Things We Think We Think #155

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1. We always feared that City would go out of the League Cup weakly and disappointingly, but they almost transcended the City teams of the past on Wednesday night in the way they so blatantly and criminally failed to progress. To be 2-1 up with three minutes to go and still lose, without extra-time being required, was some going even for City.

2. It bruises us to make comments like the above, because more than ever do we want the club, the team and the coaching staff to take the competition seriously. The number of changes to the team and the resultant snatching of defeat, even allowing for its dramatic appearance from the jaws of victory, once again suggests a lackadaisical or casual attitude to any football competition which does not involve the Premier League. To us, the cup competitions represent something we can win, something we can enjoy, something we can nurture, something we can put permanently into our history. That’s twice now that this has been tossed away by club policy and decision-making that puts finishing mid-table in an unwinnable and often unlikeable league ahead of actual glory as a direct consequence of winning football matches.

3. West Bromwich Albion are now going to Bournemouth for a place in the quarter finals. Their fans will have a top night out, their team will probably win – especially as their manager is fighting to prove himself and may see a League Cup run as something to enhance his prospects – and then they’re in the quarter finals. Or alternatively, Bournemouth will be in the quarter finals. That’s Bournemouth. Not City.

4. And given that the Premier League champions were our next visitors, there seemed little sense in removing the momentum from a couple of entertaining and high-scoring, if winless, matches against West Ham and Newcastle by altering the entire team. Manchester City should have been regarded as a free hit and the team Steve Bruce picked should have been motivated to have a pop at them whatever the scenario.

5. While still a defeat, the Man C game waas a little more heartening. City turned around a seemingly hopeless situation in the first half, admittedly aided by an own goal and a penalty, but their recovery reminded us that we are a team with heart and ability.

6. Nikica Jelavić has starred in recent weeks, and seems to be relishing the opportunity to be City’s senior striker. Far from being lost without his intended partner-in-crime Shane Long, he’s flourished of late. His darting runs and work off the ball are a delight to watch, and the addition of goals to his formidable skills make him a serious player at this level.

7. Defensively, how long before Steve Bruce changes things – and to what? Will he go back to 3-5-2 in order to accommodate James Chester back in the side and re-establish the formation we’ve always looked more secure with? Dare he drop England international Michael Dawson? Questions with no obvious answer, but the more the Goals Against tally rises the more pressing they’ll become.

8. We aren’t overburdened with points at the moment, even if the entertainment level is agreeably high. Crystal Palace at home next week is a game we could really do to win, particularly with some fearfully difficult games approaching.

8a. It’d be nice if the score and the time weren’t removed from the scoreboard in the 18th minute as well.

9. There’s been no shortage of complaints about the pricing of the Man C fixture. £50 only makes sense if you’re seeking to extract every possible penny from City fans – and in fairness, there’ll be those at the club whose job that is. But it results in empty seats (bad for the team), is obviously bad for the fans (either ruthlessly fleeced or priced out) and means that City are not representing the community as a whole. It’s a pity because the club has been rightly praised for lowering some matchday prices to just £16, but this simply undoes all of that. Have another think about it, City. For the club’s sake as much as us, because once people are priced out of going they may lose the match-attending habit altogether. And no-one wins if that happens.

10. Assem Allam’s done an interview for Football Focus next Saturday. Our commiserations to those at the club who’ll have to clean up the resulting mess.

9 replies
  1. YorkieMike
    YorkieMike says:

    Re the last paragraph – just what we need Mr Foot in Motor Mouth giving an interview jsut ahead of a winnable match

  2. Hassem Hallam
    Hassem Hallam says:

    Actually I will reveal in my interview with the obvious BBC simpering lapdog that I have relinquished all important decision making to a giant artichoke called Gilbert. He’s a damn sight more intelligent than the boy Ehab! Nurse!

  3. Paul
    Paul says:

    Agree with all lads, wasn’t the time on scoreboard thing embarrassing for the club?

    The problem with pricing structure now is how would they change it without pissing season ticket holders off? Thought long and hard about renewing, didn’t enjoy the “big games” much last season and would not have minded missing a few. In west stand at £570 for season you don’t save much having a pass.
    Agree fully about the “habit” bit, lots of other stuff for families to do and many guarantee enjoyment, football doesn’t always!

    Oh and why do so many people leave early? From all sections of the crowd too, a third must have gone by the final whistle on Saturday.

  4. Chris
    Chris says:

    Three at the back worked really well for us last season. Obviously, Dawson arrived a bit too late to have had a full pre-season getting his head round the system, but changing the structure to suit the new boy seems a bit arse-about-face. Worryingly, Curtis doesn’t look half the player he did now he’s part of a pair – he seems to lack the composure he had last term and his distribution has suffered, which puts pressure on the midfield and sees the ball coming back at us too quickly. Far from being purely a defensive system, playing a central three can let us launch more effective attacks, particularly now we have a bit more guile and pace up front. Dawson will just have to lean on his much heralded leadership skills while he gets used to playing alongside Davis and Chester. Or else give Bruce Jr his place in the side.

    I dread to think what our current owner will come out with on Saturday lunchtime. I only hope he trots out his bizarre assertion that Reading have a top-end supermarket under their stadium so that the nation will understand that Allam-world only bears a tenuous connection to the one the rest of us shuffle round in. My fear, though, is that he will bring in bag loads of grist for the boo-boys to mill. If it gets much worse, the emnity between the North stand and the West stand will generate more noise than the visitors in the North-East sections can muster.

    The only way I can account for the mass desertion of the West stand on Saturday is that everyone was afraid of being murdered by the Chairman and dumped under the pitch.

  5. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    Bruce does seem to be picking players on reputation rather than form. We’re not quite at ‘worry’ stage yet, but a failure to win on Saturday will make a few fans decidedly twitchy, me included.

    Hopefully the Football Focus on Saturday will ignore the name change issue – of which they’ll unearth nothing new – and focus on the many positives around the club since he arrived. I say hopefully, but obviously it will never happen. Such a shame. This really could have been one of the great footballing stories: an local elder statesman enjoying his old age by presiding over the city football team’s rise to previously unseen heights. Sadly in addition to that he’s attempted to bring in something that no one wanted and in the process has divided the fans in a way that I certainly haven’t seen before. The media will, quite naturally, lap that up. Ho hum.

  6. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    Pony 8a – doesn’t the club realise that people have watches or clocks on their phones? Just confirms what a childish & pathetic old man Allam is.

  7. Bill Baxter
    Bill Baxter says:

    Point 8a – doesn’t the club realise that people have watches or clocks on their phones? Just confirms what a childish & pathetic old man Allam is.

  8. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Having watched MotD2 their 3rd goal (although well placed) was slightly miss hit, so skipped over both Rosenior’s foot/leg and then bobbled over McG’s hand. Bit unlucky not to block IMO…you need luck v sides like that! Thudd didn’t get tight enough on Silva either.
    Think 3 at the back with wing back Elmo would give Bolasie a field day!! Roseior must play..So 5 at the back?
    Davies may have been a bit disturbed recently by that stupid pregnant model story that’s just come out…?

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