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Five Thoughts: Man City 1-1 Everton

More Like Five Worries about Offense, Defense, Dzeko, Warren Barton and Our January Transfer Needs

Just thinking out loud but how cool would it be if these guys were wearing the same shade of blue?
Just thinking out loud but how cool would it be if these guys were wearing the same shade of blue?
Clive Brunskill

Yep, it's Five Worries today.

Worry 1. Here’s Our Problem, courtesy of Trevor Francis: "Once again, another example of the pedestrian build-up from Man City; there’s just no pace to it. It’s making it easy for Everton to get ten players behind the ball, closing the spaces and making it difficult for City to penetrate.” That’s it in a nutshell, folks. More of than not, the only space available other than through the air is just outside the box where we will pass, pass and pass again. It’s all we can do because we aren’t outrunning teams to the open spaces.

Worry 2. Kolarov hurt in the 5th minute. Besides missing the strongest left leg in the EPL, I learned there is a profound difference between an LB and RB. I want there to be a profound difference because that would explain how one of my favorites—Pablo Zabaleta—got completely lost while covering Everton’s best player which led to the goal that led to the tie which led to us dropping points at home at the Etihad place. Allusions to nursery rhymes aside, I also want to believe that Kolaov—as tough as anyone in the game—is not seriously hurt. Because if he is, well, see the poll below.

Worry 3. Barton's Obsession Warren Barton is, as far as I know, a fellow resident of the City of Angels. That’s where they tape the Fox Soccer show, that’s where Warren, Eric and the gang do that voodoo they think they do so well. So, if Warren is reading, I’ve got two things to say. First, thanks for reading. And second, do the words “get over yourself” mean anything to you? The constant harping at Mancini (“look at him smirk” “he’s lost the players” “that’s a poor substitution” and, of course, “go ahead and smirk”). I mean, we get it, you don’t like Mancini. But after seeing the Citizens enter the Etihad in suits and occasional ties, you noticed Balotelli dressed like a teenager rushing off to school, completely with headphones that looked like they could get reception from the Mars Landing. Barton immediately called for Balotelli to be fined for such ‘disrespectful’ behavior and all but implied that it was yet another piece of evidence that the smirky Italian was losing the squad. Well, I beg to differ. Balotelli is being treated much like Dennis Rodman was by Phil Jackson; the rules are slightly different but the goal is the same—get the best out of the player but not at the expense of the team. We’ve got good team chemistry. We’ve had it for a little while now and it’s evident by the number of players who are demanding to leave City. And how many are there now? I lose track. Oh yeah—none.

Worry 4. Check Your Dzeko At The Door—Trevor Francis, who otherwise called a fine game, stated early on that Dzeko’s inclusion today was for his defensive ability on set pieces. Okay. Let’s grant that and try not to smile. Let’s instead add the other things he did for us today. From my own notes, unedited:

  • 20thminute, he needed to put that away and I’m not the only who thinks so.

  • Did Dzeko just block Nasri’s shot? He did! He could have ducked but he rose to turn to his side; Francis is right, Dzeko is a helluva defensive player.

  • Edin Dzeko is the only person on planet earth that didn’t know Gareth Barry was offside. Not the most intelligent play. And hey, Trevor Francis just said “not the most intelligent play.”

  • Man, Dzeko is good in the box when he doesn’t leadfoot a touch; he just hammered a shot in the 41stminute that almost took Tim Howard’s hands off.

  • Very next play, Dzeko draws the penalty that Balotelli didn’t get in the CL but would have with the help of replay and do not get me started. I really think he’s better coming off the bench. If we need the goal, he’s fresh, he’s always forward and in that damn box, he’s awfully damn good, damn it.

  • 61stminute, where the hell was Dzeko on the clever ball from Silva? Does Dzeko ever move without the ball?

  • 64thminute, was that Piennar closing Dzeko down or Dzeko with a heavy touch? City fans saw the latter.

  • Oh my god what was that?? He NEVER moves before the ball is passed. A poor header to either a teammate (he missed Barry) and he didn’t make the obvious decision, like heading it toward goal.

  • Tevez taken out of the game, fans are booing and from my couch in Los Angeles, I am booing right along with them.

  • Toure’s best ball of the night, Dzeko tried to head it to Aguero instead of doing what he does best, bringing it down and putting it on net. Provided he doesn’t give a lead-footed touch, that is.

  • We had to play him because Aguero and Balotelli were tired. But this is not the first time that the Super Sub has failed to impress as a starter. Yeah, he got the goal and that was the result of the great cross more than anything. Dzeko needs to do more with these opportunities to start.

Worry 5. Our “City Avoidable Goal of the Day"came courtesy of a microcosm of all things wrong with the City defense. It starts with the three-toed sloth and media darling, Gareth Barry. You see, Gareth didn’t close out (or as the say across the pond, ‘close down’) on Leighton Baines and allowed Baines—a man with the ugliest porn stache I have ever seen—to provide a dangerous cross. Close viewers will wonder about Barry checking behind him after noticing Baines had the ball in a dangerous spot and will wonder why he did so but let that lie for now. Baines provides the cross to the melon of Fellaini (who has the worst white man’s afro I have ever seen), Hart made his miracle save du jour (trademark), but because Zabaleta didn’t know where Fellaini was during this entire transaction of ball and limbs, Fellaini followed up with the goal. I have seen this movie before. I know how it ends. Hear me, Citizen defenders—close out on the passer. Do it without looking behind your back. Get into the habit of doing it before, you know, the Derby which is coming up and that right soon.