Sunday, 15 September 2013

Stoke City 0 - 0 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey

My thoughts

For me, the result was predictable from the start. Although Manuel Pellegrini went with a workman-like side extremely capable of combating Stoke's main strengths, the Britannia blues just won't go away and not many will have predicted a City win.

A tough day for Samir Nasri
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Unfortunately, it was hard to take positives. The likes of Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure gave typically uninterested performances and levels of creativity were alarmingly low.

In truth, Stoke were the better team for large periods of the game and you get the feeling that Mark Hughes is building a good side after the departure of Tony Pulis in the summer. However, this does not excuse some individual performances, and whilst we were defensively sound, a lot of work needs to be done in terms of going forward. It was far too slow at times, and we need to stop allowing teams to get men behind the ball before trying to find a way through.

The team needs time to gel, that's obvious, but the talent on show should have been too much for Stoke. Plzen should be a straightforward warm-up for the derby on Sunday and I still expect us to dispose of United relatively easily. Keep the faith!

Player ratings

HART: Made a number of crucial saves to prevent Stoke grabbing a deserved victory.

TSBV rating: 7/10

ZABALETA: Didn't do much wrong but wasn't able to assist the midfield with the forward runs he usually makes. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

GARCIA: Didn't do much wrong but it is not a position he is likely to hold down and looked uncomfortable once again. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASTASIC: An unsteady performance. Kompany's presence definitely helps the young Serbian.

TSBV rating: 6/10

KOLAROV: A fairly steady performance in which he did nothing wrong, but nothing significant either. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

YAYA TOURE: Played too deep, no influence.

TSBV rating: 6/10

MILNER: Unable to find Negredo with a number of failed crosses.

TSBV rating: 6/10

RODWELLGreat to see him in the side but wasn't able to affect the game in any way. Showed his defensive capabilities and could be a better option than Garcia in the centre of defence. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASRI: Almost gifted Jones a goal and typically faded out of the game.

TSBV rating: 5/10

JOVETIC: Looked unsure positionally, but it will take time for the new signing to gel into the side. Showed flickers of class and more game time will obviously help him.

TSBV rating: 6/10

NEGREDO: Had to work with scraps but troubled Stoke's defence to the best of his abilities.

TSBV rating: 7/10


AGUERO: Replaced Jovetic on the hour mark but like Negredo, he was feeding off scraps for the 30 minute cameo.

TSBV rating: 6/10

NAVAS: Had little impact after coming on for Nasri on 72 minutes. Still a worrying sign that he seems hesitant to take his man on.

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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