Sunday, August 12, 2007

West Ham 0 City 2

A good start to the season then eh? No, make that a very good start.

Not only an away win, but an accomplished performance that will have done wonders in laying down a marker to the rest of the league and gives us an ideal platform to make a good start, considering our less than stellar usual opening day record.

I predicted a 2-2 draw beforehand - not necessarily because I thought West Ham would cause problems, but because of the short period of time that the squad had been together and the inevitable teething problems that would come with it.

However, there appeared to be no problems at all as the side put out displayed a cohesive performance, which was abundant in quality and left onlookers in the media suitably impressed.

Team wise, the formation looks good and despite mirroring last seasons one up front, allowed plenty of scope for Elano, Petrov and Geovanni to get forward and Bianchi looked more than capable of holding his own up front - would any of last years forwards been in that position to slot home from Elano's cross (and I am convinced it was a cross rather than a shot)?

I am pleased for Eriksson and he appeared genuinely pleased to get the win and certainly enjoyed the post-match press conference, yet the media still appear obsessed by his time in charge of England and will undoubtedly continue to carp on about it throughout his time at the club.

One thing Eriksson clearly brings is the ability to put out a well organised and disciplined side - important (and evidenced) yesterday given the short preparation time. He was also clever with substitutions which is a new experience given the previous tactical changes employed by Pearce and Keegan.

Team wise, I was surprised Hamman started but on reflection he could be a key player in midfield this season as the 'spoiler' - giving Elano and Petrov plenty of license. I'm encouraged as well that Eriksson is willing to be able to change formations and tactics - again, something not evidenced a great deal last season.

Richards looked good in a more central position and I don't think we will see him operation on the right a great deal from now on and Elano looks to have the potential to be the type of midfielder we have never been able to replace Bernarbia and Berkovic with - his skinning of Upson for the first goal was a joy to see.

As for the second goal - at one point I thought Nedum Onouha had swapped his City kit for a Brazil 1970 one as he combined skill, pace and strength to expertly set up Geovanni and we also went close for a third which would have capped the day off perfectly.

Of course tougher times lie ahead and one game is but one game, but how many games over the past two seasons have we seen where the game is there for the taking but we have lacked a cutting edge or clinical spell? This team looks to have players who should have enough to beat those teams in the lower end of the division where we have struggled previously.

The opening day is a fantastic day in the season, where every side goes in with genuine hope and belief for the campaign ahead - but yesterday we saw plenty enough to sustain us for the season ahead.

Other reports:

The Telegraph
The Times
The Independent
Knees Up Mother Brown
Ian Dale

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

If you are born in Brasil, the technical side of the game seems to come in the DNA," said Eriksson.

"I don't know why. All I know is that Elano is a great player."

And Curbishley could take no positive points from the game at all.

So we're flying - especially from Nedum's run up the wing. How superb was that? Too many foreign imports? Get stuffed. Nedum is one of ours!

Kartik said...

Danny's prediction that the hiring of Eriksson would attract several top internationals to the club. you were right, Danny! The skill level and quality shown by city yesterday was almost comprable to the top 4 clubs in the Premier League. While it may take some of the players time to assimilate together and get used to English football I believe this is the best squad we have fielded in recent years. Even in the Keegan years when we made some respectable signings, many were availible because they were on the back ends of their career or were negative personalities. (ie. Anelka, Fowler, McManahman) The fact that we are getting skilled technical players in the best years of their career is amazing, something I never thought I'd see at City.

weenie said...

The media keep boringly harping on about Eriksson being the England manager, so everyone forgets what a great club manager he was in Italy. A great win for City and with United only scraping a draw today, makes next week's derby even tastier! :-)

Anonymous said...

Truthfully does anyone with an open mind really believe Sven was a failure with England? He got twice to the quarter finals of the World Cup and to the Euro quarters with a bunch of players who think too highly of themselves because they play with a bunch of foreigners that are better and make them look good on Chelsea, Lousypool, United, and Arsenal. Sven did about as much with that poxy bunch as could be expected and as he said after the match he never had a player like Elano before with England. That sums it up. Screw the Mirror, the Guardian and the Times who are trying to make such an issue of his time as England manager. When City is in europe consistently in the next few years with these young guns will they finally shut up?

Kartik said...

Anonymous 1:53, I agree with you about Sven. I have always felt England achieved about as much as they could with him given the squad IMHO wasn't nearly as talented as the foolish writers at the Mirror and Guardian believed they were. The Quarterfinals for England is about where they belonged. Sven is going to do wonders with City. You can tell from the first match how much he has changed the midset for City!

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