Published on October 21st, 2014 | by Daniel Riordan0
CSKA to be City’s first test of the season | Daniel Riordan
We’re back with European football tonight after another tedious and media filled international break. We can finally turn our intentions back to a competition which has not excelled or fuelled the blues since entering it in 2011, however, in my opinion tonight will be the first test for the Blues even though they’ve faced the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool already.
Let’s see who we’ve played already with the first home game. Liverpool who were our main challengers to the league last year have had too much of an overhaul in the summer and are to integrate those new players into the side. Once all those players were signed, you felt like they were going to do “a Spurs” with what they did with the money they gained from Bale. Too many players came in and disrupted their performance from the year before. With it being the second game of the season, it didn’t feel like any players from both teams would be up to their full potential after the summer, however with the 3-1 win it showed the difference in both teams.
Arsenal and Chelsea were another team you’d think would be our first tests but again, both games were still early in the season. Both games we could of easily gained six points from. Arsenal has and I think always will be a difficult place to go to, so we’ll always be grateful of coming away with anything from there and it felt more like a point gained than lost. But Chelsea was the bigger game for the Blues. Even though I felt both Zabaleta and Costa should have been sent off, we were in it and could of gained 3 points. It was just to Mourinho’s game plan that we couldn’t press on for a second goal.
And then it comes to Spurs at the weekend whom I genuinely thought would of given us a game. I thought it would have been them that would of given the first test, I was wrong. I felt like Spurs are a team that would of gelled those players which they bought by the Bale money and would be able to go up against a team like City with a performance but they lack something each year. They’re capable of a top four finish yet for whatever reason can’t achieve it. It looked to me the defence was wrong for them and that they didn’t have a clinical striker up front. I felt with the change in management that Spurs would have been able to play more effective against a bigger side but they didn’t.
So why is CSKA our biggest test so far? Well the main reason is for the competition to show the ability of the players and for them to show they’re capable of showing true characters. I’d of settled for a point at Bayern but I felt like the fans were let down by the Roma game. The conditions in Russia will be another factor. The harsh conditions will affect the more continental players which will also come into how the players react. And a final reason why it’s their first test is that it will be City’s chance to show that they’re capable of progressing through the group.
It’s a must win game for us and I think that if it’s another draw or loss, it will frustrate the fans even more. With the players we’ve got, the Champions League experience and with that team gelling together for the past couple of years, I think excuses are running out if qualification isn’t successful. For a team which has won the league the previous season not to qualify shows a bit of embarrassment really.
However what has annoyed me the most is the new seeding system. Why has it took so many years for it to be changed? For those who don’t know, next season sees the start of a new seeding system in the Champions League. This means the winners of the leagues around Europe instantly go into pot one. But isn’t that what the Champions League was brought in to do? The champions of each league competing? Yet it’s took so many years. It would of benefited us especially with us being in another hard group this year. With winning the league though, we should be performing better than Roma surely?
I’m hoping tonight’s game will be entertaining as the home leg. It’s the Champions League! It’s every kids dream to see their club in the competition yet for whatever reason, recent times have seen some blues left disinterested in the games. It’s led to much debate but it comes back to UEFA who won’t benefit the everyday fan to allow them to go to games without spending ridiculous amounts. Fair Play FIFA?