It has been awhile so bare with me; I may be a bit rusty on the humor, description and overall writing. Anyway, that was the epitome of what a “pre” pre-season friendly is. City looked extremely rusty, and I don’t mean the individual players, but the chemistry was not what it will be. There were so many passes that came up either short, or were incredibly misplaced/mistimed.
Other than the rusty chemistry, there was a lot for City fans to get excited about going forward. First, the fresh faces, well Frenandhino, looked to be fitting in quite well with the rest of the City players given the short period of time they had to practice together. He had one opportunity to impact the score sheet, but his valiant effort from outside the box went just a bit high, grazing the net. Second, the semi fresh faces (i.e. Sinclair and Rodwell) were also in great form during their time in the game, and hopefully that is a telling sign for how they will perform this season. If Rodwell stays healthy this season I expect him to make quite an impact in the EPL. Finally, City continues to show they have the ability to be a consistent side this season. We held a majority of the possession in the friendly today, and displayed atheistically pleasing soccer that we displayed in flashes last season.
The only downside to this friendly other than the result is that City performed similarly to this last season with little success. If the first team players had been in for the entire 90 minutes I’m sure the chances would have fallen, but we need depth more than anything this season given another jam packed schedule full of Champions League, League cups and EPL fixtures.
I will not be providing any player ratings (I know you are all upset, but imagine how I feel!) because 1. It’s the preseason and 2. The substitutions were similar to those of an NHL line change. But, what I will do this time is give a few feelings that I have, stemming from the performance.
Lolarov (Kolarov for the new readers) is in for a long season of insults from me if this performance is a telling tale for what’s to come. His “slip up” during the first half led to an AmaZulu’s first goal during the game. A lazy back pass towards goal left Joe Hart hanging out to dry, with only a flailing attempt at the ball being his only option.
Dzeko, not my favorite, has all the makings in this Pellegrini system of making me eat my words from last season. But, he still is incredibly awkward to watch when on the ball and can’t find that clinical touch in the box to beat the keeper. It is too soon to be this critical, but his abilities seem to plateau’d much akin to the hot start by competitors on “The Next Food Network Star” (YEAH I WATCH IT, SO WHAT?!).
I went on about Rodwell and his imminent impact to the EPL, if he is to stay healthy. But, Sinclair is whom I would like to take a full paragraph to discuss because I feel he deserves it. Now, Sinclair could really strive in Pellegrini’s system, especially since he intends to add width to our attack (i.e. Navas signing). Under Mancini we went away from having a true winger in attack, leaving Sinclair (who was recovering from injuries) on the sidelines for most, if not all season. If Pellegrini gives Sinclair valuable playing time, I believe whole-heartedly that Scott will flourish to the player we signed a year ago.
Okay, that is my quick summary of what I saw during this friendly. I hope you had fun reading this, and I look forward to bringing you more preseason and regular season reviews throughout this season. BLUE MOON RISING!