Sunday, December 24, 2006

City 0 Bolton 2

If the general mood following the Tottenham game was of a sombre nature, then an air of despondancy must have been all around last night after yesterday's defeat left us very much in the thick of trouble with not a great deal in the way of answers to signal a turnaround in our current fortunes.

A double from Nicolas Anelka (inevitably) condemned us to a second successive home defeat and is making the supposed superb home form a distant memory, and in doing so provided a reminder of the quality that he has and how much his goals have been missed since his departure.

It is true that we didn't have a great deal of help from Mike Riley, as he turned down two good penalty appeals and ruled against us in Dickov's claim that his header had crossed the line but it is difficult to win games against a side like Bolton without gift-wrapping both goals to them.

Once the second goal went in, I doubt that there was anyone in the ground who believed that we could conceivably haul ourselves back into the game - and so it proved. You cannot fault the effort of the players out there, but they look woefully short on confidence and ideas to get out of the predicament they are in.

Save for Joey Barton (yet again), there didn't seem anyone willing to put their foot on the ball and actually create something and the 'tactic' of hitting long balls to two small front men beggars belief. Barton's dismissal of course rules him out of the next three games (subject to appeal) and is difficult to see us getting something in either of the two upcoming games. The danger will be if we slip into the bottom three as psychologically it becomes difficult to get out and you are constantly playing catch-up.

There are more calls for Pearce to go, at the very least to inject a change into the club and it will now be a test of his abilities to turn things around, but as it stands there don't appear he is able to provide too many answers. A lack of a viable alternative could be a problem for the board though if they are seriously considering a change.

The transfer window is upon us and it maybe that the club has to take a short term approach with it to guarantee Premiership survival which is so crucial this season more than any other. Pearce may not have much room to manoevere though, and his record in the transfer market is appearing poorer as time goes on. There are more rumours of a SWP for Richards swap today and it maybe that Pearce decides to roll the dice on such a move to try and spark something in the side.

If he can't spark something soon, then time could well be running out for him.

The Independent
Football UK


"We have a scrap on our hands...what we cannot afford
to do is feel sorry for ourselves. We have had what we thought was a goal
disallowed and a player, we feel, wrongly sent off. But they are just excuses.
"We must roll our sleeves up and respond in the right
- Stuart Pearce

vote it up!


Kartik said...

Danny, I fear we will be using the R word more and more on your site in the upcoming weeks. I was actually hoping that if Pearce gets the sack we'd hire Pardew, but sadly that is now off the table.

Anonymous said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Spread Betting from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!
All there is all that money in the premiership and barely any of it stays in the UK so it’s not even helping the economy!
From my Spread Betting, if I ever win big (which is never, I’m unlucky) it’s still nothing compared to the average premiership players weekly wage!
This Rant was brought to you by Spread Betting Spike.