Published on September 27th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman3
Where are the new “Super Eight”? | Ian Cheeseman
Losing a couple of games and being second in the Premier League is hardly a crisis, and believe me I’ve seen a few of those at City during my time as a reporter and supporter, so I know what a crisis looks and feels like.
However, the recent dip in form does deserve analysis. Whenever there’s a dip, and particularly when it’s a heavy defeat, emotions run high and fans split into two factions. There are those who don’t want to hear criticism, and like religious fanatics, they have an unshakeable faith and despise all those who they perceive as “sticking the boot in”. At the other extreme are those who think the world is coming to an end.
I’d like to think that my appraisal will be more realistic, but that’s for you to decide.
City dominated the first forty minutes at White Hart Lane, and with a bit of luck could have had an unassailable lead by half time. The timing of Tottenham’s offside goal was significant because it lifted the home team going into the break. What was worrying was, as we saw in the second half, it seemed to deflate the Blues.
Where was the fight, the character and the belief that should have seen City shrug off that feeling of injustice? The quality was there to have retaken the lead, but not the leadership, or just as worryingly, the fight.
In a couple of blogs I wrote a year or two ago, I spoke about the “Super Eight” which were the players who were the match winners, the ones who made the difference between winning and losing the crunch games or coping with setbacks.
Those eight were Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva, Nasri & Aguero. Despite lots of new signings, and all those players being two years older, I’m not sure that list has changed much. The best of the new boys, on the evidence of what I’ve seen so far, is Kevin De Bruyne, but even he disappeared during the second half at Spurs, and Sterling hasn’t yet shown the character to make a difference, when things are going against you.
Aguero hasn’t looked fully fit all season, so isn’t at the top of his game yet, hopefully, despite the conspiracy theorists saying he looks unhappy, his form will soon return. Yaya, who I’m a huge fan of, is now in the latter stages of his career, which can be extended if he stays in the deep “playmaker” role. He’s that good he could be like Pirlo for a year or two, but most fans only seem to judge him for his rampaging runs.
Silva is a magician – arguably THE key player right now – but Kompany and Hart are huge driving forces in the dressing room and on the pitch. From my view, just behind the bench at White Hart Lane, I could see Hart and Kompany living every moment. They care, and that’s important, and it shows when they’re on the field.
The eyes of the football world will be on City this week as they go to Germany and host Newcastle next weekend. Yaya and Kompany might miss the game at Borussia, while Silva’s return could be pivotal. It’s a time for the team to come together, and do what Champions do, show that they can overcome criticism and adversity. Form is temporary, class is permanent.
Up the Blues