Tottenham 1 - 5 City: Five Thoughts

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Edin Dzeko (R) of Manchester City celebrates scoring his fourth goal with teammates Gareth Barry and Sami Nasri (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on August 28, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The movement of the front three around Edin Dzeko was exceptional. The attacking threat City now possess is well-documented of course, but the pace, precision and fluidity at which City broke forward with Samir Nasri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero moving across the line (as I outlined in this post for EPL Index) was something that Tottenham simply couldn't cope with. There were games which frustrated last season with the side unable to break sides down - that will not happen this season.

Dzeko had a near-perfect game. Speaking after the match, he stated he now felt settled at the club, after a period of adjustment last season arriving in January, with a pre-season under his belt. The goals were different, but each had quality: genuine strikers finishes, great technique with the header and of course, the superb finish for his fourth to ice the win. I thought at the outset of the season that 20 goals was a realistic target for him. Was this too low a figure?

With his midfield selection, although hampered with injury, Harry Redknapp looked to get it badly wrong. Knowing City field a trio who look to dominate he went with Niko Krancjar and Luka Modric in a conventional 4-4-2, hoping to utilise the width of Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale but the odd threat aside City's midfield was dominant - both defensively and offensively and the Tottenham defence was overrun time and again.

Winning without Nigel de Jong. The numbers last year point to the fact that without de Jong, as well as looking imbalanced, City were far less successful. The Dutchman has missed the past two fixture but (particularly today) City have not missed a step. Huge credit must go to both Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry who, whilst technically defensive midfielders for the purposes of a formation, are anything but. Toure's passing stats today were exceptional - attempting 96 passes (way ahead of any other player this season in the Premier League) and still completing 93%. Barry too was above 90% and has elevated his game from last season, which at times could be a little one dimensional.

The elephant in the room. With only a couple of days left in the transfer window the odds on Carlos Tevez remaining at the club must be very short indeed. After having a cameo at Bolton last weekend he was today left kicking his heels on the bench. Last season he was such a central (and successful) focal point to the side and how they played, yet the way the side are currently lining up and performing it is difficult to see quite where he fits in. We know Tevez demands time and space and his constantly moving across the front line, but would his inclusion in the side infringe on the roles that Aguero, Silva and now Nasri have? Could the side still function with him? If his future isn't resolved in the next day or two, it may well be a question that demands an answer.

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