MAN CITY 5 – 0 Sunderland – MY THOUGHTS

4 Apr

Thumping. It was a victory that should instill confidence in the fans, restore our faith in the players (if it was ever lost) and send out a message to other teams that we mean business. It was arguably our best performance of the season, a genuinely exciting display, full of fluid attacking movement and honest desire. Sunderland were desperately poor, every bit as underwhelming as we were fantastic, but in winning in such emphatic fashion, we showed just what we are capable of.

Five different goalscorers highlights just how effective as a team unit we were, sharing the responsibility around the squad. Despite the attack scoring a handful, I feel that Nigel de Jong, the only defensive midfielder in the team,was the standout performer, although the likes of Vincent Kompany, Dedryck Boyata and Adam Johnson also impressed. It was a team performance where each member worked for one another and it is this spirit and belief which we need to reproduce every game.

Here are my main thoughts on the match:

The Fantastic Four

Roberto Mancini selected a more attacking side than normal, with the exciting Adam Johnson favoured instead of Gareth Barry. And it was that extra forward thinking option which enabled our style of play. The presence of Balotelli, Johnson and Tévez  took the creative pressure off David Silva, enabling him to drift around the pitch more, looking to get involved.

Normally, he is the one we turn to when looking for inspiration, but with three others attackers providing support, plus Yaya Touré bombing forward from midfield, the onus was partially removed from him. Johnson stretched the Sunderland defence of the right, Tévez was at his belligerent best, whilst Balotelli showed glimpses of his fearful pace and skill.

The Importance of Nigel de Jong

As I mentioned above, The Dutchman was my man of the match. Possibly an odd choice given our exhilarating attacking display, but justified by the understated contribution that De Jong makes to every single City game. He patrols the midfield, shielding our defence and intercepting any breaks down the middle. His tackling is spot on, but what has impressed me the most this season has been his improved passing.

He knows his limitations and keeps it simple, often just relaying the ball sideways to the likes of Yaya or Barry. But recently, he has shown a propensity to be more searching in his passing, looking for a through ball to the strikers, and his lofted, left-footed pass to Tévez for Silva’s goal yesterday was sublime. His importance to the side was emphasised by his recent absence, but now he’s back and is one of our key figures.

Kicking on when ahead

Another aspect that pleased me was our desire to kick on ahead after taking the lead, and not just settle for a two goal cushion. We all know how dangerous a narrow lead is, so it was great to see the players continue to forge forward and look for more goals. Not only does it boost our goal difference, but it gives us confidence that we can score goals and can produce the type of football fans want to see.

Aleks Kolarov

I don’t like to pick on one player in particular, but it is concerning me just how much of a defensive weakness Kolarov is becoming. We all know his strengths are when he’s attacking, with his crossing ability and powerful shot capable of creating opportunities, but as a left back, his primary job is to defend.

Unfortunately, he has shown nothing so far to suggest he is good enough in that respect. Any winger with pace can be dangerous, but with Kolarov, you don’t even need to be quick to cause him problems. He is so slow to turn and so cumbersome in the challenge that I feel it’s only a matter of time before it seriously comes back to haunt us. He’s cost us goals in the past, but approaching such a vital part of the season, we can’t afford for him to be such an obvious weak link.

So onwards we march, Champions League qualification in our sight. With only seven games to go, we are on course to reach the promised land.

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8 Responses to “MAN CITY 5 – 0 Sunderland – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Siamack 04/04/2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Despite the brilliant performance by City lads, I would like to make a especial reference to Boyata for his outstanding performance. It is not easy to be called upon sporadically in critical games and deliver so well and reliably. Many folks may think Boyata is a star in the making but I strongly believe he is already a star and need more first team action to shine more. He definitely deserve a place in starting 11 much more often.

    Apart from the Kolarov’s lackluster performance, everybody did an amazing job. Let’s do this at Liverpool, I can really get used to this !!!!

  2. Dan 04/04/2011 at 6:21 pm #

    A bit hard on Kolarov. His crossing caused no end of trouble and got Viera a goal. Plus his relentless badgering of Catermole made the 5th goal. The boy works hard.

    • Siamack 04/04/2011 at 6:36 pm #

      As a defender, he should to be able to defend first and foremost, any attacking traits are the icing on the cake. At this moment, he lacks any decent traits of a defender against a decent winger. He will have zero chance against Nani or Valencia, it is just like putting a lamb in a lion cage and hope for a decent fight!

      • DAVID SILVA IS MY GOD 04/04/2011 at 8:05 pm #

        Yet, I bet that if he produces the cross for the match-winning goal in the Semi-Final, all of his “lackluster” performances will be forgotten and his attacking abilities will be lauded by all of you.

        Did nothing wrong that I could go into great depths about – got skinned a few times. All but one of these, he got back and did his job – DEFENDING.

        As Dan has said, A shot-come-cross lead to one goal (even though Vieira did his best not to – twice!), challenging Cattermole, on the opposite wing, lead to another.

        Siamack & View from a Blue
        >>> Do you want to get into an argument with “John Guidetti Is My Hero” – He won’t be happy with either of you.

        • Siamack 04/04/2011 at 8:59 pm #

          I do not think anyone can dispute his killer left kicks and his attacking abilities. Unfortunately, it is not case that City play teams that are sitting ducks on weekly basis and bash them with 5 goals. More often than not, Other teams put a much stronger fight than Sunday’s game when Kolarov’s defensive weakness is manifested most.

          His being slow esp against pacy wingers has been most obvious in previous games ,against Blackpool one for example.

          This not to belittle his contributions in Sunday’s game but a heads-up against challenges he may face against pacy players. Nothing makes me happier if he provides the winner in FA cup.

          My hero is Manchester city club and and all individuals’ worth are in the context of club with no personal vendetta toward any player. The performance of any player should be at least in par with the price that was paid for him and money he is being paid to.

  3. Bring Bellamy back 05/04/2011 at 12:27 pm #

    I am as delighted as anyone else to see City win so emphatically and with so many good individual performances. But i still believe that this display flattered us to the the extent were we could be lulled into thinking are more capable than we actually are.
    The main reason for this is our tempo. We dont have any. We certainly have the players to play an attacking gane but we are set up so as to soak up the play. This can be useful to distill games at certain points but Mancini coming from the talian league does not seet it like this.
    This is not meant as criticism as such but i am in the firm belief that we had the best attacking lineup at the end of last season, with the aggresive pace of Bellamy and Tevez as well as the trickery of Johnson. Obviously this has now changed and the conservative nature of our play could hamper us against the likes of United and Spurs in the coming games.

  4. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!!! 05/04/2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Too harsh on Kolarov and do not give him enough credit for his hard work and 2 assists during the game. You say he got beaten but he only got ‘skinned once’, the rest of the times he managed to get back and get in a good position and block the inbound cross. Lay off him, he’s going to be a star and we can see why already. Yaya took his goal well today, but still want more from him. Notably when he ran and then had his shot blocked and he just lay down behind their goal for a few minutes because he was tired….condone that do you?

    • JoshMCFC 05/04/2011 at 6:28 pm #

      1 player who started at about the same pace as Kolarov and is now the best Left back in the world… Patrice Evra only Evra aint got a left foot like Kolarovs

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