Monday, 24 October 2011
A Few Thoughts On The Derby...
Some days it is really not hard to write about this wonderful football club, and today is one of those days. This really is more of a collection of my thoughts in the aftermath of yesterdays tormenting of Manchester United, many things have gone through my mind in the last 24 hours and I have tried my best here to collect them together.
1) The Power Hasn't Shifted....Yet.
Call it what you want 'Six In The City', the 'Demolition Derby' or one of the many other puns doing the rounds but the real significance of the game is that City are now proving their point. The power has not shifted, we will have to win the league a couple of times before we can claim to be the totally dominant team in Manchester/Salford but we can now stand proudly alongside that lot from Stretford, the 'noisy neighbours' are going to the next level.
For quite a while now, journalists, supporters and players have all spoken about Manchester City and said that having all this money is one thing, but they have to prove themselves to be real contenders and with the destruction of United yesterday we did just that, we all felt we should be have been taken seriously before this weekend but now more than ever the team has proved they are going somewhere, and that is great to see.
2) We Are Now A Team Not A Group Of Individuals
A common criticism of the club in the past has been that City have been merely a group of individuals and there have been questions about how much the players 'want it'. I hold my hands up and say that at times over the past couple of years that attitude has been totally understandable, there have been some players that pulled on the City shirt with their mind on the money, not on the team or 'project'. I think those claims can now surely be put to bed, the idea that there is no team spirit in the camp is now quite frankly laughable. The celebrations at the end of the last minute victory over Villareal were fine evidence of just that, and the win yesterday has further underlined it, the collection of hugely talented players is becoming a team.
3) Nothing Is Won In October
As soon as the final whistle blew yesterday, Sky announced that City were now favourites for the Premier League title, a similar sentiment was portrayed by Alan Hansen on MOTD claiming it was our title to lose, apparently Collymore on TalkSport said the same thing...it's all a load of rubbish, we are in October. Our form has been superb, played 9, won 8, drawn 1. Five points clear of United, and 6 points ahead of Chelsea, there are no complaints from me, and we will be there or there abouts come May, but to claim the title race is over is farcical. We must hold our hands up and say that before yesterday we had enjoyed a lovely run of fixtures, we past the derby test with flying colours but there are more challenges to come and nothing has been decided just yet so lets not get ahead of ourselves. In many ways we need to ignore the pressure coming from outside and just focus on winning games of football, lets not worry about the title for a few months yet!
4) Just Who Is Our Best Striker?
A little bit of a stat attack for your, Edin Dzeko has hit 8 goals in 7 games, Kun Aguero has netted 9 in 8, and Super Mario has notched up 5 in 5. All 3 are in absolutely devastating form, but if we just had to pick one, who would it be? Going into the season Balotelli was probably 4th choice, but now he appears undroppable, the problem is so do Aguero and Dzeko. The Italian linked up with the Argentine brilliantly at times yesterday, and Dzeko proved that although he may be a slightly erratic finisher at times he definitely knows where the back of the net is, in all honesty I still think Aguero looks the most prolific, but it is a very difficult quandary to ponder, one this is certain though, who needs Carlos Tevez?
5) How Good Is James Milner?
A lot of City fans feel the need to have a boo boy, someone to make a scapegoat for disappointing results and for long spells last season that man was James Milner. At times I got sick of being one of the dissenting voices, insisting he was a top player. He is starting to prove that now, and it may have been some time coming, but it has certainly been worth it. He has managed to demonstrate not only his immense defensive skills, he has also shown his supreme work rate as well as some fantastic work in the final third. It was not worth forgetting that he kept Nigel De Jong out of the team yesterday and that is no mean feat. If he continues with this great form it is going to result in some real selection issues for Bob.