Published on April 27th, 2014 | by Daniel Riordan0
“Does it really come down to this?” – Daniel Riordan
In the past couple of weeks, results haven’t gone in City’s favour and there’s been a few shocks along with it. In my last blog I stated that the title wasn’t over regardless of the result (it’s been a while with uni commitments) and it still isn’t. The game against Sunderland was deserved. Each game we’re playing when we score early, we get too complacent and it’s as if we have to concede for them to shape up. The game on Sunday may give an insight to the winner of this years Premier League title, but does it really come down to this?
With the Sunderland game, which was one of the games in hand, we started early and got a sharp goal from an attacking set up. The players were running at Sunderland and with Aguero just coming back, he was all over the place. We got the goal and then nearly set back inviting the attack from Sunderland. It’s happened time and time again which has cost City through the season. Why not get the goal and go for another? Finish them off? We did it against Spurs at home and look how effective that worked. As we went 2-1 down it showed the ability that we’re capable of recovering but why not do that from the start?
The West Brom game was similar. We got two goals which then we got complacent again allowing the baggies in. But have the fans got a part in this? The atmosphere was brilliant in the West Brom game but then it suddenly died as soon as West Brom got the goal for a period. This has been a factor for a lot of the season where the atmosphere at home has been poor. Regardless of whether it’s Fulham or another team down the bottom, there’s nothing. Like Sunderland, once the fans got on their back, they reacted.
I’m looking back at the Liverpool game and I think we needed to win. A draw would of suited but it’s getting too thin now and the game on Sunday will show the strengths of both Chelsea and Liverpool. The only way City can get back into the title race is if Liverpool win and this is the one you’d probably look at for them to slip up. However, as Mourinho says he will field a weakened team, will he be fined for it? Ian Cheeseman has already beaten me to this point in his blog but in 2009, Mick McCarthy was fined £25,000 for fielding a weakened team against Manchester United. A game he saw that they weren’t capable of winning and set his sights on the following game that was, in his opinion, more winnable.
We all know what Mourinho’s about but when a call like this is made you can’t call what his thinking is. Is he making the point to his players that his players are that good even a weakened team can beat Liverpool or is he seeing who’s more of a threat to him in the future. If I’m being honest I’d go for the second option. With his old friend Brendan Rodgers being the Liverpool manager, I see him doing him a favour and would rather them get the title than City. Because Liverpool are in a rebuilding process I think he doesn’t see them as much a threat as to City who will buy in the summer to replace players.
I also have another superstition. In 2010, Chelsea played Liverpool in the urge to win to pip United to the title. A gifted back pass from Steven Gerrard all but aided this which then in the following game, Chelsea sealed the title by a point by winning 8-0 at home to Wigan Athletic. Although it was Ancelotti in charge, for whatever reason I think Chelsea won’t forget the favour and may return the favour. The most they can get is 84 points now, what does Mourinho do? Set his focus on allowing top 3 to gain an automatic champions league place and go for the champions league or try to gain 3 points and work their way back into the Champions League?
So it goes back to the title, does it really come down to this, the Chelsea game. I don’t think so. A thrown around cliche but nobody deserves the title until you’ve got the medal and I still see Liverpool having 2 harder games than the Chelsea one. Palace are a tough team to play and under Pulis, they have that Stoke feeling of being unpredictable with what they do. We shall get our insight on it when we go there. But even Newcastle. The players are playing for their lives and at the moment it appears Pardew is and they have every reason to go in going for the win. Not for the benefit of City fans but should they gain a win and go up a place or two, that’s more money for them to spend on in the summer. We can only hope that Liverpool slip up and we win our games from now on.
– Daniel Riordan (Guest Writer)