Part the First: The Extra Guy
While much ink has been spent on the new signings-and rightfully so-it's sort of fun to think we actually have a fifth new player in Stevan Jovetic. Our best striker as of right this moment, a guy who has currently made Sergio Aguero a super sub, I always thought Jovetic would turn out to the best signing of last season's bumper crop of newbies. Provided he remains healthy, I think it might just turn out to be the case. The second goal was gorgeous in every respect but it was that first goal that stands out to me because it was such a hustle play that typified Jovetic's magnificent evening. Liverpool Left Back Alberto Moreno, currently fighting off nightmares from last night's match, waited for the ball to bounce before clearing and Jovetic pounced-we've seen that play a few times in the highlights, right? What you may not have noticed what that Jovetic was one of City's best defenders on the night, consistently tracking back to make plays. It might be a awhile before he's out of the lineup.
Part the Second: Our Best Team Ever?
I'm going to predict that by the end of the season, the answer will be yes. We are beyond two deep at every position, everyone seems comfortable (remember those defensive lapses at the beginning of last season's campaign? Gone now, apparently), we have perhaps the best young defender to hit the Premier League in years waiting in the wings and we just waxed last year's runner up 3-1 without playing our best match. For the second year running, City got their signings out of the way early so players could spend the entire off-season working together (the exception being Mangala's signing which took the length of your average Russian novel). Compare that Liverpool, a team with a fine manager and wonderful tradition but which, with Balotelli's wild-card signing, has just made its 9th (!) new addition to the squad. After the match, pundits rightfully claimed Liverpool would get better over time. It would've been nice if just one of those pundits added that City is already close to hitting on all cylinders.
Part the Third: O Captain, Our Captain
If not for Jovetic's clear MOTM performance, the honor would've gone to that most consistent citizen, Vincent Kompany. I don't know what else can be said that hasn't already been written. He was beyond great vs. Liverpool. I get why most fans of the blue want Sergio Aguero to maintain good health-I'm one of those fans-but there is no player I wish for better health this season more than Kompany. I would add again that the idea of teams trying to score late against a midfield of Toure and Fernandinho with Fernando in front of Mangala and the Captain? That's like trying to get through a black hole unscathed. And I'd like to add another prediction-before his career is over, Vincent Kompany will be known as the best CB in the history of Manchester football. Hell, he might be that already.
Part the Fourth: A Word on My Man Yaya
I think it's time we expect less of him. He's coming off a season for the ages, perhaps the greatest season a midfield player has ever had, certainly in a City uniform. But he's also another year older, coming off a disastrous off-season filled with personal tragedy, overwork and farcical shenanigans *and* he might not be needed quite as much as he was last season. In both of the recent championship seasons, we've needed Yaya to be better than very good. We've needed him to be great and great he has been. It's only two matches but he's looked very ordinary so far. I honestly think less of him after the craziness with his agent and the outrageous claims against the team (the worst being City denying time with his dying brother) but I still think highly enough of him that I hope for the best. I just think we've seen his best effort-it was last season-and I doubt we'll see anything like that again.
Part the Fifth: Poll!
You know what to do.