Published on December 18th, 2013 | by Ian Cheeseman0
A perfect game to show just how far City have come
This was a “workmanlike” performance in many ways, and yet a comfortable win that has taken the Blues into the semi-finals, one step from Wembley.
The obvious downside, to this routine win, was the injury to Pablo Zabaleta, who immediately came off, unlike Micah Richards a week earlier in Munich. Hopefully Zabaleta’s quick reaction might mean a quicker recovery time.
Lots of people have been asking me, on twitter, to question the manager on why there have been so many muscle injuries this season. I don’t have the same opportunity to ask as much as I once did, but after the Leicester game I asked that very question. “It’s just a co-incidence” was the manager’s reply. I’m not a medical expert, so who am I to question that answer? I did ask though!
Kompany, Richards, Aguero, Rodwell, Jovetic, Nastasic & Silva, by my reckoning, have suffered muscle injuries this season, that were not caused by an impact. Have they warmed up enough? Is it due to them playing too many games? What goes on at training, is that factor? Maybe, as the manager says, it’s just an unfortunate co-incidence, but it’s worrying nevertheless.
Next subject, who plays at right back with Richards and Zabaleta both sidelined?
James Milner could do it, possibly my preferred option, but I got the feeling from the interview he gave after the game in the East Midlands, that he’d “take one for the team” if asked, but he’d prefer to play in midfield.
Dedryk Boyata deputised at Leicester; another option would be Gael Clichy. Clichy apparently started his footballing life as a right footer, and he has played right back before. I suspect that might be the option Pellegrini goes with.
Now we come to the Enigma, that can only be Edin Dzeko. I’ve watched every minute of his Manchester City career, and I never quite know what to expect. Through the 90 minutes of any game he plays, I feel frustrated and exhilarated in equal amounts. When I say I don’t know what to expect from him, that’s not strictly true. I expect him to score, but I also expect to be frustrated by him.
At times his body language is poor, and there are times when he traps a ball further than I can pass it, and yet despite his apparent disinterest during certain phases of the game, he often pops up with a goal. Maybe his goals at Leicester summed him up perfectly. A header into the ground, that went in and a “casual looking” pass into the back of the net, for the second.
I interviewed him after the game. He always seems to expect negative questions and bristles up at the slightest opportunity.
Underneath his image of sulkiness, I get the feeling that there is a very proud man, who desperately wants to be loved by the supporters, and if you follow him on twitter, as I do, you can see he’s a very giving human being, very sincere and loyal.
My friend, and fellow “Blue Tuesdayer” Neda Druzic, is a fellow Bosnian, and she has talked to Dzeko on a number of occasions, away from the media, and sees the other side of him. She reckons he really is the Bosnian Diamond.
The fans sang his name throughout the game at Leicester. I could tell, when I mentioned the chanting, in the interview, that he loved that ; his eyes lit up.
All the City fans want him to to succeed, but to me he remains an Enigma.
If you missed the last Blue Tuesday of 2013 with Paul Lake, Ali Benarbia and Tony Vaughan, the podcast can be downloaded at bbc.co.uk/radiomanchester The next Blue Tuesday will be on Tuesday 7th January 2014.