Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reflection: Misfiring City draw first blank in 11 months


Can Nastastic take Lescott's place?
Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe
It has been 42 matches since City failed to score in a competitive fixture, but West Ham were finally able to stop the Premier League champions from finding the net, thanks to a rearguard display by Sam Alladyce's men.

Upon reflection, I am happy with the point. Considering our current form, a trip to the Boleyn Ground was never going to be easy, and despite not scoring, I thought their was a lot of improvement within the side.

Defensively, we looked a lot more secure, and it wouldn't surprise me if we saw more of Matija Nastasic as the season progresses. He looks a far better player than Stefan Savic, and at the moment you would have to say he's looking a safer bet than Joleon Lescott in the heart of the back line. In fact, I hardly noticed him on Saturday which proves how calm he played alongside the captain.

Despite getting on the good side of another poor offside call which denied Kevin Nolan early on, we rarely gave West Ham much to work with. There were a few sparks of brilliance from the Hammers, most notably Andy Carroll's overhead kick, but I thought we looked safe at the back, especially in the second half, as we limited their chances and in all honesty, they didn't look like winning that game towards the final stages.

Going forward, I also saw some encouraging signs. I think that we are missing David Silva greatly at the moment (let's hope he's fit for Madrid!) and it's understandable that his spark is hard to replace. Whilst we also have Samir Nasri to fill his boots, it's a big ask for the French playmaker and you can tell he is struggling at times to mirror Silva's creativity.

However, the form of Mario Balotelli is also a huge worry for City fans. The Italian is yet to score a league goal this season, and Mancini must be thinking about whether to keep him on the books or not. Perhaps the fact that he is behaving better has hindered his form on the pitch, but I don't think anyone could complain if he departed in the summer. He's got a lot of work to do to keep himself at the club.

With the visit of Ajax looming upon us, I would go with the Argentinian forward line of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, and one which arguably was a decisive factor in winning the league from an impossible position last season. With us needing to basically win all our remaining Champions League games to even stand any hope of qualification, Mancini needs to look towards pace and power, something which both Tevez and Aguero possess in their lockers.

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2012

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