Man City (2) 5 SAFC (0) 0: the Premier’s soft touches

Soft touches, or maybe just mugs. This is the result some of us have worried about for a while. Another tonking reminiscent of St James’ Park. Utter rubbish. And that was written with a few minutes to go. Blow the whistle ref, please! …

We’ve got used to awful starts this season.

They don’t come much worse than this one, with two goals conceded in 15 minutes with a minimum of effort needed from Man City, good as they can be.

The simplicity of the first goal from Adam Johnson, or rather the ease with which the chance was created, would give nightmares to any FA instructor on basic defending. Where was Phil Bardsley?

We know where he was for the penalty. And I do not fault Howard Webb for giving it. It was a late challenge, City made the most of it but no serious complaints.

Where I do fault Webb, a referee I respect, is that he really did set out his stall quite early with some highly questionable decisions. Fifty-fifty challenges seemed to end up with Man City free kicks; the booking of Mensah for a perfectly good, winning tackle was a disgrace.

He was, of course, blameless for our dreadful defending, abysmal final balls after good approach work and glaring lack – yet again -of creativity and confidence. And he had nothing, in general, to do with what turned into a hammering.

The heavy defeat that followed the early collapse was down to our inability to compete.

We didn’t, in truth, expect much out of today. We got nothing.

Look at the third goal. A reasonably promising forward move breaks down with a poor pass, made worse by a hopeless touch. Back comes the ball. Tevez crosses, there’s an unlucky deflection and it’s in the net.

Look even harder, if you can bear it, at Lee Cattermole’s idiotic backwards dance down the left wing before setting up the fifth with as inviting a cross into our own danger area as any City striker might have wanted.

This, after all the promise, is where we are. We love Sunderland, that’s a given. We want success. We’d settle for honest defeats if there were also evidence of shape, passion, cohesion, a grip on any part of the pitch. You looked, today, in vain.

Maybe we’ll bounce back with the supposedly easy games to follow. Maybe we’d better.

Monsieur Salut

9 thoughts on “Man City (2) 5 SAFC (0) 0: the Premier’s soft touches”

  1. We all have our opinions on what is wrong with the team, but one thing is a certainty, the team need the fans to be behind them, the supporters are the 12th man, we are nowhere near as loud as we used to be. Cmon lets get NOISY and not just when they play ok, ALL GAME. I’m convinced it makes a difference. A Mag mate couldnt believe how quiet it was at SOL at the derby.

  2. I agree with Malcom ; we have some good players – but the balance is not right at the moment – it hasn’t been since Muntari and Sess started – that needs to be addressed .
    Watching us play I often wonder what the hell we do in training , apart from getting injured , certainly not shooting practise . The one game were we hit the target frequently (Blackpool at home ) we hit everything straight at the keeper !At the moment we are looking toothless in attack and nervous at the back

    Saying all that – if we had won yesterday we would have gone 7th equal – and all today’s talk would have been on Europe etc – it’s a funny old league this year

  3. Martin,

    Petty insults aside, we were very poor today as we were against Liverpool. Ifos & Michael both make good points. We should judge Bruce at the end of the season, however I feel that the end will see us positioned in a less advantageous position than last season. That was a surrender today and not for the first time this season. Why?

    Davey is right, we need a win and quick because we are not a comfortable distance from the dog fight.

    I appreciate that supporters have differing views, however we all have the same desire for the Club to succeed and this forum allows us to express that desire.

    If you are a fervent Bruce supporter, good for you and I would love to be proved wrong about his abilities. However I think you should look at the past Bruce e-mails regarding our performances and there is a disturbing pattern which still needs to be addressed, does Bruce have the ability to change it?

    Additionally, I was not in favour of Reid’s sacking nor Mc Carthy’s.

  4. Neither Elmohamady nor Steed have scored this season and lack of goals from midfield is an issue but since we have signed Muntari and Sessignon, there has been no width at all in midfield. We haven’t created half a dozen clear cut goalscoring opportunities since they have replaced the former. They both have undoubted ability but the balance of the team seems wrong.With Cattermole and Henderson we have a midfield four who all want to play away from the touchlines.

    We have no-one pulling defenders out of position and although I expected us to be fine without Bent since the Blackpool game we have struggled to break defences down.

    My prediction of a seventh place finish is beginning to look at best optimistic and after the weekend I am just pleased Geordie Doon South never took me up on my bet that we would finish above the Mags. We need at least 16 points from the next seven games against teams we should be aiming to finish above.

  5. Dead grubs or whatever – we need a win – and quick .
    The way to get that is to get to the SOL next week and get behind the team and the manager

  6. I think that Bruce like all managers should be judged at the end of the season…..unless of course you are in real danger of relegation with a dozen games left, then it’s time to be sacked. It seems to me that we have stagnated because we have lost cruicial players at important times ( Bent, Welbeck,Turner, Cattermole, Meyler, Campblee) which has disrupted the continuity in team selection required for consitency. Without doubt the biggest blow was losing Bent. IMO Gyan is nota natural goalscorer and was bought to play alsongside Bent and if that had happened I am sure we would ahve been about ten points better off. Muntari and Sessengon are good players but they both need time to settle in. Too much has been expected of them too soon. A top ten finish is possible and then we need look to replace and rebuild for next season. And that may include moving on the likes of Ferdinand,Cattermole,Steed, Bolo and not offering contracts to Muntari and Mensah. I would certainly keep Welbeck but I suspect it won’t happen even if Man U are willing to sell him.

  7. Obviously I have the intellect of a dead grub because I can’t see the potential in Bruce’s reign; I can see the potential of Ellis Short’s reign and the funds he has injected into the club, which, I suspect, is more important than Bruce’s positon. I’m surprised that someone can see that there was no width, no creativity and the weakness of the defence and yet consider the manager’s still capable, especially given that those problems have been the same for several games now.
    I would also draw attention to the fact that some people were against the appointment of Bruce from the start, citing his lack of managerial achievement as the main reason they had no faith, therefore to accuse them of being a ‘scorn-monger’ and an ‘ant’ ludicrously impertinent; by all means have your opinion, but please refrain from such petty comments when others express theirs.
    Today’s performance was all of the things mentioned by others, my biggest concern is that the same sort of thing happened last season but a month earlier, meaning we had time to get out of the bad run, this time it’s happened as the season really kicks in, and all I know is that if I made the same mistakes at the same time in my job I’d get an arse kicking second to none. I can only hope the same is true of Bruce, for all our sakes.

  8. CSB – you are so predictable! Why when we have potentially the best squad we’ve ever had, would you single out the coach? The same coach who earlier in the season had our team playing the best football we’ve ever seen at our place? It’s so boring. You’re just another ant on the hill – another impatient, belligerent scorn-monger, who spits his thunder when things don’t go right. I agree with Pete too – we were insipid, impotent, shite, dull, weak, clueless, unimaginative, dross. Once again we become reunited with the familiar feelings of despair, and the easy-to-anticipate defeats are once again haunting us. Our defence is a push-over, we had no width, no creativity in midfield, zero impact in the final third. But I believe that it will turn around. We are due to give someone a spanking, and Steve Bruce – if given the time IS the man for the job. We’ve suffered more than our fair share of misfortune, and that contributes in part to our downfall. But if anyone can’t grasp what Bruce is trying to do, and they aren’t able to see the potential for success under his reign, I’m afraid they possess the intellect of a dead grub. Especially considering the players he’s brought in, and the way he had the team playing previously.

    Defeats like that are hard to take – but they happen. City are a class act, albeit expensively assembled diva’s! They are capable of doing that to anyone. Support the manager – give him another season at least, and then if he’s not cutting the mustard, commence your hate campaign – Peter Reid style.

  9. Totally agree with Pete, no heart, no game plan, no movement, all totally insipid.

    As I have said before (many times) Bruce is not the man for the job. FACT.

    We now have on paper a good squad of players who have quality. Fair enough we have been hit by injuries and it did effect the early season progress (hammering by the Mags xempted) we made. Bu in the interim other poorly performing sides have got better and moved in front of us (Liverpool, Everton, Mags) where we have stagnated. I don’t think this is down to judas leaving, however it opens up an uncomfortable truth. our success was due to underperforming sides who have now caught us up and gone passed us.

    The established ‘Premiership side’ label now looks limp and talk of EUROPE laughable. meanwhile back in the real World we are a below average side, the table does not lie. If we have the quality of players what then is the problem I ask?

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