Published on November 8th, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman4
QPR 2-2 Manchester City | The City Nitty Gritty
“A One Man Show”
Yet again, a brilliant individual performance masked over what was another unconvincing performance from the Blues.
Having said that, QPR is always a tough place to go, and the addition of the unrelenting rain and absence of Vincent Kompany and David Silva made it an even tougher fixture. But nonetheless, it was still a disappointing result.
Let’s start with the positives though.
It was great to see Samir Nasri back in the starting 11, and I thought he slotted back into the team really well. I think Yaya, Silva and Sergio have been missing the Frenchman the most in recent weeks, because they are usually the ones who are on the same wavelength when going forward.
In my opinion, we play our best attacking football when those four are all fit and in the starting 11. Firstly because they don’t lose as much possession as other players do, and secondly they tend to create a lot more and better quality chances.
However, it was obvious that Sergio Aguero was still frustrated in the second half with the lack of supply to him, as we were struggling to get the ball out of our own half. I thought the Blues started off the game very brightly in the opening 10 minutes, creating chances for the Argentinian and looking a lot more stable in midfield, but we weren’t able to sustain it for long enough to allow us to take the lead.
QPR began to dominate the play after that for a good 20 minutes or so, and were rightly rewarded with a goal. I’m just glad that Sergio scored the equalizer when he did, as it took the momentum away from them when they were just starting to get a head of steam.
I saw a stat at the end of the game which said that only 59% of our possession was in QPR’s half, which says to me that we don’t have enough attack-minded players (other than the obvious ones) in our team. I think that a reason for this is that while Fernando and Fernandinho are technically classed as holding midfielders, they don’t seem to press forward enough when the rest of the team are on the attack.
When you look at other top-class midfielders in the world, such as Xabi Alonso, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira, they are almost always getting into threatening positions on the edge of the box when their team goes forward, which adds a whole different dimension to the attack. I’d definitely like to see more of this sort of play from our Brazilians, as we’ve already seen from Frank Lampard this season that even holding midfielders can be a vital part of the attack and score some important goals.
Now, while I thought the decision to play 4-2-3-1 was definitely a step in the right direction, it still doesn’t change how vulnerable we looked in defence.
Without there being too many glaring mistakes (apart from the own goal of course) I thought we looked all over the place without our leader at the back. If you take a look at the first goal we conceded, you’ll notice that we failed to execute the ‘offside trap’ like we normally do when Vincent Kompany is playing. I can’t quite understand why we still tried to use this tactic even without the Belgian in the team, as it has only ever worked in the past because he’s the one organizing it, so if you ask me I’d say that Pellegrini got that one wrong.
I was also very surprised to see Bacary Sagna at right-back, especially with Kompany not playing. I know that Pablo played in every game last week, but I still don’t think it was the correct decision to leave him out when we were already weaker in defence than we normally are. When I think of Sagna, I think of him as the sort of player who you play when you’re at home to a weaker side or in a less important competition; he’s not the sort of player who you play when you’re trying to grind out results in poor conditions and in need of some motivation.
Because of this, I don’t think we were creating as many chances as we normally do down the right-hand side, and we certainly weren’t as secure in defence either. It just goes to show how crucial certain players are to this team.
On the whole, I suppose we might look back at this game in the future and think “we did well not to lose at QPR with the form that we were in that week”, so I’m going to cut them a bit more slack this time 😉
Now we have an international break before our game against Swansea on the 22nd November, and I just hope that we can get through this without any more injuries. We’re entering a very important part of the season now, with the January transfer window quickly approaching and Chelsea looking like they’re going to run away with it, so we could do with something positive to say for once!
And above all – I just pray to god that nothing happens to Sergio, because then we’ll be pretty screwed won’t we!