City’s negative tactics show a lack of ambition

by Charlie Coffey

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

If Manchester City have any kind of serious ambition, they need to show it in their on-field tactics rather than their marketing campaigns. City played three holding midfielders last night, and although Yaya Toure was played higher up the pitch he’s not the sort of player to provide a spark capable of creating goals through top defenders, even if City thought so when they handed him an annual wage larger than the GDP of most developing countries. City could hardly have wished for a better time to play United, who of course had injuries and players recovering from a virus, but Roberto Mancini showed at best caution, and more likely nerves.

Is there any situation in which he would be daring enough to play a two-striker system? Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor could be an effective combination because of their different attributes. I’m not saying he has to play an English ‘big man, little man’ tactic of playing long balls for the Togolese to nod down, because that could be seen as dated and is not the traditional Italian way (although Don Fabio likes a big man), but City at present merely rely on Tevez, a player who could not win a regular first-team place at United, to supply the magic and goals to surpass their Manchester rivals on the pitch and in the league. This is reflected in the stat that City have not won without Tevez in the league for two years.

Early on in the season, I wrote that I couldn’t see where City’s creativity was going to come from. They proved me wrong to an extent in that James Milner started to play in the middle and showed that he has the football brain to create. I also said that I doubted David Silva’s ability to deal with the physical nature of English football, but he showed that his touch and passing are so accurate that he can avoid the 50/50 situation less technical gifted players may find themselves in more often. Why did Mancini not play either of these two at the head of a midfield three rather than putting three bruisers in there? Surely two is enough.

Beebop and Rocksteady are fine, but every midfield needs a Krang.

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  • HeavyRiffs

    Soon as Balotelli was fit, he played two up top, that was the game before last so try doing a little research first. He clearly doesn’t rate Adebayour, as his impact is rather insignificant when he actually plays. Yaya Toure isn’t a holding midfielder, again do a little research.

    Of course City have serious ambition, that’s been stated at the start of the season with a goal of a top four finish. We’re currently fourth, four points clear of the pack, five points clear of Spurs, six of Liverpool.

    Vincent Kompany summed it up best I reckon: –
    “We have played maybe the five best teams in the country in Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, United and Chelsea and kept four clean sheets against them.
    “Those teams usually score for fun but we have done well to contain them. It is a positive thing. Goals will come in our next games.”

    Shoddy blog at best…

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