We appear to have arrived at the point in the season where certain managers decide that the best way to upset and distract their rivals is by doing a bit of trolling. Jose Mourinho displayed a lack of gracefulness a few days ago, and now Manuel Pellegrini has decided to rub David Moyes’ nose in a mess which, to be fair to Moyes, was left at Old Trafford (at least in part) by someone else.
Tag Archives: Arsenal
20 January 2014 – 9:45 am
Manchester City scored their 100th league goal of the season on Saturday against Cardiff City and whilst much of the praise has gone to their strike force it could be argued that David Silva has been the key component. It cannot be a coincidence that his return to form has resulted in the sides’s magnificent form of late.
In a side that boasts so much attacking ability it is always going to be tough for one individual to really stand out. With Sergio Aguero’s brilliance, allied with Alvaro Negredo’s wonderful debut season in England and Edin Dzeko’s remarkable goal return, Manchester City are treating most of the other teams in the Premier League with disdain. They have scored six goals against Arsenal and Spurs, four against Manchester United and many, many more against seemingly everyone else in their path.
The freedom the new manager Manuel Pellegrini has allowed them to play with has certainly had an impact and the confidence level of the players has had a massive affect. The return to form of Aguero, Silva and Yaya Toure cannot be overlooked either; whilst none of them had bad seasons last time out they fell well below the standards they have set themselves previously.
The spine of the team is often talked about in football and those three are essential to City. Two years ago when they won the title all three had stunning seasons but last season due to injuries and possibly complacency they struggled to reach those levels. Toure could often be seen strolling through games and Aguero lacked fitness at crucial stages and the season was one of underachievement.
There is no doubt that Silva can also be looked at for under performing last season. He simply didn’t look fit enough for large chunks of the season and he looked burnt out. With his International obligations as well as competing with City on both domestic and European fronts he just didn’t have the energy levels to reach the top of his game. His passing was not as precise as normal and his movement was laboured and predictable.
However, this season he seems fully fit and has been running the strings in City’s midfield. His ability to play in between the lines in the opponents half of the pitch means he is incredibly tricky to pick up. As he drifts around he pulls the opposition defenders with him which in turn creates space for his teammates. With the pace that Pellegrini has available to him this space can then be exploited by the likes of Jesus Navas, who is also having a superb debut season in England.
With all of their pace and physical prowess a diminutive playmaker in Silva’s mould becomes the final piece of the puzzle. Having three strikers all in form and all scoring goals is very rare thing but City have managed it thus far. When you then through in Fernandinho and Toure as the midfield enforcers, who are both physically and technically outstanding, Silva becomes the integral part of the side.
His strength on the ball for someone so small is phenomenal and since arriving in the Premier League he has become more physically tough. The way in which he shields the ball against several defenders at once is very impressive and he rarely squanders possession. In recent games he has been everywhere on the pitch which makes him so hard to defend against, especially when he arrives late in attacks.
At this moment it is almost inconceivable to think that City will not become Premier League champions for the second time in three seasons. They appear to have overcome their erratic away form and are simply steamrolling everyone in their path. The plaudits have been going to their strikers of late but it is Silva who is making the difference. If he can remain fit and in this form until the end of May it looks like being another memorable season for ManchesterCity.
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia
14 January 2014 – 10:00 am
There are many key components that all need to function simultaneously for a football player, or any other athlete for that matter, to reach the best of their ability. Clearly having the requisite skill and physical attributes to reach the top is of great importance but at the truly elite level of sport much is decided in the mind.
1 November 2013 – 10:00 am
30 October 2013 – 9:30 am
Sitting in front of Arsenal vs Chelsea last night it seemed obvious that the league cup really should be taken a little more seriously. Whilst fixture congestion certainly played a significant part in the starting elevens in this particular game, it clouds the main issue; the league cup means nothing to far too many teams any more.
9 October 2013 – 9:49 am
Whisper it quietly but there is something going on in North London at the moment. Arsenal are currently sitting on top of the Premier League table after the opening seven games and confidence is sky high. Following a pre season where confidence appeared at an all time low their manager Arsene Wenger has lead his side to nine victories in the club’s first dozen games.
10 September 2013 – 12:00 pm
Nicklas Bendtner could score over 30 goals this season in all competitions and be the man to score the winners in the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League finals for Arsenal; yet he’d still be ridiculed for calling himself the best striker in the world a couple of years ago.
19 August 2013 – 9:30 am
The 2013/14 Premier League season got under way this weekend and one player in particular continued from exactly where he left off last time round. Manchester United’s Robin van Persie delivered a master class in centre forward play at Swansea on Saturday and his form could be the difference once again for David Moyes’ new side.
12 August 2013 – 9:30 am
Despite the numerous high profile friendlies being played the football headlines have been dominated by transfer rumours all summer long. However, the top few in the Premier League are yet to really make any significant waves in the market as you read this and questions remain as to why.
8 August 2013 – 10:00 am
In 25 days and 13 hours time, the 2013 summer transfer window will “slam shut” across Europe’s top leagues. A few associations close their windows earlier in the day and a couple hang on for an extra hour or two; but on September 2nd 2013 there will be a huge sigh of relief that the whole thing is over.