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The Manchester City reaction…
If you’re going to sacrifice the FA Cup and to some extent the league for the ‘big one’ then you really ought to ensure you at least have a shot on target from open play in 180 mins against a bang average Real Madrid side.
Banjo, Prague (Man City)
…I can’t remember a more scared performance in such an important match. City were nervous, lacked confidence and showed far too much respect. Their transition was positively glacial and their passing was weak and lacked incision.
I’m not sure how they pulled it off but they somehow managed to simultaneously leave Aguero isolated, get overrun in midfield AND look vulnerable to the counter-attack. Impressive at least in that respect.
…And some conclusions too
Some Conclusions from last night.
*The team looked scared to do anything after Kompany got taken off. I was ridiculed before the start of the season by my City supporting friends when I suggested that we should have sold Kompany in the summer. I say this because the man is made of substance more fragile than glass or fine china. He has been a wonderful centre back for us, a club legend. But in this game you got to be ruthless. It would have forced Otamendi and Mangala to get better quicker. We may not have got as far as the semis but at least they would have developed a partnership, without Kompany
*Toure will probably be a scapegoat for most people, but at least he wanted the ball. He just simply isn’t the player of two or three years ago. He can’t boss the game like he used to.
*Kevin De Bryune was poor again, just like in the first leg. Disappointing but can’t blame him too much when he has possibly been our best player this year.
*The whole midfield at times looked so static. No one moved to get the ball off the centre backs.
*Navas would be a great player if he could remember how to cross.
*Boy oh boy did we miss Silva.
*Aguero needs a strike partner when playing against top teams. Or at least someone just behind him. He was isolated so much last night, then started dropping deeper and deeper. Also when they did play it him it was at his head against Pepe, never gonna win that type of battle.
*How was it not a red on Sterling? Clutching at straws a bit, but Real down to 10 men in the last few mins, we may have found a gap and nicked the all important goal.
*Madrid were class, it is no disgrace to lose 1-0 over 2 legs to the greatest club in European footballing history. Modric and Isco were immense. Bale was good when he wasn’t flopping to the ground. Ronaldo wasn’t great but still looked a threat.
*Joe Hart, what a guy, proved once again that he is a top class keeper. Stopped it from being more than 1-0. Also he post match interview showed that he really does care and looked genuinely gutted. Actually wanted to give him a hug and I’m not even a huggy type of guy.
Oh well hopefully we can get back in it next year, and then the reign of Pep will begin.
DANNY B MCFC
Where was the passion?
Maybe I’m comparing it harshly to Spurs and Bayern but Man City didn’t seem all that bothered about going out last night.
Where were the horror tackles, the big centre half up front and the searching balls into the box, City just seemed to shrug their shoulders and accept the narrow loss.
In summary, where was the faaaakin passion!?!
Aguero was a disgrace
Aguero last night was an absolute disgrace. Made no runs in behind or down the channels whatsoever and insisted on coming short, very short, in last 20 mins. Is he taking the p*ss???
People think Yaya, Kolarov, Nasri and the like will feel the force of Pep and he will base his team around Aguero and Silva. Based on what I’ve seen from them in past couple of years….no chance. He won’t stand for the lazy crap Sergio has put in when he is really needed.
City were a disgrace with Aguero at the forefront. Easiest win for a team in Champions League history.
(MC – Not really sure what Aguero was meant to do, left completely isolated and starved of service. He’s never exactly been a striker who leads the line and holds the ball up)
Erm, he didn’t come on until the 61st minute
So what is it that Raheem Sterling does? I confess I haven’t watched the whole of tonight’s game and from what I did see not many have converted themselves in glory but isn’t he meant to offer something of a threat?
I know he can look good against the like of Norwich and Sunderland and scores occasionally against the bigger boys but isn’t he meant to be better than this? Is he saving himself for the weekend?
Really, really angry about time-wasting
I’ve just got home to catch the final 5 minutes of the Madrid-City game, checking the score on my phone on the way home and giddily awaiting a tense finale. But low and behold the precious little time I have managed to squeeze from the fixture between a footballing superpower and the audacious, young pretender, has been offensively ruined by the playground escapades of Keylor Navas.
Actually wait, we never used to waste time in the playground. We’d play until whoever was in charge would drag us inside. We actually f*cking liked playing you know, even if we were winning by a single goal with 5 minutes to play. We were also unfortunately born with an innate feeling called ’embarrassment’.
P*ss off Keylor you coward and dust yourself off. Show some integrity, respect and pride. You are just after Usain Bolt-ing it out of your box and Olympic high-jumping the ball into touch (famous high-jumpers anyone?). You’re not f**king injured you clown and there are hundreds of millions of people watching you on HD cameras.
It p*sses me off so much that these days, especially when Spanish teams are involved (others are guilty, but Spanish are unquestionably the worst) that the final 10-15 minutes of a knife-edged game cannot be enjoyed without being punctuated by multiple moments of feigning, rolling, wincing, magic-spraying, loss of gravity and miraculous recovery. I’m a Man United fan and still just wanted to see City at least afforded a fair opportunity to salvage the game.
Jan Oblak was guilty of a similar false display of fragility last night that looked like it even evoked a slight glint of shame from El Cholo himself. This needs to be stamped out as soon as possible and in my opinion is the single biggest on-field issue that needs to be addressed. One minute should be added on each time a player appears to have a ballerina injury, genuine or not.
Dan, Dublin (Would you not feel like a complete spanner watching it back?)
Are Spurs the new Leeds (in a nice way)?
I wonder if anyone else sees the resemblance between this Spurs side and the Leeds side under David O’Leary at the turn of the century.
Both are similarly young teams, that play a fast, physical and refreshingly attacking brand of football. Good at attacking and defending set pieces with a clinical 20 goal a season striker. Both have an English speaking core (Leeds were more Irish and Aussie).
Both teams have slightly older, more experienced players at centre half, compared to the rest of the starting XI, and are both coached by former central defenders who had lengthy, successful careers (O’Leary more so than Poch) but were never superstars, and both of whom started coaching at clubs they finished their careers at. Both teams have an older, experienced goalie although Lloris at 29, is a lot younger than Martyn, who was in his mid 30s then.
Both teams also had combative midfielders and a nasty edge to them.
I guess the main difference is that Leeds had a free kick specialist in Ian Harte while Spurs don’t seem to have one. And I guess the other difference being that Leeds had Kewell and Viduka up front, both of whom were prolific but Spurs currently only have Kane.
Or is it just me ?
Leicester: It doesn’t have to be another 20 years
Ranieri has suggested that it will be another 20 years before the type of success achieved by Leicester will be repeated. I disagree and i feel he doesn’t appreciate the precedent he has set in modern football and football theory.
The true success of Ranieri’s football is in his approach to play. A player is barely ever actually ‘on’ the ball. They play a compact, tight and counter-attacking style of football with an emphasis on work ethic, positioning, discipline and spatial awareness. Simeone has been reaping the benefits of this style for years. The technical ability of a player to work the ball is of as little importance as possible. This makes sense if a player is perhaps on the ball a maximum of a single minute per game. We are so preoccupied with what a player can do with the ball we forget that there are 21 other player’s on the pitch – all doing stuff.
Of course technical ability is widely considered the true gauge of proper football. Oh they won? but they did it the wrong way! We have completely lost the ability to appreciate the game in a wider context. All we want to see is ‘techers’ and moments of incredible individual skill. We should seek to dominate possession and create moments of brilliance because it is aesthetically pleasing. Thus the new way of football is born, and to an extent most teams seek to emulate this. Look at the plaudits Stoke receive, simply because they seek to possess and pass more. The problem, of course, is that players with technical ability have their values massively inflated so that only the Sheik can afford to buy them, or only the greatest academies have the reputation to attract them as youths. This is Arsene’s greatest folly, as he has none of the resources, the academy or the team ethos to create a holistic Barca-esque technical team. He’s just not quite there – and never will be.
If we simply broaden our appreciation of football to include the more nuanced art of defending, positioning, anticipation etc. we unlock a whole new world of completely affordable success. It is far easier to cultivate a hard working, disciplined team than to assemble the greatest individual technicians alive.
Many will argue that Leicester’s success is as much circumstance as anything. Look at how poor the ‘big’ clubs have been. A once in a lifetime confluence of form from an entire team of players. I point to Simeone and Atletico. Now into the Champions League final with one Fernando Torres in their front-line. Before them Mourinho has championed it with Porto and Inter. If this style of football gains a greater appreciation and acceptance we could see a leveling of the field we havn’t seen in decades. Will we begin to see teams playing teams again, rather than Ronaldo v Zlatan, or Aguero v Rooney.
Football was an obsession for me in my childhood. I was a 7-year-old child on May 26th 1989. My step-dad was at Anfield. How I wished to be there. I had experienced live football before, so I knew the ‘stadium atmosphere’ I was missing out on by watching it at my grandparents. Anfield, in this type of fixture, I guess, wasn’t suitable for a 7 year old child. My eyes were glued to the TV instead. Liverpool v Arsenal. Win by two goals in order to win the league.
I believed we would win – and by two goals as well. No problem. I was only 7, so logic was replaced with irrational optomism. I had sought reassurance from my step-dad before the game. My step-dad said we’d win. He sounded certain, although in hindsight I’m not sure why, so I was sure we would too.
We all know what happened that night at Anfield, and from a personal perspective, something uncontrollable took over in the 7 year old child that I was. I was so happy. Ecstatic. A bundle of energy, enthusiasm and excitability. My grandparents, having let me stay up late, couldn’t then get me to sleep. I could safely say now that May 26th 1989 was one of the happiest days (or nights if you like) of my childhood. The thing I didn’t understand at that point was the journey I would go on, as an Arsenal supporter, for the rest of my life. I had experienced a great high, but not yet a low.
I’d have to say that Wrexham 92, Nayim from the half way line and Birmingham 2011 are probably the biggest lows, but I’ve enjoyed a fair few highs as well, and being a Gooner has been an incredible rollercoaster ride.
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Commentators who say ‘that goal doesn’t change much’ when a team scores a goal should be fired. It is the one thing in football that 100% makes a difference and saying it doesn’t gets on my tits.
If you think Real going one up in the tie doesn’t change much you are a fool.
Dave (Might be grumpy as it’s City in the SF) MUFC