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Published on April 17th, 2014 | by maxbloggs

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Lead, sleep, panic, repeat – The City Nitty Gritty

The same old problems just keep on happening. As I’ve said so many times this season – complacency is going to cost us the league. There is no such thing as an “easy game” in the Barclays Premier League, but Manuel Pellegrini and the players don’t seem to have learnt from their mistakes, which is surprising considering 7 of the players who started yesterday won the league just 2 years ago.

As much as I enjoy watching the attacking football that Pellegrini insists we play, it’s become far too predictable, and unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have a plan B. When City played Bayern Munich earlier this season, it is understood that Pep Guardiola said in an interview that when he was at Barcelona he loved playing against Pellegrini-type teams, as they always played exactly the same every week. I couldn’t agree more. At this level of football you have to occasionally tweak your tactics in order to win those must-win games, because otherwise teams will know how to counter you.

One of the main problems with bringing in foreign managers, who have had little or no experience with English Football, is that they are unaware of what it takes to win games. Every league has a different style of playing, in Spain it’s all about attacking, and in Germany it’s pretty much the same, but in England there are so many teams that are willing to play ugly and grind out results – especially when those teams are fighting relegation.

It was obvious right from the start that City were still deflated from Sunday’s loss to Liverpool, and the fact that they lost in the manner in which they did made it 10 times worse. The exact same thing happened when we lost at home to Chelsea back in February, because the next game we drew 0-0 with Norwich, in a game where the team looked disheartened. But unlike in the 2012 title-winning season, it looks like the Blues don’t have the ability to bounce back after suffering disappointing results, and I can’t work out why.

Negredo and Milner were poor. Milner ran around the pitch like a headless chicken, and Negredo (apart from his ‘dummy’ in the build-up to the opening goal) added nothing to the game. I thought right from the word ‘go’ that it was the wrong decision to play Milner, in my opinion Pellegrini succumbed to the pressure of the fans who wanted him to play after his impressive performance against Liverpool, but I’ve always thought that Milner is the player who you pick away from home, and Navas every other time.

It’s also worth noting that Aguero still didn’t look 100%, but I think that his unusually lacklustre performance was down to more than just injury. It seems to me that he’s got the World Cup in the back of his mind, as he was being a lot more tentative than normal and it looks like he doesn’t want to jeopardize his chances of being in the Argentina squad for football’s biggest competition this June – but that’s just my opinion!

In the end, every team goes through a bad patch, but unfortunately it’s come at just the wrong time in the season for us, and it’s asking a lot for them to win it from this position now. 

Going forward, all we need to concentrate on now is winning our remaining games, and nothing else. But it’s worth remembering that Liverpool and Chelsea still have to play each other at Anfield – so who knows what twists and turns are still yet to come in this crazy season!

The main thing is that we keep up the fight, because you know what they say – it’s not over ’till it’s over!

Come on City!!

– Daniel Cheeseman

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