Thoughts on the Blackpool victory

Blackpool

There was much affront when Garry Cook announced that he wanted to banish the phrase 'typical City' from the vernacular of the club, but snatching an ill-deserved three points away from home, aided by fortune, deflections and the rub of the green with refereeing decisions at least point to a change in mentality that suggests the club is on a very different course than those of seasons past.

It was a strange performance however. The season has been built on packing the midfield with a trio of central players (note: not three holding midfielders). Reverting to 4-4-2 (I'm not wholly sure whether this was solely as a result of Yaya Toure's injury or to accomodate Emmanuel Adebayor) we lost this from our game and it was a very below par performance, particularly in the opening forty-five minutes.

Credit Blackpool though. Playing with the pace, invention and confidence shown so far during 2010/11, we were unable to control the game; Nigel de Jong in particular an anonymous presence, seemingly neutered by the publicity and attention following the Hatem Ben Arfa incident.

However, whereas games and seasons past, there would be a hope that you could snatch a goal, or grab an equaliser, but now there is expectation. Even playing as poorly and disjointed as we were, there was a belief that the victory could be obtained. How times change eh?

The catalyst was of course the introduction of Silva. Possessor of a wonderful touch, patience balance and close control he created the opening goal of the game and of course scored a magical third; swaying, dropping the shoulder, echoing the spirit of Kinkladze and calmly slotting the goal that sealed the win. Having been eased into the fray over the first quarter or so of the season he may now be ready to explode and of course is a better fit for the 4-5-1, which for all the criticism is a far better system for the personnel we have.

Whilst Silva applied the magic touch, Tevez landed the killer blows. The pair of goals today were his 27th and 28th in the past 31 games and he has scored in 18 of the past 19 games. Some record in indeed. The performance of Adebayor today highlighted the lack of depth (at least until Mario Balotelli is back fit and assimilated into the side) in attack and the sheer reliance we have on Tevez.

I wrote pre-game that this was an opportunity that had to be taken. It wasn't comfortable in the least, and Blackpool were on the wrong end of a poor decision that allowed Tevez's opener and deserved a point from the game. But the points were obtained - a fourth win in succession for the first time under Mancini - and saw us establish the points lead over United, Arsenal and Tottenham, but importantly close the gap on Chelsea to just two points.

Next week Arsenal; anyone suggesting we are not favourites?

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