Martin’s Musings from Manchester City: disappointment after three minutes that lasted another 90

Jake's imagination

Martin O’Neill highlights Cuellar’s challenge as the turning point of the game. That it came after only three minutes in such a dangerous position, is something no doubt he and his backroom staff will discuss with the team. Whether or not it was necessary at all will also be considered. Of just as much concern will surely be the ineffectiveness of the midfield and the lack of goalscoring opportunities created. Manchester City have strength in depth and a wealth of talent at their disposal but despite the endeavours of the Lads on the pitch in red and white, City were worthy winners. In his personal letter to Monsieur Salut the manager expresses his post match feelings …

Dear Colin,

I’m disappointed with the result and the performance, we should have done much better.

Manchester City can beat anybody and they can play like that on any given day, but we gave them a lot of room and time and maybe too much respect.

They are a fine side but we gave the ball away far too easily and it was hard to recover.

In the second half we tried to become more of an attacking threat but they got their second goal halfway through, giving them time to perform again, and eventually they were too strong for us.

Jake knows when we're beaten

We lost possession after just a couple of minutes, which led to the free kick and [Aleksandar] Kolarov is more than capable of scoring those type of goals.

That was the turning point in the game.

After Manchester City’s draw in midweek, they might have been feeling sorry for themselves, but we gifted them the opportunity to score after conceding that free kick.

However, we still should have been able to come back from that.

We didn’t have that many strikes on goal and the scoreline could have been much worse had it not been for Simon [Mignolet].

There are better sides than us that will come to the Etihad Stadium and be beaten, however, last season we were the only team take points from City here.

We were well short of that performance today.

All the best,

Beware of forgeries
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9 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings from Manchester City: disappointment after three minutes that lasted another 90”

  1. Because AJ, Sess, SF and McClean are capable of getting goals. They can only do so if they see the ball – and with the current central midfield looking like its going to fold like a pack of cards against anyone decent – that is getting increasingly unlikely.

  2. I think that it is becoming increasingly clear that our main problem is in central midfield. Our defence is okay, with Mignolet looking better and better. We certainly need a second striker, and whether we have one on our books is debatable. We have decent wingers, who, with more creativity from the middle, should weigh in with a few goals. [ Johnson, Larsson, McClean, and I would maintain, Sessegnon, who I don’t think is either a second striker or a central midfield player ] Cattermole is good at closing down, and harrying, but can’t pass and won’t score goals. Colback, in my opinion, lacks conviction, a great prospect, but does not create much. We therefore need at least one, probably two, central midfield players [ I would have loved us to have bought Charlie Adam ] who can hold the ball, pass, and score an occasional goal.

  3. Why keep banging on about needing Cattermole when what we were missing from midfielders is goals and telling passes, neither of which he brings to the game? Not that the others have managed goals season, but they have in the past.

  4. Could the problem have been AJ? Can we afford the luxury of a winger who only contributes going forward against a midfield of that quality.

  5. I have emphasised how important Cattermole is to us (plug). Larsson is just not good enough to play in a two man central midfield and Colback is refusing to come out of that shell. (plug)

    I have stated before that Gardner is a better right back (plug) but with Bardsley returning to training and the other midfielders failing to stamp their authority on things in Cattermole’s presence, you have to wonder about the team selection for the ill-timed derby game.

  6. I am sure that many fans, like me, did not expect any return from today’s game, but what a disappointing performance!

    There was no energy in our play, especially in midfield where we seemed to be ambling to the ball in competition with driven top professionals who won most of the loose stuff.

    Out of possession, we covered badly, allowing the opposition time and space to run unchallenged in all areas of the pitch. Is this total lack of drive the result of an absent Cattermole?

    MON is still building the team, but on this showing we clearly have a long way to go. Top of the list now must be a pair of central midfield players who can win and hold the ball. With the best will in the world, Seb Larsson is not a central midfield player as evidenced by his poor positional play leading to the need for him to be constantly chasing back, several meters behind the action. And Jack Colback, though seeming to have the ability, just will not impose himself on the game through more positive play. David Vaughan simply looks too lightweight. That leaves Meyler and Gardner (when Bardsley returns) but both lack the change of pace and dribbling quality needed to hold possession and carry the team forward.

    Fortunately, we have a top-class manager whose know-how and drive will be vital to carry us through this season. His task will be made much easier by the players showing considerably more energy and determination than they did today in addition to a bit more confidence to give better ball retention.

    • I agree. We’re looking good in defence, and likely to score goals up front through Sess and Fletch, but our midfield needs rethinking.
      We’ve also got to find a way at all costs of getting AJ into the game.
      For all those who complain about Lee Cattermole, I think we have really missed him. Now if he can add the odd goal and unlocking pass ability to his game then we’ve got a midfielder who is irreplaceable. However, I personally think we’ve got to spend int his area. Gardner is good but lacks vision. Vaughn is too inconsistent.

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