Published on December 14th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman2
Manchester City 2-1 Swansea City | Daniel Cheeseman
“A Lucky Escape”
Having just gone on in my last blog about how City always leave it to the last minute, isn’t it just typical that they’ve managed to put us through that again, only a few days later?
Although you could argue that it makes for a more dramatic and/or entertaining game, should we really be in the position where we have to scrape a win at home to Swansea?
It has to be said that it was probably one of the most unconvincing wins of the season so far, as City were nothing short of dire for most of the game. Not only were the defence poor once again, but for the standards they set earlier in the season during their unbeaten run – the attack were too.
Again, should we really be constantly relying on our last barrier of defence, Joe Hart, to save the day, at home, to Swansea? Especially when that defence is one of the most expensive in footballing history? God knows where we’d be in the Premier League, and the Champions League for that matter, without our ‘get out of jail card’ in goal.
It’s happening far too often that teams can easily cut through our defence with just one through pass – Stoke did it not once, but twice against us last weekend and made us look amateurish. But while I don’t like to blame things on one player, especially because football is a team game, I can’t help but still feel that Eliaquim Mangala is still a huge part of the problem.
People often don’t notice when he’s playing badly because he doesn’t make *too* many glaring mistakes, but 9 times out of 10 when you see the other team clean through on goal, you find yourself asking “what’s Mangala doing there?” or, more often than not, “where is Mangala?”
I’ve come to the conclusion that Otamendi is a very good defender, the problem is that he needs other good players around him. The times when he’s looked at his best this season have been when he’s alongside Vincent Kompany, but with any of the other two (Mangala or Demichelis) it’s like he gets dragged down to their level.
Another thing I always say is that we shouldn’t attempt to do the offside trap whilst Kompany is out, simply because it does not work without the skipper organizing the defensive line. It’s embarrassing at times to see the Blues attempting to do it without him, as it often results in the opposition scoring, so I can’t for the life of me understand why Manuel Pellegrini insists on trying to make them do it.
Now, I could go on a lot longer if I wanted to about the negatives in Saturday’s performance (I haven’t even touched on Bony yet!), but at the end of the day we did actually win – so it would be slightly unfair on them to not mention the positives…
Yaya Toure looked back to his old self again – I’ve sensed a big improvement from the Ivorian in the last few games, and while I don’t know why this has happened, I’m just thankful it has! It’s an absolute joy to see him bullying people off the ball once again and actually looking like he’s enjoying himself on the field, so I’m crossing my fingers that he continues to keep this form up in the build up to a tough couple of games.
David Silva was magnificent too, as usual, but as he does it so often there’s not much point in expanding on that, is there? I’m sure you all know by now what and how much he contributes to the game!
In the end, while there was an element of luck about the winning goal, for once you can’t fault the Blues’ desire to get an equaliser – and I think you have to accept that it was just another case of having to win ugly when competing for silverware.
The boys have 9 days to rest now until the big game at the Emirates next Monday, so here’s hoping that the Blues recharge their batteries and get fired up for what’s surely going to be one of the biggest tests of the season!