Published on December 6th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman1
Stoke City 2-0 Manchester City | Daniel Cheeseman
I know that I’ve already said it several times this season, but I think the performance at Stoke City was the worst yet.
The Blues appeared to give up at 2-0, heads dropped and there didn’t seem to be a plan “B” when the going got tough, admittedly in difficult windy conditions and with a long injury list. This happens far too often, a similar thing happened at White Hart Lane. What happened to “We fight ’til the end”?
I thought Manuel Pellegrini picked the wrong starting 11, again. Fabian Delph is in fine form but was dropped for Fernando, and Bony was preferred to Iheanacho. Can anyone explain the logic of those decisions? I am just a humble fan, not a highly paid manager with a lifetime of experience, so I’m more that willing to listen to the explanation, but I can’t deny that I’m completely baffled.
The City defending was abysmal. Martin Demichelis was especially guilty of diving in too much. Even at the best of times defenders should be trying to stay on their feet, but when it’s blowing a gale, it surely goes without saying, because of how hard it is to predict the flight of the ball.
There was no imagination going forward. Although he hasn’t been in the finest of form, I thought we missed Yaya Toure – as he often does important things that go unnoticed.
I wasn’t impressed with the coaching staff’s body language, nobody attempted to make corrections when things were clearly wrong. I know Manuel Pellegrini has a philosophy of “stay calm and you can better assess the game as it goes along”, but what a contrast to Klopp at the Etihad Stadium a couple of weeks ago – there’s a coach who seems to be capable of getting more from his players. At the moment City are surely underperforming, even with the injury list as long as it is?
I don’t want to take any credit away from Stoke though, they were hungrier from start to finish and showed class in the creation and scoring of both goals. On recent evidence, and I can only comment on what’s in front of me, I would have much preferred to have Shaqiri in our side than Raheem Sterling!
I hate to be negative, but there’s just so little positive to take out of Saturday’s game.
What should we expect from the match against Borussia on Tuesday, especially as they beat Bayern Munich 3-1 while we were losing at Stoke? At the moment it seems that the Blues pick and choose when they want to turn on the style, so who knows.
The only thing I can be certain of is that, however much I feel disappointed after a game like the one at Stoke, I’m C.T.I.D!