Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Season Preview Double Header! Man City and Liverpool

Well last night Liverpool suffered a 3-0 stomping at the City of Manchester stadium after a man of the match performance and goal from Gareth Barry, and a brace from Carlos Tevez gave the Citizens the 3 points.

With both teams from last night giving performances that just may well sum up their season, I thought it appropriate to give an season's preview double header.

We'll start with Liverpool who had a shocker last night, being out-played, out-manoeuvred and out-classed by a Manchester City side that many will argue, wasn't at their strongest. Javier Mascherano was the key man missing last night, with reports stating he refused to play, which will only fuel Barcelona's transfer attempts, then there's the choice of formation - 4-4-2, something Liverpool haven't played for quite some time and a system which didn't suit either Steven Gerrard or Lucas Leiva.

A lack of general talent however, amongst the Liverpool squad and especially the bench is Liverpool's biggest concern still. It was a problem last season and looks to be a problem again this season. David N'Gog may have had an okay game against the Gunners last Sunday, but last night he was nowhere near good enough and his talent in general shows little promise. Joe Cole last night begun his 3 match suspension, but whilst the lad has been keen to show off in front of the Kop, he's missed a penalty and been shown a red card first game of the season, surely then you'd hope there's more to come very soon. The only signing that has performed to any credible standard so far is Milan Jovanovic and he's nowhere near good enough to drag Liverpool back into that Champions League spot.

BBC 5Live's Robbie Savage hit the nail on the head when he said Liverpool need another World Class Striker in order to compete with the Premier League's big boys. It's the sad to hear then that Liverpool's transfer target in mind is Swedish and PSV striker Ola Toivonen, who with the greatest respects, doesn't inspire faith. I do put this lacklustre transfer budget and targets down to the Club's situation rather than the manager. Roy Hodgson is a good man and can help steer this rapidly sinking ship to some sort of safety, if the Club's ownership is soprted out sooner rather then later.

From a club in crisis then to another club that is on the up, Manchester City, owned by the Mighty Sheik Mansour and managed by the stylish figure of Roberto Mancini. City's millions have completely revamped the first team squad and brought in the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Super Mario Balotelli.

Their first nil-nil draw away at Tottenham was, for some fans, alarm bells who thought the team wouldn't gel and it would be a repeat of last season, so-near-yet-so-far. However last night Mancini proved he's got the magic touch and is gradually getting his philosophy of attractive, attacking Football across the team. Last night's result was a good one, let that not be in doubt, but don't expect it to be a one-off, it's more than likely that the like of the other Premeir League Top 4 could suffer the same fate as Liverpool did. Last night wasn't enough the strongest City side they can put out - no Boateng, no Silva, no Balotelli, no Adebayor, no Vieira and no Kolarov. All of those players are still to return to the team and to full fitness, frightening stuff really.

All this though, couldn't be possible without the man in charge, Roberto Mancini. Last season he did little justice in proving he was a competent successor to Mark Hughes. He promised fourth and then achieved fifth, so many football fans in England may have already dismissed Mancini's ability. Let's be honest however, Mancini has brought these players in, strengthened every position on the pitch and made Carlos Tevez club captain, showing the Argentine just how much he means to the club. A clever man really who tactically outclassed Liverpool last night.

The Man City squad is so strong, their manager is very accomplished and together the club can overcome a clear majority of the Premier League's opposition. I can't see City losing very often at home, the Italian mentality of Mancini will mean he'll want to make the Home ground into a fortress, akin to that of Chelsea's Mourinho years.

However, one thing that City's miillions can't pay for is history. Man City at the minute are a great squad, however in terms of stature and history, they aren't a great club. The opposite for Liverpool then, is perhaps the truth as well. Liverpool are a great club, with a proud history and an accomplished past, but at the minute, they haven't got a great squad.

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