City will roar back!
- 07 February 2014 08:28
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
It’s not often we’ll put an article on in its entirety, but we come pretty close this morning with Stuart Brennan’s excellent article in the MEN.
The City reporter has picked up on the expected little digs here and there in the media and the football world suggesting that the Blues’ loss to Chelsea is the beginning of the end for Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s quest for quadruple silverware.
Quoting Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, Brennan writes: “The vultures gathering to see whether the wounded City animal is about to keel over and die might want to avert their eyes.
“Some have suggested that the home defeat by Chelsea on Monday has inflicted a mortal hurt on a side which some were building up as almost invincible.
“And Arsene Wenger has cast himself as chief scavenger, casually dropping into his last press conference his observation that the Blues looked 'jaded' against Jose Mourinho’s excellent side.
They were not 'jaded', but they were also never invincible
Brennan continues: “Those who think that City’s defeat s the start of the rot might also take a look at the video of what happened in the tunnel at the Etihad Stadium at half time of the recent FA Cup tie against Watford.
“The 'tunnel cam' operated by City’s own website shows the team preparing to run out for the second half after an opening 45 minutes which had seen City look lethargic, disorganised and defensively inept, so that they trailed 2-0 to the Championship side.
“Manuel Pellegrini reacted to that shocking display by bringing on Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta to shore up his defence, and it was skipper Kompany’s leadership which stood out.
“In the hubbub of a half-time tunnel, the words are not entirely clear, and the speech was not long-winded or Churchillian, but it ends with ' ...aggressive all game and we go for it. Together. Come on!’”
Elsewhere, the Mirror report City may be handed a timely boost ahead of the Champions League clash with Barcelona, with the possibility of two key players returning from injury.
“City badly missed the pair during the 1-0 home defeat against Chelsea on Monday - and coach Manuel Pellegrini will be keen to have them back to bolster his midfield options.
“The Sky Blues face Barca on February 18, giving the pair just eleven days to recover from a groin problem (Fernandinho) and knee ligament injury (Nasri)
“Brazilian Fernandinho sparked hopes of a prompt return when he tweeted yesterday: ‘I return to play in 15 days or less!’
“But news that France international Nasri has already returned to light training (according to the Sun), will bring extra cheer to City fans as the club chases silverware on four fronts.”
City take on Sunderland in the Premier League on Wednesday 12 February in what will be a dress rehearsal for the Capital One Cup Final in March.
Can the Blues avenge the Stadium of Light defeat earlier this season? A night match under the lights at the Etihad and a preview of the forthcoming final - demand is expected to be high as Manuel Pellegrini's side attempt to continue their incredible run.
Don't miss out - ticket details can be found here...