Published on September 1st, 2013 | by Ian Cheeseman


City still need to step up even after 2-0 win against Hull

I’d expected Nastasic to replace Garcia against Hull, but when Kolorov came in for Clichy, like many fans, I was initially perplexed, after all, on a day of few outstanding performances, I’d thought Gaul Clichy had done ok at Cardiff City.

As Hull took a corner and Kolorov headed the ball clear, the penny dropped, that’s why Manuel Pellegrini is manager and not me. I assume that’s why Dzeko started rather than Nedredo?

There appears to be another element to the Fernandinho/Yaya Toure conundrum, than the question I asked pre-match about their reluctance to go forward. It’s a more simple question, does the partnership work, is there enough energy and pace from the pair? I don’t profess to know the answer, but I’ve certainly given it some thought since driving home from the game.

Edin Dzeko continues to be a puzzle. Statistically he’s a very good striker. I spoke to two experienced hacks in the press room, just after having the privilege of reading out the team news in the press room, sixty minutes before kickoff, and both were extolling the Bosnian’s undroppable virtues.

I suggested Negredo should be given a start, smirks ran across their faces as they argued statistics, until one City employee butted in with, “he does watch every game you know” and both accepted there might be another element to what I was talking about. Holding up the ball, linking play, control, passing etc, have City been keeping possession well in the last two games, and when they do have the ball, is it being moved around quickly enough?

That’s maybe where we fans have a slight advantage over Manual Pellegrini, for now at least, we’ve seen most of the City players, in the flesh, more often than him.

He’s on a steep learning curve, and I’m sure he’ll learn from the Cardiff defeat and the fact that Hull’s Sone Aluka broke clear and should have scored and then Danny Graham was flagged for offside when netting a decent left wing cross.

Imagine if they’d gone in?

We all know that man-for-man City are much better than the Tigers, but the truth is that City were under par for at least the first half, though the half time introduction of Negredo helped turn things around.

Negredo and Yaya got the goals, Zabaleta or Silva would have been my man-of-the-match, not Navas.

I remain optimistic that this will be a great season for the Blues and I await the next two games, Stoke away and the Etihad derby with eager anticipation, and confident that Pellegrini will have learned a lot from the opening three games of the season.

Despite no games now for a fortnight, Blue Tuesday continues each week, this week Paul Simpson joins me in the studio again and there’s part two of my interview with Claudio Reyna, the rest is still being formulated, but I’m sure it’ll be a good listen 😉

Written by Ian Cheeseman 


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