11 Nov

Emotion often complicates matters. It’s prevalent in everyday goings-on, and can, on occasions, obstruct clear thinking. And the Manchester derby is precisely one of those times when emotion does, shall we say, push rational thought to the back-burner.

Much of the criticism that has spurted in Roberto Mancini’s direction today after a match devoid of any real excitement centres of his choice of team selection and tactics. His decision to select what many have termed three defensive midfielders features high up on the list of complaints, as does the charge of ‘negativity.’ But at the risk of attracting the wrath of disgruntled City fans, I feel Mancini was justified in his tactics. Strip away the emotion of derby day and view matters logically.

To quote Jack from TLDORC‘after five straight league derby defeats, three stoppage time derby defeats last season, a run of three defeats that only ended last Sunday, it cannot be underestimated how damaging another defeat would be.’ The triumvirate of losses last season had such a debilitating effect on City, it was essential not to fall victim to another United win this time around.

If that attitude seems a little defensive, and truth be told, there wasn’t a great deal of attacking intent from the Blues, it’s because Mancini’s approach is one which has worked so far this season. From our first twelve games, City have faced eight of the top ten in the Premier League, losing just two of those fixtures, one to a last minute penalty, and the other in mitigating circumstances to Arsenal.

In all of those games, Mancini has played the same formation, and has sent out the players with the message of not conceding uppermost in their minds. Our gameplan, for the most part, is to contain, soak up pressure, not concede and try to nick a goal on the counter attack. And for the vast majority of the time, it has worked. We currently sit fourth in the table, five points clear of our closest challengers.

If we analyse the defensive results closely, it can be seen that City have kept clean sheets against the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and United. I would hazard a guess that not many others sides will accomplish that feat this season. Moreover, we have been victorious in two of those games, leaving us with the fantastic record of eight points after facing some of the toughest games of the season.

There isn’t a great deal I need to say about yesterday’s match. Chances were at a premium, with only Tévez, Evra and Berbatov forcing the respective goalkeepers into action. It was a game characterised by attrition rather than the free-flowing football many hoped for. But I urge City fans to have patience, and to realise that success doesn’t grow on tress. Nothing will happen overnight. We have waited 34 years for something to happen. Will one more year hurt?


8 Responses to “MAN CITY 0 – 0 Man Utd – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!!! 11/11/2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Again Steven I am very impressed with your ending >>>

    “It was a game characterised by attrition rather than the free-flowing football many hoped for. But I urge City fans to have patience, and to realise that success doesn’t grow on tress. Nothing will happen overnight. We have waited 34 years for something to happen. Will one more year hurt?”

    I really think you hit the nail on the head. Some will slate Yaya, some will slate Balotelli for his stupid sending off agains West Brom – but, we have to learn to keepgoing, play to the final whistle which has cost us o many times before, AND play with two strikers!!!

    A point against United is a good start, especially as we lost against them 3 times last year. Its a start and we have sewed the seeds upon which we can potentially blossom.

    I think we will finish in the top four, but will we beat United at Old Trafford…it depends,a change of tactics may be in order.

    One thing that shocked me was that Mancini went on BBC GMR and said that the team went out to win the game. Juding by your above comments, you also agree it didnt seem as if we really wanted to go out all attacking and win? This was very disappointing to see and in a way killed the effervescent atmosphere that began the night.

    “Moreover, we have been victorious in two of those games, leaving us with the fantastic record of eight points after facing some of the toughest games of the season.”

    The above is a very good point. We have played some of the top teams already and have got lots of points on the board which we should be proud of. We can play well and we have the potential to be great. In a couple of years time we will be world class and I look forward to that day.

    The Blue Moon will never stop shining – onwards and upwards 🙂

    • Blue Rinse 11/11/2010 at 7:16 pm #

      I think Mancini is fooling everybody. There is a myth that he has improved the defence. It’s an illusion. All he has done is packed the midfield. As a result we don’t score enough goals. It isn’t some tactical masterstroke. When he removes the defensive midfielders we leak goals as was the case recently in that run of defeats.
      He just doesn’t seem to have many other options in his locker. He doesn’t have the ability to vary things accordingly.

      Four points from the last five games is more like relegation form than Champions League.

      We are fourth because of Liverpool’s decline rather than anything else. I think we all know that deep down.
      Our points total and goal difference this season are the reality rather than the league placing. We have fewer points and a worse goal difference than under Hughes this time last season.
      That is not progression.

      Hughes’s team were slaughtered for drawing five on the trot around this time last year. But at least we were unbeaten and got five points. In Mancini’s last five games we’ve been beaten three times and got a mere four points.

      I can understand why people are deluding themselves that he is doing a good job. The idea of changing the manager again is appalling.

      But maybe we have to face the reality. He is simply not the right man for this job.

      We are back to square one.

      • Citysince77 11/11/2010 at 9:01 pm #

        In reference to the post by Blue Rinse I will say it does seem he is a geniune City fan but I do have a fair few issues with a couple of things he states, but mainly his criticism of Mancini and his role at the club. First of all, he has undoubtedly improved the defence to a degree immeasurably from the days of Hughes. When Mark Hughes parted company with Man City we had played 17 games, had 29 points and had a goal difference of +6, so his free scoring ways were not what you cracked them up to be as well. I’m not quite sure how many we had conceeded by that point but in his last 5 games alone we conceeded 10 goals.

        So far this season with Mancini we have played 12 games, got 21 points and have conceeded 10 goals with a goal difference of +5. Not to mention the fact we have played our five biggest rivals and kept a clean sheet against four of them. Not only that when Hughes left we were six points off 4th place with an inferior goal difference of about 8 goals. We currently sit in 4th place, 5 points clear of our biggest rival for a Champions league place with a much better goal difference.

        People also do not seem to realise that in the greater scheme of things we really have come a long way in a very short space of time. Do you not know how bad it was in the final days of Shinawatra, all his money had been frozen and the vultures were well and truly circling. In the two years since the good Shiekh Mansour took us over he has literally come to our rescue and we have improved in every way imaginable, not only that the man is setting the foundations for a glittering era in our club’s history in which we will have chances to win every major trophy going, for f**k’s sake can some people start enjoying it.

        Oh well, I could go on but I really don’t have the time or the inclination but I just feel you are the kind of fan who is in some way unaware of what is really going on at our great club. Rant Over, I just want some City fans to stop believing the media and get behind the team and Mancini for this season just to see where it can take us. Trust me, you’ll be pleasantly suprised.

      • HUH 11/11/2010 at 11:04 pm #

        Hughes’s run of draws was 7 not 5 draws as you say (how do you not know that?), this run included some terrible home draws and if I remember rightly a thumping humiliation at spurs followed by letting a relegation threatened Sunderland score 3 past us at home in a lucky win. He did beat Chelsea in this awful run though. Mancini has more points than Hughes did at this stage of the season so your wrong again and as I recall it was as bad in Hughes last 5 games which lead to his sacking. I would put my house on Bobby Manc having many more points than Hughes by his 17th game which is how many Hughes got. I’m not sure if your a City fan as you seem to have made a fair bit up stuff that even a casual fan would know, maybe you just take all your info from the gutter press, but who cares though as the club could do with out your rubbish anyhow.

        • Citysince77 12/11/2010 at 9:41 am #

          On reading his post again you are probably right that he is not a city fan after all. Probably another one of the City obsessed Rags who go on website’s slagging off Mancini because they are crapping themselves at what trophy winning machine we could become. Whoever he is, he needs to start getting his facts right before he starts spouting his rubbish.

  2. spark 11/11/2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Mancini did try to win the game. This was the same tactic as used against Chelsea. Only difference being 5 seconds of brilliance from Carlos Tevez. We are right where we need to be; comfortably in 4th place…in striking distance of the top. City fans, I ask you, if you were told we would be where we are right now, back in July…would you have not gladly taken it? There will be future Derby’s with United and chances to defeat them. Let’s be content with this point for now.

  3. l0ngwayfr0mh0me 12/11/2010 at 10:05 am #

    Someone has to be looking at the bigger picture and luckily Babby M is doing just that. In the cold light of day the table shows the story of where Man City currently are in the Premier pecking order … with improvement in the team inevetiable given the short time the team has had to gel. Yes I was disappointed we didn’t go for the jugular in the second half … yes I screamed at Yaya to move ffs 😀 … but compared to my frustration at the end of last year’s derby games this pales into insignificance. Forza Mancini!

  4. David Johnson 12/11/2010 at 10:12 am #

    Also @blue rinse, actually in the last 5 ‘LEAGUE’ games we have won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1 = 7 points … and the point about not improving the defence, he has improved the team defending as a team, as a unit, from front to back

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