Watching the City-Liverpool game on Monday night it was hard not to be disappointed, at times I was livid with certain individual’s performances. The fact that Mancini came out immediately after the game and put his hand up and blamed himself for City’s poor performance was poignant, I would like to see some his players come out and own up for their awful showing as well.
To a certain extent I can see why Mancini did blame the result on himself, the fact he rested Silva and De Jong (even with the semi-final against United next week) was a mistake, such games cry out for De Jong’s tenacity and Silva’s attacking flair. Also not having anyone attacking the rookie right back John Flanagan was a big mistake, the opportunity to test him earlier on and try his nerves was missed.
With this in mind the team shape appeared lob-sided, with Johnson attacking down the right there was practically no-one on the other side other than Kolarov, on paper it was supposed to be Milner who occupied that flank but instead he was more central along with Barry and Toure.
The fact that Milner through a hissy-fit when he was subbed was laughable, as he had been absolutely anonymous during the game, such petulance also allows for critics to say that all is not well in the City camp again, something that Jamie Redknapp brought up several times, even though many players at many teams throughout the country show visible resentment to being subbed off every week and nothing is made of it.
Most performances could be put down to simply a bad day at the office, but other players I am a little bit worried about, such as Edin Dzeko. Foreign players will always need time to settle in the Premier League, yet Dzeko has not shown many signs of settling, his touch and the amount of time he needs on the ball has been particularly worrying so far. I know patience is a virtue with new signings, and Andy Carroll certainly showed how to alleviate the pressure placed on a big money striker in one performance, so I will remain hopeful over Dzeko.
As for the team Mancini sent out against Liverpool, regardless of the players not in the team, any City fan would have thought they would still be able to get something from the game. So for them to capitulate like they did is simply unacceptable, they also let their manager down.
On a side note, the injury to Carlos Tevez is particularly worrying, it seems a given that he will miss the derby next week, which is disappointing in itself, yet if he is out for the rest of the season then that would be a huge blow to City. If that is the case then the rest of the team must show that we can win without our talisman, and players such as Balotelli and Dzeko must step up their game.