The last twenty minutes against Man City at the Eastlands was a terrible repeat episode of what we perhaps had too quickly thought was last season's weaknesses. Whilst I strongly applaud the sensible comments that are doing the rounds on the decent blogs this Sunday, there is no escaping the fact that shipping 4 goals against Man City is a shite result, albeit coming from a performance that was better than the scoreline might have suggested.
However, I cannot help thinking today that despite the change in formation to 4-3-3 this season, there are certain key factors that are letting us down. I make no particular attempt to point the finger of blame, but Abou Diaby remains a mystery of a player to me and a real Albatross around our necks. I simply don't think that Diaby deserves the number of chances he is getting and can't imagine that he would make it into any other squads in the top 6 teams. Gael Clichy and Manuel Almunia also continue to look error prone this season, whilst Sagna is also not yet back to his best. But i don't think wholesale changes in personnel are required. The whole team just needs to work harder. We let Adebayor make his point yesterday.
Bendntner is wasted on the wing, our midfield plays at a pedestrian pace most of the time and we lack an air of professionalism to close matches out that we should win. I find it disappointing that the recognised mercenaries of Citeh's ranks play with determination and passion that we cannot muster.
That said, i think we have played well enough this season to think that zero points from 2 matches in Manchester was harsh on us. But having got back into the game at 1-1 yesterday, my sense is that we naively pushed on for the winner too quickly, whereas we had some more time and things might have developed for us. Just as ManUre had to do very little to get the winner against us at Old Trafford. Instead, we flooded forwards against Citeh and got caught. Its the sort of gift that we do not receive very often and teams know better than to over-commit against us. We really need to stop being so generous.
Its a bad two results at Manchester, but we shouldn't overeact at that this stage. But next week's games now take on a new light. We need to put this episode behind us and get back on with it against Wigan.