Sunday, 21 August 2016

No trees were harmed in the…

…making of these 3 points.


The footballing phrase “Winning when not playing well” would be a little over the top and doesn’t quite apply to us at the moment; I think we’re performing ‘quite well’ and even ‘very good’ in certain spells of games. 


But it would be fair to say that despite 3 wins from 3 we’re not yet ‘ripping up trees’ in our victories.

Hard to keep the excitement quelled though.

But I was looking at our start of P3 W3 D0 L0  F11 A2 and enthusiastically text fellow Blues shortly after the final whistle yesterday to say we’ve achieved that with Bravo (probably), Kompany, Gundogan, Sane, Jesus (Toure & Nasri?) still, yet, to come in!

“Wow”, I suggested in the same text, was the appropriate word for the moment.

Game of two halves.

If I was to give our two-half performances a rating, I’d go for a contrasting 7.5/10 in the first and 6/10 in the second – indeed our last two goals were not only slightly against the run of play but were also somewhat of a relief…and rather flattered us in many ways I thought.

But I’ll take that - I’m certainly not moaning in the slightest and we deserved the 3 points.

Some luck too – they should have had a 1st half penalty when Kolarov inexplicably barged into a Stoke player. It was so obvious I can’t believe we got away with it!

And speaking of ‘decision making’, I thought the ref, Mike Dean, who had irked the home fans somewhat in the first half in-giving us many little decisions and seemingly very few to Stoke, then appeared to attempt to “equalise” the situation in the second half; giving some bizarre free kicks to Stoke after the interval.

I thought he was having a good game in the first half in-applying some new rules (don’t ask) ‘to the letter’ but, I felt, then let himself down in his ‘balancing act’ in the latter 45+.

As far as any notable performances from our lads, good or otherwise, is concerned…

-       Willy had a mixed bag of good shot stopping but some scary, dodgy footwork when attempting to ‘play the ball out’. How ironic!

-       Nicholas looked slightly nervous at times; a player who looks like he’s playing under the pressure of a spotlight being firmly held by his boss. Glad we had him in there though; he made some vital tackles and got the game going by winning the first penalty.

-       Next to him John looked SO assured and comfortable. Probably MotM.

-       David looks so at home too under Pep and much improved from last season, where he had ankle issues and looked fatigued for the most part.

-       Raheem typified the game as a whole – he was a real menace to the home side in the first half but in the second looked to have completely lost his composure. Still, in that second half, he managed an assist for Nolito; his second assist in two league games and following a superb showing in Romania in midweek.

-       Nolito himself, after a quiet debut at home to Sunderland, has most certainly “arrived” now in his last two games. He gets himself into those positions, doesn’t he?

-       Sergio not only ‘put to bed’ his midweek, penalty demons but also ‘nipped in’ and stooped between towering Stoke defenders to head home another. That’s 6 goals in 3 games for the Argentine.

Bravo likely to sign in the coming days; Kompany, Gundogan & Sane are all back in ball-work training, Toure & Nasri are still in ‘getting up to speed / trimming down’ drills and we have 4 days off now before our next game, which is to finish the job at home to Steaua Bucharest.

After that, ANOTHER 4 days off before a Sunday home game against West Ham United. It’s all looking good early on…

Why, why, why Delilah d’yer bother?


What a pathetic bunch of mindless, sheep-following morons the Stoke City fans were yesterday! (Still) booing Raheem Sterling every time he got the ball and actually still singing, “There’s only one greedy *******”!

A.    What on EARTH has it got to do with them; a player who transferred from Liverpool to Manchester City?

B.    It was over a year ago - get over it / yourselves! And…

C.    …while I’m having a go, their ground was, otherwise, like a monastery and half empty before our 4th goal went in. I’ve seen more Stoke fans outside their ground on TV on transfer deadline day…


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