Things We Think We Think #22

1. Forest on Saturday was just about the textbook away performance. Soak up some early pressure, frustrate the home side, ruthlessly capitalise on an opportunity to score and close the game out. It wasn’t as pretty as some of the stuff City have played lately, but you don’t gets points for artistic merit in the Championship.

2. You do get points for grinding out results in tough places, though. It may be a cliché, but victories like that are those separate pretenders from the real deal. Increasingly, City look like the real deal.

3. We wouldn’t claim that the Amber Nectar ratings on the right necessarily constitute a definitive guide to who’s been our best player, but Aaron Mclean is currently top, and deservedly so. Now that he’s begun adding goals to his already-formidable contribution in other areas of the game, he’s looking a class act.

4. What a massive week awaits. Barnsley first – with respect to our South Yorkshire friends, who always seem to raise their game against City, this is a game we’d be disappointed to lose. Theirs is not a happy camp at the moment, with the manager criticising the fans after Saturday’s loss, they’re in a relegation scrap and gates are down into four figures – maybe because of the disgraceful practice of charging some away fans over £30?

5. Some have spoken of boycotting the game because of that, but advocating the withdrawal of support from City isn’t something that sits comfortably with us. Instead, we’d suggest attending as usual if possible, while refusing to buy anything inside the ground.

6. At the risk of looking too far ahead, Saturday’s match with West Ham is potentially the game of the season so far. West Ham are second but remain favourites for the title, while City’s own burst up the table makes this a match to look forward to. Just one point: was it absolutely necessary to hand the Hammers 4,100 tickets? Obviously, these things need deciding upon well in advance (it was arranged in late-September), and with City a fair way from selling out the Circle at present it be understood from the perspective of maximising income. However, West Ham look unlikely to sell them all and this is surely a game to entice the casual follower – let’s hope we don’t end up with gaps in the away end and City fans locked out.

7. The Championship’s best selling point is the parity between teams at the top, though it can be frustrating that a great run, nine games unbeaten, doesn’t put us higher than 6th.  Still, that should serve to keep the under-the-radar Tigers hungry for continued success.

8. Jay Simpson scoring two and setting another two up on Saturday is interesting. Has his return to form been prompted by returning south, we wonder?

9. Those goals came against Ipswich, whose solitary reply came from one James Richard Bullard. Remember him? He’s dividing opinion in Suffolk in a way reminiscent of his latter days here. When we look at City’s current midfield it’s clear we’re not missing him on the pitch, and when one considers the obvious team spirit we may safely conclude that we’re not missing his off-field antics either.

10. The manager was less than emphatic when asked over the weekend about him being linked with the Leicester job, concerning some. We’re disinclined to worry, however. That’s just his style, and having spent more than a year carefully assembling a squad bursting with potential, why would he leave to join a club eight places lower? Leicester may be cash-rich but they’re common sense-poor, and Nigel Pearson is not lacking in good sense.

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