How the hell do you try and excuse the inexcusable?
Manchester City had seen both Chelsea and Spurs falter and knew that either Manchester United or Arsenal – or even both – would suffer some damage before the day was done.
All they had to do was beat struggling Sunderland and overcome the darkness that had inexplicably consumed them on three consecutive visits to the Stadium of Light.
So City, on a run of six wins out of their last seven, 23 goals scored and just seven conceded, fresh from guaranteed advancement in the Champions League contrived to deliver a ‘performance’ with all the appeal of a stinking, over-used, unflushed curry house bog.
Pellegrini’s men ponced around as the free scoring, fast flowing goal fest of recent times unceremoniously disappeared in a stench ridden mire of mind-blowing mediocrity.
Oh the bitter irony of a day, which began with the nation vowing to remember the self sacrifice of those who had fallen and perished, to preserve our freedom.
A few hours later all City fans wanted to do was forget about the soiled imposters masquerading as their football ‘heroes’ who had sacrificed the dignity of Manchester City Football Club.
In a display of staggering ineptitude, City once again capitulated in battle to the now seemingly mandatory annual 1-0 defeat on Wearside. The red poppies on their sky blue shirts could have been replaced with white feathers – abject clueless surrender was the order of the day. How about City’s spineless troops donate their unearned, ill-gotten week’s wages to the Poppy Appeal and help REAL HEROES who live on a pittance?
There is no valid excuse for this reversal. Yes, City’s defence was the usual crippled unit we’ve come to expect in the absence of Captain Vincent Kompany, and matters were further undermined with the forced absence of Nastasic, Fernandinho and the magical Silva.
Referee Mike Dean, an official I would normally rate as the best official in the Premier, fell woefully short when it came to two fundamental decisions within two pivotal minutes.
Javi Garcia is about as much use as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking competition, but that did not excuse Seb Larsson’s appalling studs up challenge in the 18th minute.
Two of his team mates had been sent off for fouls of a similar ‘stature’ last weekend against Hull. Likewise Larsson should have been shown a straight red.
120 seconds later and Phil Bardsley’s crude push and shove on James Milner went unpunished and the scutty ex-Manure merchant dispatched the winning shot past Pantilimon.
If Dean had done his job it would have been 10 men against 11 in City’s favour and 0-0. To compound matters he then had the temerity to book Garcia for a relatively innocuous infringement against Steven Fletcher.
There’s no doubting Garcia is a handsome chap and popular with the ladyeeeez. Rumour has it he was substituted at half time to go off and fulfil a BOSS modelling assignment, one where he stood around looking good but doing nothing.
Poor old Javi, he must have mistaken that as his brief for the whole day, but he wasn’t alone. Yaya – the Ivorian Colossus was more akin to a calamity on this occasion.
Toure is rightly revered and, on his day, is one of the finest footballers in the land, but when he doesn’t ‘fancy it’ he really doesn’t fancy it! He gets away with some dreadful displays and if poor old Joe Hart has to go under the microscope, so too should any under-achieving, error prone outfield player.
Every player was culpable of a sub-standard showing – Super Sergio was subdued and the usually carnivorous ‘Beast’ was dining on watercress in an insipid City strike force.
Bloody hell – here was one of the Premier League’s most potent partnerships up against Wes Brown, playing his first game after a 22 month absence from the First XI and as rusty as his shaved ginger main. As for John O’Shea – don’t even get me started!
I could go on, but to what effect? Anybody and everybody who cares so passionately about Manchester City was gut-wrenchingly sickened by Manuel’s miserable muddle.
Read But Never Red coined the #TrustOurMP strapline when the professorial-like Pellegrini succeeded Roberto Mancini. Surprisingly, especially in the light of what is written here today, I remain in the Pro-Pellegrini camp.
Yes, City sucked big time yesterday. Yes, City have needlessly puked up 10 precious points to the likes of Cardiff, Villa, Chelsea and once again, Sunderland and yes, City are eighth – frickin eighth – in the table. It makes uncomfortable reading, but it is eminently recoverable.
Alternatively City are just two wins away from the top of the Premier League, the title race is weirdly wide open like never before and Vincent Kompany should be back against Spurs in a fortnight.
Compared with last season after 11 games, City are six points worse off and six places lower in the PL. However, the club had already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup and any Champions League hopes had virtually disappeared a year ago.
Pellegrini has been tasked with winning five major trophies in three years. It may be that the City hierarchy see Champions League success as the priority, the golden ticket – the one that brings global recognition to City and the club’s Abu Dhabi ownership.
It’s a mouth-watering proposition but highly improbable this season. The trick is to progress, gain European credibility reach the quarter finals, perhaps even the semi finals – but NOT at the expense of squandering a domestic crown.
City fans want that Premier League title back. They know it can be done – but not with appalling tripe such as yesterday. The truth is no team is running away with the PL and City still have as good a chance as anyone else.
Lest it’s forgotten Sheikh Mansour, in a rare public address last week, reiterated his commitment to City, stating that the clubs ambitions were ‘…large and unlimited…’ and that the club is ‘…only part way through its upgrading process…’
It bodes well for January reinforcements and the shipping out of the ‘squad’ players who flatter to deceive.
There’s no denying City stank the place out yesterday but more fragrant times are ahead.
In the meantime it would help if Pellegrini and some of his under-achieving players took a strong smell of the coffee.
By David Walker
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