News Flash! Man City suck. Okay they don’t suck, but they’re having a wobble. A wobble that has given them only two points from their last three games.
Now that may not sound that bad considering we’re used to statistics along the lines of ‘no wins in seven’ etc. but City aren’t some 20-15 positioned club – they’re title challengers. And when you’re battling for the title, and you’re up against the metronomic steamroller that is Man United, you can’t pick up two points out of three. You can’t wobble.
Today Mancini announced his disappointment with his players, saying he was angry with them and there will be changes in the upcoming games. It seems pretty unlikely that Fergie’s men will let them get back into the title race, but if the Sky Blues are to have any hope those changes could be vital…
Gael Clichy OUT Aleksander Kolarov IN
Don’t get me wrong, Clichy is an alright defender; he’s quick and experienced, but Kolarov offers a lot more. He’s solid in defence, versatile with formation changes (can play as a full-back, wing-back, or winger), and threatening in attack. Whenever he’s brought on, he always finds crossing positions and delivers threatening balls. And let’s not forget his free kick ability. Clichy meanwhile is getting skinned by Rickie Lambert.
Anyone bar Kompany OUT Joleon Lescott IN
I have no idea what Lescott did to Mancini, but this season the English center-back’s days look numbered. You’d have thought that being 50% of the Lescott-Kompany partnership that was so solid when City won the title would secure his place in the team but it appears not. Regularly subbed off and seldom started in the Champion’s League, Lescott’s England future is becoming stunted as are City’s title hopes.
Nastasic should seek his learning opportunities in domestic cup competitions, Kolo Toure should be nothing more than cover now, and Javi Garcia is not suited to defence. Stop taking Lescott off Mancini, if you think three at the back is better, start like it, and keep Lescott as the LCB where he’s positionally good and dominant in the air.
Gareth Barry OUT James Milner IN
Firstly I’m not picking on Barry for his incompetent own goal (I could write a mammoth list on his shortcomings), and secondly I know Milner does frequently play. What I’m angling at mainly is to get Milner in the centre of midfield.
I don’t know who’s idea it was to put a physical, labouring, and unskillful Englishman on the wing but it doesn’t work. It looks like someone put human legs on a boar and told him to catch a squirrel. However, put those qualities in midfield and you have a younger, faster Barry. Big whoopie I know, but if you can find a way to get Gareth ‘the buttocks’ Barry on the bench you should take it. O’neill knew he was better used there, and this would free up the wings for Kolarov and Zabaleta, also allowing Yaya Toure to move forwards when he fancied. It also might stop Milner huffing and puffing as he hits his eleventh cross of the night into the first defender in an England shirt.
Samir Nasri OUT Carlos Tevez IN
There used to be a Frenchman by the name of Nasri at Arsenal and he was quite a decent player. Man City must’ve got his twin though because this child faced fellow is a waste of space. A very poor man’s Silva in theory, Nasri doesn’t offer anything without possession and seems lacklustre with the ball at his feet. Occasionally he produces a moment of skill or creates a chance but that isn’t enough.
With Aguero and Dzeko seeming the first choice strikers, Tevez has the work rate and guile to play as an attacking midfielder or wide attacker. His international link with Aguero could also be vital for finding the latter in the box, something Dzeko the donkey can’t do.
There you go Bob, sort it out!