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  1. Brilliant once again Daniel. Such a relief from the "inner", "outer", "shake it all abouter" stuff that this forum has become a rest home for in the past 6 months.
  2. Puzzled by this whole question and want some opinions from the other readers of the forum. I''ve seen several posts over the weekend about how we have a piss-poor squad compared the rest of the Premiership, yet we spent over £25M before the season start to improve that squad. Surely the squad has improved just in financial terms, if not in playing terms. So it begs the question if the squad has not improved in playing terms is it because they are worse than the sum of the parts? If they are playing worse than the sum of the parts, what has to happen to make them play better than the sum of the parts? Martin Keown made some interesting comments in the lead up to the Arsenal game on radio yesterday about how Wenger always allowed his players to go out and express themselves even in the context or restrictions of his tactical setup. Get the impression that that is not happening here at City, and perhaps on a simply level is the reason we are currently worse than the sum of the parts. Do we have too many square pegs in round holes?
  3. Your other missing stat: until today Villa had not kept a clean sheet in 26 matches. Goes back to 7th December 2012.
  4. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23723921 Comments on tactics employed as part of the reason for his unhappiness last season.
  5. SkySports transfer watch already reporting that Fer signed to a 4 year deal.
  6. cusdp, "Realistically I can''t see him changing his principles. He''s always played 1 up top and 2 defensive mids." That would not be a problem if he was prepared to let the midfield push forward. There''s a distinct reluctance to do that. QPR game away for me was a game begging for some passion going forward. That was a game there for the taking, but how many times did City attack with just 1 or 2 players. One of the fundamental changes Pochettino seemed to have made at Southampton was to get his midfield players forward in support of the attackers. Chelsea are playing with two holding midfield players, but if one pushes forward the other sits. They don''t both sit. How often do you see Ramires beyond the three advanced midfield players.
  7. nutty, to be honest there seems to be a mindset of get it out of the centre of the park to the wings and hope those lads do their stuff and then the ball into Holt will give us an opening, but we''ve done our bit going forward and we are now told to sit and protect.
  8. nutty, I would agree with you that Swansea have changed this year being allowed to use a more direct ball if that ball is on. But I don''t think they''ve fundamentally changed their ethos in the same way that City have. It''s still about passing and movement - Laudrup has not changed that aspect of their play.
  9. cusdp, "I know for a fact that players are frustrated and want the shackles taken off to express themselves, rather than playing in fear and keeping it tight. " That''s a telling point for me. From what we see the players have been told to restrain their attacking intent. Too many games have been there for the taking, but it''s all been a protect what we have. Will he let them loose on Sunday? The game cries out for a "Your destiny is in your own hands, go out and win the game" mentality. I''m not convinced a point will be enough - though Wigan did look poor defensively last night.
  10. Nutty, do you concur that the change in emphasis has made the "watch" a dull affair? The attacking threat from City has been stifled in preference to defensive solidity. There''s no "bust-a-gut" running from the centre midfield pair trying to get into the box to support the wide players. As Webbo points out the ball into the box has been to one player, no-one falling up for any knock downs or clearances.
  11. Nutty, sorry but I''m partly with unique on this one. Last season does have relevance to the discussion. The players that are common to both seasons - the Pilks et al, played without fear of mistakes under Lambert. Those same players seem to have been given a more rigid framework to play in under Hughton, I would say, to their detriment. Under Lambert the philosophy appears to have been go out and attack, your opponents score 2, you go score 3. Under Hughton it seems to be more a case of go out and make sure you don''t concede focusing on our defensive strength. Unfortunately, you don''t win a game 0-0. So when Hughton''s team concedes his plan appears to fall apart. With Swanseas win last night you can already envisage the mindset for Sunday. Play for the draw, rather than risk getting the win that would guarantee safety,
  12. Would have liked to see the midfield knock the ball beyond him and the Sunderland defence to give him something to run on to. Won a lot of knocks today, with surprisingly people running beyond him - most notably Bennett.
  13. He was very poor in the game against Juventus last night. And even the more appealing Kris Commons (my view from his performance in the first leg against Juve) looked very ordinary. From what I saw in the first leg and in flashes last night Kris Commons could play the Wes role just off the main striker. Though if he, like Hooper, was trying to put himself in the shop window last night, he failed.
  14. pete_norw, auction your signed ball off on ebay. I''d be interested in giving it a look.
  15. I don''t quite understand. Someone correct my illusions on this one. But the Spurs game the side were more up and at ''em. There was movement, there was slick passing. There was belief. Where the hell was that today? And why should that only occur at home? And that was against Spurs, not a team rooted to the foot of the table.
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