Published on August 18th, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman1
Newcastle 0-2 Manchester City | The City Nitty Gritty
“A solid team performance left the Geordies Un-Shore what to do”
Written by Daniel Cheeseman
Manuel Pellegrini’s team were like a well-oiled machine at the weekend – strong, efficient and silky-smooth.
There were several reasons as to why I thought the Blues played well, plus plenty of other talking points; so let’s get down to the City Nitty Gritty:
5 of the “Super 8” were playing
5 of what me and my Dad like to call the “Super 8” started the game – as oppose to 2 at last week’s Community Shield at Wembley (by the way – if you have no idea what we mean by “Super 8”, you might want to read this!).
The return of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and David Silva to the starting line-up made a world of difference – and it just shows how important it is to play the backbone of the team as often as possible.
However, there is still room for more additions to our Super 8.
And if Fernando continues to perform like he did on Sunday, then it could easily become the Super 9 – which gets to my next point;
Fernando looks like the all-round midfielder we’ve been looking for
I couldn’t think of a better way of summing up Fernando’s performance on Sunday than a phrase which my Dad used to define City’s performance against United last season: Power, Pace, Panache; Perfection.
The Brazilian mixed some of the abilities that past City players offered while at the club, such as De Jong, Javi Garcia and Gareth Barry, thrown in with some new ones of his own.
From what I saw, he had the strength and grit that Nigel De Jong had, the aerial presence of Javi Garcia and the steady-headiness of Gareth Barry. But on top of that, he also showed what he can bring to the team which maybe others didn’t as much – fantastic pace, commitment and reading of play.
Newcastle couldn’t find the key to unlock City’s defence
Even without new signings Eliaquim Mangala and Bacaray Sagna (and Pablo Zabaleta), the Blues were still able to prevent a shot on target from Alan Pardew’s side.
Of course you could say that Newcastle had 4 or 5 new players who hadn’t yet settled into the team, but they still had plenty of quality players on the pitch (such as Cabella and Riviere) who were held at bay for the entire match.
Vincent Kompany is the gift that keeps on giving. His leadership, strength, pace, reading of play, heading ability and interceptions are, in my opinion, unmatched in world football right now – and it looks like the extension of his contract has had even more of a positive effect on the Belgian.
One piece of magic can be all it takes to separate the good from the world class
Despite Yaya having what some would call one of his “quieter” games (if there is such a thing!) and Sergio Aguero coming on as a late sub, they both still managed to produce that 1 piece of magic each, and it was enough to make a difference.
Most people focused on the latter stages of the move which resulted in our first goal (and so they should), but the pass from Yaya Toure earlier in the build-up was just as genius as Edin Dzeko’s lay-off, and David Silva’s finish.
The fact that the Ivorian wasn’t one of the players that particularly stood out on Sunday, and yet he still had such a big influence on the game, shows why he is one of the best footballers in the world.
The same goes for Aguero.
The Argentine wasn’t really given an opportunity to properly flex his muscles yesterday, as he was still not 100% fit, but 10 minutes was still more than enough time for someone of his quality to show us why he is classed amongst those “elite” few.
The fact that we can name several other players at City who are in the same class as Yaya and Aguero, shows how far this club has come over the years!
It was a solid performance all-round
Although there were several fantastic individual performances on the day; I thought the whole team played well collectively, here’s some examples;
Edin Dzeko showed us that he has the potential to be a great team-player, as well as a great finisher, when he performed that unbelievable back-heel assist for David Silva towards the end of the first half.
Full-backs Gael Clichy and Alexander Kolarov played very well – the Serbian played the part of a left wing-back to perfection as he sent in several dangerous crosses into Newcastle’s box, and Gael Clichy looked a lot more comfortable using his weaker foot than he did last week.
Martin Demichelis has become one of those no-nonsense players who always seems to makes the sensible decision – i.e. putting the ball out of play when he can sense danger, instead of trying to be the hero.
In truth, the Blues never really had to put their foot on the gas against Newcastle, and yet they still had a somewhat comfortable win away from home – which is re-assuring to say the least!
I know it’s still only early days, but I think the Blues look just as strong now as they did on the first day of last season, despite scoring 2 less goals, and I see no reason why the we can’t go on to win it again this season.
So I say roll on next week – because I bet this lot can’t wait to get their hands on last season’s runners-up!