Sunday, 17 July 2011

Match Report: Club America - City

One of the things that I set up this blog for was to write match reports and deliver ratings on each game that City play, most of these in preseason will be more accounts of players that impressed me as opposed to actual match reports as personally I think performances are more important than results at this stage of the season.

As expected the side was entirely changed at half time with only Weiss playing the full game.  In fact as I understand it the only members of the traveling party not involved were David Silva (slight knee problem), Mario Balotelli ('unwell') and young Spaniard Denis Suarez who has to sort some transfer formalities.

Weiss looked lively throughout, and having not seen him play for a while I was surprised at just how quick he actually is, I remember him being fast but he demonstrated some explosive pace against the Mexican giants.  There are still some problems with his game, he had a tendency to over complicate things and sometimes his final ball was lacking, but the direct running that he demonstrated for the 90mins could have its uses this season.  If he continues in a similar fashion in the remaining friendlies he could be well worth a place on the bench this season.  His loan spell at Rangers has hopefully done him a lot of good, he made 23 appearances for them and that will have greatly improved his match sharpness.  

I suppose the man currently blocking Weiss from the first team is everyones favourite winger SWP.  It says a lot for his attitude that he is on the trip at all, he is clearly willing to knuckle down and there have been no complaints from the England winger unlike those left behind to train with the reserves.  He was one of our star performers, he appeared everywhere down the right flank, putting in some great tackles in our own box as well as giving their full back a torrid afternoon.  He wasn't as quick as he once was,  but his energy made up for his slight loss of speed.  He scored City's second and it was a lovely strike from the edge of the box reminiscent of times past.  I still question how effective he is going to be for us in the Premier League, there is no commitment lacking, and we all love him, but is that enough for him to remain?

Edin Dzeko played the first half and after a slow start he began to impress, maybe it was just me, but he appeared quicker and more mobile than he did at times last season.  His hold up play was impressive although he was aided by players getting closer to him, something that we didn't do particularly well last year.  He still didn't have the best service, the only crosses came in from debutant Gael Clichy, they were pretty impressive and it looked like a route to goal that could be quite fruitful this season.  The Frenchman fitted in well, he played behind Ryan McGivern who played in quite an unnatural left midfield position, this allowed Clichy to race up field and join in the attacks, his speed and pace were impressive and I really think he will prove to be a great signing.

It would be wrong to not say a little about McGivern as well, he has been around City for ages but has never really had a chance to shine.  He was probably the least likely scorer on the pitch but when he calmly slotted a right footed strike into the far corner that theory was disproved.  It was a hard working performance and he covered for Clichy well, but it was apparent at times that he is a left footed central defender being played grossly out of position at left midfield, he wasn't poor by any means but don't expect to see him in the role when the season begins!

The stand out performer for me was Micah Richards, on twitter someone made a reference to him playing like Maicon and that isn't far from the truth...except Richards can also defend.  He looked even quicker than last year, stronger, and he beat players with ease, knocking the ball past them and scampering round the stranded defender to pick up the ball.  The technical side of his game also seemed better.  He was a real threat and I hope to see him galloping down the wing in more competitive games.  He caused no end of problems and I can't help but think it was an option that we under utilised last season, hopefully on the evidence of last night that will soon change.

Honourable mentions should also go to Stefan Savic who was calm and collected at centre back, he didn't look out of place at all.  He played the ball well and looked effective, I look forward to seeing more of him.  James Milner continued his resurgent form in a central midfield role, not that Barry was poor, bit I can't help but feel the former Leeds and Newcastle player should have that position nailed down.  Any names omitted is not through lack of quality, with the exception of Andrea Mancini everyone looked solid.  This was always going to be the least interesting friendly, I am sure as we get closer to the season a team will settle and there will be less tinkering during the games.  This was essentially a glorified training session, but for what is was worth, there were a fair few positives.

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