Notts County 1 – 1 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS

31 Jan

As much as I despise Manchester United, their resilience and desire to win at all costs has to be admired. On Saturday, they went a goal down to League One side Southampton, yet always gave the impression they would recover and win the game. That they did. On Sunday, Man City went a goal down to League One side Notts County, yet it was far from certain we would equalise, let alone return victorious. In the end, Edin Džeko’s first goal for the club meant that a replay will take place, but the difference between us and our local rivals is exemplified in these two results.

We are potentially a fantastic side, who have been improving weekly, but we are nowhere near the finished article and lack the mentality of our ‘noisy neighbours’. Two years ago, City would have lost this game having gone a goal down, whereas these days we battle back for a draw. However, we have not yet reached the next stage to go the extra step. That will come in time, but on the basis of this match alone, we deserve to still be in the FA Cup.

As much as didn’t want a replay, it was probably the fairest result. City dominated possession but lacked any intensity or tempo in the final third until the introduction of David Silva, whilst Notts County raised their game but didn’t pose too many problems. A Neal Bishop header from a corner set the cat amongst the pigeons, but ten minutes from time, Džeko repaid part of his £27million transfer fee by volleying home from Micah Richards’s cross. The replay will be played on the weekend on the 5th round, and our packed fixture list may prove to be damaging as we progress through the rest of the campaign.

Roberto Mancini opted to make a number of changes to the side which disappointingly lost at Aston Villa, the side whom the winner of the replay will face at home in the next round. There was a complete reshuffle at the back, with Jérome Boateng partnering Joleon Lescott in the centre, with Richards and Pablo Zabaleta occupying the fullback berths. And unfortunately, it says a great deal about our performance that Richards and Zabaleta were our two best players. The usual cup changes were made, with starts for Patrick Vieira and Jo, whilst there was certainly plenty of quality on the bench, in the shape of Silva, Kompany, de Jong and Kolarov.

The first half was a fairly placid affair, with the Notts County goalkeeper saving well from Yaya Touré’s close-range shot, but the lack of action was highlighted in the fact that the half-time entertainment was far more interesting than the real game! It was a seven-a-side game between two local clubs, featuring eager and enthusiastic youngsters, from whom Jo and Yaya Touré could learn a great deal. Credit to the City fans, who really livened up this game with chants of ‘England’s Number One’ to the goalkeeper and ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Doing’ to the referee! It was an entertaining fifteen minutes, and happily, the score finished 2-0 to City over the Magpies.

But back to the real game, and the soporific nature continued. The pitch was abysmal and not at all conducive to easy-on-the-eye attractive football, but the surface was taken out of the equation in the home side’s goal; a glancing Bishop header from a corner sending the Notts County supporters into delirium. But just as it looked like we may suffer another one of those heartbreaking FA Cup exits, Džeko finished off a glorious move, volleying home from Richards’s cross after the right back’s electric pace down the flank. That was it for Sunday, and battle will recommence shortly.

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9 Responses to “Notts County 1 – 1 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Siamack 31/01/2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Though I am a Yaya fan, I must say that he was no where in the game. Adding insult to injury was the presence of Jo. He is an absolute waste. He does justice to the word “waste” to the letter. You take anyone from our Youth Academy or even not-fit Micheal Johnson, they are bound to do a better job than Jo, and why Mancini plays Jo week-in and week-out instead of Guidetti is beyond my ken.

    However; on the positive side, Richard was awesome (please more of the same) and Boateng did really well in his favorite position (can’t wait to see him partner up with Kompany).

    Now with Adam Johnson injured, I really hope Mancini would open up to idea of trying some of our Youth.

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 01/02/2011 at 10:33 am #

      “Boateng did really well in his favorite position (can’t wait to see him partner up with Kompany).”

      >> You’ll have to wait a long time I fear?

  2. Bring Bellamy back 31/01/2011 at 11:21 pm #

    I think we have solved the full back issue now given kolorov and Richards recent performances. Exscuses can be made for this performance but this midfield was always going to be laborious and disruptive to our flow.
    But the idea of Jo playing off the left flank stretches credulity. I dont know about the wage structure at city but surely Santa cruz could have been favoured more than that waster.

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 01/02/2011 at 10:32 am #

      Barry disruptive? Milner disruptive?? Hmm…im not so sure. If you saw the game, Milner was our only attacking threat in the first half, with some wonderful runs down the wing, and Barry orchestrated all of our attacking moves.

      • Bring Bellamy back 01/02/2011 at 7:13 pm #

        Yes it’s a harsh word to use but Barry is too often wastefull and although midfield is my preferred position for milner and we cannot fault his workrate, there is too often no end product. This should be his type of game. He needs to repeat his performance against Leicester.
        And if were being honest we can do better than Barry cant we?

        • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 02/02/2011 at 1:32 pm #

          Barry has been absolutely sublime and incredibly influential in serveral of our last 6 games or so. At Eastlands he is a force to be reckoned with, and no, we cant do that much better…we have Jo for god sake

  3. Ricky 01/02/2011 at 9:40 am #

    Apart from the first 20 minutes (which I missed due to teh great importance of masterminding a 2-0 win against Spurs), it was a great cup tie – not a good game but a brilliant cup tie.

    The hostile home crowd and sub-standard playing surface is like an alien planet to the likes of Silva, Džeko, Kolarov et al. Then thoughts turned to the opposition, “Why have they nicked Juventus’ kit” was quite clearly heard through the speakers of my laptop.

    As the game started, the fans and players in blue were all expecting the same – an easy victory. Alas, the majesty of the FA Cup, known as the great leveler, struck once again and the City players were overwhelmed by the ‘shirt thieves’ (strangely, black and white suits Lee Hughes) and their fearlessness.

    Oh Bugger – then they scored. The fans were delerious and City fans were indeed wondering about yet another early round exit. Then, a miracle occured – Jo was substituted!!! Everything was uphill from there.

    A very interesting game to watch (not brilliant on the heart though) and I feel that the replay will go the same way of the Leicester replay.

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 01/02/2011 at 10:30 am #

      The hostile home crowd….tell me about it, I was sat amongst them!

  4. ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 01/02/2011 at 10:30 am #

    ” yet always gave the impression they would recover and win the game.”

    >> Only when Silva came on…

    “Two years ago, City would have lost this game having gone a goal down, whereas these days we battle back for a draw.”

    >> Could not agree more, that shows the positive transformation the new owners, and dare I say it, Mancini has had (even though I would do things completely different if I were in his position!)

    “Neal”

    >> What a silly way of spelling Neil!?

    “The replay will be played on the weekend on the 5th round, and our packed fixture list may prove to be damaging as we progress through the rest of the campaign.”

    >> Totally agree, it is a joke that he didnt play a stronger side. Now we have Brum on Wednesday, Brom on Saturday, County on Wednesday and then United on Saturday…surely he should have played a stronger team from the start, won it, and had a weeks break before the big one?

    “but the lack of action was highlighted in the fact that the half-time entertainment was far more interesting than the real game! It was a seven-a-side game between two local clubs, featuring eager and enthusiastic youngsters, from whom Jo and Yaya Touré could learn a great deal.”

    >> Hahahahahahahahaaaaa I always knew you were a funny one!

    “That was it for Sunday, and battle will recommence shortly.”

    >> Another classy Steven ending. Like it.

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