Tuned in City on a different wavelength

The Merseybeat was dancing to a different tune as Manchester City continued to hit all the right notes and stay at Number One.

Top of the Pops - City are in pole position in the Premier League after their 2-0 win at Everton.

Top of the Pops – City are in pole position in the Premier League after their 2-0 win at Everton.

Merseyside’s finest –The Beatles – had a chart-topping single ‘Eight Days a Week’ in the 1960s, but it’d have to go some to better City’s last 192 hours – six points won, five goals scored, none conceded and one of the world’s finest defenders recruited.

Having demolished champions Chelsea 3-0, acquired Nicolas Otamendi for £30m+ from Valencia, City rounded off a memorable week with the 2-0 slaying of their age old nemesis at Goodison Park.

The accomplished, albeit hard-earned, win over Everton was City’s ninth on the spin in the Premier League, equalling the club’s finest ever winning streak dating back to 1912.

From Good to Great - Nicolas Otamendi is hoping he can help take City to new heights this season. Courtesy@MCFC

From Good to Great – Nicolas Otamendi is hoping he can help take City to new heights this season. Courtesy@MCFC

Swashbuckling City will be going for a record-breaking 10/10 wins when they take on PL newcomers Watford this Saturday, but they had to wait 60 minutes before finally breaking through Everton’s dogged resistance.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man and ‘AK47’ Aleksander Kolarov fired home City’s opener from an acute angle, beating Tourettes-afflicted Tim Howard at the keeper’s near post.

City 1-2 - Kolarov and Nasri punished Everton with their clinical finishing. Courtesy@MCFC

City 1-2 – Kolarov and Nasri punished Everton with their clinical finishing. Courtesy@MCFC

The air may well have turned blue as the Serbian sniper hit the target, but it was no more than City’s play deserved.

In a revitalised Kolarov and an effervescent Raheem Sterling, City have their left wing faction functioning even better than Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign.

An equally potent combination of Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure linked in a neat one-two passing movement, concluding with the Frenchman’s deft touch over the advancing Howard in the 88th minute.

Sublime - Yaya's perfectly weighted pass set up Nasri's goal and clinched City's win.

Sublime – Yaya’s perfectly weighted pass set up Nasri’s goal and clinched City’s win.

Game over and the Everton bogeymen held at bay for a third successive season at Goodison, following last season’s 1-1 draw and the 3-2 win in the run-in to City’s 2013/14 title success.

These are fruitful times, but it hasn’t always been that way when trekking down the East Lancs Road. Prior to 2014, City had won just one of the previous dozen Premier League visits dating back to the onset of the new millennium.

It could even have all gone pear-shaped for Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Sunday, had Everton danger man Romelu Lukaku had a slice of luck.

Belgian Battle - Kompany had to work hard to keep his countryman Lukaku at bay.

Belgian Battle – Kompany had to work hard to keep his countryman Lukaku at bay.

The big Belgian striker was fractionally offside when he put the ball in City’s net in the first half, before later shaving the crossbar with a free kick that had Joe Hart beaten.

All of City’s opponents have had goals disallowed for offside this season, as an unchanged and well-drilled defence of Sagna, Kolarov, Kompany and Mangala has gelled.

Three clean sheets is a great return, especially when contrasted with Chelsea’s much lauded backline who have leaked 7 goals in 3 games.

Show of strength - Mangala faired much better against Lukaku on his second visit to Goodison Park.

Show of strength – Mangala faired much better against Lukaku on his second visit to Goodison Park.

With Otamendi waiting in the wings and Zabaleta still to recover from injury, it provides a dilemma, albeit a welcome one, for the City boss.

Player rotation is an integral part of modern football. We’re always told that it’s a ‘squad as opposed to just a team’ game – but why tinker with a settled back four that functions well?

Injuries, suspensions, form, fatigue and tactical requirements will inevitably be factors of change, but ‘keeping players happy’ should be way down the list of considerations.

The Edge - MP ensured Roberto Martinez has still to notch up a league victory over City.

The Edge – MP ensured Roberto Martinez has still to notch up a league victory over City.

Pellegrini has stated his team will be chosen on form and not reputations – long may that continue.

The sudden glut of centre back talent looks like seeing Jason Denayer going on loan to Galatasaray for a season, but the young Belgian international, is surely destined to return. He’s one for the future.

An even younger prospect, the prodigious 17-year old Cameron Humphreys, who saw First XI action on City’s pre-season tour in Australia has also just signed a new deal taking him through to 2018. All good stuff!

Look to the future - 16-year old Cameron Humphreys signed a 3-year deal at City this week. Courtesy@MCFC

Look to the future – 17-year old Cameron Humphreys signed a 3-year deal at City this week. Courtesy@MCFC

Rumoured interest in Martin Demichelis from River Plate in his native Argentina, will hopefully amount to nothing and ‘Demi’ will remain at the Etihad for a third and probably, final year.

‘Defences win you championships’ is a timeless football adage. Equally, it doesn’t hurt to have the most potent attack in the PL.

The highest scorers for the past two seasons, led by the best forward in the league, are about to get even better with the much vaunted, long awaited, but hitherto unseen, arrival of Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg.

Man of the Match - El Mago was once again conducting City's attacking orchestra. Courtesy@MCFC

Man of the Match – El Mago was once again conducting City’s attacking orchestra. Courtesy@MCFC

The Bundesliga Player of The Year will surely, finally, sign for City this week after a painfully, protracted £50m pursuit.

It’s a longer running saga than Coronation Street and, as the days, weeks and months have gone by it’s become almost as boring – but that’ll be one adjective wholly non-applicable to Pellegrini’s City this season.

Under the cool Chilean, City have always strived for an expansive style of play but a brittle, ever rotating defence, a substantial injury list and a distinct lack of focus, proved their undoing last season.

Ministry of Defence - Kompany & Mangala are focused and much improved and both hungry and angry to rectify last season's shortcomings.

Ministry of Defence – Kompany & Mangala are focused and much improved and both hungry and angry to rectify last season’s shortcomings.

Pellegrini is on record saying his players are ‘hungry’ to reclaim the title and ‘angry’ at their collective shortcomings of 2014/15. As things stand, City are imperious.

Bit of a handful - Raheem Sterling is settling in well at City and troubling opposition defences. Courtesy @MCFC

Bit of a handful – Raheem Sterling is settling in well at City and troubling opposition defences. Courtesy @MCFC

The pundits and the media are extremely hard-pressed to find anything negative about the Sky Blues – even the ‘Liverpool Mafia’ have been silenced as Raheem Sterling’s playing currency rises.

Likewise, the Blue half of Merseyside has never been too keen on City either, apart from when wanting to ensure Manchester’s finest denied Brenda’s Bunch the PL crown in 2014.

Many bear a grudge that Sheikh Mansour chose City over their club when seeking a showcase for Abu Dhabi, and the consequent billion pound investment. Even without the money, Everton are always a stern test for City.

Concerned - Sergio Aguero tweeted his thoughts after an eventful afternoon at Everton.

Concerned – Sergio Aguero tweeted his thoughts after an eventful afternoon at Everton.

Hopefully, even the most hardened or bitter of Toffees would appreciate the humanity of Sergio Aguero and the subsequent show of warmth and sympathy from the travelling support towards an Evertonian in distress.

Sergio halted the taking of a corner kick, as he and Everton’s Seamus Coleman alerted pitch side medics to the plight of the fan, believed to have suffered an epileptic seizure.

The City fans applauded and called out messages of support when the man was stretchered past them en-route to hospital.

Good guys - Aguero and Coleman battled on the pitch but came together to alert medical staff. Courtesy@MCFC

Good guys – Aguero and Coleman battled on the pitch but came together to alert medical staff. Courtesy@MCFC

It prompted the man’s son to thank all concerned, via national radio, earlier today.

He said: “I wanted to thank not only the Everton fans and Aguero, but the City fans as well.

“When he (his father) got round to the away stand, they all stood up and clapped him off. The reception we got from them was amazing and really appreciated.”

It just serves to show that the tongue-in-cheek quote attributed to Liverpool’s legendary Bill Shankly, doesn’t pass muster.

Top man and World Class Striker - Aguerrroooo. Courtesy@MCFC

Top man and World Class Striker – Aguerrroooo. Courtesy@MCFC

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

On present form it’ll be City’s opponents who need ‘Help’ as Pellegrini’s men move through the gears with a ‘Ticket to Ride’ all the way to a third Premier League crown in five attempts.

 

#TrustOurMP

 

By David Walker

Dedicated to the memory of Worthing United FC’s Jacob Schilt & Matthew Grimstone and all victims of the Shoreham Airshow Disaster. Our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family & friends of everyone affected by the tragedy.

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

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