MAN CITY v EVERTON – City face nemesis after Munich mauling

Less than 72 hours after being taught a football lesson like no other, Manchester City are preparing to pick themselves off the floor and take on their modern day Premier League nemesis.

The midweek beating handed out by Bayern Munich will be fresh in the minds of Manuel Pellegrini’s men as they step out against an Everton team they find so difficult to beat.

Team GB - won't be seen in either sky or royal blue, but will the Etihad get the chance to say 'thanks' to Gaz Baz?

Team GB – won’t be seen in either sky or royal blue, but will the Etihad get the chance to say ‘thanks’ to Gaz Baz?

When Manure’s new boss David Moyes, was in charge of the blue half of Merseyside, Everton had perennial expectations of taking six points off City.

With the Toffees the only remaining unbeaten side in the Premier League, there’s no real reason to believe that Roberto Martinez, cannot continue persecuting City in the same vein as his predecessor.

After all, the Spaniard sprang one of the biggest FA Cup Final shocks of recent times, when unfancied Wigan saw Roberto Mancini off into an ignominious City exit, snatching a last minute Wembley win.

Under ‘3G’ – Gollum the Glaswegian Gargoyle – Moyes, Everton’s direct style of play – typified by the latest Swamp dweller – Marouane Fellaini – unsettled various City sides under a succession of managers including Joe Royle, Kevin Keegan, Stuart Pearce, Sven Goran Eriksson, Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini.

Congratulations & celebrations - will it be a happy return to PL action for City after the UCL midweek defeat?

Congratulations & celebrations – will it be a happy return to PL action for City after the UCL midweek defeat?

When the opening three fixtures under Martinez brought a trio of underwhelming draws, Everton fans were lamenting the fact that the Goodison Park outfit weren’t playing the ‘Everton way’. They objected to ‘tippy-tappy’ football.

Any rumblings of unrest have been quietened after a stoical win over Chelsea and further victories at West Ham and at home to Newcastle. The giddy Goodison-goers are girding their loins and gearing up for vertigo attacks and nosebleeds, as a win at the Etihad will see them go top of the table by three o’clock on Saturday afternoon.

It promises to be a stern test for City. It will be an examination of their hunger for the fight, their determination and drive for honours and, above all, their collective self belief.

Under pressure - City keeper Joe Hart remains one of the world's best

Under pressure – City keeper Joe Hart remains one of the world’s best

On paper City should be sure-fire winners, but that’s been said time and time again, only for the sky blues to succumb to the rigorous efforts of the less glamorous, but hugely effective Everton line-ups.

City have won only one of the last eight encounters – a 2-0 victory in Manchester en-route to the PL title. That clean sheet is the only time Everton have been shut-out in the last 16 games against City and, with Joe Hart shipping three goals in two successive fixtures for the first time since his days at Shrewsbury Town, it doesn’t bode well.

Romelu Lukaku is threatening to rampage through many a PL defence after Jose Mourinho’s perverse decision to loan out the big Belgian battering ram of a centre forward.

One influential loan signing who will be missing from hostilities is City’s and now Everton’s Team GB – Gareth Barry. The experienced midfielder, massively under-rated during his time at City, is already established as a key starter in Martinez’s first XI.

His stunning stop on Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o,  when the Cameroon veteran was seemingly nailed on to equalise during Everton’s 1-0 win, immediately won over any doubters in the Gwladys Street Stand.

Immoveable force - Yaya is one of several midfielders preferred by Pellegrini over Gareth Barry

Immoveable force – Yaya is one of several midfielders preferred by Pellegrini over Gareth Barry

Barry’s transfer deadline day departure down the East Lancs Road is lamented by many City fans, convinced he still had his part to play for Manuel Pellegrini. The City boss disagreed, placing Barry behind the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Jack Rodwell…even Javi Garcia for God’s sake!

It would be nice to think ‘GazBaz’ might be accorded an introduction before kick-off, to enable City fans to show their appreciation of a player who was instrumental in bringing the glory days back to City. Will it happen? Sadly I doubt it.

An Evertonian of the past could get a recall to the City side with Joleon Lescott being touted as a possible replacement for an out of form Matija Nastasic. The young Serb who had such an outstanding first PL season, has been struggling in recent weeks, having suffered a debilitating pre-season injury.

Silva Service - Merlin should be back to sprinkle his magic on City's midfield

Silva Service – Merlin should be back to sprinkle his magic on City’s midfield

Undoubtedly a top talent and a player destined to be one of the world’s finest centre backs, Nasty may benefit from being taken out of the firing line for a few weeks.

The same scenario and conundrum has been laid at the door of City goalkeeper Joe Hart. Critics would have you believe he is the root cause of all City’s ills of recent weeks. Yes he was culpable with one, arguably two of Bayern’s goals in midweek, but he remains a top top keeper.

At worst, the adage of class being timeless and form being temporary, could potentially be laid at Joe’s door. Arguments rage that he isn’t being pushed hard enough for his place at either at club or country level.

Rumours abound that Joe asked City’s Chilean manager to hire Dave Watson, the goalkeeping coach who brought a raw Hart, quickly up to speed during his loan season at Birmingham. If true, it obviously fell on deaf ears, although Joe will be with Watson while on England duty next week.

Six of the not-so-best - troubled keeper Joe Hart has conceded three goals in successive games - the first time during his City career

Six of the not-so-best – troubled keeper Joe Hart has conceded three goals in successive games – the first time during his City career

Roy Hodgson is already on record as saying Joe remains his number one choice. Whether Pellegrini agrees with the sentiment remains to be seen, with Romanian international Costel Pantilimon still to make his PL debut, three years after joining City.

David Silva will make a welcome return to the starting line up. His influence, combined with great link up play with his fellow countryman Alvaro Negredo almost – almost – led to Mission Impossible and the Great Escape all-in-one, as City nearly salvaged an unwarranted and undeserved draw against Bayern.

An on song Silva would transform any side, and City desperately need the Spanish Merlin to spread his magical creativity circa 2012 on the Etihad playing surface. 

Unleash the Beast - surely Negredo will start in front of Dzeko?

Unleash the Beast – surely Negredo will start in front of Dzeko?

If Edin Dzeko starts ahead of Negredo, I for one, will despair at Pellegrini’s selection policy. Dzeko’s goals to games ratio statistics may look the part, but the Beast of Sevilla brings movement, aggression and effort that far outweighs the Bosnian’s sometimes, limp, contribution.

Aguero was unusually anonymous against the Germans, but you simply can’t drop the Argentine superstar without a very good reason – something I have yet to hear.

Everton are undoubtedly City’s bogey team of the 21st century, but Wednesday night’s Bavarian roasting might work in City’s favour, making the Toffees a more palatable proposition come Saturday lunchtime.

We can but hope.




By David Walker



  1. October 4, 2013  11:18 pm by Eileen Fullen Reply

    Whilst I agree it's early days we have to fight on and Pellergrini must learn by his mistakes and there have been more than expected. I am still not convinced by his methods how much time we give him is ????
    But I I'll as always support our boys in BLUE

    • October 5, 2013  12:39 am by David Walker Reply

      I will trust in Pellegrini - seriously - because he has a great pedigree and has only just arrived at City. How long do we give him? I'd say defintely this season which, unless it is a 'disaster' or Pep Guardiola suddenly wants to come to City, we take into year two of his three year deal. The trouble is everybody wants everything yesterday - we have to give the guy a break. Crikey, I NEVER EVER thought we'd compete in the UCL in my lifetime, let alone win the bloody thing. Some folk need to be happy with what we have and what we are going to have...but it takes time!

  2. October 4, 2013  11:19 pm by Eileen Fullen Reply

    But as always will support our Boys in BLUE

    • October 5, 2013  12:40 am by David Walker Reply

      I sometimes make the odd typo errrrrrroooor - nothing to worry about ;-)

  3. October 4, 2013  11:46 pm by Simon Dear Reply

    A won is a must to stop the MP doubters and get the fans No 1 target of PL Champs back on track, this should be our target and if ever the proof was needed then Wed night showed us why .. I would much prefer to see us fighting on all home fronts for now & taking anything in the UCL as a bonus .. But something tells me the owners don't see it that way . I just hope UCL knockout stage doesn't become our nemisis at a huge cost . With Silva back linking the play he will need protection against Everton as I recall they tend to take it on turns in kicking lumps of tirds out of him . I hope Negredo starts and we see Jovetic . Zabaleta must return for Richards who also looks short of match fitness to me .
    Come on blues lets get this PL title chase back on ... That's what we all really want !!!

    • October 5, 2013  12:41 am by David Walker Reply

      Dear Simon we are as one with our thoughts!

  4. October 5, 2013  12:31 am by Mole Rocks Reply

    City in recent years have normally struggled against strong physical sides, which typifies Everton.

    I've seen City demolish Everton 5-1, while also seen them be ineffectual and lose 2-0 on a couple of occasions.

    Considering the size of some of our team, it is surprising how easily they can be out muscled at times.

    They need to start confidently and build from there. Negredo definitely needs to start, Dzeko can be very lightweight at times. Yaya needs to be up for it and Kompany needs to be the Belgian boulder you've christened him.

    It's quite straightforward later today, there is no room for mucking about, City need to go for the jugular from the off.

    • October 5, 2013  12:43 am by David Walker Reply

      Hey Carl, you're quite good at this sh*t - next time I'm going to miss an article because of work commitments, fatigue or simply can't be arsed - you da man ;-)

  5. October 5, 2013  8:01 am by Chris Williams Reply

    We need to remember that only several months ago that dominant Bayern side thrashed Barca 7-0 in thr CL Semi over two legs, they've made better than us look like we made the Rags look !

    Joe Hart has not become a poor keeper over night, and our poor defending is also culpable. I was upset when Joe got some ironic cheers from section of our fans the other night, that rubbish does not help. We need to show support and get behind him.

    Although early days under MP my main concern is that we've gone from having the best defence for the last three season to the most abysmal I've seen for a long time, although we've still got the same personnel.

    Everton will pose a big test today, actually probably suit us better than they normally do at the Etihad as Martinez won't set them up as defensively as Gollum used to. I expect a big response today and a hard fought victory.

  6. October 5, 2013  8:58 am by Graham Ward Reply

    Not the best fixture to face after a morale sapping loss in Europe, but, like City, Everton are a different club and team under new management.
    I think we'll bounce back. It may fray the nerves at times, but 2-1 to City.

    • October 6, 2013  12:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      Yes, we should be able to edge the old nemesis.

  7. October 5, 2013  9:45 am by carol main Reply

    oh eck Davy, for once I may not be moaning about working saturday, I will be listening from behind the sofa (figuratively of course)

    • October 6, 2013  12:41 pm by David Walker Reply

      Behind the sofa, in the closet, out of the closet...who long as we win. Cheers Blondie.

  8. October 6, 2013  10:09 am by mashiur09 Reply

    as usual good article dave.

    we did well and got 3 valuable points. Aguero was not on song but did manage to score a goal. Negredo is a pure beast. Perfect, typical and classy PL striker with some Spanish DNA. Cant see a single reason why he wont be selected ahead of Dzeko.

    Its good to see Our little magician Silva is back. Thanks to Nasri, because he steps up in the big time and didn't let us to miss silva. Milner always hard working. Run run and run. Did you notice he stopped to Neverton players with a single tackle? Missed Jovetic. Feel sorry for this lad and J Rod.

    Last season, almost everyone in Bluemoon Criticized Yaya for being a Lazy fucker. But this season yaya shows us what he can do. No doubt he is a world class player as well as a big match player. I'm truly impressed by fernandinho. Can't understand why lots of people still questioning this ability.

    In January transfer window, we need a world class CB. Vinny has become too injury prone. If he become injured again for a long period, we are fucked, totally fucked. Nasty cant manage big match pressure and forget about Lescott.

    Dont know, what the fuck actually happed to our big boy HEART.
    don't worry Joe, we are behind you.

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