Published on April 7th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman2
Crystal Palace 2-1 Manchester City | Daniel Cheeseman
“Same Old, Same Old”
A phrase which I’ve found myself saying far too often as of late is “same old, same old”, and the reason I keep on saying it isn’t just because it’s got a nice ring to it, it’s because of how perfectly it sums up the way things have unfolded at Manchester City this season.
If you look at how we’ve played since we went on that run of 14 games unbeaten 3 or 4 months ago, the Blues have been consistently below par and haven’t shown any signs of improvement, and the thing that frustrates me above all is that it constantly feels like everyone can see our flaws but one person – the manager.
During Manuel Pellegrini’s first season at the club he was often given the benefit of the doubt because he was working with a completely new team and needed time to adjust to English football, but now that he’s had time to settle in, re-build the squad and adopt his own style of play there’s very little excuses for what’s happened this year.
You only have to look at the body language of the players to see that they don’t believe in the system they are currently playing in, and this has resulted in them losing that extra ounce of effort which is often required to grind out results when things aren’t going your way (like Chelsea often do).
Even though I can see where they are coming from, I think sometimes they need reminding of how much they’re being paid to do what they do and who they are representing, and maybe they should start to pay more attention to the quotes which are displayed on the walls of the new training complex:
In terms of yesterday’s game, I think many people were fooled into thinking we played well because of the amount of possession we had, but as far as I’m concerned having more of the ball doesn’t mean anything unless you’re actually doing something with it, and the truth is we didn’t threaten Julian Speroni’s goal anywhere near as much as we should have done.
As highlighted in Gary Neville’s post-match analysis on Sky Sports, the Dzeko/Aguero combination did not work at all again last night and Jesus Navas was completely ineffective on the wings, which meant that there was lots of pressure on Yaya Toure and David Silva to deliver the goods in the middle. After several frustrated attempts at goal which often hit row Z, it was Yaya who eventually hit the mark with an explosive shot into the bottom corner, to which I hardly reacted as I knew that it was too little, too late yet again.
Another thing which worries me is that we have the highest average age squad in the entire Premier League at 29, which gives the phrase “same old, same old” a whole new meaning. Whether we like it or not, it’s coming towards the end of an era at City now and things definitely need to freshened up in the Summer transfer window to bring some spark back into the team.
Regarding Manuel Pellegrini, after lots of thought I’ve finally come to the conclusion that he isn’t the right man to take us onto the “next level”. I’m not saying that he’s a bad manager, it’s just that I don’t think he’s suited to a club that wants to expand at the rate that we do, and where expectations are so high. I get the feeling that the Chilean was brought in to do a specific job once Roberto Mancini left the club in 2013, and now that he’s done that job and won some more silverware along the way, I think it’s time to move on to someone with a better long-term plan.
Finally, while retaining the Premier League title might be a long lost cause now, there’s still plenty of pride at stake in our remaining games – starting with Sunday’s derby at Old Trafford. If the Blues can avoid defeat against United and finish the season in a position which automatically qualifies us for next season’s Champions League, then I’m sure we’ll look back at the 2014/15 campaign as not as much of a disaster after all.
As always, City ‘Til I Die!