Old Father Thames was flowing apace in the wintry London downpour, but even then he was still struggling to keep up with a Manchester City goals surge that threatens to engulf all Premier League opposition.
The folk God of the river that abuts Fulham’s quaint and historic Craven Cottage home, was about as much use to Rene Meulensteen’s men as King Canute, when it came to holding back a tide of sky blue attacking waves.
Manuel Pellegrini’s goal gushers are plotting a course that could see them sweep aside the Premier League goal-scoring record, if they continue at their present rate of three successful strikes per match.
City’s Chilean chief has long since stopped treading water as he adjusted to the hazardous whirlpool of England’s top flight. A period of adjustment was inevitable while he acclimatised and his players adapted to his methods.
Yes, he has experienced adversity with four away defeats – the media may have picked up on this statistic, I’m not sure – but City’s current attacking style is sending opponents spiralling into an abyss of despair.
Relegation-threatened Fulham were the latest victims sucked into the Pellegrini inspired vortex, as the Londoners attempts to salvage a draw went down the plug hole.
The Engineer is going about his work in a conscientious and understated way, something which has clearly riled Fulham’s near neighbour, old big mouth Mourinho, who’s been busy running his chops about Manuel and his men.
According to Jose, City should be out of sight with the PL all but won by now, such is the array of talent at Pellegrini’s disposal. In a not-so-subtle adolescent attempt at mind games, the ‘Special Needs One’, is trying to undermine Pellegrini and City, to distract from his own shortcomings.
After losing to Stoke in the PL and going out to Sunderland in the Capital Punishment Cup quarter finals, one can understand the motives of the poisonous Portuguese prat. Jose has the sinking feeling, after all, he’s always saying he ‘sinks’ – just listen to his interviews!
Is it just a coincidence that Brendan ‘Media Darling’ Rodgers should also come out with comments on the same day, saying that the title is ‘City’s to lose’ when his Liverpool side sit one point in front of the Sky Blues?
Rodgers and Mourinho are old mates from Jose’s first stint at Chelski so they must be worried if they feel the need to adopt a not so stealthy pincer movement in conspiring against ‘Liddle Old Citeh’.
Of course, you can always rely on rancid Alan Hansen on MOTD (Mostly Obnoxious Total Dicks) to seek to detract and undermine a free-scoring City team, which is on a trajectory to score 114 PL goals by the season’s end.
City fans only tune in to see how much derision the staid BBC programme can muster, irrespective of it being a landslide home win, a victorious away day goal-fest, a fortuitous draw or an unexpected reverse.
It’s now 23 goals scored in December alone, 13 points garnered from 15 so far this month and two away wins in cup competitions. Yes, Hansen, you prematurely alzheimer’s ridden empty vessel, City are clearly crap!
God preserve us if Hansen’s beloved Liverpool come away with a point or points, from the high stakes Boxing Day Night shootout at the Etihad.
City can only hope to give him and Merseyside’s resident rodent – the carnivorous Uruguayan cannibal – yes, you’ve guessed it, Senor Luis Suarez, the Boxing Day Paxo treatment and stuff them right up the Parson’s Nose!
However, back to West London and the cocktail menu which included a ‘Yaya Special’ a ‘Captain’s Delight’ a ‘Jesus Saviour’ and a ‘James Cheerio’. Shorn of Sergio Aguero, City in keeping with Pellegrini’s football philosophy, hit four whilst still looking vulnerable at the back.
It causes unease and disquiet when City concede, having been weaned on a Roberto Mancini diet of being the meanest PL defence for the past three years. Mitigation abounded yesterday with both City right backs Zabaleta and Richards sidelined, with naturally left-footed, Gael Clichy manfully trying to cover the flank.
Likewise, Pellegrini continues to have faith in the worryingly slow and impetuous Martin Demichelis ahead of Joleon Lescott, in the continued absence of Matija Nastasic.
Lescott is naturally left-footed and has previously formed a PL title winning central defensive partnership with Kompany, so why select the right-footed ageing Argentine?
If MP persists with this selection against the fleet-footed scousers there could be cause for concern. James Milner would be a better right back selection and Lescott would bring a left-right balance to the centre.
The last line of defence saw Joe Hart restored after a seven match PL absence – just what prompted Pellegrini to change from Costel Pantilimon wasn’t obvious – but with due respect to the Romanian, it was good to have the England man back.
He was certainly blameless for Fulham’s brace having been left totally exposed as Richardson tapped in at point blank range and then, THE most bizarre own goal anyone is ever likely to see.
Kompany was in his usual commanding form, marshalling his troops but his attempted 69th minute clearance, had to be seen to be believed. A routine clearance went horribly wrong as the skipper skewed the ball at an obscure angle, sending it sailing high and wide of an exasperated Hart.
A two goal half-time lead, forged by a magnificent, now trademark, Yaya 20-yard free kick, and a stab home from six yards out by Kompany, had set City fair for the second period.
David Silva had hit the bar, Edin Dzeko had been foiled by Stekelenburg in Fulham’s goal and City could easily have built an unassailable lead. Hart had made a couple of decent stops before Fulham’s unexpected fightback.
Astute substitutions saw Navas on for Dzeko and Milner for Nasri and, having come off the bench, both proceeded to restore City’s two goal buffer.
Jesus was ‘away and a danger’ after a Silva through ball carved the Fulham defence apart, and the diminutive Spanish winger slammed the ball home from an acute angle.
Five minutes later and Milner continued his rich vein of form, slotting home a sensational outside of the left foot Negredo cross to secure the points.
Breathtaking stuff, so roll on Boxing Day and see if City – minus the Argentine duo of Sergio and Pablo – can make it nine out of nine home wins over a Liverpool side, shorn of Gerrard and Sturridge. It promises to be a cracker, especially with the loudest ever rendition of the ‘Yaya-Kolo’ song!
If Pellegrini can craft 19 out of 21 PL points in a month and take City to the PL summit, then surely the doubting Thomas’ among the City faithful will begin to trust the manager.
By David Walker
WISHING ALL READ BUT NEVER RED READERS A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS & A BRILLIANTLY BLUE NEW YEAR! THANKS FOR READING…