Date: 25th October 2016 at 9:01am
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Article written by VMC member, Skoorb.

The weekend’s Premier League action ended with City struggling once again to find the form which had seen them streak ahead in the Premier League title race and the much heralded return of the Moaning One to his old stomping ground at Stamford Bridge finishing with the Stretford Galacticos suffering a heavy defeat. Shame. Not the run up to this week’s ‘bonus’ derby match (courtesy of the League Cup ball warmers) that fans of either club wanted although I am clearly less concerned about one set of them than the other.

Man Utd v Man City Live Streams & Global TV Coverage

It didn’t take long for Over Reaction Monday to kick into full swing with the word ‘crisis’ featuring liberally in the media ‘analysis’ of both club’s situations especially City’s. Whilst Maureen needs to be ‘given time’, the media were sensing blood in the water as City’s winless streak extended to 5 games and the usual shallow graphics were duly plastered all over Sky’s screens denoting how this matched Guardiola’s previous ‘longest winless streak’ at Barcelona. A visual ‘sound bite’ for those of short attention span. The debate about Pep’s management style and his determination to impose his ‘type’ of football on his team are the subject of other threads and so I will not labour the point here…

…except to say that it remains early days. The blistering start made by the side had all City fans wide eyed and perhaps in awe. I pretty much had to pinch myself with each win. But the rigours of the league, the intensity of each and every game, the sequencing of matches have caught up with his team and we are experiencing a bumpy patch that is for sure. This combination of external factors coupled with the internal team related issues including new signings getting used to their team mates, key players returning from injury and the pace of the Premier League and everyone getting on board with Pep’s coaching instructions and tactics…I am not surprised we have hit a speed bump or two. But we remain top of the league having suffered a single defeat in the league. Things will get better again Blues. We have to keep the faith.

On to the business at hand…and the ‘bonus’ derby which the EFL (ugh) Cup has thrown up courtesy of their ball warmers to add some ‘spice’ to the competition early rounds. The tactics of both managers will be critical here including their selection of personnel on the night. Both managers will be feeling the added pressure of needing the morale boost of a win with neither side having beaten Premier League opposition for a month. I believe that Pep is more likely to stick to his principles and sprinkle a bit of youth around the side whilst I am not sure that Maureen won’t stick with his more senior players in the search for a victory over the manager that gets under his skin most of all. The guy that was chosen over him by Barcelona. The hurt that will never fade no matter how often he secures a victory at whatever club he is in charge of. That stain on his CV can never be expunged.

Mike Dean Takes Charge Of Manchester Derby

A difficult one to call here but I would not be surprised to see Angelino, Maffeo and Garcia playing some part along with the energetic Iheanacho who impressed on Sunday and whose goal got City out of a spot of bother. His introduction and the increase in tempo and bite from the City players saw us claw our way back into a game which was in danger of eluding us. His movement for the goal and his finish were top drawer. He was over on the right hand touchline for the throw in shortly after which Fernandinho struck a sublime pass to Sané. He busted a gut to get in the box and showed the instincts of a top striker to get in front of the excellent Van Dijk and score. Great work.

Defensively I would expect another run out for Vincent Kompany but perhaps in the presence of Otamendi. John Stones shouldered (unfairly IMO) the blame for the goal at the weekend where in fact the lack of game time with Kompany and the failure of SanĂ© to get back towards his own defenders and provide and option for his team mate were as much factors as Stone’s misplaced pass. Behind them we might see Angus Gunn or even Caballero and in midfield we may be missing the skill and presence of De Bruyne who suffered from the attentions of Southampton’s enforcer, Romeu. The Team Selection Sorting Hat is going to be difficult to judge for those of us playing Be The Manager!

Whatever happens it is a derby and we always want to win whatever the circumstances.

The preview, in full can be found here.

Come On City!!!

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