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The Final Say

The Final Say

Another three points in the bag at home to Bolton was just the tonic we needed after the defeat at Hull.

It was a comfortable win but another unconvincing performance and we simply have to improve if we are to sustain a challenge for a top four place. Any of the top teams visiting Eastlands on the basis of our performance would have inflicted our first home defeat of the season so it was lucky it was only Bolton.

Adam Johnson impressed with some good runs and decent crosses and certainly looks like adding a spark that we have been missing. But it seems whenever we play these lower teams, some of the players just switch off. It seems to be a case of ‘they’re near the bottom + we’re at home = three points no matter what the performance.’

We seem to take games for granted at Eastlands but it must be difficult not to when we have such a good home record. The point is emphasised again following Saturday’s game against Stoke. We go a goal up and sit back rather than going for the jugular. It was a fortuitous goal, one which will end up on a DVD of football biggest gaffe’s or something.

But we really should have capitalised on our good fortune but instead we allowed Stoke back into the game. But I don’t want to detract anything for Stoke who lived up to their manager’s expectations and did have a go at us and justly got their reward.

But on how many occasions has Rory Delap made these huge throw-ins and someone has got on the end of it and scored? The defence should have been ready and made sure they picked up every Stoke player but they simply went to sleep and now we not only have to go to Stoke on Tuesday, but visit there again a week later, something which we definitely didn’t need.

The Potters will start the game as favourites to win but this reminds me of a game in 1993 when Reading came to Maine Road. City should have hammered the visitors, but they scored on the stroke of half time and the game went to a replay at Elm Park. Reading were being tipped to go through but City crushed them 4-0. Hopefully it will happen like that against Stoke.

Bridge To Fill Cole’s Gap?

Well he has nothing else to do now he’s broken his ankle but not sure Wayne would be up for it. Anyway, Ashley Cole has broken his ankle which has provided Wayne Bridge with the opportunity to play for England again but with one condition; he would be playing alongside John Terry.

Now if you didn’t know, or you’ve been living on the edge of the solar system for the last couple of weeks, Terry supposedly had an affair with Bridge’s girlfriend and the whole thing, in my own opinion, has been blown way out of proportion. As reported this week, City manager Roberto Mancini has backed Bridge to play for England without any problems should Fabio Capello select him.

Bridge himself hasn’t said anything regarding the possibility of replacing Cole and is more than likely waiting to hear if he will be called up. Capello, who was in the Eastlands crowd on Saturday, must have been pleased of what he saw of the ex-Chelsea defender and should give him the call.

It Had To Happen

City meeting Chelsea in the FA Cup was more predictable than a soap opera storyline. If the blues get past Stoke in the replay they face a nice little visit to Stamford Bridge where John Terry’s Chelsea wait for Wayne Bridge’s City. It would be the second meeting between the two in a week and I’m sure Wayne will be in for some very special treatment by the Chelsea fans.

The taunts heard from the visiting Stoke fans on Saturday will be nothing to what Stamford Bridge will subject him to and Bridge may have go through that twice. But Wayne is a professional and he handled the abuse at Hull and against Stoke by putting in some superb performances and I am backing him to do the same in London, not once but twice.

Until next Sunday, keep the faith and don’t work too hard.

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