Man City Review


Town's line-up this afternoon had the look of a Harry Redknapp transfer strop team. It felt as if David Wagner was sending a message to Dean Hoyle over the failure to sign Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Niko Krancjar. In reality, it was probably just the team selection of a manager that had no answer to the toughest question in football right now, how do you stop Manchester City?


Manchester City v Huddersfield Town

The opening 25 minutes


It's best to try and break this game down into small sections, like the Cowley brothers do at Lincoln. The first 25 minutes for Town were jittery to say the least. The 10 outfield players seemed to take some time to adjust to their positions, and to be honest, I don't think I've managed to adjust to their positions just yet.


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Phil Bill's first-touch seemed to have deserted him, Sabiri lost all of his pace and Chris Lowe seemed to think that Alex Pritchard was Town's target man. Yet Town managed to hold on, by hook or by crook.


City's killer instinct was missing in the final-third and they gave Town enough time to grow into the game. Unfortunately, by that time, City were ready to go up a gear or two.


The goal flurry


If you'd nipped out for a pie and a pint, you would have returned to your seat and found Town 3-0 down. The first goal was reminiscent of a goal my 11-a-side team conceded yesterday. Christopher Schindler played the role of Darren, forgetting that you cannot be offside from a goal-kick, Schindler let Aguero run and he lobbed Hamer with applomb.


The key to City's sudden goal flurry though was Benjamin Mendy, the former Monaco man got wide and drove at the Town defence, dragging hordes of defenders with him.


Benjamin Mendy

Mendy showed tremendous strength and determination on the second-goal to hold off the challenges of Tommy Smith and Florent Hadergjonaj before the ball reached Gabriel Jesus who fired beyond Ben Hamer.


The third goal came from a wicked cross from Mendy, that stand-in 'keeper Ben Hamer dropped at the feet of Sergio Aguero. With more than 10 minutes remaining of the half, thing's looked ominous for Town.


The Terriers did manage to save some face when Jan Gorenc-Stankovic fired home from a long-throw to make the half-time score 3-1 to the Premier League champions.


The beginning of the second period


Guardiola undoubtedly tore into his players at half-time for losing concentration and allowing Town a route back into the game. The Citizens came out with a renewed vigour and soon restored their three-goal advantage with a terrific free-kick goal from David Silva.


The only way to stop the goal was to have turned back time and not committed the foul that led to the free-kick, such was the accuracy of Silva's effort. Oh, Laurent Depoitre was also brought on at half-time, not that his introduction made much difference to the flow of the game.


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City continued to push, seemingly eager to better the scoreline that the 1987 City side inflicted on Town when they destroyed the Terriers 10-1 at Maine Road. Sergio Aguero led the City charge and nearly added to his goal-tally when he struck the inside of the post from long-range.


Five minutes later he played a neat give and go with Gabriel Jesus but sent his rasping effort just wide of Ben Hamer's goal-frame. On the hour mark Adama Diakhaby replaced Alex Pritchard for the Terriers, and to be honest, he probably would have rather stayed on the bench.


His introduction to the grass left me feeling somewhat frustrated in honesty. On the rare occasions that Town took the initiative in the game, they looked to cause the champions a few problems. It begs the question as to how the game would have looked had Wagner not opted for such an unambitious set-up from the start.


The exhibition stage


After the hopes of a 10-1 victory disappeared into the rear-view mirror, City took their foot of the gas somewhat and played the game at an exhibition pace. That didn't stop Aguero adding a fifth with 15 minutes left on the clock, and Jesus should have added a sixth when he fired wide from a good position.


However fear not, because City did get their sixth in the 85th-minute when Sane burst clear of Schindler and saw his shot deflect of Ben Hamer into Kongolo, who turned into his own net.


It could have been more, but thankfully it finished only 6-1 in the end, and it leaves everyone with just one question. What's the point?


Jeremy Corbyn alert


Football and perhaps British culture at the moment are not open to introspection and reflective thought. Things are always taken at face value - City are amazing and Huddersfield are a disgrace tot he Premier League.


The BBC tell us that Palestinians are terrorists so Israel are right to indiscriminately kill innocent civilians.


Neither of those assertions are right, but a lot of people believe them. I'll leave the Israel debate for another time and focus on the Town related one. Social media and sports channels are full of people effusive in their praise of Manchester City. Their footballers are amazing, their style of play is to be admired and everyone should try and copy their model.


Sheikh Mansour

Let's analyse what copying their model would actually mean though. Firstly, you'd have to be a pretty mediocre Premier League, the type of team that would play David James up front in a game because their manager - Stuart Pearce - didn't trust striker Giorgos Samaras to score.


Then your chairman would have to attract an investor from the Far East that had a questionable background and nowhere near as much money as he promised you. After that chairman had been sent to jail, you would then have to go to a country with some of the most questionable human rights infractions in the world and seek a new investor.


After trampling through streets littered with poor people and passing by building sites run on slave-labour you'd arrive at the palace of Sheikh Mansour. All the money that he had funnelled out of his country and kept from the poor would then be used to buy players for your club, like Robinho, James Milner and Emmanuel Adebayor.


Torture is widespread in the UAE

After around a decade and well over a billion pounds of investment, you'd then have a side capable of beating anyone in the world. Then you could take to social media and take the piss out of smaller clubs with less money, and tell everyone who would listen how amazing your club is.


Yes City play fantastic football, and yes they have tremendous players. But let's not forget, all of that is only possible because they have been funded by a family that encapsulates everything that's wrong with the United Arab Emirates. Perhaps we'd be better off talking about the human rights fiasco in the UAE right now rather than eulogising over City's latest £50 million signing.



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