Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman1
Manchester City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday | Dan Cheeseman
“Just about enough”
It was a long way from the standards of football that we usually watch at the Etihad, but the Blues did just about enough to progress to the next round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.
We suffered an early setback due to a defensive error from Eliaquim Mangala, which left us wide open on the counter attack, and it took a long time for City to finally make a response.
I think one of the main reasons why it took so long to get going on Sunday is because Yaya Toure had less to work with going forward. What I mean is, usually the Ivorian is the core player of the team who can lift his head up and see others in front of him who are on the same wavelength (like David Silva or Samir Nasri) and so when he was placed in a team which played in a different style it was hard for him to make an impact.
While Stevan Jovetic can be a decent footballer at times who scores you a few goals, it’s obvious that he isn’t suited as a lone striker. The Montenegrin excels the most when he is playing off a main striker, who is usually Sergio Aguero or Edin Dzeko, as he prefers to be the supplier rather than the out-and-out goalscorer.
James Milner is the definition of a hard worker, and often uses his impressive stamina to make up for his lack in football skills, and so he too isn’t the type of player who compliments Yaya’s style of play.
My point is that both those players only really work in teams where there’s lots of quality around them, and where they aren’t the center of attention, and so the fact that many of our best players were either injured or rested made those sorts of players virtually redundant. The only way we were going to beat Wednesday yesterday was to outclass them with quality players, as usually the underdogs always win the battle of pride and “will to win”, and so I’m glad that Manuel Pellegrini made the changes that he did.
However, in my opinion we still should have started the game on Sunday with David Silva, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all in the starting 11. It’d have made much more sense get the job done early and then take them off once the game was won, rather than bring them on when you’re desperate and in need of a goal. I’ve never liked the mentality of “bring them on in an emergency”, as by that point time is usually against you and/or all the momentum is with the other team, and so as a result it is harder to make an impact when they eventually come on.
We got away with it yesterday because we were against a weaker team than normal, and so when those 3 players came on they were able to completely change the game. Had we been against a Premier League team, or a better side in general, I don’t think we’d have had enough quality on the pitch to win the game, and so we should take this as another lesson learned before we find out who we’ve drawn in the next round tonight.
We have a week break now until we play Everton away, and we all know that Merseyside is never an easy place to go to, so we have to make sure that we’re back to a full strength team and in the right frame of mind in order to get the result we want.
We cannot get complacent again knowing that Roberto Martinez’ side aren’t playing well at the moment, as it can only take one goal to change a game of football, and so I hope the Blues enter the game with the right mentality on Saturday and get the job done at Goodison Park like they did there last season.