At long last City have claimed a victory at the DW Stadium and one asks why oh why have we not been able to win there before?
When at Wigan and as with Sunderland right now Steve Bruce always had battlers in his trenches, players who were not spectacular, but players who would graft and put teams like City off their stride. Bullard springs to mind. They also had players who could pop up with an expected or unexpected goal, Heskey being one, and then a team capable of placing a blockade in front of their goal as they held on in Alamo fashion. Maybe that is why Titus Bramble is at Sunderland too.
Perhaps not any more. Roberto Martinez, as I said over the weekend is a manager who believes in the football aspects of the game and is trying to create a team without the resources.
Early on they looked capable of an upset in terms of perhaps a 0-0 draw, but this City team, if allowed to get into its stride will start to punish the opposition.
The newspapers called it ‘route one’, although I’m not quite sure what options there are for goal kicks, but Joe Hart’s clearance was helped on by the Wigan defence and the ball fell to Tevez.
Mancini tells us he is still not 100% but this was a finish to dream and die for as he spotted the keeper off his line and chipped the ball delicately into the receptive back of the net.
Tevez also played a part in the clinching goal. Chasing down a ball that most players would have given up on, rebalancing himself and delivering a cross right on the pennies for Toure Yaya to open his scoring account.
I say time and again that Yaya has the attributes of Marc-Vivien Foe, this is precisely what I mean – getting himself on to the 6-yard line unexpectedly helping himself to a simple but match-winning goal, whilst at other times breaking down the opposition in midfield or even heading out corners.
My team prediction was not far off with Mancini preferring the safety of Barry to the effectiveness of Johnson, but hands-up from me – it worked. And David Silva is starting to find his way, if indeed he ever needed to. When this team starts to settle and Balotelli is back in harness, Silva will either score or assist with alarming regularity as the up front work load gets distributed between Balotelli and Tevez. I for one cannot wait to see that.
But the silver that is Silva does have this immense ability to lose his marker and drop in a murderous pass and I have seen him referred to potentially as City’s Iniesta, who was the one player, once Barcelona had offloaded that waster Deco, who pulled the strings and turned Barca into the machine that it is now. Perhaps it is pertinent that helping him in midfield was one Toure Yaya.
Silva is starting to look the business and as the footballing world looks to City to be the ones to disturb Chelsea’s thoroughbred run from the start of the season, I would be looking to see him start, once again at Eastlands on Saturday.
Our success against Chelsea last season was borne out of the endeavour of Bellamy and Tevez. Carlos is still with us but somebody has got to take over the mantle left by Bellamy’s loan move to Cardiff City. Could that player be Silva?
Fourth in the table – we need to make it ours.