Sixer’s Soapbox. Deserved more against a Manchester City reduced to MUFC playacting

Jake: 'more of this and we've a chance ...'
Jake: ‘more of this and we’ve a chance …’

Monsieur Salut writes: I was wrong. Pete Sixsmith‘s internet woes are over so he was up and about at the crack of dawn to reflect on the 1-0 defeat at home to Man City. I’m busy writing a profile of City’s manager-in-waiting – being contenders for four major trophies being seen as a clear sign of failure in that part of the NW Midlands – so apologies to Sixer for the delay in posting …

Another game, another defeat and a visit to the Pirelli Stadium in Burton-upon-Trent is looking likelier by the day. There are 14 games left and 42 points to play for. I calculate that we need a minimum of 23 to stay up – seven wins and two draws will do it.

There should have been at least one point last night as we played as well as we have all season against a twisty and whiny Manchester City side who plummeted in my estimation – not that they will be in the least bit bothered by that.

We showed pace, enthusiasm and desire, three things that have been noticeable by their absence for far too long and which a simple reconfiguration of the starting line up and a couple of new faces gave us a chance of matching Leicester City’s remarkable rise from bottom to top in 12 months.

Kirchhoff and Kone made excellent debuts and showed the value of having an experienced manager who knows the English game backwards and who also has an extensive scouting network. These were Sam’s players, not Dick’s or Lee’s or Gus’s or Roberto’s and they rewarded him with two very impressive performances.

Kone looked quick and sharp at centre back and he gained instant cult status when he tackled YaYa Toure in front of the East Stand in the second half. The stadium rocked to its foundations as two huge men hit each other in something akin to a Leeds Rhino tackling a Wigan Warrior. Knees creaked as the older inhabitants of the East Stand rose to their feet to applaud and thought of previous tackles like any by Jimmy McNab or Richie Pitt’s on Allan Clarke at Wembley. It cemented Kone as a hero and he would have been a greater one had his header gone in in the first half.

Kirchhoff had made a poor start at Tottenham and has clearly spent the last two weeks getting his fitness right. When the teams were announced, we expected a back three with the full backs pushing forward; when they lined up, we saw a back four with the former Bayern Munich man in front of them and Cattermole and M’Vila in front.

It worked. Not only can Big Jan tackle, head the ball and chew gum at the same time, he can also intercept, pass and move forward – things which the likes of Bridcutt, Rodwell (not even on the bench last night – what does that tell us?) and Cattermole cannot do.

He gave us an anchor and showed that the opprobrium heaped on him after his White Hart Lane fiasco was unfair and that people should not rush to judgements. Blame the manager not the player for that one.

Having said all that, we gave a goal away in the opening stages yet again, albeit a slightly fortunate one. The last thing you want is for a deflection to land at the feet of Sergio Aguero standing in the penalty box unmarked. So, 0-1 and a mountain to climb

We had a go at it. There were chances before half time. Kone should have done better with his header and Billy Jones hit the post after Hart (of whom more later) had made a good save from Defoe. And we continued to keep them on the back foot in the second half as their much maligned central defenders worked hard to stop any clearcut chances for Defoe and Borini.

That the best one fell to O’Shea sums up our lack of good fortune. Those patrons in Row Z of the North Stand had a good view of the ball as it whizzed past them.

We forced City into withdrawing their second forward and replacing him with a defensive midfielder at half time. We also forced them into a disappointing spectacle of time wasting, whingeing and rolling around, which culminated in the 90th minute with Gael Clichy preventing Jones from getting the ball, lying on top of it when it went out of play, getting up, returning to the pitch and then falling down and rolling around as if he had been poleaxed.

Add to this the constant surrounding of a weak referee and Joe Hart’s sprints from 50 yards to remonstrate with Mr Attwell and you had something which I associate with their Manchester rivals but not with City and not with Pellegrini, a man who holds a high place in my estimation – as if he is bothered about that.

There were plus points and had we had this quality of players in July instead of the disappointing group that Congerton brought in, we may have been sitting happily in mid table, contemplating a boring end of season and maybe a cup run.

As it is, we go to Liverpool with some hope. They are not a good side and, if we can utilise the pace of Borini and Khazri (full of enthusiasm when he came on and he takes a mean corner kick) we may well get something.

But we have to concentrate for 90 minutes; the four 0-1 home defeats have all been to goals where there was a serious lapse of concentration and a point has been lost. I firmly believe that in some ways, it is better to lose heavily because then you can see where the problems are; lose by a single goal and the tweaking becomes difficult.

Here’s hoping that Everton can shake off their slough of despond and give the black and whites a good tousing tonight. We need some good news.

12 thoughts on “Sixer’s Soapbox. Deserved more against a Manchester City reduced to MUFC playacting”

  1. I suppose it’s genuine progress when Man City run the ball into the corners, blatantly waste time and over-react to tackles. It is however a disgraceful blight on football, and as for Mr.Shampoo, who was head and shoulders above the rest in being a total arse, he just made himself look ridiculous. City’s theatrics, haranguing of the referee and time-wasting reminded me of Leeds in the late sixties.Very heartened by our performance although it has probably come too late.Ha’way.

  2. this blog has just plummeted in my estimation…. if you ‘really’ think aguero was ‘playacting’ after the lower league donkey that poses as a full back at your gaff raked his calf (don’t suppose you saw the shredded sock or welts, get a HD tv) or that the cockney trud de-fow didn’t elbow MDM then I think the rest of your opinion is worthless.

    The embarrasing over-reaction from otamendi was unacceptable but at least he did get an elbow in the mush (allbeit a half hearted effort this time).

    Any comment on the comical face clutch from your new french hardman when a boot got within 24 good old english inches of his visage ? don’t know if motd covered that, probably wouldn’t.

    if you’re still reading I actually hope you –
    1 – stay up 2- get rid of fat sam.

    I think you have a chance, couple of the new signings look ok. even the new CM who fat sam bought as a CH.

    • Opinions, eh? Why would a blog go down in anyone’s estimation just because they disagreed with one view expressed by a writer? For the record, I thought Defoe’s swinging arm was unintentional but might have been punished by a different ref. I thought Hart deserved a booking for his one-man crowding of the ref and I was as amused as i was irritated that a club stuffed with such massive talent should be reduced to time wasting against strugglers.

      • Once upon a time Man City were a well-respected club, with well-respected fans, playing in the top two divisions, winning the occasional trophy, in a half decent ground by the standards of the day.

        Then they were sold to a very rich person and their fans began to forget their history.

        Or so it would seem.

      • the fans who were around during our ‘well respected years’ have forgotten nothing of our history, I think that’s why we enjoy the current upsurge so much.

      • SS, i didn’t suffer reduced esteem as a result of not agreeing with your opinion, it was more about the new ‘one eyed’ view of events (as confirmed by you ignoring the attempt on Kuns life), I’m used to this site having a much more balanced view of things. I’ll put it down to short term disappointment at the possible theft of a valuable point.

        for what it’s worth I hate time wasting as much as diving. We recently witnessed everton start doing it in the second minute at the bluecamp. It’s also a traditional facet of the fat ones teams, along with opta stats, hoofing it long and nightclub doorman thuggery. You will agree with me in time and be baying for him to be cast out – ask any hammers fan if they’d have him back.

  3. I would say that there was a decent atmosphere, particularly in the second half as we took the game to City.
    Thought we were particularly unlucky last night: 2 great saves from Hart (who should have been booked for his haranguing of the ref) and a bounce to Aguero (who is wonderful to watch).
    And I don’t like to say I told you so…but…Kaiser Kirchhoff! Ok, maybe a little early for such a title.

  4. I listened to Barnes and Benno last night from my workplace and the atmosphere seemed very flat and the lack of noise was palpable. Are we becoming resigned to our fate?

    • They must have been in a soundproofed box , the place was rocking especially in the second half . We probably will go down but its far from certain and if we can replicate last nights performance untill the end of the season we just might dodge the noose yet again .

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