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Published on November 7th, 2013 | by Ian Cheeseman

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TWINKLE TOES SHINES ON BONFIRE NIGHT

 

I asked Samir Nasri, after his starring performance in the 5-2 win against CSKA Moscow, if he fancied being on “Strictly Come Dancing”. During my commentary I’d suggested that his footwork wouldn’t look out of place on that programme, here’s how he replied, “Arsene Wenger said that to me one day, when I was at Arsenal, he said he thought I must be a good dancer and wanted to go to a club with me and see it for himself. I don’t know if I’m a good dancer, when I go out I don’t really dance I just enjoy being with my friends, maybe I’ll try one day, why not?”

We’ve always known that Nasri is a light footed creator, but his weakness has been work rate and his drive & speed. He’s clearly one of those players who thrives on being loved by his manager and the supporters, and he’s certainly getting plenty of that at the moment, and look at the result.

I asked Manuel Pellegrini at the post-match press conference if he was the reason Silva was back to his best and Nasri was playing out of his skin. He didn’t give the fulsome answer I was hoping but the twinkle in his eye told me that by simply asking the question I was along the right lines.

Going forward against CSKA, just like the Norwich game, Aguero, Negredo, Silva, Yaya and of course Nasri were pretty much unplayable, it was fantasy football. There was one particular interchange between Aguero, Silva and Nasri in front of the south stand which was truly brilliant.

If there was much to admire about City’s front five, the only area of minor concern remains at the back.

Qualification for the next stage of the Champions League is a tremendous achievement for all concerned, on and off the field, and those fans who chose not to go through the administrative hoops the Russians wanted, not to mention the cost and uncertainty over where the game would be played, can not look forward to a last sixteen trip into the unknown at the end of February.

Have the Blues now reached perfection? Well they’re not far off it going forward, but against the better teams the defence will face stiffer examinations, and I suspect that January will see the addition of at least one top quality defender, and that remains the one area of minor concern; only against the best teams though.

In truth the next game at Sunderland shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but then it shouldn’t have been too much of a problem on any of the last few visits by City and we all know what has happened in those games.

I think the team should remain fully focused and go there and attack, play there like they would in a home game. For me it will be the second visit in just over a week to the “Little Chef” on the A1, I always feel ready for the game with an Olympic Breakfast inside me, after some good banter with Fred Eyre, Stuart Brennan and my mate Charlie on the way up.

You know, despite the Wearsiders being seen as City’s bogey team in recent years, I’m very confident of another win and Aguero making it 14 goals in 14 games – I wonder what he has for breakfast? I think it’s more likely four wheatabix than an Olympic Breakfast!

 

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