Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fear is the Key...

So Manchester City failed again in the first leg against Barcelona. Again they played with fear. I actually felt a bit sorry for them. They have a fantastic squad - still the best in the Premiership in my view - and I thought they should have walked the title last season. I actually thought that they'd win it this season too (they may still) but it doesn't look great for them.

They can't play the 'inexperience card' any longer in the Champions League either. The players now have the CL experience and in any case, as individuals, most of them are Internationals and are used to playing at the highest level.

Despite not being a City fan, I like to see English clubs in the latter stages of the Champions League. This was just such a waste. The problem of course is Pellegrini. I am not sure what he was thinking setting up his team with two strikers. I understand that he may have thought that his team were stronger this year and Barcelona weaker - but essentially you are coming up against the best 'possession football' side in the world and with 4-4-2 you surely leave yourself exposed - especially against Messi, Neymar and Suarez. It was just painful to watch.

I actually thought City would win the match before kick-off...until I saw the formation.

Pellegrini tried to justify his tactical decision with City's second half performance. Yes, it 'looked' better but equally Barcelona were in that situation where they were happy with a 2-0 lead and had no need or desire to push on. That, and the usual over-enthusiastic commentary on the TV, almost made you believe that City had a chance of pulling the game back. They never did. Once city got the goal, Barcelona attacked a little more and really should have won it 3-1 with a last gasp penalty.

Still, City seem to be better away than at home - they'll need to be. Pellegrini is no doubt a decent man but he has all the charisma of a breeze block and I can't imagine that he is a great motivator. Maybe it all gets lost in translation of course.


I just don't think City will ever fulfill their true potential with the Chilean as their manager.

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