City Struggles

February 15, 2010 by
Filed under: Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy 

Saturday’s uneven and un-inspirational FA Cup performance versus StokeĀ  confirms many of the fears supporters had about playing without either Carlos Tevez or Craig Bellamy. Both will be unavailable for tomorrow’s league clash with the same Potters, but cup tied Adam Johnson will be available.

Without Johnson in the lineup, City struggled for attacking link up play behind the strikers, and Stephan Ireland’s run of poor form continued despite his mouthing off about Mark Hughes during the week.

City’s recent FA Cup History has seldom if ever seen such a poor later round performance at Eastlands. While disastrous cup ties have taken place in the early rounds of both the FA and League Cups (most recently City’s embarrassing performance under Hughes versus Nottingham Forest last year), most poor Cup efforts such as the 2007 Quarterfinal rout at the hands of Blackburn have come away from home.

Roberto Mancini is now learning first hand about the grind of English football and fixture congestion. Often times his Inter Milan teams began to fade down the stretch of the Serie A campaign, sometimes allowing its title rivals to sense a collapse. While Mancini’s 2007 and 2008 Inter teams did win the Serie A title, their were wobbly stretches of football in February and March.

City’s FA Cup and Champions League qualification ambitions demand that these wobbles be minimized.

Comments

2 Comments on City Struggles

  1. Tony on Mon, 15th Feb 2010 6:49 pm
  2. Good point about Inter. They tended to fade in February but came out strong in April. By the way, the same pattern is holding true under Mourinho, so it could be an internal club issue not a manager issue.

    If we lose in the FA Cup, we must finish 4th. If we don’t finish 4th we must win the FA Cup. Playing at Chelsea in the next round if we win makes it more prudent to focus on the league.

  3. Frank on Mon, 15th Feb 2010 7:55 pm
  4. Adam Johnson was bought as a replacement for Petrov, so when we are reduced to playing the player Mancini intends to replace, trouble ensues. Right now our depth is in serious question. Hughes decisions to dump Elano, Bojinov, Corluka, Sturridge and Caicedo for less than market compensation have had serious, negative consequences.

    It will take some time to undo all the damage Hughes did to the team.

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