Sunday, 1 September 2013

Manchester City 2 - 0 Hull City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

Well, after three games we are sat on six points following games at home to Newcastle and Hull, as well as a defeat in Cardiff last weekend.

If I were to describe our start to the season, I would use the word transitional. It is clear that the players are still adapting to the new tactics employed by Manuel Pellegrini - and it has had an impact upon us defensively. Of course, the absence of Vincent Kompany (and Matija Nastasic last week) hasn't made things any easier, but considering we have had one of, if not the strongest defence in the league during the past few years, it is strange to see such poor individual errors being made.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

I'm very happy with the news that Martin Demichelis is set to sign from Atlético Madrid - and whilst the fee is a bit over the top for a 32 year old, I think he'll bring in some vital experience to the back line and prove to be a good level of back up when our first choice defenders fall injured.

Going forward, the team seemed to struggle and looked very lacklustre during long periods. Edin Džeko in particular had a very poor game and was deservedly substituted at half time, with Álvaro Negredo replacing him. Let me just say, I think Negredo could well prove to be one of the buys of the season; he just has a natural instinct where the goal is, something we missed a lot last season and if he keeps up this early form, we could be seeing him grab 20-30 this year!

I feel that Pellegrini needs to inject more pace into the team and at times, the midfield duo of Fernandinho and Yaya Touré doesn't help this. Yaya put in a very laboured performance against Hull, and whilst he scored an outstanding goal, it doesn't excuse his overall performance. The same has to be said of Fernandinho, and despite his top debut against Newcastle, he hasn't put in similar performances during the last two games. Of course, I feel that the Brazilian is a truly great player, and if given time to settle in to the English style of football, he will be worth every penny spent. 

It was a worry that Hull seemed to find a trip to the Etihad Stadium so easy yesterday as we gave them time on the ball and hardly got out of second gear. However, I am sure that this is just a natural transition phase between two different types of manager and we will see Pellegrini's tactics pay off soon!

Player ratings

HART: A solid performance after his slip up's against Cardiff. Helped Aluko stray his early shot wide whilst also dealing with set pieces and crosses brilliantly. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

ZABALETA: Has had an odd start to the season and not looked his usual solid self, but it was his incredible cross which led to Negredo's opener. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

LESCOTT: Looked very suspect after being chosen to play on the right hand side of the centre back pairing with Nastasic. Needs to improve if he wants a contract extension. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASTASIC: After not playing a game of football since the Barclays Asia Trophy, it was understandable that he looked rusty. Expecting a solid season from him alongside Vincent Kompany.

TSBV rating: 7/10

KOLAROV: In my opinion, Kolarov was actually one of City's strongest performers yesterday, making a key challenge to deny George Boyd towards the closing stages. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

YAYA TOURE: As mentioned above, very laboured performance, and despite his freekick, Hull had a lot of enjoyment in the centre of midfield. Just gets a seven for his goal.

TSBV rating: 7/10

FERNANDINHO: Looked out of sorts all game and can tell he's still adjusting to the pace of the English game. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

SILVA: Had an off day at the office and struggled to create chances like his usual self, disappointing performance and was eventually replaced by Samir Nasri.

TSBV rating: 6/10

NAVAS: With everyone boasting about the pace that Navas has, I'd expect him to be making use of that, but he seems to have a habit of cutting inside too many times. Beat your man, Jesús!

TSBV rating: 6/10

DZEKO: Truly poor performance from the Bosnian which had echoes of last season in it. Couldn't control the ball at all and very rarely found himself in threatening positions. Needs to revert back to his standard against Newcastle if he wants a regular starting position.

TSBV rating: 5/10

AGUERO: Looked like the only bright spark during a very poor first half. Still looks a bit off the pace after missing the whole of pre-season but gave it his all as expected with Sergio.

TSBV rating: 6/10


NEGREDO: Replaced Dzeko at half time and was proving why he was such a great buy. The guy knows where the goal is and it's fair to say he's a natural predator. Took his first goal brilliantly but will be disappointed not to have grabbed two after his shocking miss just minutes after coming on.

TSBV rating: 8/10

NASRI: Came on for Silva after Negredo's opener and had a quiet game. Did well to lure James Chester into the foul which led to Yaya's goal.

TSBV rating: 6/10

MILNER: Brought on with 15 minutes remaining to help secure the three points. Didn't have much to do.

TSBV rating: 6/10

Note: All pictures above from MCFC Official Facebook page

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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