Published on March 1st, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman7
Liverpool 2-1 Manchester City | Daniel Cheeseman
It’s getting to the point now where I might as well just copy and paste one of my previous blogs to save us all some time, as it just feels like all I’m doing at the moment is repeating myself over and over again.
I find it extremely frustrating that I’ve hardly had anything positive to say about City’s performances in the past few weeks, but when you have a manager who’s so tactically stubborn that it’s holding us back, then it’s virtually impossible.
Once again we had absolutely no control of the game today, and I’m afraid that has to be down to the way the team was set up. I said in my Barcelona blog that even if Yaya had been playing in that game it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference to the result, as it’s so easy for the other team to close him down when we’re playing in the 4-4-2 formation, and that theory was proved in today’s game.
One of the reasons that Barcelona were in complete control on Tuesday night is because they had Sergio Busquets acting as the stop-gap between the midfield and defence, and when I look at other top teams in Europe they all have a similar set up. Everybody expected Fernando to be that player when he joined City at the start of this season, and the fact that he hasn’t lived up to that role has really caught us off guard.
The last 3 goals that City have conceded in all competitions have been as a result of poor marking on the edge of the box, and when you’re playing against the top sides those sort of mistakes do not usually go unpunished.
While Nigel De Jong and Gareth Barry were by no means the perfect answer, what they did do well was take some of the defensive pressure off the players in front of them, which then allowed us to be a lot more efficient in attack. More importantly, having a solid defensive midfielder gave us the luxury of having an extra man in defense when things got rough, but unfortunately we haven’t had that luxury at all this season.
Another thing that’s been worrying me lately is that the Blues have been unable to do even the the simple things right, like keeping possession, and I can’t tell if that’s down to nervousness, complacency or that they have no belief in the system.
As much as it pains me to say this, I think if I were Manuel Pellegrini right now I’d be tempted to write off us winning anything this season, and instead we should try to concentrate on setting ourselves up in the best possible shape for the next campaign.
It’ll be much more of a disaster if we don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League than if we don’t win the league this year, and so if we can manage to secure 2nd place and put in a good performance at he Nou Camp later this month I’ll be a much happier Blue.
We play bottom-of-the-league Leicester midweek in a game which I fear could be Pellegrini’s last should we get anything less than a win, and so if the Chilean has got anything about him he’ll be the bigger man by taking the blame for our poor form this season, and changing things back to a format that worked for everyone.