City v Top Sides at Home

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City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Douglas Higginbottom » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:19 am

Just looking at 6 games this season. We played great against Barcelona and Monaco to win by 2 goals in each game. Could have defended better against Monaco but they are a serious attacking side. But we were properly up for both games, set up to attack and win.

In the league against Chelsea we actually battered them but missed key chances then crucially they didn't get Luiz sent off for his blatant foul on Kun.
We also battered Spurs and would have won but they didn't have Walker red carded and a pen given for the foul on Sterling.
Now against Liverpool they should have had Milner sent off for the blatant foul on Sterling and likely we would have gone on to win. Again we missed great chances.
And we beat Arsenal with a top 2nd half display.

2 things spring to mind for me. The refereeing in England is shocking and costing us dearly but Pep is setting us up well for big games and the team is performing well but for the crucial art of finishing.

Pep hasn't been perfect we know that from a few away games especially but he knows what he is doing and when a few quality additions are made ( referees would be nice) we will get better and better. Still a great time to be a blue.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Foreverinbluedreams » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:29 am

Ah a nice positive thread, good on you Doug.

It's a wonderful time to be a Blue.

Looking forward to seeing this team with a couple of pacy full backs, we're close to becoming an excellent side, so close you can almost taste it.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Wonderwall » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:46 am

Pace at the back is crucial. Imagine Bellerin covering when we have an attacking set piece. Mane would not have had a sniff yesterday for their counter attacks. Otter did well yesterday but the likes of ballerin would have won the foot race and snuffed out their attacks.

KDB puts in some great balls but has given the ball away on many occasions when just doing a simple pass. Yaya was also culpable yesterday and Pep went mental. When you put all the hard graft in to win the ball back and then just give it away with a sloppy pass, it's infuriating. I don't mind an interception for ball that's looking to break the line and set up an attack, which Yaya, Silva and KDB do for fun, it's the simple stuff we need to concentrate on.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Douglas Higginbottom » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:03 am

Wonderwall wrote:Pace at the back is crucial. Imagine Bellerin covering when we have an attacking set piece. Mane would not have had a sniff yesterday for their counter attacks. Otter did well yesterday but the likes of ballerin would have won the foot race and snuffed out their attacks.

KDB puts in some great balls but has given the ball away on many occasions when just doing a simple pass. Yaya was also culpable yesterday and Pep went mental. When you put all the hard graft in to win the ball back and then just give it away with a sloppy pass, it's infuriating. I don't mind an interception for ball that's looking to break the line and set up an attack, which Yaya, Silva and KDB do for fun, it's the simple stuff we need to concentrate on.


Weird thing with Kev isn't it. We know the quality he has but somehow in recent weeks when he plays centrally he does give the balla way too easily and quickly at times.Although he can still make the killer pass as he did when he set Silva free for what should have been the first goal.

That spell in the 2nd half when we just tried to get going too quickly and gave the ball away was mega frustrating.Then when Kev went wide right he became a major threat again.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby mr_nool » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:11 am

Douglas Higginbottom wrote:
Wonderwall wrote:Pace at the back is crucial. Imagine Bellerin covering when we have an attacking set piece. Mane would not have had a sniff yesterday for their counter attacks. Otter did well yesterday but the likes of ballerin would have won the foot race and snuffed out their attacks.

KDB puts in some great balls but has given the ball away on many occasions when just doing a simple pass. Yaya was also culpable yesterday and Pep went mental. When you put all the hard graft in to win the ball back and then just give it away with a sloppy pass, it's infuriating. I don't mind an interception for ball that's looking to break the line and set up an attack, which Yaya, Silva and KDB do for fun, it's the simple stuff we need to concentrate on.


Weird thing with Kev isn't it. We know the quality he has but somehow in recent weeks when he plays centrally he does give the balla way too easily and quickly at times.Although he can still make the killer pass as he did when he set Silva free for what should have been the first goal.

That spell in the 2nd half when we just tried to get going too quickly and gave the ball away was mega frustrating.Then when Kev went wide right he became a major threat again.


He needs to learn to play the percentage better when in the centre - especially when he's dropping deep and helping the defenders out in the build-up. Not every pass has to be a killer pass. It's about possession and patience (mixed with the occasional killer pass).
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Cocacolajojo » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:03 pm

Great thread and goos points. As frustrating as it is to watch us play now it is obvious we've turned a corner. We're going places if we can fix the back line. And get cabby a newcontract ifhe's out of one in summer.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Hazy2 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:10 pm

Great points Doug, as Pep said in his presser after the game, This is us, we attack we want to be positive. I love the guy, and know we will become amazing.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby iwasthere2012 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:16 pm

I'm sick to death with the influence refs have on the complexion of the top of the table. It's really ruining this season for me.

However I'm trying to stay positive regarding us and ignoring the obvious helping hand certain teams are getting.

I agree with Doug assessment. I think a little improvement in finishing alone would have us challenging Chelsea this year.
A few personnel changes this summer and you can definitely see the making of something great.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Scatman » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:54 pm

Jesus saves
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby london blue 2 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:00 pm

good thread but I'm concerned that the finishing just isn't improving.

Sterling is scared to shoot. Sane much the same. Sergio is all over the place and silva cant hit a barn door. for one of the most exciting attacking units in world football that is quite a problem. How do we fix it?
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby sheblue » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:18 pm

The performance against the top sides have been very good, however dropping points against the lesser sides have cost us.
There has been a lot of bizarre refereeing decisions and they have not helped either. I am not totally convinced on a FA conspiracy, a media one most definitely. But are the FA directly instructing the refs to fuck us over, or maybe the media hate campaign is affecting how the referees think.
Overall despite the obvious difficulties things are going in the right direction. Confidant that this time next season we will be in a much better place, if we get what we need. Despite the hand he has been dealt Pep seems upbeat, positive and determined to succeed, I think he will.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby freshie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:39 pm

Great insightful post Doug. Any ideas as to what's happened to KDB? He has seriously gone off the boil over the last 6 weeks or so - to such an extent that in the last few games I have been wishing for players to not pass the ball to him! Which would have been unthinkable a while ago. Is it just me or does he not look happy on the pitch? His body language and the way he seems to throw his hands in the air in frustration recently are concerning
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby freshie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:44 pm

london blue 2 wrote:good thread but I'm concerned that the finishing just isn't improving.

Sterling is scared to shoot. Sane much the same. Sergio is all over the place and silva cant hit a barn door. for one of the most exciting attacking units in world football that is quite a problem. How do we fix it?


Apart from practising more in training I don't know what else they can do. With Sane and especially Sterling it is a confidence issue. Of the 2 I think Sane is, and will go on to be, a better finisher. He already seems to have a better final ball and finish than Sterling, just needs to improve on his decision making which is to be expected as he is still very young. I always thought finishing was something which either comes naturally to a player or doesn't. As for Sergio, he is one of the best finishers we have seen in a blue shirt, but recently has been wayward. I have also noticed that his workrate has dropped again over the last few games - he was a much more effective player for us in that spell when he was running his socks off. Do you think that now he knows he is going to start every game, as I can't see Jesus being back for this season, he is getting complacent again?
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby london blue 2 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:15 pm

freshie wrote:
london blue 2 wrote:good thread but I'm concerned that the finishing just isn't improving.

Sterling is scared to shoot. Sane much the same. Sergio is all over the place and silva cant hit a barn door. for one of the most exciting attacking units in world football that is quite a problem. How do we fix it?


Apart from practising more in training I don't know what else they can do. With Sane and especially Sterling it is a confidence issue. Of the 2 I think Sane is, and will go on to be, a better finisher. He already seems to have a better final ball and finish than Sterling, just needs to improve on his decision making which is to be expected as he is still very young. I always thought finishing was something which either comes naturally to a player or doesn't. As for Sergio, he is one of the best finishers we have seen in a blue shirt, but recently has been wayward. I have also noticed that his workrate has dropped again over the last few games - he was a much more effective player for us in that spell when he was running his socks off. Do you think that now he knows he is going to start every game, as I can't see Jesus being back for this season, he is getting complacent again?

I don't see Sergios effort dropping to be honest.

I do however see him trying to make double sure of every chance taking the extra touch, rather than taking natural pot shots when the chance opens up. He needs to relax and start taking shots earlier.

On raheem and sane, I'd love to see them going at the goal when they get through. Raheem in particular looks like he has a touch of the Navas' about him when he's on goal.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby PrezIke » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:57 pm

Douglas Higginbottom wrote:
Wonderwall wrote:Pace at the back is crucial. Imagine Bellerin covering when we have an attacking set piece. Mane would not have had a sniff yesterday for their counter attacks. Otter did well yesterday but the likes of ballerin would have won the foot race and snuffed out their attacks.

KDB puts in some great balls but has given the ball away on many occasions when just doing a simple pass. Yaya was also culpable yesterday and Pep went mental. When you put all the hard graft in to win the ball back and then just give it away with a sloppy pass, it's infuriating. I don't mind an interception for ball that's looking to break the line and set up an attack, which Yaya, Silva and KDB do for fun, it's the simple stuff we need to concentrate on.


Weird thing with Kev isn't it. We know the quality he has but somehow in recent weeks when he plays centrally he does give the balla way too easily and quickly at times.Although he can still make the killer pass as he did when he set Silva free for what should have been the first goal.

That spell in the 2nd half when we just tried to get going too quickly and gave the ball away was mega frustrating.Then when Kev went wide right he became a major threat again.


Am I wrong to be perceiving that he has seemed to perform better wide on the right the last few matches when last season that wasn't working out so well compared to when he played on his own as a no. 10.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Douglas Higginbottom » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:29 am

Kevin is a real talent as we all know but for some reason he has struggled to perform in the center stage in the middle of midfield. He does see attacking opportunities quickly and looks to play the killer ball quickly which isn't really a bad thing but more often than not it gives possession away because the pass he tries to take on isn't easy to make.

Compare that to Silva who I believe also sees the opportunity but tends to take a touch and move with the ball a bit to develop the situation and then make the pass when it's easier to make. Also in tight situations in the middle Silva, and Yaya, are very good at dealing with pressure from an opponent whereas at the moment Kevin isn't .

In the last 2 games though when he has moved to a wider role he has been superb and the early cross is so so dangerous and more often than not he hits the area he aims for ( unlike Navas or Sterling)
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby freshie » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:10 am

Douglas Higginbottom wrote:Kevin is a real talent as we all know but for some reason he has struggled to perform in the center stage in the middle of midfield. He does see attacking opportunities quickly and looks to play the killer ball quickly which isn't really a bad thing but more often than not it gives possession away because the pass he tries to take on isn't easy to make.

Compare that to Silva who I believe also sees the opportunity but tends to take a touch and move with the ball a bit to develop the situation and then make the pass when it's easier to make. Also in tight situations in the middle Silva, and Yaya, are very good at dealing with pressure from an opponent whereas at the moment Kevin isn't .

In the last 2 games though when he has moved to a wider role he has been superb and the early cross is so so dangerous and more often than not he hits the area he aims for( unlike Navas or Sterling)


So true - but I always thought his best position would be in a central midfield role. To play him out wide means dropping Sterling, who I think has been one of our most improved player this season, and you can see the positive effect Pep has had on his game. All being said, KDB once again provided the assist for the goal and played a killer ball to Silva in the first half which should have resulted in a penalty for the foul by Milner on Sterling had it not been for the incompetence/bias from the officials. The fact that he is still making killer passes despite poor form overall gives me some hope. With reference to the comment about KDB trying to play killer ball quickly, more often than not over the last few weeks he has been overhitting the passes to Sane, Sterling and co, whereas last season he was getting the perfect weight on the ball and this to me seems to be where his game is coming up short. Why this is happening I don't know - a lack of composure? Is it the fact that Pep demands a fast transition of the ball I don't know. It seems to be akin to a striker snatching at his shots. Perhaps he could take a leaf out of Merlin's book who as referred to earlier develops the situation and then makes the final ball when the time is right - all about confidence and composure to me. Hopefully the old cliche that class is permanent and form is temporary is true in this case
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Foreverinbluedreams » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:20 am

london blue 2 wrote:
freshie wrote:
london blue 2 wrote:good thread but I'm concerned that the finishing just isn't improving.

Sterling is scared to shoot. Sane much the same. Sergio is all over the place and silva cant hit a barn door. for one of the most exciting attacking units in world football that is quite a problem. How do we fix it?


Apart from practising more in training I don't know what else they can do. With Sane and especially Sterling it is a confidence issue. Of the 2 I think Sane is, and will go on to be, a better finisher. He already seems to have a better final ball and finish than Sterling, just needs to improve on his decision making which is to be expected as he is still very young. I always thought finishing was something which either comes naturally to a player or doesn't. As for Sergio, he is one of the best finishers we have seen in a blue shirt, but recently has been wayward. I have also noticed that his workrate has dropped again over the last few games - he was a much more effective player for us in that spell when he was running his socks off. Do you think that now he knows he is going to start every game, as I can't see Jesus being back for this season, he is getting complacent again?

I don't see Sergios effort dropping to be honest.

I do however see him trying to make double sure of every chance taking the extra touch, rather than taking natural pot shots when the chance opens up. He needs to relax and start taking shots earlier.

On raheem and sane, I'd love to see them going at the goal when they get through. Raheem in particular looks like he has a touch of the Navas' about him when he's on goal.


Plenty of room for improvement with Sterling in front of goal still but his all round improvement gives encouragement that he'll get there in this aspect too. He'll never be a natural finisher but can reach a competent level if he backed himself a bit more often.

I can see where you're coming from with the Navas comment but to be fair he's already scored more at 22 than Navas has in his entire career.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Original Dub » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:17 am

They've got Gill, pulling strings in Uefa. They've got the Media creaming their pants all over them and haven't twigged that you actually need a football team.
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Re: City v Top Sides at Home

Postby Sideshow Bob » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:38 pm

Foreverinbluedreams wrote:
london blue 2 wrote:
freshie wrote:
london blue 2 wrote:good thread but I'm concerned that the finishing just isn't improving.

Sterling is scared to shoot. Sane much the same. Sergio is all over the place and silva cant hit a barn door. for one of the most exciting attacking units in world football that is quite a problem. How do we fix it?


Apart from practising more in training I don't know what else they can do. With Sane and especially Sterling it is a confidence issue. Of the 2 I think Sane is, and will go on to be, a better finisher. He already seems to have a better final ball and finish than Sterling, just needs to improve on his decision making which is to be expected as he is still very young. I always thought finishing was something which either comes naturally to a player or doesn't. As for Sergio, he is one of the best finishers we have seen in a blue shirt, but recently has been wayward. I have also noticed that his workrate has dropped again over the last few games - he was a much more effective player for us in that spell when he was running his socks off. Do you think that now he knows he is going to start every game, as I can't see Jesus being back for this season, he is getting complacent again?

I don't see Sergios effort dropping to be honest.

I do however see him trying to make double sure of every chance taking the extra touch, rather than taking natural pot shots when the chance opens up. He needs to relax and start taking shots earlier.

On raheem and sane, I'd love to see them going at the goal when they get through. Raheem in particular looks like he has a touch of the Navas' about him when he's on goal.


Plenty of room for improvement with Sterling in front of goal still but his all round improvement gives encouragement that he'll get there in this aspect too. He'll never be a natural finisher but can reach a competent level if he backed himself a bit more often.

I can see where you're coming from with the Navas comment but to be fair he's already scored more at 22 than Navas has in his entire career.


i try to be upbeat about raheem but i am losing hope. if we want to be a top top side, is he good enough to hold down a spot in the first XI?
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