City’s Hammer horror – West Ham 2 Man City 1

‘WE FIGHT ‘TILL THE END, WE FIGHT ’TILL THE END, WE’RE MAN CITY, WE FIGHT ‘TILL THE END’.

It’s an impassioned and cherished battle cry from the terraces born from 93.20 minutes on May 13th 2012. It’s sung with gusto and pride but it seems to be falling on deaf ears far too often recently.

Sergio says - a quote for Aguero's book - now translated into English - sums up City's traditional fighting spirt.

Sergio says – a quote for Aguero’s book – now translated into English – sums up City’s traditional fighting spirt.

A total contradiction in terms in Moscow in midweek and, if you flip the chant onto its B-Side, it wouldn’t go amiss if Manchester City’s finest could find it within themselves to FIGHT FROM THE START!

You learn more in adversity than in victory is a truism in life, and now is as good a time as any for Manuel Pellegrini and his team to conduct some serious self-analysis.

City froze for 49 minutes of painful second half ineptitude in Russia, costing themselves two crucial Champions League points. Yes, the Hungarian ref was a tw*t (choose your own vowel and insert) but City should have been three or four goals clear before the penalty that never was, was given.

Russian revolt - Furious City players surround Istvan Vad, the bad referee from Hungary. Courtesy@MCFC

Russian revolt – Furious City players surround Istvan Vad, the bad referee from Hungary. Courtesy@MCFC

As Champions of England, blessed with winners and talented players, you redeem yourselves at the first opportunity…you don’t wait for an hour of a vital Premier League clash to implement the tactical changes that a visually impaired bat, who shudda gone to Specsavers, could spot a mile off.

It doesn’t matter that Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure were unlucky with shots that crashed off the bar, it doesn’t matter that David ‘Merlin’ Silva scored a prime contender for Goal of the Season and, on balance, it doesn’t matter that West Ham’s first goal was offside.

Bar Humbug - Sergio's strike hits the West Ham woodwork. Courtesy@MCFC

Bar Humbug – Sergio’s strike hits the West Ham woodwork. Courtesy@MCFC

What matters is why a curious, stupefying and irritating malaise has taken hold of Manchester City for well over 100 minutes in the space of less than five days?

Having supported City for nearly five decades (yes I know I look older but I had a very challenging paper round as a child) I am not one those ‘fans’ who thinks my club has a God given right to win every game.

Just because City have the incredible good fortune to have Sheikh Mansour as owner and are stinking, beautifully rich, it’s no guarantee of success every week or indeed, every season.

The hundreds of millions of pounds that have transformed City into winners and contenders is always – always – used to batter City about the head, to heap pressure on the club and to ridicule when things don’t go to plan.

Irritating Kompany - West Ham speedster Valencia caused havoc for Vincent & Co. Courtesy@MCFC

Irritating Kompany – West Ham speedster Valencia caused havoc for Vincent & Co. Courtesy@MCFC

And so it was after CSKA Moscow and will be after West Ham.

I’m the first to cry foul, castigate referees, berate pundits and rail against the cancerous media who just love to hate Manchester City.

It pains and sickens me in equal measure when City lose, not just the defeat or under performance in itself, but because it gives ammunition to those who seek to damage Manchester City FC.

As a club and as a fan base we must rise above the bile and venom that pours forth, whenever Manuel Pellegrini, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Co come up short.

Not so magnificent seven - City have lost the last 7 PL games where they have been losing at half time. Courtesy@MCFC

Not so magnificent seven – City have lost the last 7 PL games where they have been losing at half time. Courtesy@MCFC

In circumstances such as the 2-1 defeat to a fired up West Ham we have to be magnanimous and accept we didn’t deserve to win, probably deserved to draw but ultimately lost, fair and square.

Of course when you analyse the teams, the players, the transfer fees, the wages blah blah blah it’s a no brainer – City should win nine times out of 10.

For the giddy Hammers it was a case of ‘Come in Number 10’ having failed to beat City in the previous 10 encounters.

City had 70% possession, 21 shots to West Ham’s 12, 8 corners to West Ham’s 4 – the sort of statistics we’ve seen every year for the past four years when City go to Sunderland and lose.

The difference at Upton Park was that West Ham were sharper, more incisive and, as clichés go, hungrier for the win.

On Song - West Ham's Alex Song won the Man of the Match Award, whereas David Silva delivered a contender for Goal of the Season. Courtesy@MCFC

On Song – West Ham’s Alex Song won the Man of the Match Award, whereas David Silva delivered a contender for Goal of the Season. Courtesy@MCFC

1-0 up at half time after Amalfitano capitalised on mayhem in City’s backline, West Ham were good value for their lead.

Sakho and Valencia were wreaking havoc as Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala and Clichy wobbled time and time again. Fernando, the acclaimed defensive midfielder born to tackle and shield his back four just wasn’t doing it.

He was failing in the same way Fernandinho often fails in his defensive duties and in a way that often has you wondering how Yaya was ever a designated defensive midfielder, prior to his transformation under Roberto Mancini.

We have to move forward, but for all the millions spent on Javi Garcia, ‘Dino’ and Fernando, has any of them outperformed Nigel De Jong in a City shirt or even Gareth Barry?

Not effective - Fernando has looked the part at times but City are conceding too many goals. Courtesy@MCFC

Not effective – Fernando has looked the part at times but City are conceding too many goals. Courtesy@MCFC

There are few who are bigger advocates of Manuel Pellegrini than this blog and I’m still sticking with #TrustOurMP but – and it’s a sizable but – his almost obsessive adherence to a 4-4-2 formation is fast turning City into a one trick pony.

The transformation when Dzeko was replaced by Jovetic on the hour, was not so much the change of personnel, but the switch to a 4-5-1 with Silva moved from the left to the centre.

Whoever heard of a conductor leading his orchestra from the left side of the stage? City were now in the ascendancy and the gung-ho Hammers were pinned back and limited to counter attacks.

Poor show - Edin had a bad game, but he wasn't alone. Courtesy@MCFC

Poor show – Edin had a bad game, but he wasn’t alone. Courtesy@MCFC

It’s not as if we don’t have the players to make 4-5-1 work with Aguero or Dzeko as the lone striker, supported by the likes of Yaya, Silva, Milner, Nasri, Jovetic, Lampard, Navas (choose four from seven) with an additional defensive midfielder, presumably Fernando over Fernandinho.

With City pressing for the equaliser, the Hammers effectively nailed the win when the troublesome Sakho’s header, despite a nigh on miraculous save by Hart, was clearly in, as evidenced by the goal line technology.

Two minutes later, Silva glided past four West Ham defenders before smashing a superb shot beyond Adrian in the Hammer’s goal.

Under pressure - City must back Manuel Pellegrini during what will hopefully be just a blip in the 2014/15 campaign. Courtesy@MCFC

Under pressure – City must back Manuel Pellegrini during what will hopefully be just a blip in the 2014/15 campaign. Courtesy@MCFC

Pellegrini rang the changes with Milner on for Fernando and Kolarov drafted in for Clichy. By now City were indeed fighting ‘till the end and Jovetic and AK47 both went close with blistering drives.

Aside from the tactics, the constant rotating of the back four cannot breed consistency and continuity. Players often say the defence, more than any other area, benefits from familiarity.

Could it be that Pellegrini should go with a preferred defensive unit to stem the flow of goals City are shipping? Full backs and centre back pairings change almost game by game. Should that cease, at least for the time being?

There’s no glossing over the fact, this was a bad day for City and with Chelsea going to The Swamp, it could see the champions trailing the pretenders to their crown by eight points.

Don't cry for us - City's main Argentines suffered in London. Courtesy@MCFC

Don’t cry for us – City’s main Argentines suffered in London. Courtesy@MCFC

When was the last time a team bridged such a gap to win the Premier League …hang on a minute, we know the answer to that one don’t we?

We could also do with an explanation as to why City are being at best enigmatic or alternatively, erratic in the last couple of outings.

All is not yet lost – not by a long way – but a repeat of the pathetic showing when City were last defending champions would erode the trust invested in Pellegrini.

FIGHT 'TILL THE END. Courtesy@MCFC

FIGHT ‘TILL THE END. Courtesy@MCFC

Time to make City’s actions speak as loud as the words of the song.

#TrustOurMP

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

 

41 Comments

  1. October 25, 2014  9:39 pm by MenM Reply

    offside you say!

    • October 25, 2014  10:32 pm by David Walker Reply

      BT Sport highlighted it in the build up to the goal, not the actual 'execution' of the goal. Christ, even monotone drone and City hater Michael Owen said it was offside. Anyway, what's your beef, I've conceded West Ham were worthy winners.

  2. October 25, 2014  10:01 pm by Susan Richardson Reply

    It was so obvious once the changes were made, yes there were still a couple of errors Mangalas pass into open space????? Yayas punt into the second tier but the team as a whole looked more settled and threatening. Have seen worse matches so on we go. Hopefully you'll be back to happy scribe next week!

    • October 25, 2014  10:37 pm by David Walker Reply

      As my dear old Dad - a much better writer, journalist and all round human being than me - used to say: 'You have to take the rough with the very rough'. I often complain bitterly about referees and injustices meted out to City, but we just have to be big enough to say we didn't perform adequately. It needs addressing but it's no good folk keep on saying, 'Ah yes but I was at Lincoln, Wycombe and York' so was I,but we have to maximise the opportunities in the here and now. Not enough players are putting in the effort and it's about bloody time they did.

  3. October 25, 2014  11:52 pm by Glenn Kavanagh Reply

    Hiho there mr walker, a tough week for us eh!!! A fair & well written report on our "catastrophic week" (I know a thing or six about them) I was just thinking about how we should look at our glaring issues, as I said before we have big problems(duh) is Manuel suffering from wrengerism?? I.e stubbornness, lack of tactical nous etc etc?? Is it in the training? Has he lost the "dressing room"??, I for one liked Roberto for his bluntness.... Machismo' Catholicism etc ( you can't go wrong with Thomas Aquinas) I like Manuel & don't we all? Why wouldn't we? He's a good man, but he qenuanily looks like he's out of ideas. The players look lethargic & lacking in motivation. We look brittle. We are not moving the ball fast enough. We are no were working hard enough. Was munich away last season a fluke? Same goes for mangala(Chelsea) Fernando (Newcastle) where have they gone?? Even zaba who is my all time no.1 city man looks out of kilter, I genuinely don't think that pelligerni will be there after this season. Will we qualify for the last 16 in c.l now?? (Very doubtful) congrats to the hammers' they were due a win against us, il take your hand off now to finish second & the f.a cup, p.s sorry but dzeko has being dreadful for us in the league..... Drop him from the squad for a couple of games & give pozo a proper go. ( sorry if I'm banging on a bit...I'm irish)

    • October 26, 2014  12:44 am by David Walker Reply

      Being Irish is no excuse GK ;-)

    • October 26, 2014  12:47 am by David Walker Reply

      That comment should then have gone on to say thanks for being so passionate about MCFC, for reading RBNR & for being bothered enough to comment! Thanks GK #MCFCBLUESBROS

  4. October 26, 2014  12:59 am by Glenn Kavanagh Reply

    Nice one Dave its football, I'm all about the holistic. Where??? Maybe its on strike!!! You do a great job there Mr w!. Imre varadi? Now for me that's going back a bit, billy McNeill as boss?????? I'm a massive Celtic fan 2.

    • October 26, 2014  7:49 am by David Walker Reply

      It's great to City winning titles and Cups but it's not so long ago we were totally hopeless and we'd feast on the occasional glories of just winning a few matches, getting a draw against the odds or, perhaps the most we could aspire to, was beat the Dark Side in a Manchester derby. For many years we were deprived of that because we weren't even in the same division. It's a measure of how good we have become that these setbacks e.g. West Ham are such a big deal. Everything in perspective.

  5. October 26, 2014  2:37 am by Simon Wilson Reply

    A tough week to say the least. Sam's dream of a European hangover came true. I will go to bed tonight knowing that my beloved City has had a wake up call. I can only see this as a chance for MP, along with the squad, to remove complacency from their performances. I believe City will (finally) gel as squad and rely less on snatches of individual brilliance (still important btw) as evidenced by David Silva today. Gosh, he is a joy to watch and we are very lucky to have him! Had to end on a positive note; generally easy where Merlin is involved!

    • October 26, 2014  8:59 am by David Walker Reply

      Well done Simon. A lot of City fans, myself included, just want to move on to the next game and consign CSKA second half and the West Ham result to the back of our minds. I hate writing up a sub standard City showing, don’t know why I do it as majority of supporters won’t read it because they don’t wish to re-live the agony of defeat.

  6. October 26, 2014  7:53 am by David Walker Reply

    Well done Simon. A lot of City fans, myself included, just want to move on to the next game and consign CSKA second half and the West Ham result to the back of our minds. I hate writing up a sub standard City showing, don't know why I do it as majority of supporters won't read it because they don't wish to re-live the agony of defeat.

  7. October 26, 2014  8:25 am by Guvnor Reply

    Whenever Dzeko does not play, he comes back for a week or two sulking, then starts turning it on. I agree with another of your comments, get rid of him, we do need to start bringing a couple of the younger players in (Pozo) for one. Zabba needs a rest for a couple of games, he was not to blame but just looks tired. Ya Ya needs a little bit of time on the bench.
    But I agree with MP, we should not panic and we will climb back to the top. Chelski will have injuries and they will go a poor sequence of results, just like we have.
    Good read again Mr Walker, at least your reports are consistent, unlike our beloved MCFC.

    • October 26, 2014  8:44 am by David Walker Reply

      Players do look jaded but we should have a squad capable of coping. Dzeko had a poor game but he more than earned his stripes in last season's run in. We can't win them all but yes, we need to improve on the last two outings. Thanks for commenting. Lots of readers prefer not to read & comment when City lose, a case of forget & move on ASAP! CTWD.

  8. October 26, 2014  8:44 am by Ed Reply

    I miss the days of having clean sheets, defence is just not up to it with both goals pretty basic errors.

    • October 26, 2014  8:54 am by David Walker Reply

      Yes - the days of the Chinese laundry. I suppose last season's trade off was 156 goals scored. We need to stop so much defensive rotation IMHO. Cheers fella.

  9. October 26, 2014  8:50 am by pete lynch Reply

    Thanks David, painful, but true. No more ifs and buts City. Just how much do we want this?

    • October 26, 2014  8:56 am by David Walker Reply

      Very true Pete. Shades of the last time we 'defended ' the title - are we lacking desire and the application to get the job done?

  10. October 26, 2014  8:59 am by Ian Barton Reply

    Hi Dave, I'm squarely in the pull the duvet over my head gang when City under perform. But here goes to me it was a game of 3 halves, we dominated for the first 20 minutes, note TV mentioning something in the order of 65 passes as against 8. As soon as Joe took one to the face they upped their game & dominated till half time. This continued until they got the second. Thereafter we laid siege but sadly came up short. WeLL done West Ham but frankly we aren't good enough to play for half a game & win against a motivated side who have a couple of lively men up front. In past seasons we have had a driving force who now looks to have run out of gas. I am of course talking about Yaya who needs to rediscover his mojo or take a sabbatical, Paris is a lovely City.

    • October 26, 2014  9:18 am by David Walker Reply

      I am increasingly inclined to think it's not insane to send Yaya up The Seine for a decent sum of dosh and draft in younger more motivated players such as Pogba and Barkley, if we can get them. Yaya on last season's form is world class and virtually irreplaceable. Yaya on this season's showing is - unbelievably - a luxury. Class is permanent and form is temporary but, if a player lacks motivation...

      All is not lost but MP needs to get his members shaping up quicksmart before Chelsea really do become untouchable. You can't help but feel it was all so avoidable, but who knows what goes through the minds of our players? Many thanks for sticking your head over the 13.5 tog and commenting. CTWD

      • October 26, 2014  12:15 pm by carole Reply

        At his very best Yaya's a wonderful player...a Colossus who bestrides midfield and dictates the outcome of a match. Simply the Boss.
        For years pundits have marvelled at his ability to control his midfield stamping ground, brushing aside all those who dare to approach like so many irritating flies. This is where the battle was always won. It is tragic this season to see the great man and his midfield acolytes have that control wrested from them with ease.
        Yesterday it was Man of the Match Alex Song who 'did a Yaya' and won the midfield battle.

        But I don't want the club to give up on him. What I want is for the club to find him the right partner. Last season it seemed Fernandhino might be the one. A rapport was growing, For the most part Ferna was disciplined enough to hold and defend and allow Yaya to go forward, even if it was obvious on occasions that he'd have preferred to attack himself and disliked the defensive aspects of the role almost as much as his master did.
        So we bought Fernando, who loves only to defend, a Nigel-type terrier, to add to the mix.

        Sadly, Yaya + either one just isn't working. Fernandhino's confidence has clearly been shattered by his disastrous performances at the WC where on several occasions he was the worst player on the pitch. Fernando is struggling with the pace and physicality of the PL.
        I don't think the problems are necessarily Yaya's fault. For me, neither have quite the required level of intelligence to partner him. They simply don't have his magnificent football brain. I think his lacklustre performances stem from that. He has little rapport with either.

        Look at the Fabregas-Matic combo at Chelsea! Here are 2 players totally on the same wavelength, dictating play from deep with consummate ease.
        It would b e wonderful to get Pogba....he and Yaya could work together IMO. But the chances are slim..
        Now is the time for Manuel and his highly paid coaches to put in some real effort with that CM trio. The Yaya-Fernandhino partnership worked well last year. It can work again.

        • October 26, 2014  8:23 pm by David Walker Reply

          Very insightful analysis. Let's face it Dino was MP's priority signing in the summer of 2013 but his lack of discipline in his defensive duties saw Javi Garcia us over the title winning line with Dino on the bench. It's probably too early to write Fernando off but since his return from injury he has failed to impress. I thought he looked good in the games before he limped off against Stoke. If Juventus will part with Pogba we should be first in the queue, free from the constraints of FFP.

  11. October 26, 2014  9:46 am by Jon Cantrill Reply

    You think City's performances have been below par during the last couple of games, well you didn't have the misfortune to attend Sheff Wed v Norwich, like I did, where the best player was the ball boy in front of the North Stand who completed two perfect passes which was one more than any of the players in blue & white stripes, a game in which the owls were lucky to get nil. The ball was constantly punted into the air, and the man of the match was Wednesday's goalkeeper. Luckily for me it's back to Eastlands this week for annual humilation's of Newcastle and Trafford Rangers, unluckily for my Dad & Brother they have season tickets over in Sheffield...

    • October 26, 2014  9:55 am by David Walker Reply

      Not so wise Owls! You resisted mentioning 7-0? Thanks for sharing CTWD

  12. October 26, 2014  9:59 am by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Not good enough Dave we can & should perform better if take nothing away from Whu they were worthy winners. We didn't play till 60m but why was the changes were made we were better but to late & we didn't deserve anything. So why didn't MP make changes earlier he seems to be a bit stubborn that way. Just hope he sees that 2 up front doesn't work all the time. Saying all of that I'm not for removing the manager can't believe that people want him out last city manager in wanted out was Alan Ball but don't think I was alone there. Excellent piece again Dave you get an A if we had won I would gone for an A. Have a good day my friend

    • October 26, 2014  12:11 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Doug I always think that you a good barometer of your 'average' City fan so I always like to see your views. I am a supporter of MP - obviously - but it's neither blind faith or a blank cheque, so manager and players alike have to get their sh*t together.The last manager I wanted out at the time was Stuart Pearce - all talk, cliches and patriotism. I didn't even want Leslie Mark Hughes removing at the point of extraction, but with hindsignt I'm so glad we did.

  13. October 26, 2014  12:10 pm by goonermichael Reply

    Who was offside? michael owen is in a world of his own. I wouldn't take his word for it.

    • October 26, 2014  12:13 pm by David Walker Reply

      Saw it with my own mince pies but, as stated in the blog, I'm not complaining about it. I wouldn't mind Michael Owen being in another world!

  14. October 26, 2014  12:17 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    The day got off to a bad start when a very polite young guy offered me his seat on the Tube. Hells bells I never thought I looked like a candidate for a care home !
    We could fill pages analysing that game :- 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 (preferred option away from home), erratic performances, desire, etc etc.
    On the day WHU deserved their reward even though stats will indicate we should have got a draw but Big Sam's team were definately "up for it" .
    The Mangler got mangled
    Edin up a cul de sac - very poor
    Clichy caught out too often as was Zab but no help from the midfield
    Toure was included in the MOTD team of the week - when he is good none better but always enigmatic and this season erratic. His laconic style intimates a lack of desire but only YaYa knows the answer to that one
    Away from home please start with Jimmy Milner
    Jovetic : A lively cameo and injected a much needed variation to the previous 60 minutes
    Silva didn't deserve to be on a losing team - By far the best City player
    It all started very well for about 15 or so minutes and again for the last 15 or so minutes - It is what happened in the other hour that is really concerning.
    As was the case against the distasteful CSKA we allowed a team to get at us too easily and worringly pull us apart.
    Think MP has to decide which is his best defensive and midfield 'set up' and stick with it for a few games
    We always say "Never let a game of football spoil a day out" but as in days of yore that theory can get tested !

    • October 26, 2014  8:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      Now before I go on...have you had your medication and parked that zimmer frame? ;-) Looking ahead, it's a good test of what we're made of, especially MP's ability to maximise the considerable resources at his disposal and to show some enhanced tactical acumen. Cheers RC.

  15. October 26, 2014  12:49 pm by goonermichael Reply

    I live in Vietnam so I don't have to put up with Owen. I watched the game live with English commentary and watched the HL on MOTD. No one mentioned it.

    • October 26, 2014  8:15 pm by David Walker Reply

      As I said before it's no biggie in the greater scheme of things.

  16. October 26, 2014  3:17 pm by Dave Medley Reply

    We're all frustrated by the current inconsistencies (smashed Spurs, then threw the game away in Russia and had a bad first half yesterday) but shouldn't "knee jerk" (Toure will impress again and Mangala/Fernando are not bad signings). We won't stop rotating players either. I think where MP SHOULD do something different is in his formation - unless we're at our best, the 4-2-4 we effectively play leaves us vulnerable against teams with good midfields. As others have pointed out, we're better with Silva pulling strings behind one striker than with him out left. Thus I'd be playing Silva behind one striker (Jovetic v Newcastle, then Aguero in the derby), using Kolorov and Milner respectively on the left of midfield in those games. We're missing the option of Nasri at the moment. Can't see a big money purchase in January, despite the Barklay rumours - we had to ditch Negredo without replacing him in the summer due to FFP problems... Where I do think we need a signing is someone pacey out left (only Navas and Aguero attack quickly for us. Otherwise we build up slowly and defences have time to fill in) and I can't think of a cheap enough but good enough option. Reuss would be great, but presumably too expensive. Lampard will be off the wage bill in the new year and we rally should offload Sinclair somewhere. I'd move Boyata on, but alas it looks more likely Nastasic will be frozen out. We must have a decent scouting system; it'd be nice if they could unearth a young gem, or even a loan signing.

    • October 26, 2014  8:14 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Dave. Agree on flexibility of formation. Negredo wanted to go for family reasons and let's face it is only now ready to play for Valencia. Reus is affordable £20m buyout clause and we are relatively free from FFP constrainst after making a £9m profit and negative net spend in summer transfer market. In terms of gems we've already found one in Iheanacho. If Yaya really doesn't want to be here we should get rid but only on our terms, as and when we have replacement(s) lined up. Let's hope Mangala and Fernando prosper in the days, weeks and months ahead.

  17. October 27, 2014  3:32 pm by Dave Medley Reply

    Do you know the situation re-Iheanacho? Will he officially become ours in the new year? Will MP then farm him out immediately?! I think we need someone like him in the squad now/Jan at worst. Bellarabi linked in the M.E.N.....

    • October 27, 2014  10:57 pm by David Walker Reply

      I know he's in the MLS with Columbus Crew at present and he's destined to be ours, but as and when I don't know. Bellarabi is definitely a less expensive option than Pogba and Barkley but he doesn't help the homegrown quota challenge that City face...unless of course his has a Nana from Denton? Cheers DM.

      • October 29, 2014  4:38 pm by Dave Medley Reply

        I actually think that IF we splash on English talent, with an eye to Yaya's successor, we'd be better getting Jonjo Shelvey than Barklay. Barklay has a touch of Rodwell's injury issues. Shelvey has more Prem experience, yet would cost half the price. He can pass short and long, plus would score plenty from outside the box.

  18. October 27, 2014  10:21 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

    Who scouts our opposition? because whoever had watched West Ham did a poor job. TV money is allowing the lower echelons to recruit top talent. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but who would have thought signing Cresswell and Valencia would have made such a difference to West Ham? Or maybe the transformation is down to Sherringham?

    We underestimated ‘Fat Sam’s’ outfit chose two strikers leaving ourselves light in midfield, with too much space in front of our back four to defend. All very predictable and without a ‘De Jong' or 'Barry' on patrol, ruinous.

    We still had enough chances to have won and Chelsea tripping up at the swamp meant it was not the end of our season. But in future a little less 'Gung-ho', and a tad more pragmatism. Please!

    • October 27, 2014  10:51 pm by David Walker Reply

      MP needs to sort his formations and we need variations. We also need players to put in maximum effort all the time. RVP did us a favour on Sunday, so we must repay him with interest by dumping all over him and his Manure mates. Six points is achievable - I don't adhere to a media moist with Mourinho anticipation that he'll head up an unbeaten season. City nearly took them when down to 10 men. We must rid ourselves of complacency and rip into opponents with venom. We also need a consistent back four selection who are as a tight as a gnat's chuff! Cheers TT.

  19. October 28, 2014  8:04 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    A disappointing day and result. Certainly provoked plenty of comment, of which a lot was an over reaction, but with plenty of valid points as well.
    In the former was calls for a change of manager, which I don't understand at all. Here's to a better performance and result against Newcastle.

    • November 1, 2014  10:01 am by David Walker Reply

      MP has earned the time to put things right via his achievements of last season BUT any repeat of the perfromance against Newcastle any time soon against the Reds or CSKA will not help his cause one iota. Obviously this comment is with the benefit - if you can call it that - of witnessing the loss to Newcastle. Thanks GW.

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