Readers of my Five Thoughts column would justifiably conclude the following about my beliefs with regard to our beloved club:
- A messy match against QPR combined with Chelsea's fine play means we're playing for 2nd place in the league and
- We're playing bad, inconsistent football and
- Pellegrini is in trouble because we're playing bad, inconsistent football and
- If the bad, inconsistent football continues, he'll pay the price.
Hell, I even called the purple kits ugly.
Some of you know I belong to an MCFC Supporters Group (Hollywood Division) and one of the smartest folk I spoke with amidst many a smart folk was Marc Kets. Besides being terribly bright and too often (for my ego) on the right side of an argument, Marc is a longtime follower of the Citizens, a longtime follower of the sport and a guy who played the game--three things he's got over me, dammit. He responded to my column as he usually does-with wise words, good humor and with the insight of a man who knows and loves this team. Enjoy it people. I know I did.
Here's Marc's thoughts:
1) I like the purple kit. Saw it up close today and it is really nice.
2) Are we playing for 2nd? No. We're playing for the title and, yes, it is going to take a few results to go our way but Chelsea are going to slip up soon, and with Mourinho teams when they lose one, they lose two and that is all it is going to take for us to put more pressure on them. Fabregas is great, but he disappeared yesterday, and Costa is made of glass and going to get suspended at some point so Chelsea will have to enjoy him while they can. Our side isn't playing well, but if you look at the stats, we are making a lot of passes and teams that are up a creek don't make passes, and we are. We just don't have any confidence, but once someone, anyone joins the Aguero party we are still a frightening team to play.
3) The beauty of the premier league is that every team can beat every other team on their day. QPR are a team that put out Dutch, Chilean, ENglish, Irish, Brazilian and South Korean internationals yesterday. They're not a Mickey Mouse side by a long shot. Gone are the days when every game was an automatic win, and while it isn't good for the health, it is good for the spectacle of it all. I like that an away day at Turf Moor is as tricky as a game at Stamford Bridge. If wins were guaranteed then you should change the channel as you're watch La Liga or the Scottish Premier Division.
4) The last time we played well and won was not that long ago, we absolutely battered Spurs. Their goalkeeper made 9 saves...9! That just points in the direction that we played well, no matter what drama unfolded on the day.
5) Pellegrini isn't going anywhere. We are third in the table, not last. We've had a run of a few bad results but getting the point yesterday is only going to serve to ignite us. We were battered in the first twenty by a team with a point to prove, a team who have been in a bit of form even though the results have gone against them of late (Liverpool, and Chelsea) but we fought back twice to earn the point. We didn't roll over, we didn't play dead, we didn't wave the white flag, we got the points. That is a huge positive in my book.
6) Here are some positive to add to your list, SufferingBruin: Joe Hart has been absolutely terrific for us. James Milner has done the job for us and then some this year. We have genuine depth at right back whereas last year when Zaba went down we ended up with Boyata at right back at one point. Our defense has only conceded just over a goal/game. The only teams with better records are Southampton, Chelsea and Swansea. That is it. Our supposedly shambolic defence would be welcomed at every other club in the division...and they haven't gelled yet this term. When they do, and they will, it will be a brick wall.
7) David Silva. He's added goals to his bow this year. Sure he's not scoring nearly as many as his talent warrants but he's getting a little more selfish and that can only bode well for us.
8) Navas being neutralized. A neutralized player stands on his own, doesn't get the ball and doesn't make any passes. Well yesterday, passes from Navas to Sagna (the player who plays behind him and in turn is his support) was completed 12 times. Sagna to Navas was completed 22 times. That is 34 completed passes out wide on the right, by far and away the best combination we had on the pitch. That is a lot of support from the fullback, and hardly has Navas neutralized. He created 5 chances and was on hand to have a part of 8 more instances that ended up being chances. Maybe, I'm watching a different game but the word neutralized isn't one that I would use.
9) It isn't all doom and gloom people. We aren't playing well but still getting results. Our manager is the right one for us and our team will leap into action sooner rather than later. We are a cup final every week for every team in the division. We are the scalp that everyone wants. Teams and players play above themselves when we come to town, and that is something that shows in the frantic nature of every match that we play. The premier league is very competitive and we are 2 points better off this term than we were the last. I'm not prepared by a long way to throw the towel in just yet. CTWD
I hope it's not the last we hear of Mr. Kets and I thank him for his contribution. I've got a poll below. You know what to do.