Can City pick off the Cherries?

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It won’t have escaped the more observant of you that I haven’t posted since the derby day defeat to the Rags. Wish I could say it was because I was sulking, but the sad truth is I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to see arguably one of the best squads we’ve ever had fail against one of the worst Utd teams I’ve even seen tip up at Maine Road or the Etihad. Admittedly, we didn’t have the luxury of a full strength team, but neither did they. Truth is we still had more than enough to beat them, but just a complete lack of desire and too many players failing to turn up on the day sealed our fate.

I ranted when Kompany went off that if Pellegrini was stupid enough to play Demichelis against the young United attack at the weekend, he would end up on his arse. Little did I know, my prediction would be so literal. Any football fan worth their salt can see that Demichelis’ legs are shot, and when played alongside any roaming defender (and Otamendi and Mangala both love a good wander) you’d always just get your fastest or most skilful attacking players to sit on the shoulders of Demi, because he is always going to end up exposed at some point during the game. He was lucky he wasn’t guilty of giving away a penalty (it was in my eyes), while he also contributed in no small part to the injury of Joe Hart. Pellegrini clearly loves him, but he’s fast on his way to becoming one of the better panto villains we’ve had at City in recent years.

Still, that game is gone, and now the focus should shift forward. Securing a top 4 place (especially given the better form of both Utd & West Ham to ourselves) is not going to easy, and based on recent months I am seriously beginning to doubt we will get it, BUT we would stand a far better chance if players actually put the effort and commitment in on the pitch rather than on Twitter post game as is currently the trend. And if somebody could make Pellegrini forget his 3 times table any time soon, that would be appreciated.

 

Bournemouth away is a tough game, make no mistake, and while on paper we should have more than enough to beat them (and most other sides in this division) this season has proven that to be anything but the case. For once City didn’t lose any players to injuries for their national sides during the International break, although Yaya seems to be out again now, so the only current absentees are Delph (long term), Touré, Kompany, and Hart & Sterling who both came off in the derby. On the plus side, Kevin De Bruyne and Samir Nasri both return to the first team fold, although both will be massively lacking in match fitness after long term injuries.

Earlier in the season, City beat Bournemouth 5-1 at the Etihad, but that will count for nothing today, and I expect it to be a far different game this time out. All eyes will once again be on what formation Pellegrini puts out, and whether he keeps blind faith in Bony or gives Iheanacho a long overdue start. Personally I expect a 4-3-3 style formation, with Otamendi and Mangala together at the back and only one striker up top. The other concern will be in goal, where Capital One Cup hero Willy Caballero will deputise for the injured Hart. Became a hero at Wembley, no doubt, but has often been found wanting in other games this season, noticeably Spurs away in the league and Chelsea away in the Cup. Hopefully the Caballero the manager clearly loves so much will turn up this afternoon.

All I ask is that City give it 100% commitment, try and eradicate recent weeks and their near relegation form and actually start to patch a good run together. A couple of goals would be nice, but then again if Agüero showed a little more faith in his team mates at times (a criticism of recent games, not overall), and in turn they stopped trying to walk the ball in, I think that will come naturally. Whatever happens I’ll always be proud to be blue, and no doubt be back on here ranting about or celebrating the outcome.

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Author: siepod

Massive technology geek Former runner looking to rediscover two working knees Ex Personal trainer currently looking to escape self imposed fitness exile Manchester City season ticket holder until 1998 & again from 2002 to present Atlético Madrid season ticket holder 1999-2001 & still follow from afar Love creative writing, and former journalist for Opta Soccer, Planetfootball & Sky Sports Former games tester, researcher and designer for Gremlin Interactive, Infogrames & Dinamic Multimedia

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