1. The victory over Crystal Palace wasn’t thrilling or stellar, but it was pretty assured. Palace arrived in good form but were comfortably outplayed all over the pitch. The first half was a little bit erratic, with Colin’s Palace successfully stifling City, but in the second half the pace was upped and Palace were eventually well beaten. Played, City.
2. Correlation does not imply causation, but City’s first League win and first clean sheet in a while all arrived on the same day that James Chester was restored to the side and 3-5-2 was resurrected. It could be a coincidence, but it didn’t really feel like one. Steve Bruce has more than earned the right to change the formation and personnel if he sees fit, but one thing the manager has already done well is correct himself if it isn’t really working. A Chester-less 4-4-2 wasn’t really going badly awry and we were close to pulling off a few results under it, worth remembering for the future, but an enChestered 3-5-2 just felt better.
3. So, impressive City, even if we know there’s more to come from the side than we saw on Saturday. But what of Palace? City are a better side and had home advantage, but any side at this level will still regard Hull City away as a winnable fixture. That Palace came seemingly lacking that ambition was very odd. In the first half they ceded possession right up to the halfway line, which made them extremely difficult to break down, but also put them on the back foot to an extent that wasn’t recoverable when they fell behind. Poor stuff from them. But City’s success last season came on the back of putting lesser and equal sides away at home. Encouraging to see that happen once again.
4. We needed it a bit too. A defeat would have left City on 6 points from 7 games, which you’d imagine could have quickly become 6 from 9 with trips to Arsenal and Liverpool approaching. That’s relegation form.
5. City kicked towards the North Stand in the second half against Palace – and with the more partisan supporters now in that area, doesn’t it make sense to do that all the time from now on? It’d have the added bonus of sending visiting teams away from the own fans in the second half too. Win-win…right?
6. Andy Robertson…um, there’s no clause in his contract saying we have to sell him if anyone bids a certain amount, is there?
7. Which is more irksome? The continued haranguing of Fraizer Campbell or the lack of acknowledgement for Damien Delaney, a genuine City hero of the 21st century, whenever either come back to the Circle? Both were prevalent yesterday. Mind you, Campbell did behave like an arse during the game and deserved barracking just for that, not for his past temerity to join other clubs instead of City. It’s daft because he’s a hell of a player, but on Saturday he expended his energy on fouling and whining instead.
8. We won’t waste much of our time or your time on Assem Allam’s Football Focus drivel. We’ve heard this ludicrous untruth-strewn nonsense before, it changes nothing and will not give him a prayer of persuading the FA to change their mind. That they only gave him a minute (from an hour long interview) and then Mark Lawrenson speedily and elegantly knifed his preposterous idea rather said it all. Grandpa Simpson yelling at clouds increasingly springs to mind when we see Mr Allam’s public appearances.
9. Burnley are preparing to charge City fans £37 next month. Football’s autocannibalism nears completion.
10. Meanwhile, a hearty gate for City v Palace. £16 is a good price, one that the club can be proud of offering its fans, and after complaining about £50 against Man C and the subsequent empty seats, it is was pleasing to see immediate proof that pricing football properly will attract support even if the opposition is not of global reknown.