Summer is coming and the evenings are getting brighter, that is unless you are at at Ewen Fields in Hyde which always retains an element of gloom. Me and 474 other brave souls made the journey to watch the latest game for the Manchester City reserve team, this time in action against Blackburn Rovers.
I dragged one of my friends along with me this time and attempted to sell him this rawer approach to the game, I think I was somewhat succesful in that the game had more goals in it than recent weeks and was better than the drab affair on show in the last reserve home game, however as the smell of the greasy burger wagon mingled with that muddy smell that takes us all back to school sports lesson it was soon apparent that this was not the glamour of the top flight.
The match itself was not a classic even though there were 4 goals on show, the game was won 3-1 by Blackburn thanks to a mad 10minute spell at the start of the second half during which time the City defense succombed to 2 goals with relative ease. The first period was a cagey affair that City perhaps edged, but they paid the price for not taking their chances in the second. Blackburn had a hard working and commited approach to the game and City again due to injuries were some way under full strength, but that doesn’t really defend them from the listless display they put in.
But what of the individual performances, as always I do not mean to slam any players in this column, merely just point out perhaps poorer performances and highlight weaknesses in some individual players games, lets begin with Manchester City.
The central defensive partnership of Reece Wabara and Frederic Veseli struggled particularly in the second half. The first Blackburn goal was the result of a free header from a corner, and the second was the result of uncertainty in central areas. Wabara for spells looked classy with the ball at his feet, he had some nice touches and remained calm, but there was still the odd lapse and that cost City dear on a couple of occasions. I still believe there is a lot of potential there, but sadly last night he didn’t put in one of his better displays.
Omar Elabdellaoui (i’m not sure how its pronounced either), also struggled to control the tide at times. Deployed centrally he never really got into the game, he looked more effective coming forward than shielding the defense. His positional sense was sometimes questionable and he wasn’t always aware of what was going on around him. He did demonstrate some neat passing and he caused a few problems when City were on top for a spell in the second half but overall it was not one of his better games and he didn’t really offer the protection that the side needed.
Chris Chantler continued to impress me from left back. He defended well and was up against the star Blackburn performer, right winger Micah Evans. He made some good attacking runs and made life difficult for the Blackburn rightback, he also defended very solidly, knowing when to stand off, and when to come for the ball. His passing was neat and tidy and he used the pace he had well when he had too, another good performance from the efficient looking left back.
Donal McDermott has to be singled out again, this time however for positive praise. Previously I have criticised the tricky winger for not passing when he has had the opportunity or for perhaps playing with his head down and running down blind alleys. Well tonight I felt there was a definite improvement from the winger, he caused problems and looked a real threat coming forward at times, he committed defenders and went past some of them with ease, more of those types of performances and he could get himself nearer the first team.
Others players worthy of a mention are Harry Bunn who worked tirelessly and scored the City goal, and John Guidetti who again worked hard as the lone striker. The less said about Andrea Mancini the better, suffice to say his withdrawl was cheered by a section of the City fans….
That just about wraps it up for City, but what about Blackburn, find out over the page.
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