City’s relatively poor recent form continued with a second successive FA Cup loss to Wigan. The loss to Uwe Rosler’s team was fully deserved and now City have to pick themselves back up for the rest of the title race and Wednesdays game in Barcelona. Keep reading for some more detailed thoughts…
In aid of starting positively, unlike City yesterday, lets turn to Samir Nasri. He was excellent yet again, proving himself as one of our key performers this season. The ligament injury picked up at Newcastle barely seems to have slowed him down, much to the team’s benefit. At a time when City have gone inside themselves a bit, all introspective like a 90’s shoegaze band, Nasri has become something of a guiding light.
His goal was another superb finish to add to the League Cup Final strike a week ago, and put City right back into the game (even if they couldn’t capitalise effectively.) Nasri seems to do things which offer us hope at the moment, and that is something that you can’t put a price on. Viva la Samir.
On the other hand, our strikers have very much not been scoring goals recently, and look entirely bereft of hope. The weekly goal parties we were treated to early in the season are becoming a distant memory. Form seems to have dissipated at exactly the wrong time of the season with Barcelona round the corner and an increasingly tight title race in front of us. From having the potential to win four trophies, City are currently on the verge of crashing out of two of them in the space of four days. That is an Arsenal-esque turnaround which can only be avoided if Dzeko, Negredo, and Aguero begin finding the net again.
City’s defence had a bad day in the absence of Vincent Kompany. How many times have you read that this season? Demichelis has regularly come in for criticism above and beyond what he actually deserves this season, but yesterday he was extremely poor. He obviously needs to be replaced sooner rather than later as there is nothing to suggest that he won’t continue to make the same mistakes, giving away free kicks and penalties. He has a place in the squad for the rest of the season but in the Summer City need to put in place a defence for the future.
Gael Clichy did not cover himself in glory either. Typical City has been banging on for a while about how the left back position is an obvious weakness in this side. Neither Clichy nor Kolarov fall into the top class bracket that is so essential to a successful team at the top and this is another part of the defence which will need to be put under the microscope in the Summer.
At the end of the day, City will lose the title race and the Barcelona game at the back. As said above, the strikers have not been bailing the team out recently and there will be too much pressure applied to a creaking defence for more trophies to be won unless this is sorted out as soon as possible.
Wigan came to win and looked like the better team from the very first minute. Quite why City appeared to underestimate Wigan is a mystery after last year’s FA Cup Final loss, but the cheers after their first goal were the sound of grim inevitability. Rosler’s men were faster, stronger, and more motivated than City and deservedly won. If complacency was City’s watchword for most of the day, incorporating everything from the team’s play to Manuel Pellegrini’s hoodie, then Wigan were the exact opposite and ran out deserved winners.
Emerson Boyce in defence had a fantastic game, the crowning moment of which was a last ditch block on Dzeko when the Bosnian looked certain to equalise from 2 yards out. McManaman and McArthur had the measure of City in midfield. Fortune and Gomez in attack were constant menaces and never let the defence settle.
Wigan were worthy winners. Good luck to them against Arsenal.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter