Is it all about results and performances are determined by final scores? If so, then it’s been a great start to the season.
However, if truth be told, we were shocking for seventy minutes at home against Villa and got away with it; and returned to the Etihad today to complete a second VAR-prompted smash and grab inside five months.
Despite the excellent, hard-fought ‘result’, I am interested in performances and, on the evidence of today, the gulf in class between City and Spurs is ‘chasmic’. All over the field, we were played off the park and it was hard to find anyone in the team able to stamp their authority on the game. Genuinely, we had two attempts and scored twice. At the other end, we were swamped.
I question these ridiculous, show pony cardboard trophies played round the globe pre-season for largely commercial reasons – we seem to do more of them than anyone? This team is under-cooked and under-prepared. It needed a proper pre-season to get up to speed, to have a plan and a sense of purpose.
So, well done on the result, boys, but these ratings are based on individual performances which, essentially, weren’t good!
During the week, troubled by his showing last week, I wondered if it was Lucas Moura’s destiny to be an impact sub. Clever me, it only took him nineteen seconds! He has an amazing shot with either foot. His spring for headers is brilliant. His pace and ability to run past players, exhilarating. We can’t afford just to bring this on for the odd cameo. At the same time, we need to solve the puzzle of his sometime disappearing act. He was an eight or even a nine – though I suspect he might have been just as anonymous in that stifling first half.
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