wolves (both Carling Cup and Premier League). And no disrespect to them, but these are now the games City are really expected to win. But in the past we've seen City go into games overconfident and been punished for it. Another factor in the new mentality is for this not to happen. A result such as this breeds overconfidence, but the players now have to make sure they go into the next game totally focussed.

One question will continue to give Mancini a massive headache though; who on earth gets a place in the starting 11 ahead of the others?  City haven't had it quite so good for a long time, and long may it continue!

You can check out the City Stats from this game by clicking HERE


Sunday, 23 October 2011

City Stats: Manchester United v Manchester City

Joe Hart
  • Distribution: 13/25 - 52%
  • Saves: 3/4 - 75%
  • Minutes: 90

Micah Richards
  • Shots: 0/2 - 0%
  • Passes: 21/32 - 1 assist - 65%
  • Intercetpions: 3
  • Tackles: 8/13 - 61%
  • Minutes: 90

Vincent Kompany
  • Shots:  0/1 - 1 blocked - 0%
  • Passes: 23/28 - 82%
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Tackles: 2/2 - 100%
  • Minutes: 90

Joleon Lescott
  • Shots: 0/0
  • Passes: 27/33 - 1 assist - 81%
  • Interceptions:
  • Tackles: 3/5 - 60%
  • Minutes: 90

Gael Clichy
  • Shots: 0/0
  • Passes: 42/50 - 84%
  • Interceptions: 4
  • Tackles: 3/7 - 42%
  • Minutes: 90

Gareth Barry
  • Shots: 0/0
  • Passes: 48/51 - 94%
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Tackles: 2/3 - 66%
  • Minutes: 90

Yaya Toure
  • Shots: 0/3 - 1 blocked - 0%
  • Passes: 66/72 - 91%
  • Interceptions 3
  • Tackles: 1/3 - 33%
  • Minutes: 90

James Milner
  • Shots: 0/1 - 1 blocked - 0%
  • Passing: 44/53 - 2 assists - 83%
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 2/3 - 66%
  • Minutes: 89

David Silva
  • Shots: 1/4 - 1 blocked - 1 goal - 25% - 25% goals/shots
  • Passes: 63/71 - 1 assist - 88%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 4/6 - 66%
  • Minutes: 90

Mario Balotelli
  • Shots: 2/4 - 2 blocked - 2 goals - 50% - 50% goals/shots
  • Passes: 23/28 - 82
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 3/6 - 50%
  • Minutes: 70

Sergio Aguero
  • Shots: 1/2 - 1 blocked - 1 goal -  50% - 50% goals/shots
  • Passes: 26/29 - 89%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 2/3 - 66%
  • Minutes: 76

Edin Dzeko
  • Shots: 3/5 - 2 goals - 60% - 40% goals/shots
  • Passes: 6/7 - 1 assist - 85%
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Tackles: 1/2 - 50%
  • Minutes: 20

Samir Nasri
  • Shots: 0/0
  • Passes: 13/16 - 81%
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 1/1 - 100%
  • Minutes: 4
Aleks Kolarov
  • Shots: 0/0
  • Passes: 0/0
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Tackles: 0/0
  • Minutes: 1

Team Stats
  • Shots: 7/22 - 7 blocked - 6 goals - 31% - 27% goals/shots
  • Passes: 415/495 - 6 assists - 83%
  • Interceptions: 18
  • Tackles: 32/54 - 59%
  • Possession: 55%
  • Corners: 4
  • Fouls: 11