Monday, June 3, 2013

SEASON REVIEW: THROUGH OPPONENTS' EYES

PART ONE
  1. Why did City fail to hold on to the title? What was your impression of us last season?
We all have an opinion on what went right and what went wrong last season. Ideas shared over a few pints and a badly barbecued sausage this summer will soon have us ready for the next instalment of the Manchester City Story..
Less clear is what exactly other people think about City. Those Delilah-singng Stoke fans, the Evertonians making odd hand signals in our direction, the masses blowing bubbles across Upton Park. Deep inside these groups of apparently City-baiting folk, live individuals just like us! With the ability to think freely and lucidly with out the aid of Talksport or the Daily Mail! With a sense of humour! With rationality (well, mostly) and without the need for a single exclamation mark.This is what they made of City's season.


  • Phil Lythell Chelsea ESPN correspondent, season ticket holder, writes at Shouty and Spitty 
  • "A bit limp, to be honest. Lacked the spark and relentless drive of the title winning campaign. A bit too predictable in their approach and a lack of pace failed to cut teams open often enough. That said, second place and an FA Cup final is not to be sniffed at. Problem is that expectations have been raised which, as a CFC fan, I know about all too well!"
  • Luke O'Farrell writes for ESPN, EPL Index and blogs on all things Everton.
  • "Summer signings. Needing to strengthen after winning the league, the new arrivals were more befitting a side lower down the table. Aside from the brilliant Matija Nastasic, the rest were either too old, too slow, too injured or too bad..." 

  • Pete Sixsmith 's chosen dish is Sunderland (gristle and all). He writes at Salut Sunderland
  • "Poor recruitment in the summer; Scott Sinclair or Robin van Persie - not the most difficult question to answer. I also thought that the sheer intensity of the Premier League caught out very good players like Silva and Aguero. Having said that, it was certainly better than watching Sunderland; we would settle for 12th. never mind second...."                                         

  • Peter Thorne aka Billy Blagg has been writing on all things West Ham for ESPN for many years 
  • I didn't feel it was much more than a kickback from having won the title in such an astonishing way the season before. That ability to go 'OK we've won that but now let's look at next season' is a skill developed over many years and it just seemed that City hadn't got it yet. I think they probably needed to invest a bit over the close season but there wasn't that much wrong, was there?

  • Matthew Evans is a West Brom season ticket holder and ESPN correspondent
  • I think City failed to hold on to the title because of some poor/underwhelming signings in the summer and because the form of the core players(Hart, Kompany, Silva and Aguero) wasn't as good as the title-winning season. On a whole, they just seem to lack that killer touch they had the previous season. 

  • Marc Duffy follows Newcastle through thin and thinner and writes for ESPN
  • I honestly think this was the lowest quality PL we've seen in over a decade. City failed to hold on to the title for several reasons (in my humble) - Mancini's insistence on 'own player knocking' was one. The football you played was another (often too 'safe') and many of your big ones signings are nowhere near their price tag - Milner, Barry, Nasri, Clichy, K Toure - consistent league winners? No. Consistent even weekly looked to be a struggle
     
  • Chris Rann runs (ran? runs) the excellent George Weah's Cousin and is Saints ESPN writer
  • Too many individuals and a loss of respect for the manager I would speculate. Individually it is hard to pick a better team, but often it looked to me like they weren't working as a unit.
     
  • James Whittaker, ESPN's Stoke reporter
  • I think they were so fired up to win the title the first time around, much of the urgency dissipated as soon as they did. Last season didn’t seem to have any momentum or purpose, which is odd given that they were defending their title.
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  • Chris Dottie is an Evertonian child of the Kendall era and resident of the city of Gaudi and Messi
  • Mentality. They seemed a lot less motivated to win a second league than a first, and there seemed to be a definite mercenary attitude this year. Too few Kompanys and Harts who actually care about the club and too many players who don't have any passion for their employer. The manager seemed to get wrapped up in his own psyche and intra-club battles and was unable to develop a more useful spirit and mentality.
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  • Phil Mison has been reporting on Fulham affairs across all media since the late 80s 
  • Sum of the parts did not add up to the whole
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  • Dave Glenn is a regular visitor to Old Trafford in his yellow polo shirt and cut off denims
  • Too complacent, typical season after winning title with not enough players fired up with the same fight and desire that won it last year. RM weakened the squad with sales and purchases in the Summer.


2 comments:

  1. So the consensus is the signings were poor, and the manager failed to inspire. Hardly earth-shattering.

    May I suggest that last season's triumph was mightily aided by a liberal dollop of good fortune (and just a pinch of Crazy Joey Barton). The club came to expect miracles, which is a dangerous and peril-fraught way to live. As Thucydides writes, "Avoid the mistake so often made by those who meet with some extraordinary piece of good luck and then go on pressing forward in the hope of more still, because of the very unexpectedness of their first success....those who have had most experience of changes for the better and the worse are rightly the least inclined to believe that good luck will last."

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  2. Quite. I'm not sure anyone in football knows how to move on after winning the league like that, to be honest, with the possible exception of Thucydides. You certainly can't beat it for excitement. Even holding onto the title would not have felt the same.
    At least there is some consensus amongst our friends about what went wrong. Next question will split opinion a little more! Will post it tonight.

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