Date: 24th August 2010 at 8:57am
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SO, what went wrong last night? Did Citeh show us that money can actually buy you happiness? Their squad was streets ahead of ours, we were dominated all over the pitch. Not only did they have loads more quality personnel over us, they had better shape and they looked a lot more sharper. Last night proved quite a few things (for me), one of them was that the “traditional 4-4-2” that the english love so much is not suited to the modern game, especially if the top two are classic forwards. It’ll probably work when we play the likes of Blackpool, but against decent opposition with these modern managers, if we play that formation again we’ll come off second best.

City of Manchester Stadium Eastlands Manchester City v Liverpool (3-0) Premier League 23/08/2010 Disappointing night for Liverpool Manager Roy Hodgson Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

The second thing that last nights’ game proved was that SG has no place in central midfield, especially if we are going to play a rigid 4-4-2. Like Rafa tuned, he runs around too much, he lacks the discipline to occupy that space and stay there. He didn’t make enough tackles last night. He basically left Yaya and Barry to run circles around Lucas. SG does not know how to control the game, he plays the game at one pace, it looks great when it comes off but sometimes that’s not good enough we need someone who can hold possession and assess the situation. Right now I’d say our squad is looking rather thin, and I hope that Hodgson is not loaning out players because he thinks we are sorted depth wise. I hope he has a plan, I really do otherwise this might be a long season. I’d hate to think that he loaned out Acquillani because he thinks that a player with his talent is surplus to requirements.

I won’t even start on our perennial problem position, left back. The less said about that the better. If LFC are going to have a new owner, that better happen soon otherwise we are going to be a mid table team very very soon.


7 responses to “Manchester City 3 – Liverpool 0 : What went wrong?”

  1. Sam says:

    Last night was enough proof that indeed money can buy happiness.

    I think we just lacked quality. Our team never came to the party. Our wing backs were both exposed and Yaya and Barry outshined Gerrard and Lucas. In front Jova and Kuyt are the same type of player, no forward play. They just ‘graft’ for the team but have very little to show for it. Torres showed glimpses of his usual self but I think he needs another player at the same level as him. Unfortunately David Ngog is not that player. We were really outclassed in all departments and the score line is evidence enough. I think its nothing to do with formations and all it just the gulf in bank balances. Whoever said money can’t buy success was wrong. Chelsea proved it and City are going to second that. We might have the passion and history but at this stage of the modern game, its not good enough. We need to make the right decisions in the office. We need had cold cash to buy quality players otherwise we will never compete and thats the honest truth. We might say its just one game and the are 37 more to play, buy teams that win the league win it one game at a time. If last night’s performance is anything to go by, we are not going to compete for the top 4.

    We need money and we need money fast.

  2. MoKo says:

    Last night’s game was spot light on our deficiencies. We lacked quality and invention throughout and across the whole field. I don’t even think Man City brought their A-game.

    Ngodza you nailed it when you talk about the 4-4-2. Post-match Angelo and I were having the same discussion. We simply did not have the appropriate personnel on the field for that to work against a quality side. And with Masch and Aquaman both leaving I don’t think we have the right personnel for that system at the club anymore. Gerrard hung Lucas out to dry last night. I don’t recall a single challenge between Gerrard and Yaya last night! Add to that we have two centre forwards on at the same time just makes it worse. Compound that with the fact that Torres is nowhere near anything that can be called form.

    What worried me was that RH actually thought it might work! Seriously!?!

    How can our 4 in mid play their 5 (they only played 4-3-3 in attack. Milner and Johnson put in plenty cover tackles). Especially if you consider the personnel they were fielding! They had power, pace and intelligence in mid. We barely had effort.

    Even more concerning was that RH left the formation and personnel the same for so long. That either means he had not ideas or he knew the bench was up to naathing! And watching him on the touchline clapping his hands together shouting “common lads” did not inspire confidence.

    You can count on one hand the number of teams that will land to City of Manchester stadium and play 4 across mid. You won’t even have to count how many will walk away with anything to show for it!

    I just hope last night was a blip!

  3. Angelo says:

    I echo your thoughts Ngoni, we were extremely poor last night…Firstly, the way RH landed with a 4-4-2 to City was very surprising… I am not saying we can’t play a flat 4-4-2, but right now we don’t have the players to play that formation. More so, if you are slamming with 9 ouens and 2 that need to be carried…Johnson and Lucas are criminals and just need to dip… since Rafa is so intent on scooping a player from ‘Pool, we can flog them to him for a buy one get one free deal…

    I think RH got most of his tactics wrong last night…did he not watch the game against Spurs? Tevez is playing more like a “fly” midfielder rather than an out and out striker, with the flanks providing the width and pace to bring him into the game later on…why didn’t anyone pick that up? Including RH? I think RH gets away with murder just because he is English… if any other manager landed to City and lost 3-0 playing a 4-4-2, they would have been torn a new one this morning by the media…

    I have always felt that our bench is very ordinary…Man Utd, Man City, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Aston Villa and probably the rest of the top 10 can field a better bench than ours and we are talking about a top 4 finish? Come on gents, we are not serious….and then we loan Aquilani out? What is the thinking there?

    Gerrard needs to slam in the hole…simple…I don’t gerrard lacks the discipline and/or the control to play in the mid, but rather that his game is not suited to be the ouen that sprays the ball around…Gerrard’s game is all about running with the ball, making small one-two passes and bringing other ouens into the game. I said when we lost Alonso, that we lost that range of passing… someone who is quite content to just park infront of the back 4 and dictate the play…we have tried all sorts of things in our mid now, including slamming Lucas and Masch together, but it doesn’t work….we need one out and out ball winner and an ouen that can pass the ball…

    Seriously thought, Lucas and Johnson need to go…Johnson is weak in defence and cant make 2 passes in a row, plus he is English so you know he is as thick as they come, so you cant even teach him what he needs to do…. As for Lucas, he simply makes to many easy/ back passes, and when he does make a tackle 9 out 10 times it’s a foul….

  4. Angelo says:

    I don’t agree that last night was proof that money talks….although it plays a key part in getting in the players you think can do a job for you… even if you give a english manager 100mil pounds, they would botch it up….ask Mark Hughes… even if we gave RH 100mil pounds, what would he do with it? Clearly he doesn’t think we need another striker or midfielder… so is he going to buy 2 leftbacks worth 50 mil pounds each?

    I don’t think we can give Stevie too much grief over last nights performance… the ouen is playing mid alone against 5 quality City players…why didn’t poulsen play is my other question…. We needed a ball winner on the park last night… I mean at one point the stats were 70% City 30% Liv ball possession?! You cant score if you don’t have the ball….

  5. MoKo says:

    I recall Gerrard asking to play that position. The ouen skeems he is the MAN!

    Unfortunately age is catching up with him. He can’t do those power runs as often as before. The legs just won’t carry him that far. I would be interested in the tackle count from last night. He did not get anywhere near Man City’s midfielders. Yes Lucas fouls a lot but that at least means he is disrupting the oppositions play. If you don’t make any tackles like Gerrard you won’t foul anyone but the opposition will have a party! If we gonna play English 4-4-2 then the whole mid must get stuck in! isn’t that how English ouens are meant to slam?

    If Gerrard is best in the hole what is the point of getting Joe Cole and loaning out Aquaman? Once Torres gets going and Gerrard decides he wants to play in the hole he will simply tell RH what to do and Cole will end up on the wing. Cole is not a winger by any stretch. Imagine a game against Chelsea. You know the coach must pick wide players who will track back and make strong tackles. That means Cole will start from the bench against all the top teams. He’ll get frustrated and we will have another Robbie Keane situation. You cannot land to Liver and try to play in Gerrard’s spot. It can’t work! We are wasting salary money on Cole. Yes he’s English but that doesn’t win us any games from the bench!

    As for English coaching. RH is probably one of the better ones. Did anyone see Spurs’ playing Young Boys last week. Shocking! They were lucky to have come out of that game with anything. RH got it badly wrong last night. Sometimes you got to stop the opposition first before you attack them. If we could have frustrated them for one half we would have been able to eventually bring our attack into the game. But if you are set up wrong and you don’t make the necessary changes you will be blasted.

    I know many of you will blitz me but we all know Rafa would have had 2 DMs on the pitch and made sure we don’t get overrun. Rafa probably would have predicted Mancini’s line up coz you know Rafa would have had plenty research done. He’d have had a specific plan to deal with Tevez drifting into mid (once of the DMs picking him up). We might still have lost though but at least it would have made some sense.

    Rafa would have been ripped to shreds for last night’s tactics but the xenophobic English media will say nothing about RH doing naathing for us last night!

  6. Manny says:

    Hodgson just needs to play a 4-2-3-1 with Poulsen and Gerrard in the middle and Cole in the hole. Stevie G just needs to be told to tackle and contribute to the team’s defensive effort. I think the 4-4-2 may have contributed a bit to him being absent on defense as he was obviously given license to go forward which left Lucas exposed.

    On the Lucas subject, I agree with Angelo 100%, and you all know I have said this for a while now, Lucas is just not up to scratch and he adds no value to the team! I also agree about Johnso; he has been given enough opportunities but the guy is more of a liability than an asset. I would not shed a tear if Lucas and Johnso flashed tomorrow!!! Agger was skinned alive yesterday but he is playing out of position. On that point, why isn’t Aurelio slamming?

    Guys, we have three and a half world class players, Pepe, Stevie and Torres. (Half for Kuyt). Until we get more money to get better players (and maybe even a better gaffer), then it is late for us. (I still believe we can brush ManUre though!)

  7. ankit says:

    unavailability of mascrehano showed what our defence is. we need two quality defenders and two attacking midfielders. germans might be good for us.