Questions but no answers – will City ever learn? Burnley 1 Man City 0

Déjá vu comes in different guises, both good and bad…just ask Manchester City.

Having retrieved seemingly lost causes to win two Premier League crowns in three years, they are now hell-bent on giving away their hard earned title – gift wrapped – for a second time in 36 months.

Hit and miss - City appear unable to sustain success in terms of trophies season after season despite the efforts of Ferran Soriano and Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

Hit and miss – City appear unable to sustain success in terms of trophies season after season, despite the efforts of Ferran Soriano and Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

Under Roberto Mancini, City capitulated and handed Sir Baconface one last hurrah, surrendering their title by an embarrassing margin of 11 points in 2013.

Low and behold the present day and the sour-faced ‘Special Needs One’ holding what could soon be a nine point advantage over Manuel Pellegrini’s City…and there’s still three weeks to go before we crack open the first Easter egg.

Far from chasing Chelsea to a photo finish, Manuel and his miserably malfunctioning City, risk a ricked neck, anxiously looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack, homing in on Champions League places.

Pensive Pellegrini - it's all going wrong for Manuel.  Courtesy@MCFC

Pensive Pellegrini – it’s all going wrong for Manuel. Courtesy@MCFC

There is a genuine danger City could not only relinquish second spot, but slide straight past third, through to fourth and, God forbid, even down to fifth – they ARE that bad at the present time.

As was the case at Anfield a fortnight ago, City had no adequate defence to excuse a woefully underwhelming showing at Turf Moor, one where maximum points were squandered and a minimum of effort all too often applied.

A season that promised to be a duel to the last with Chelsea, is disintegrating amid a plethora of pathetic performances. What the hell is happening at the Etihad?

Incoming - Pellegrini is under intense pressure after dreadful City displays at Liverpool and Burnley. Courtesy@MCFC

Incoming – Pellegrini is under intense pressure after dreadful City displays at Liverpool and Burnley. Courtesy@MCFC

Successfully defending a Premier League title is perhaps the best domestic barometer of a team’s true worth. The prospect of being Champions of England in three out of four attempts was so much more than a possibility at the turn of the year, it was a distinct probability for City.

Having weathered the storms of losing various vital vertebrae of the team (Silva, Aguero and Kompany) for prolonged periods, City clawed back an eight point deficit to sit plumb level top of the league with Chelsea on New Year’s Day night.

Time out - Sergio's injury absence has impacted on City's goals haul this season. Courtesy@MCFC

Time out – Sergio’s injury absence has impacted on City’s goals haul this season. Courtesy@MCFC

Even when striker-less, City had continued amassing PL points. Even when hope had all but gone in the Champions League, City pulled off stunning victories over Bayern Munich and Roma to progress to the knockout stages. Even the prospect of talisman Yaya Toure going off to the infernal African Cup of Nations for six weeks, failed to dampen the air of anticipation. It was all even stevens, but City could surely only get better…couldn’t they?

Optimism levels rose further with the £25m acquisition of striker Wilfried Bony, albeit he wouldn’t be available until he and Yaya eventually emerged out of Africa in mid-February.

Gladiator - Zaba brought Roma to their knees. Courtesy@MCFC

Gladiator – Zaba brought Roma to their knees. Courtesy@MCFC

Yes, there were murmurings regarding Pellegrini’s obsession and intransigence with a 4-4-2 formation, a set up that had found City wanting on more than one occasion, but an injury riddled City were level top… and still to hit their stride – surely a sign of the champions that they were, and how they would remain so, come May 24th.

2015 is now less than a quarter cooked, but it would appear Manuel Pellegrini and a number of his overrated players are just about done to a crisp.

Star players appear burnt out, The Engineer’s slick smooth-running machine is grinding to a halt and the season resembles a car crash.

No ignition - Wilfried Bony has yet to open his scoring account at City. Courtesy@MCFC

No ignition – Wilfried Bony has yet to open his scoring account at City. Courtesy@MCFC

It’s not disrespectful to Sean Dyche’s team to say City should beat his Burnley braves 95% of the time. If you’re the Champions, awash with international stars, a handful of world class players and resources beyond compare, of course you should come away from Turf Moor with the points.

Pellegrini said City’s 70% domination of possession, 21 attempts on goal and half-a-dozen corners, represented a ‘normal performance’ – nice stats Manuel.

The trouble is MP’s ‘normal’ for City is totally at odds with what is witnessed by the fans – true blue City fans – those who earned their stripes at Lincoln, Wycombe and York away, not the shallow glory hunters who might be considering swapping sky blue for royal blue shirts, sometime soon.

Below par - Kompany and Nasri are among the City players who need to recapture their best form and prevent a bad season getting even worse. Courtesy@MCFC

Below par – Kompany and Nasri are among the City players who need to recapture their best form and prevent a bad season getting even worse. Courtesy@MCFC

The new ‘normal’ belies any analysis based on misleading statistics. City’s increasingly habitual failings were all too obvious; a laboured approach, devoid of guile and pace, desperately in need of multiple Duracell battery insertions in ‘Big-time Charlie’ backsides.

Many a four letter word has been uttered, nay, bellowed, in recent weeks at City’s millionaire misfits, the most constructive of which has been ‘WORK’. The players simply aren’t doing it.

So what lies behind the Manchester City malaise? In football parlance, has Pellegrini ‘lost the dressing room?’ Has the Chilean’s stubbornness and tactical rigidity provoked a subtle player mutiny in the ranks?

Enigmatic  - Yaya blows hot and cold for City. Courtesy@MCFC

Enigmatic – Yaya blows hot and cold for City. Courtesy@MCFC

Do the players know best? Have the majority of the squad who effectively fell out with the fiery, autocratic style of Roberto Mancini, now decided they’ve had enough of the professorial approach of their learned and gentleman-like South American manager?

Alternatively, is Pellegrini – the man the overwhelming majority of City fans took to their hearts after a League & Cup double in his debut season – suddenly out of his depth tactically and/or from a man management or motivational stance?

It’s incredibly difficult to dislike Manuel. He is courteous, diplomatic and to all intent and purposes successful, but if Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak decide a trophy-less campaign is unacceptable, he’ll be gone.

Remember this?  Is MP still the man to take City to the top in the next 15 months?

Remember this? Is MP still the man to take City to the top in the next 15 months?

Pellegrini was given a strange ‘brief’ when he came to the Etihad – ‘Win five major trophies in five years’ – as he signed a three year contract!

As disgruntled as they are – and not without good reason – City’s fans and owner alike, need to consider how the club wishes to be perceived by the world at large.

Who and what is to define Manchester City Football Club? Is it a Barcelona-esque style of play that wins hearts and minds and praise from the purists?

Is it a pragmatic – bordering on the cynical – win at any cost approach, as deployed by Mourinho and Chelsea?

Win at all costs? Do City want to play the Mourinho way, the Chelsea way and do whatever it takes to win?

Win at all costs? Do City want to play the Mourinho way, the Chelsea way and do whatever it takes to win?

Having created and now embarked on the evolutionary process at the City Football Academy, do the powers that be want stability and clearly defined succession planning?

Continuity and sustainability sit comfortably under the holistic approach that emanates from the Etihad. Not so a revolving managerial door.

How much of City’s recent decline should be blamed on the manager? Irrespective of it being 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3 – it’s more like the bloody Enigma Code – does Pellegrini instruct his players not to push themselves to the physical maximum?

Maximum effort - are City's players giving their all for their manager in every game?Courtesy@MCFC

Maximum effort – are City’s players giving their all for their manager in every game?Courtesy@MCFC

Of course he doesn’t.

If the players – and we’re talking some of the finest ever to wear City colours – can’t be bothered to press opponents, shut down space and track back, what chance would any manager have?

Pellegrini is culpable in City’s disturbing fall from grace, but so too is a myriad of established names who have lost form or are no longer properly motivated to actually earn their wages.

Does the problem extend higher up City’s hierarchy? Who is the real powerbroker behind City’s transfer dealings, transactions that, with hindsight, have not helped City progress?

Heavens above - Does Manuel need help from the Gods to get City back to the top of English football?Courtesy @MCFC

Heavens above – Does Manuel need help from the Gods to get City back to the top of English football?Courtesy @MCFC

It’s inconceivable that Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, doesn’t exert huge influence in the comings and goings among the playing staff.

Who bears responsibility for the £150m outlay on the likes of Mangala, Fernando, Fernandinho, Jovetic, Navas, Negredo, Caballero – none of whom would figure in the Chelsea first team, let alone Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Europe’s other leading lights?

Bags of potential but the jury's out on Eliaquim Mangala after his reputed £40m switch to the Etihad. Courtesy@MCFC

Bags of potential but the jury’s out on Eliaquim Mangala after his reputed £40m switch to the Etihad. Courtesy@MCFC

When the Abu Dhabi millions started flowing into Manchester in 2008, City knew a revolution was required. With Financial Fair Play lurking in the background, evolution wasn’t an option, speed was of the essence.

Seven years and two Premier League titles later, City ought now to be a far more measured and evolving environment, fine tuning the squad and upgrading with top quality bite-sized chunks.

The harsh reality is the ageing and under-achieving squad needs a radical overhaul this summer, further complicated by the requirements for home-grown talent.

Outgoing? - Jovetic has under performed following his £22m move from Fiorentina. Courtesy@MCFC

Outgoing? – Jovetic has under performed following his £22m move from Fiorentina. Courtesy@MCFC

A brilliant and well executed business strategy spearheaded by CEO Ferran Soriano, has spawned massive off-field commercial successes, halving losses and doubling revenue streams year-on-year.

It means City will no longer be haunted by Napoleon Platini and UEFA’s fatuous FFP, but will sufficient funds be available in the short-term, to elevate City in both domestic and European football?

Who is to be trusted with investing in new players? Does Txiki rule the roost? Does Manuel see out his three-year deal? Is the stage set for Pep Guardiola to finally come to England in 2016 when his contract with Bayern Munich concludes?

Hey big spender - who can be trusted to spend wisely for City in the summer transfer market? Fernando has a long way to go to prove his £12m worth. Courtesy@MCFC

Hey big spender – who can be trusted to spend wisely for City in the summer transfer market? Fernando has a long way to go to prove his £12m worth. Courtesy@MCFC

Is Patrick Vieira ready to step up from his duties with the Elite Development Squad? If so, does he bring bright young talents such as Thierry Ambrose, Brandon Barker and Angelino with him – are the CFA’s finest ready to mix it at the senior level?

One can only hope and pray that rumours and whispers linking Brenda(n) Rodgers and Napoli’s Rafa Benitez with City, are just that and nothing more.

Roger that - If Brendan Rodgers was handed the City job we may as well all pack up and go home.

Roger that – If Brendan Rodgers was handed the City job we may as well all pack up and go home.

Fiery Argentine Diego Simeone is touted as a possible successor to Pellegrini this summer. This will be the same Simeone whose reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, trail La Liga’s leaders Barcelona by nine points tonight – hardly a ringing endorsement.

Of more pressing concern for Pellegrini and his team is, having lost to mighty Burnley how the hell do they cope with Messi, Neymar Suarez & Co at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night?

Jumping Joe - Will Hart be celebrating at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night? It seems doubtful. Courtesy@MCFC

Jumping Joe – Will Hart be celebrating at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night? It seems doubtful. Courtesy@MCFC

Even the most optimistic City fan would be accompanied by an entourage of men in white coats, if they think City will be in the draw for the Champions League Quarter Final.

On recent showings it is Mission Impossible for City to upset the Catalan cart, but if the result is deemed beyond reach, reputations and careers are still very much on the line.

Pride In Battle has to be displayed in abundance by every player. Even if they are bettered by a superb Barcelona, it must not be for the want of trying.

Sizzling Sergio - Can Aguero offer a glimmer of hope for City in Barcelona?Courtesy@MCFC

Sizzling Sergio – Can Aguero offer a glimmer of hope for City in Barcelona?Courtesy@MCFC

Patience is a virtue, as is keeping your nerve, when the proverbial is hitting the fan. Only time will tell if two trophies in two years keeps Manuel on track for five trophies in five years in Sheikh Mansour’s mental arithmetic.

By David Walker

COMPETITION WINNER

In conjunction with our friends at CampoRetro we gave readers the opportunity to win one of two special edition MCFC T-shirts. City fan MARK SHAW was the first to have his name drawn from the proverbial hat and he chose the MANCHESTER version as his prize. Thanks to all who entered and keep an eye open for a SHAUN GOATER competition coming up later this month.

The Made In Manchester and Made in Argentina T-shirts are available at £15 each or two for £20 via the website at http://www.camporetro.com/

http://www.camporetro.com/Shop-By-Collection/Graphic-T-Shirts/Graphic-Tees/3653_Man-City-Made-In-Argentina-Tee-SkyWhite.html

Argentina or Manchester - which T-shirt from CampoRetro do you prefer?

Argentina or Manchester – which T-shirt from CampoRetro do you prefer?

 

 

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

 

 

 

42 Comments

  1. March 15, 2015  11:43 pm by Dave Leyland Reply

    I feel like I'm repeating myself, but it's only because MP is doing the same. Plan A, Plan A, Plan A. Where's Plan B, C , D? If playing "normal" wins us the title, I'll be ready for the mad house.
    MP has an issue and it's a "Big Issue" He'll be Job Less still trying to justify " normal " and probably end up selling the Big Issue.

    • March 15, 2015  11:53 pm by David Walker Reply

      It maybe that MP needs to go, but the players are not giving 100% in every game - if they are, God help us. It just smells of the same type of approach that preceded Mancini's demise. It's one thing getting rid of the manager, but it's a whole new ball game bringing in an upgrade. It's a no brainer if Pep's willing but that seems doubtful, especially this summer. Ancelotti would tick a lot of boxes, maybe Klopp but surely it's too soon for Vieira. As for Brenda and Rafa - that HAS TO BE A JOKE - surely to God? All that said, our players need several rockets up their backsides, irrespective of who sits in the Manager's Office.

      • March 16, 2015  6:56 pm by goonermichael Reply

        A lot of gooners want Klopp. Isn't he fighting relegation? I wouldn't have him. You'd be better off with brenda.

        • March 16, 2015  7:21 pm by David Walker Reply

          Klopp is a great coach who has worked wonders with Dortmund. They have been riddled with injuries this season and always lose their star players to Bayern Munich. They're now in mid-table and in with every chance of reaching the QFs of the Champions League, something that neither of our teams are likely to achieve. He's a character and a great man manager by all accounts. Both City and Arsenal could do a lot worse than have him in charge.

          As for Brenda - don't you EVER EVER EVER suggest that ubertwat manages Manchester City. As ever, thanks for your comments ;-)

          • March 17, 2015  7:52 am by goonermichael

            lol I struck a nerve with brenda. Funnily enough we are usually riddled with injuries and up until last season always sold our star players but Klopp has done nothing that Wenger hasn't done. Klopp is in a 2 team league too. Personally I think Guardiola is overrated but I'd like to see him manage In England to see if he prove's me wrong.

          • March 17, 2015  8:50 am by David Walker

            I used to think Pep was somewhat overstated and, let's face it he had a massive head start at Barcelona and then inherited a team that had won everything under the sun with Bayern. That said he is very highly rated by those who have worked with him and hugely respected. He has vast experience and success and invariably had the measure of Maureen in Spain. It would be 'Typical City' if we were to get him and then he finally revealed whatever shortcomings he might have ;-) No, in all seriousness, City would take him in a heartbeat and I'm sure he'd be very successful.

  2. March 15, 2015  11:51 pm by Simon Wilson Reply

    Once again you have cut right to the heart of it! City simply need to man up, play with the conviction that their pay cheques dictate and live up to the dictum on the jersey. We know what it is; do they?

    • March 15, 2015  11:54 pm by David Walker Reply

      I honestly don't think some of them do and that is scandalous!

  3. March 15, 2015  11:58 pm by SkyBlueAndyB Reply

    3 wins from the last 8 games says it all. Clueless, lacklustre & spineless performances from the players & Pellegrini is too stubborn with his squad rotation & tactics.
    Everyone within the club must shoulder some of the blame, from Txiki with his underwhelming signings, Pellers with his lack of a plan B, to the players that are just happy to turn up & take the pay cheque.
    It's time to clear out of the dead wood in the summer if you ask me. I don't mind losing, but the manner in which we are losing games at the moment beggars belief.
    To top it all off Pellars seems to be watching a different game to me. His interview after yesterday's debacle was embarrassing.

    • March 16, 2015  12:08 am by David Walker Reply

      Very difficult to disagree with any of that Andy. We should celebrate our victories and learn from our defeats. Clearly there are too many players on easy street and some who, as hard as they try, aren't good enough for where City purport to be heading. City fans have always loved/respected players who gave their all and that will never change. The fact is we now have genuine world class players who don't always give 100% and that is unforgivable.

  4. March 16, 2015  12:51 am by @etihadsdad Reply

    I'd take Simeone in a heartbeat tbf. His budget is 20% of the big 2. And his team competes. To take Atleti' to UCL final and La Liga in a season, is unbelievable. And unbeatable IMO.
    Bye MP

    • March 16, 2015  8:50 am by David Walker Reply

      It's an intriguing prospect - the players would certainly see a change of personality in the Manager's Office - and one would imagine the slackers would be out of the door PDQ. Simeone has a reputation for getting the maximum out of his players, making good players very good. One would imagine the work ethic would be higher up the agenda.

  5. March 16, 2015  1:21 am by Mark Shaw Reply

    I for one (And I suspect I may be in the minority here) still believe in Mr Pellegrini and his methods. He's in an unenviable position and I believe he can turn things around. Some players however need to take a long look at themselves as their complacency has become far to obvious lately and that's a sad sight to see. A lot of fans get bogged down with systems and 4-4-2 but anyone who knows the game knows that systems are fluid, what works against one team won't work against another and so on. Unfortunately some players don't seem to have grasped the concept either and they must take the majority of the blame for recent disappointing results. We have 9 games left to push Chelsea as far as we can and if we qualify for the Champions League again I will be satisfied. As the old saying goes "Form is temporary, class is permanent"

    • March 16, 2015  8:46 am by David Walker Reply

      As a staunch MP advocate I desperately want him to get the team back on track. I would hate to think the players - or some of the players - have any form of agenda to seek managerial change. There is however the worry that MP has looked bereft of ideas in key fixtures. Even if that were not the case and it was simply his players not translating his ideas into action, the disconnect would be equally worrying.Much now depends on how we finish the season - do we make automatic CL qualification and the manner of our performances. If Pep Guardiola were to be available it's a no brainer. That doesn't seem likely, so do we give MP the chance to redeem himself next season, free of the shackles of Financial Fair Play with new players. Transfer activity this summer and the nurturing of keys EDS personnel is of paramount importance.

  6. March 16, 2015  5:45 am by Paul Barber Reply

    Why buy Bony and then not give him a chance to show what he can do? Presumably because he was not signed by the man that picks the team! Surely can't be worse than Dzeko at the moment.

    • March 16, 2015  8:39 am by David Walker Reply

      Bang on Paul. This squad needs a radical overhaul. It should never have been allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair. On paper it's a strong squad. Pity football is played on grass.

  7. March 16, 2015  6:58 am by guy Burke Reply

    I think the time has come to draw the line under certain players city careers - dzeko and jovotic are 2 who fall into this category. There is enough strength in the squad now to do without these 2 who unfortunately give city very little. They were far from the only ones who were crap at Burnley, but they consistently disappear when needed hence the reason for highlighting them.the optimist in me thinks the double is still on !! Remember who said it first

    • March 16, 2015  7:51 am by David Walker Reply

      We're just getting the psychiatrist to sign your admission forms - we're aware of who said it here first

      • March 16, 2015  8:51 am by guy burke Reply

        I know - blind faith !! I have not given up on the season entirely though - Maureen is still in meltdown . his hissy fit at the sky reporter yesterday was priceless( that shrink you have booked for me would have about 10 years work with that twunt ? ) time for the team & management to step up ... I have a curious feeling about barca , the odds are against us for sure - but you never know . I am going to state a fact here re jovetic - we were sat directly in front of him warming up on Saturday - I know it was not exactly sub tropical in east lancs , but that wuss was the only sub from both teams wearing a scarf !! what message does that give out ?

  8. March 16, 2015  7:14 am by James HouseOlogy Reply

    Hard but truthful read David. And so much bitter taste in my mouth for Saturday it's untrue. MP I have no trust in what so ever anymore from.formation to team selection!! It's like he's treating each game as an experiment chopping and changing players... But not all at his door our players look like they have given up and everything is half arsed about our team. No passion, no pride, no grit, no metal, it's a shame as we always had we are city and we fight til the end... Where's that gone? Where's our team spirit gone the idea of having to fight for forth spot should be motivation enough not to get involved in that 9 more games to come good. Do I have the faith, I have too I'm City and that's what do best!;;

    • March 16, 2015  8:55 am by David Walker Reply

      It's not necessarily losing - hell that's bad enough - it's more the spineless manner of defeats against teams less talented than ours, but who are prepared to work harder. MP has to take his fair share of the blame, but in equal measure to some of the players who seem happy to bank their wages without coming remotely close to earning them. The same goes for the man who controls the transfer activities at the club - where's Txiki when it comes to facing the furore? Poor poor show.

  9. March 16, 2015  8:23 am by Eileen Fullen Reply

    As to who's at fault a bit of both players and Manager. So many ups and downs this season and we need to get a grip. If I'm honest the Gunners game highlighted no Plan B and the motivation since then has gone downhill. I sincerely hope we pull together & fight for top 4 now. The vultures are hovering. Good to have you backx

    • March 16, 2015  8:37 am by David Walker Reply

      Non qualification for the Champions League is unthinkable...but here we are discussing it. If - IF - that happened then there would be no hope for MP, and rightly so. That would also apply to at least half-a-dozen players. If we can at least secure the runners-up slot and put on a good show at the Nou Camp we can salvage some vestiges of pride. Nonethless, it's a poor show. We have handed Chelsea the title because of our own ineptitude.

  10. March 16, 2015  9:05 am by Gary Derbyshire Reply

    Great article, David. I was working on Saturday so was unable to attend the game but I did see it on TV and I was flabbergasted. No urgency, pedestrian pace throughout the game and where was the will to win? The fight to the end spirit?? It can often take a goal against to rally the troops but this wasn't evident on Saturday. I was even glad, in a perverse way, that we didn't get the penalty at the end because we got what we deserved in the end, which was nothing! It wasn't even as if burnley played out of their skin or their goalie had a 'worldy' because that wasn't the case. We were so very poor and there's no other excuse. My 6 year old learnt a few new words by Saturday evening and I spent half the game apologising to him! Wednesday night is, as you alluded to, Mission Impossible and I'm glad I'm not in work on Thursday because it could be embarrassing. Let's just hope we go out on our shield and get the league form sorted to secure 2nd place, there's no way we can win the league from this position, although we've done it twice before, you can't keep giving teams chances to get ahead like we seem to do every year.

    • March 16, 2015  9:21 am by David Walker Reply

      Agree with every word Gary - even those that you doubtless imparted to your 6-year old ;-)

  11. March 16, 2015  10:05 am by Wes Marchant Reply

    Excellent piece Dave.Quite a few of the players stank the place out on Saturday. I dread to think where we will be at the end of the season if this type of performance continues.

    • March 16, 2015  10:31 am by David Walker Reply

      You, me and all City fans Wes. It's shameful.

  12. March 16, 2015  12:36 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Glad to see your back David
    Everything about Saturday has been said so there is little point repeating it all
    Once again the slow build up against well organised teams is becoming so frustrating and to be honest City wouldn't have scored had they played all day.
    To me, the only player to come out with any credit on Saturday was Demichelis.
    Am a bit unsure about Mr Bony - He came on against Liverpool and could or should have got a red card and his successive games have not been that inspiring - a lot of running around with little purpose. Hopefully he will settle in and we will see the player we expected.
    Wednesday ? I don't think it is impossible for City to not "turn in" a performance but it is hard to see Barca not scoring at some point. At least we can have a 2 day wine tasting excursion.
    For the rest of this season be it domestic or European games please, please City put in performances we can be proud of even if we don't win all our games.

    • March 16, 2015  12:44 pm by David Walker Reply

      At least finish in 2nd place, secure Champions League football, do the double over the Red Scum and then have the summer of all summers in the transfer market, not forgeting the cultivation of the EDS' finest. Whether or not we have a different manager at the helm next August remains to be seen. As for Barcelona - Gaudi has never let me down! Cheers RC.

  13. March 16, 2015  3:09 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    SHAMBOLIC & A TOTAL DISGRACE. We are the champions of England, 2nd in the prem yet we were taken to the cleaners by a team 2nd from the bottom .Burnley deserved there win they wanted it more Sean Dyche & his players got it spot on were as MP & the city players didn't. Both players & management must take there share of the blame, but for me Dave MP must take the Lions share he just wont or cant see his tactics arnt working, whats the point of spending money on Bony & Mangala only to keep them on the subs bench, lamps must be thinking what was the point in him staying he never plays now. Trust Our MP no not this unhappy bunny lost all faith in the guy he should go now & put Viera in charge till the end of the season. A fear for us on Wednesday night Barce must of looked at the Burnley game & laughed. Just hope we can keep 2nd place but even the top 4 is looking dodgy. From a very angry Blue Grrrrr.

    • March 16, 2015  7:03 pm by David Walker Reply

      I can't really make an adequate case for the defence of MP, but he's far from alone in the dock. You're spot on with your observations in terms of who we do and don't play in the team. The underlying trend is we seem to have a side with a large proportion of lazy sons of bitches who are disgracing our club. Why are we mismanaged - not just by Pellegrini - but from others on high, in so much as we are lamentable in our transfer dealings and gutless when the chips are down? Fight Till the End has a very hollow ring to it and we're leaving ourselves open to ridicule.

  14. March 16, 2015  3:15 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Forgot to say Dave great article as always. Also i think some of the players don't believe in MPs tactics anymore, but some of then need to take a long hard look at themselves. there poor showing on the pitch.

    • March 16, 2015  7:07 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Doug. We have to fight to hang on to 2nd spot and then make the necessary changes beginning on May 25th. The thing that really annoys is that Chelsea aren't that good, in the same way Manure weren't that good when we last threw away the chance to successfully defend our crown. There is something very wrong with the mentality of the Club and it needs sorting if we are to become a force in Europe, let alone England.

  15. March 16, 2015  5:37 pm by Philip Entwistle Reply

    Absolutely spot on David with all your analysis on our current failings.
    Watching that 'dross' from the back of the David Fishwick stand left me and the faithful in pure disgust that we have fallen so far from the heights of last season.
    So many of the players on show are mentally already on their summer holidays, nothing to fight for, out of the Cups, out of Europe on Wednesday and now out of the title race with 9 games to go.
    Finishing in the top 4 for a Champions league place will now be viewed as a success given what we have witnessed over the past couple of months - sounds like an Arsenal fan.
    You are correct in stating we now require a major overall of our squad, getting rid of the hangers-on who are dragging the club backwards, bye bye to the Balkan contingent, Navas, Mangala, Fernando et al.
    Constant speculation by the Media and City fans alike as to why would Milner want to leave City? Simple, he is leaving a sinking ship.
    Given our season is now effectively over we must now plan seriously for next year, identify our targets and fork out the money, but as you say Dave who is deciding those targets, that is the worrying part.
    Keep the Faith in CITY, if not those at the helm - Iceberg ahead!

    • March 16, 2015  7:16 pm by David Walker Reply

      As ever thanks for your feedback Phil, you're so right - City suck at the moment! Why are we performing like this in a Premier League where standards are dropping? Chelsea are no great shakes, in fact English football flatters to deceive within the obscene Sky money bubble. Come Wednesday night England won't have any representatives left in the Champions League - what does that tell us about City's standing in Europe? We're all deluded on these shores - there's too much money slushing around, going to people who don't deserve it.

      City have loads of dosh, it's high time they had somebody who knows how to invest it wisely in the transfer market. I'll give Txiki a starter for 10 - keep the hell out of Portugal this summer!

  16. March 16, 2015  9:10 pm by Stephen Reply

    I watched Ireland lose a possible grand slam on saturday. Would have been 3 in 80 yrs!!! Point is I was not cross as effort level was obscene. 100% given by all in the cause. Fast forward an hour and a half to city. Insipid, limp and lazy. Was a new low for me. I have calmed down a bit now re MP but still disgusted at players attitudes. 442 or 433 or 451 or anything is worthless if they cannot be arsed. Said players needed to treat every game like a cup final. They did that but sadly was 2013 cup final. If an uplift in all games is not shown I want stars up for transfer. The idea that the other lot could now beat us in derby and overhaul us in league was laughable but now i am worried as players do not seem to be bothered. I hope they prove me wrong and we pull away again but hard not to doubt. Great read as always David. Thanks

    • March 16, 2015  9:47 pm by David Walker Reply

      Great points, well made and nice contrast with the Irish effort in the egg chasing. It's time we shipped half a dozen of the passengers out. I'd still stick with MP for the remaining year of his contract if Pep not available or waiting to switch to City in 2016 when both his, and MP's contracts conclude. The last few weeks have been unacceptable but that's as much down to the players as the manager. Lets see how Wednesday goes and the rest of the campaign. Thanks again for comments.

  17. March 17, 2015  6:36 am by pete lynch Reply

    Thanks David, great piece. I hope your post match Barcelona one is epic for all the right reasons!

    • March 17, 2015  7:02 am by David Walker Reply

      I think we have two hopes of that - Bob & No! You never know, this lackadaisical bunch of loafers may yet surprise us. If not, the Sagrada Familia & Gaudi's work will provide the highlights of the trip.
      Oh and don't forget the cable car ride across the harbour...if we're not sh*tting it in the Nou Camp, that's the next best thing

  18. March 17, 2015  5:26 pm by Andrew McLaggan Reply

    The Manchester City Holistic Manager job description ( aka Spineless Lapdog Management ) -

    As the "manager" you will not have any say in either the buying or selling of players . This will be the concern of Txixi Begiristain in co-operation with Ferran Soriano , Your responsibility is to turn nondescript players into stars who will in turn , in the words of Big Mal - "Will terrify Europe" .

    Whilst your hands will be tied at all times you will still possess a happy , outgoing attitude at press conferences .

    The previous manager upset many of the current squad when he demanded 100% effort in each and every game . This was a ridiculous state of affairs which caused untold bad feeling amongst the squad , as some of the senior players feel it is there right to take things easy against any team that is not in the top 4 of the Premiership .

    Your contract will be for 3 years during which time you will receive substantial remuneration for basically being a Puppet Engineer . However this contract will be terminated with immediate effect if word should reach the media of you being manager in name only.

    Finally there are two other important duties to be carried out -

    1 . Whilst it doesn't come under your remit it would be greatly appreciated if at the last home match on a Saturday before Xmas you assist making the tea and sandwiches at half -time . This is a one - off as the present incumbent "Kiddo " normally likes to do his Xmas shopping on this day .

    2.After the events of "Cakegate"in May 2014 it is of extreme importance that the date 13th May is clearly marked in your calender . The club cannot afford such bad publicity again and so it is vital that Yaya Toure's birthday is celebrated in the appropriate manner .

    • March 18, 2015  5:16 pm by David Walker Reply

      One has to wonder if MP is a fall guy taking all the heat for Txiki and Ferran. Begiristain has performed very poorly as the so called 'mastermind' of our transfer strategy...err what transfer strategy!

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