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Jourdan

The boring Man City discussion

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As for City, already we can see their familiar problems coming to the fore.

I can see many other teams being able to frustrate them in the same way that Everton did and I can see teams like Chelsea and Spurs (and United on a good day) being able to stop them completely.

They eat up possession, they pass the ball well, they have great technical players, they keep coming and coming, they create chance after chance, but many teams will feel confident in being able to get a result against them. Much like Wenger, Pep has jumped on the back of this three at the back bandwagon, but without having the players to fit.

There isn't much of a natural goal threat there. With Spurs, you have to stop Kane, Alli, Eriksen and Son. With Chelsea, you have to stop Morata, Hazard, Willian and Pedro. With United, they have Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and Mkhitaryan. With City, you stop Aguero and it's half the battle won.

They have a lot of players who can create the chance but not many there who you want to be on the end of it. That's why they are trying to shoehorn Jesus and Aguero into the same team.

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2 hours ago, Jourdan said:

As for City, already we can see their familiar problems coming to the fore.

I can see many other teams being able to frustrate them in the same way that Everton did and I can see teams like Chelsea and Spurs (and United on a good day) being able to stop them completely.

They eat up possession, they pass the ball well, they have great technical players, they keep coming and coming, they create chance after chance, but many teams will feel confident in being able to get a result against them. Much like Wenger, Pep has jumped on the back of this three at the back bandwagon, but without having the players to fit.

There isn't much of a natural goal threat there. With Spurs, you have to stop Kane, Alli, Eriksen and Son. With Chelsea, you have to stop Morata, Hazard, Willian and Pedro. With United, they have Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and Mkhitaryan. With City, you stop Aguero and it's half the battle won.

They have a lot of players who can create the chance but not many there who you want to be on the end of it. That's why they are trying to shoehorn Jesus and Aguero into the same team.

City looked better in pre-season playing three up top rather than two. Using Sane and Sterling either side of Jesus.

Aguero is a brilliant player, but he just isn't a Pep player. He doesn't do the CF role in dropping deep like Messi and Lewandowski could and did. Jesus fits that role better.

City have all the capabilities to win the league. Pep sets them up to create more chances than any other team in the league, so it must be painful for him to watch them squander so many.

Everton didn't frustrate City. City frustrated themselves by not taking any of their multiple chances. It's often de ja vu for them, create a host of chances, miss them and find themselves suckerpunched at the other end.

To get a result against City this season you will need a big slice of luck. Everton had that tonight. 

As for Chelsea, I'm sorry but I can't agree with getting outplayed like that as a tactical masterclass. Chelsea have a superior squad to Spurs, so for them to be put under so much pressure I don't think it was some kind of tactical decision. They played much better in the FA Cup semi-final last season. Spurs had multiple chances to score, but like City they were so wasteful. 

Chelsea last season were excellent on the counter and could sit back, soak it up and hit on the break. They were brilliant at the Etihad for instance. But against Spurs it wasn't that kind of game, they were just outplayed, and ultimately scores both of their goals put of nowhere and against the run of play.

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8 hours ago, Bris Vegas said:

City looked better in pre-season playing three up top rather than two. Using Sane and Sterling either side of Jesus.

Aguero is a brilliant player, but he just isn't a Pep player. He doesn't do the CF role in dropping deep like Messi and Lewandowski could and did. Jesus fits that role better.

City have all the capabilities to win the league. Pep sets them up to create more chances than any other team in the league, so it must be painful for him to watch them squander so many.

Everton didn't frustrate City. City frustrated themselves by not taking any of their multiple chances. It's often de ja vu for them, create a host of chances, miss them and find themselves suckerpunched at the other end.

To get a result against City this season you will need a big slice of luck. Everton had that tonight. 

As for Chelsea, I'm sorry but I can't agree with getting outplayed like that as a tactical masterclass. Chelsea have a superior squad to Spurs, so for them to be put under so much pressure I don't think it was some kind of tactical decision. They played much better in the FA Cup semi-final last season. Spurs had multiple chances to score, but like City they were so wasteful. 

Chelsea last season were excellent on the counter and could sit back, soak it up and hit on the break. They were brilliant at the Etihad for instance. But against Spurs it wasn't that kind of game, they were just outplayed, and ultimately scores both of their goals put of nowhere and against the run of play.

In what way were Everton lucky?

Seven teams picked up a draw at the Etihad last season. It's not a formidable place to go to these days. Certainly not in the days of Pellegrini when you had to worry if it might 5, 6 or 7-0. Teams have been able to frustrate them time and time again. Everton continued that trend last night. They defended well, kept their concentration, kept their composure, kept their shape and they challenged City to break them down and it took over 80 minutes. Until they took Williams off and changed to four at the back inviting more pressure, they were pretty comfortable. More teams will go to the Etihad and pick up points and it won't be down to luck either.

If Aguero isn't a 'Pep player', how has he survived the cull? Why does he turn to him again and again? Why does he start him again and again? Why hasn't he bought in a replacement who can play the game that he wants? Maybe if Pep was so good, he would find a way of getting the best out of Aguero.

City can only play one way under Pep and until they show a bit more flexibility, I can't see them winning the title. Ask yourself this, can you see City going away from home and having the right tactical plan to beat Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, or this current United side?

Chelsea won the game, so they got their tactics spots on. I never called it a masterclass. Just a plan well executed. When you play David Luiz in midfield and have three defensive midfielders and one up front, you are obviously under no illusions about what kind of game it's going to be. They never set out to control the game, only to contain Spurs. The result shows it was a job well done, like it or not.

They had no-one to rival Eriksen or Alli as they were missing Fabregas and Hazard. Pedro could only make the bench, Cahill was suspended, Matic has left and Costa is almost out of the door, so it's a different Chelsea to the one we saw last season. So it was always going to be a different type of performance.

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4 hours ago, Jourdan said:

In what way were Everton lucky?

Seven teams picked up a draw at the Etihad last season. It's not a formidable place to go to these days. Certainly not in the days of Pellegrini when you had to worry if it might 5, 6 or 7-0. Teams have been able to frustrate them time and time again. Everton continued that trend last night. They defended well, kept their concentration, kept their composure, kept their shape and they challenged City to break them down and it took over 80 minutes. Until they took Williams off and changed to four at the back inviting more pressure, they were pretty comfortable. More teams will go to the Etihad and pick up points and it won't be down to luck either.

If Aguero isn't a 'Pep player', how has he survived the cull? Why does he turn to him again and again? Why does he start him again and again? Why hasn't he bought in a replacement who can play the game that he wants? Maybe if Pep was so good, he would find a way of getting the best out of Aguero.

City can only play one way under Pep and until they show a bit more flexibility, I can't see them winning the title. Ask yourself this, can you see City going away from home and having the right tactical plan to beat Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, or this current United side?

Chelsea won the game, so they got their tactics spots on. I never called it a masterclass. Just a plan well executed. When you play David Luiz in midfield and have three defensive midfielders and one up front, you are obviously under no illusions about what kind of game it's going to be. They never set out to control the game, only to contain Spurs. The result shows it was a job well done, like it or not.

They had no-one to rival Eriksen or Alli as they were missing Fabregas and Hazard. Pedro could only make the bench, Cahill was suspended, Matic has left and Costa is almost out of the door, so it's a different Chelsea to the one we saw last season. So it was always going to be a different type of performance.

Everton were lucky City didn't take any of their number of easy chances. City out-shot Everton 23-7, despite playing with 10-men for half the game.

There is a difference between defending superbly and restricting the opposition to next-to-nothing, then there is getting lucky by seeing the opposition waste numerous chances.

We clearly see football differently. You seem to think you get what you deserve, regardless of the performance.

There isn't skill involved to watch your oppoents open you up, hit the woodwork, miss one-on-ones, fail to hit the target from six yards out. City missed loads of chances. Like I said, Everton didn't hold them at bay and frustrate them, City did it for them by failing to take their chances.

And City do have the right tactical plan. City will go to United, Chelsea, Spurs etc. and dominate the game, creating more chances than the opposition. The key will be whether they can finish their chances.

You're right in that City only play one way. They can mix up systems and player positioning, but they will only play one way.

But why would they change? If they create more chances than the opposition, Pep has done all he can. It's ultimately down to players to score easy chances.

Aguero has survived the cull because of who he is. And largely because Gabriel Jesus is still inexperienced.

Aguero is a great striker, but he don't half bottle easy chances. 

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16 hours ago, Jourdan said:

As for City, already we can see their familiar problems coming to the fore.

I can see many other teams being able to frustrate them in the same way that Everton did and I can see teams like Chelsea and Spurs (and United on a good day) being able to stop them completely.

They eat up possession, they pass the ball well, they have great technical players, they keep coming and coming, they create chance after chance, but many teams will feel confident in being able to get a result against them. Much like Wenger, Pep has jumped on the back of this three at the back bandwagon, but without having the players to fit.

There isn't much of a natural goal threat there. With Spurs, you have to stop Kane, Alli, Eriksen and Son. With Chelsea, you have to stop Morata, Hazard, Willian and Pedro. With United, they have Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and Mkhitaryan. With City, you stop Aguero and it's half the battle won.

They have a lot of players who can create the chance but not many there who you want to be on the end of it. That's why they are trying to shoehorn Jesus and Aguero into the same team.

Really, if they keep doing that they should be fine. Some days they go in ..some days they don't. With Aguero, Jesus, Sane and De Bruyne, they have plenty of players who can put them away. D.Silva, B.Silva and Sterling will contribute too.

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2 hours ago, Bris Vegas said:

Everton were lucky City didn't take any of their number of easy chances. City out-shot Everton 23-7, despite playing with 10-men for half the game.

There is a difference between defending superbly and restricting the opposition to next-to-nothing, then there is getting lucky by seeing the opposition waste numerous chances.

We clearly see football differently. You seem to think you get what you deserve, regardless of the performance.

There isn't skill involved to watch your opponents open you up, hit the woodwork, miss one-on-ones, fail to hit the target from six yards out. City missed loads of chances. Like I said, Everton didn't hold them at bay and frustrate them, City did it for them by failing to take their chances.

And City do have the right tactical plan. City will go to United, Chelsea, Spurs etc. and dominate the game, creating more chances than the opposition. The key will be whether they can finish their chances.

You're right in that City only play one way. They can mix up systems and player positioning, but they will only play one way.

But why would they change? If they create more chances than the opposition, Pep has done all he can. It's ultimately down to players to score easy chances.

Aguero has survived the cull because of who he is. And largely because Gabriel Jesus is still inexperienced.

Aguero is a great striker, but he don't half bottle easy chances. 

How can it be luck? Everton have been to the Etihad and picked up a draw in the past two seasons. Clearly they are doing something right, something they've done twice in a row. This is also something which 11 other teams failed to do last season, so why weren't the other 11 teams blessed with the same luck?

You make it sound like Everton offered no resistance at all, merely stood and watched as City peppered the Everton goal from the first minute and played no part in the score being 1-1. So it was all down to City's poor finishing that the game finished 1-1?

Everton deserve more credit than you are giving them.

City dropped points in fifteen games last season and picked up just 10 points out of 30 from games against the other top six teams. If they take the same approach, the better teams will find joy again. That's why they need to find a different way of playing. If something isn't as successful as you want it to be, you look at what you can do to change it, to improve it. Time will tell if City have really improved. You can't read much into two games. For better, or for worse.

Of course, on the whole, you get what you deserve in football. If you've played well and you haven't won the game, you haven't played well enough and you should take it as motivation to improve, rather than dismissing it as hard luck, a fluke, or a moment of good fortune for the other team.

We do see football differently. You see it from a very tall horse called Leo, giving you an unmatched view and unrivalled insight into the game. And I see it from the sofa and my view is clouded by scatter cushions.

You do know there is room on this forum for more than one person with a good understanding of football, don't you?

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Tough to call the Premier League winners this year. I'm going to predict City (Manchester not Stoke), Chelsea and Man.Utd being their biggest challengers i think. Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs to battle it out for 4th....with Everton having an outside chance. Should be an exciting year! 

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2 hours ago, Highgate said:

Really, if they keep doing that they should be fine. Some days they go in ..some days they don't. With Aguero, Jesus, Sane and De Bruyne, they have plenty of players who can put them away. D.Silva, B.Silva and Sterling will contribute too.

I wouldn't dispute that all of those players can score goals. I agree that they can all contribute. They will create chances and score goals.

But when they are not as defensively strong as the other top sides, I think they need something more to stand out and get to the level they want to be at, the level everyone thinks they are capable of.

Aguero is their only own natural, proven, consistent goal scorer, especially if Toure remains on the periphery. And if you take Aguero out of the game, usually you are onto a job well done.

Jesus looks to have great potential but still has much to prove.

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6 minutes ago, Jourdan said:

I wouldn't dispute that all of those players can score goals. I agree that they can all contribute. They will create chances and score goals.

But when they are not as defensively strong as the other top sides, I think they need something more to stand out and get to the level they want to be at, the level everyone thinks they are capable of.

Aguero is their only own natural, proven, consistent goal scorer, especially if Toure remains on the periphery. And if you take Aguero out of the game, usually you are onto a job well done.

Jesus looks to have great potential but still has much to prove.

You may well be right, although i think you are being a touch harsh on De Bruyne. He seems like a reasonable goal threat for me, by attacking midfielder standards. And Jesus does look good when he plays.  We will have to wait and see how they develop.

The defence frailties were obvious last year, but they have spent a lot of money on addressing that issue. And if Kompany stays fit...they may actually look solid enough at the back.  If they do, then they have a real chance of winning the league.  As for Chelsea, it's always more difficult to do it the second time round...or at least that's what they say.  United do look a lot stronger...but I'm somewhat blinded my intense dislike for them...i don't want to contemplate them winning the league..but i have to admit they seem to be progressing in the right direction. The other 3 main challengers i just think are a bit weaker than the 3 I've mentioned.

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14 minutes ago, Highgate said:

You may well be right, although i think you are being a touch harsh on De Bruyne. He seems like a reasonable goal threat for me, by attacking midfielder standards. And Jesus does look good when he plays.  We will have to wait and see how they develop.

The defence frailties were obvious last year, but they have spent a lot of money on addressing that issue. And if Kompany stays fit...they may actually look solid enough at the back.  If they do, then they have a real chance of winning the league.  As for Chelsea, it's always more difficult to do it the second time round...or at least that's what they say.  United do look a lot stronger...but I'm somewhat blinded my intense dislike for them...i don't want to contemplate them winning the league..but i have to admit they seem to be progressing in the right direction. The other 3 main challengers i just think are a bit weaker than the 3 I've mentioned.

I like all of their players, to be honest. They are a good team. I see that. I just think they are a few players away from being a great team. De Bruyne is a wonderful footballer, no doubt about that. But he is the kind of player you want orchestrating the move, not finishing it off, surely?

Their defence still worries me. The defenders they have brought in all look better going forward than they do defensively. I still think they need a centre back because Kompany won't be there to bail out Stones and Otamendi all the time. And I still think they need a natural goalscorer as well as Aguero. Jesus may be the answer, but he is young and raw.

I still think Chelsea and Spurs are more well-rounded teams and this is why I favour them for the top two.

I dislike United too but Mourinho seems to be moving them in the right direction. I can definitely see them in the top 4 but I think maybe they need another summer to become title contenders. But given Mourinho's track record, it'll be sooner rather than later, that's for sure.

If they are to stay in their respective jobs for the same length of time, I would bet on Jose getting it right before Pep.

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So it's  1. Man City  2. Chelsea  3. Man Utd  4. Spurs, for me.... and  1. Chelsea 2. Spurs  3 Man. Utd. 4 Man City, for you @Jourdan ? Or maybe Liverpool or Arsenal for 4th?

 

Edited by Highgate

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8 minutes ago, Highgate said:

So it's  1. Man City  2. Chelsea  3. Man Utd  4. Spurs, for me.... and  1. Chelsea 2. Spurs  3 Man. Utd. 4 Man City, for you @Jourdan ? Or maybe Liverpool or Arsenal for 4th?

 

1) Chelsea 2) Spurs 3) Man City 4) Man Utd is what I said at the start of the season.

I'll stick with that until Christmas, when I'll revise my opinion and get a top class US attorney to hide all the evidence of what came before.

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7 hours ago, Bris Vegas said:

Everton were lucky City didn't take any of their number of easy chances. City out-shot Everton 23-7, despite playing with 10-men for half the game.

There is a difference between defending superbly and restricting the opposition to next-to-nothing, then there is getting lucky by seeing the opposition waste numerous chances.

 

City had 23 shots, not 23 chances to score. I don't think City carved out many "easy" chances at all, and only seemed to get the ball into the final third in the last 15.

If that was 11 vs 11, as a City fan, I'd be worried about how little they created at home. Possession and shot stats don't mean much about context - City played most of the second half in front of Everton, which is how Everton wanted the second half to go.

They were clearly interested in doing the bare minimum required to take the three points, and even against 10, they were concerned about opening themselves up if they went for a second. Everton would have been lucky if that tactic paid off and they won, but think it's a bit of a stretch to say they're lucky to take a point home when City didn't really threaten the goal that much for all their huffing and puffing.

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5 hours ago, Jourdan said:

How can it be luck? Everton have been to the Etihad and picked up a draw in the past two seasons. Clearly they are doing something right, something they've done twice in a row. This is also something which 11 other teams failed to do last season, so why weren't the other 11 teams blessed with the same luck?

You make it sound like Everton offered no resistance at all, merely stood and watched as City peppered the Everton goal from the first minute and played no part in the score being 1-1. So it was all down to City's poor finishing that the game finished 1-1?

Everton deserve more credit than you are giving them.

City dropped points in fifteen games last season and picked up just 10 points out of 30 from games against the other top six teams. If they take the same approach, the better teams will find joy again. That's why they need to find a different way of playing. If something isn't as successful as you want it to be, you look at what you can do to change it, to improve it. Time will tell if City have really improved. You can't read much into two games. For better, or for worse.

Of course, on the whole, you get what you deserve in football. If you've played well and you haven't won the game, you haven't played well enough and you should take it as motivation to improve, rather than dismissing it as hard luck, a fluke, or a moment of good fortune for the other team.

We do see football differently. You see it from a very tall horse called Leo, giving you an unmatched view and unrivalled insight into the game. And I see it from the sofa and my view is clouded by scatter cushions.

You do know there is room on this forum for more than one person with a good understanding of football, don't you?

City are a different side this season. Make no mistake, they're not the ageing XI who lacked pace and intensity like last season.

They have strength over the pitch and can introduce game-changing players, a luxury they didn't have last season.

Everton were lucky. Sure they played well, but ultimately they claimed a point through City's lack of prolificacy infront of goal rather than anything spectacular they did.

City don't need to find a different way to win. There is absoloutely no logic in aiming to play less coherently and create less chances in order to have a greater shot at winning the game.

They need to take their chances. They need to make the most of the opportunities they create. It's as simple as that.

They could continue to drop points, but it won't be as a result of their team play. They will dominate 95% of their matches this season without doubt, just like Barcelona and Bayern under Pep.

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32 minutes ago, Bris Vegas said:

City are a different side this season. Make no mistake, they're not the ageing XI who lacked pace and intensity like last season.

They have strength over the pitch and can introduce game-changing players, a luxury they didn't have last season.

Everton were lucky. Sure they played well, but ultimately they claimed a point through City's lack of prolificacy infront of goal rather than anything spectacular they did.

City don't need to find a different way to win. There is absoloutely no logic in aiming to play less coherently and create less chances in order to have a greater shot at winning the game.

They need to take their chances. They need to make the most of the opportunities they create. It's as simple as that.

They could continue to drop points, but it won't be as a result of their team play. They will dominate 95% of their matches this season without doubt, just like Barcelona and Bayern under Pep.

Time will tell.

If City go on to dominate 95% of their matches and coast to the title, I will hold my hands up and admit I was wrong to doubt Pep. 

What will you do if City don't do as well as you expect? Find more excuses for Pep to hide behind?

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25 minutes ago, Jourdan said:

Time will tell.

If City go on to dominate 95% of their matches and coast to the title, I will hold my hands up and admit I was wrong to doubt Pep. 

What will you do if City don't do as well as you expect? Find more excuses for Pep to hide behind?

I don't think they will coast to the title. I think they will dominate the majority of their games though.

The only thing that will stop them from winning the title is themselves via a lack of prolificacy or another team going on near record form like Chelsea last term.

You suggest I have already made excuses for Pep. I haven't made any excuses for him in regards to his time so far.

What is there to make excuses about? His failure to win the title last season? Nobody would have won the title with thay squad. Nobody.

 

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58 minutes ago, Bris Vegas said:

I don't think they will coast to the title. I think they will dominate the majority of their games though.

The only thing that will stop them from winning the title is themselves via a lack of prolificacy or another team going on near record form like Chelsea last term.

You suggest I have already made excuses for Pep. I haven't made any excuses for him in regards to his time so far.

What is there to make excuses about? His failure to win the title last season? Nobody would have won the title with that squad. Nobody.

 

I feel like it's deja vu. You say such ridiculous things to fit your unwavering narrative.

A large number of professionals and experts of the game expected City to win the title last season. If what you are saying is true, how did so many experts misjudge them? City were overwhelming favourites. Not a 5,000-1 underdog like Leicester.

People were very confident that Pep could do the very thing that you are saying would have been impossible to do.

Remind me again, who did you tip to win it last year? Please point me in the direction of your post in summer 2016 stating City were rank outsiders for the title.

You have been going on all summer about City's ageing squad and using it as an excuse to prop up Pep after his trophy-less season last year, trying to convince every man and his nan that this year will be different. To be honest, I put more stock in the Jose second season theory.

9 of the starting XI and 12 of the 18 from Monday are from the very same pool of players 'too ageing to compete' last season. And you've already admitted Pep plays only one way. It wasn't a rip roaring success last season. How will playing Leroy Sane as a wing back and giving Bernardo Silva 20 minutes to turn a game change that?

Time will tell, but I am yet to see this transformed City you speak of. And if I do, I will hold my hands up and admit I was wrong.

£200m+ worth of new players and same old story, I am beginning to think.

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3 hours ago, Jourdan said:

I feel like it's deja vu. You say such ridiculous things to fit your unwavering narrative.

A large number of professionals and experts of the game expected City to win the title last season. If what you are saying is true, how did so many experts misjudge them? City were overwhelming favourites. Not a 5,000-1 underdog like Leicester.

People were very confident that Pep could do the very thing that you are saying would have been impossible to do.

Remind me again, who did you tip to win it last year? Please point me in the direction of your post in summer 2016 stating City were rank outsiders for the title.

You have been going on all summer about City's ageing squad and using it as an excuse to prop up Pep after his trophy-less season last year, trying to convince every man and his nan that this year will be different. To be honest, I put more stock in the Jose second season theory.

9 of the starting XI and 12 of the 18 from Monday are from the very same pool of players 'too ageing to compete' last season. And you've already admitted Pep plays only one way. It wasn't a rip roaring success last season. How will playing Leroy Sane as a wing back and giving Bernardo Silva 20 minutes to turn a game change that?

Time will tell, but I am yet to see this transformed City you speak of. And if I do, I will hold my hands up and admit I was wrong.

£200m+ worth of new players and same old story, I am beginning to think.

City's average age last season was 29. That for a squad is dreadful.

They weren't rank outsiders, but they finished the season before that on 66 points and before that behind Chelsea.

They were on the decline, and with a bunch of players past their best and impossible to rejuvenate. Players such as Zabaleta, Sagna, Clichy, Kolorov, Fernando, Bony, Caballero, Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure... All these players past their prime.

It's not an excuse. It's a fact. Pep has been tasked with the largest squad turnover in PL history. He's been tasked with getting rid of 2/3 of the squad and replacing it. Yet people thought he could do that in a summer and win the title? That's ridiculous and unrealistic. Nobody could have done that.

This year will be an improvement, I'm convinced of that. But it isn't all about this season, Pep has been tasked with creating a dynasty at City and his signings so far suggest he's planning for both the short-term and long-term.

Players like Stones, Jesus, Gundogan, Ederson, Danilo, Sane, Silva, Mendy are all mid 20's or younger while Sterling, De Bruyne, Walker have years at the top level left too.

In the next couple more years Pep will be tasked with replacing Toure, Aguero, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho too.

No other side in Europe will go through so much transition. Because no other side in Europe have such an ageing squad.

Pep and City are already ahead of the rest. When it comes to Chelsea, United and Arsenal to go through that period of transition to come City's squad will be near its prime. The building blocks are in place for them to dominate.

 

 

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