Saturday, November 28, 2009

City 1 Hull 1

The danger at holding a 1-0 and not killing a side off when you are in the ascendancy is that you run the risk of allowing your opponents back into the game.

Today was a perfect example of this and what should have been a return to winning ways to start an important week results in the sense of frustration continuing.

It shouldn't have come to this of course given our dominance over the first hour of the game, in particular the first half which was our best for some time. It was reward perhaps for a more attacking approach adopted by Mark Hughes; Zabaleta, Barry and Bellamy made way for Richards, Tevez and the returning Robinho.

It was Robinho who was largely instrumental in our first half performance. The side showed fantastic movement and interchange play with Robinho, Ireland and Tevez all moving around to great effectiveness. We attacked with pace and purpose, creating ourselves some great positions yet just lacked a cutting edge.

Having got the lead on the stroke of half-time however, this should have been the spur to kick on and put the game beyond reach early in the second half. Not to be however, and despite their frailties, if a side has the likes of Bullard and Hunt they are likely to be able to create at least one opportunity.

The penalty may well have been questionable, but by no means could you argue it wasn't one. We were then left with little time to try and re-group and restore our lead. It was not to be.

Questions I'm sure will be asked of the defence once again - particularly in terms of their concentration, but this was one of our better performances at the back.

Far more worrying is the fact that despite the quality in the attacking positions we are showing either the ruthlesness or clinical nature needed to be a top four side. Seven successive draws bears this out, and we have thrown away leads in our last three home games against Fulham, Burnley and now Hull - all games we should be winning of course.

This aspect, as much as anything is the one we need to rectify to get the season back on course.

vote it up!


newsoftheblues said...

once again the tactic sub maestro had his go on the game and we lost another lead.

He does like for like and thats it. I and everyone else knew he would but roque (the lump) and bellamy on. It was the wrong thing to do and it cost us.

ireland vs bullard, no competion

pjdemers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pjdemers said...

I strongly disagree with newsoftheblues simply because at the time Hughes made the substitutions there was no need for a "tactical" switch. City had a 1-0 lead, Hull were offering very little going forward, DeJong was still on to neutralize Bullard and Hunt, and a like for like switch with Bellamy on for Robinho seemed quite sensible to me given the latters return from injury.

If City were chasing the game or if Hull were mounting sustained pressure then I would fully agree. The idea that the substitutions cost City the game carries little weight for me, other than establishing blame for blame's sake.

One of the reasons I believe things are not going well right now is that the players are lacking just that extra bit of confidence to see the game through. One the best ways to help players overcome such a problem is for a manager to give them his complete trust. Hughes certainly seems to be prepared to do this, what a pity my fellow City fans are not.

newsoftheblues said...

No, we lost the inuative with the change, a loss of tempo and bullard was starting the controll the midfield. De jong was booked, which limits his effectivness.

Bellamy on the left isnt very effective as he is through the middle. Roque is big striker, not very mobile, and requires alot of balls in the box, with bellamy and swp your not going to get great crosses.

We were 1-0 up, struggling to score, lost the buzz of the 1st half and after what has been a poor run, suring up the middle with a kompany or johnson would of been ideal. Still leaving us effective on the break, Tevez could of been the one to leave for bellamy.

Im sorry pj but your absolutley wrong.
More concerned with sticking up for hughes rather looking at the whole picture.

pjdemers said...


Some very compelling points re: tactical substitutions. I certainly agree that bringing on MJ would be effective as he would give composure on the ball and intelligent distibution, particularly in the defensive third. I also agree that Bellamy is more effective through the middle but he's no slouch on the left wing either. Hence my defence of MH making a like for like swap for Robinho.

like yourself, I get incredibly frustrated with Hughes at times but for different reasons, (but yes I do rate him). Hughes IMO is very much into systems, and while I'd like to think I understand the system he is trying to implement, I don't think he's utilizing his starting eleven to their maximum potential.
My disagreement with you is simply that I'm not fully convinced we lost 2points because of something Hughes did or didn't do.

I also stand by my assertion that the squad are lacking just that extra bit of self-belief at the moment and that, more than anything Hughes is doing tactically, is adversely effecting our ability to see games out.

I'd also argue it doesn't exactly help that the fans @ Eastlands are not getting behind the team regardless of their opinion of MH, the team, or the tactics. If I was an opposing manager my first words of instruction would be simply "keep City off the board for as long as possible and dissrupt their rhythm as much possible. The crowd will turn on them and their confidence will drop."

This to me is way more concerning than anything Hughes is or isn't doing.