Manchester City 2013-14: Champions-Confirmed (aka: Jinx Failed)

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Schnerres

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Instead of 4-0 Bayern, it is 3-1 with 10min. to go. Müller hit the post, Boateng slept, Negredo danced the Waltzer with him and there you go...
 
Fernandinho with x lost balls and x+5 fouls. What a poor performance. This happens when you meet a midfield.
 

Stanley Steamer

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After watching Joe Hart get beaten twice at his near post (admittedly by two rockets), is there any chance he'd get benched for England's upcoming games? Fraser Forster looked great for Celtic, and confidence does matter. Still, this late in the qualifying campaign, I can't imagine Hodgson would make such a potentially disruptive move.
 

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Stanley Steamer said:
After watching Joe Hart get beaten twice at his near post (admittedly by two rockets), is there any chance he'd get benched for England's upcoming games? Fraser Forster looked great for Celtic, and confidence does matter. Still, this late in the qualifying campaign, I can't imagine Hodgson would make such a potentially disruptive move.
 
Hodgson just came out and said Hart is still his number one, but if he does get replaced it would likely be by John Ruddy, who IIRC is the number two ahead of Forster and who's played very well in the EPL since Norwich got promoted.
 

teddykgb

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It's been 6 hours, and I'm still not OK about any of this.  What an incredibly shitty 12 hours in sports.  Rumors were that Mancini planned to sell hart and get Begovic this summer.  I wish that had happened at this point.
 

soxfan121

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City seems to have trouble taking all opponents seriously. As in, they looked at their bank accounts and collective transfer fees, looked over the Sunderland team sheet and said, "fuck it, we got this". And then failed to show up and play the game. 
 
Couldn't figure out what they were doing on the right side either - Navas likes to stay wide but he paired poorly with both Richards (who never once tried to take a defender on) and with Zabaleta (who just looked in poor form). 
 
They deserved to lose and they looked like shit doing it.
 

LTF

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soxfan121 said:
City seems to have trouble taking all opponents seriously. As in, they looked at their bank accounts and collective transfer fees, looked over the Sunderland team sheet and said, "fuck it, we got this". And then failed to show up and play the game.
 
Thank you, Dakota from Rochdale. Next caller, please ...
 
Sunderland was immense at the back. With Silva out, I was hoping for a stellar outing from Nasri (who, admittedly, has been terrific all season). That didn't happen. Richards, as you mentioned, looked exceptionally tentative. Kolarov's final laser from outside the box nearly went in (but of course, he had to take five others from outside the box before that to get calibrated). Garcia was crap. I thought Pantilimon could have got his left hand on that shot. And Mike Dean apparently had his whistle up his ass for the first 21 minutes of the match. The subs made good, immediate impacts, but I guess they weren't good enough, now were they?
 
It's always awesome when you go into an international break with a dead-ass performance. City now has as many road losses as it did for all of last season. I went back and looked at prior tables and the most defeats I saw for a recent champ was six (United in 1995-96). It's not looking good.
 

JayMags71

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LTF said:
Mike Dean apparently had his whistle up his ass for the first 21 minutes of the match.
I don't think this can be overstated. Larsson's tackle on Garcia was arguably a straight red. I think Dean was reluctant to show red at that relatively early stage, and that had a negative effect on City.
 

LTF

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I hate menstruating about the officials because it all evens out in the end, no? But at the same time: Fuck you, Mike Dean. I get what you're saying, Jay, and even used the same explanation when ranting to my seven-year-old (who even noted how insanely rash Larsson's challenge was; just not in those words, of course). But what the fuck. It's frustrating that for some officials a utterly reckless, potentially leg-breaking tackle is somehow less bookable during the first half-hour of a match. A red card foul is a red card foul.
 
And while I'm fuck-youing Mike Dean I may as well fuck you Sunderland. Dirtiest club in the league.
 

teddykgb

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soxfan121 said:
City seems to have trouble taking all opponents seriously. As in, they looked at their bank accounts and collective transfer fees, looked over the Sunderland team sheet and said, "fuck it, we got this". And then failed to show up and play the game. 
 
Couldn't figure out what they were doing on the right side either - Navas likes to stay wide but he paired poorly with both Richards (who never once tried to take a defender on) and with Zabaleta (who just looked in poor form). 
 
They deserved to lose and they looked like shit doing it.
 
I just don't agree.  City have been struggling to unpack defenses away from home for going on 3 years now.  It's not about taking opponents seriously, it's about conjuring up a goal scoring opportunity when Silva isn't in the team.  We're shockingly reliant on him in these scenarios.
 
Navas didn't play until the final 20, but every time he has played he's had issues with his RB.  Both of City's RBs bomb forward into the space Navas wants to occupy.  It's a real problem.  I think ideally the RB would run the inside channel like Richards did a few times late to occupy the opposing fullback leaving Navas matched up with a winger, but it was awkward every time it happened yesterday.
 
I think it's easy to play the narrative that City's millionaires didn't care enough to play against a lower side, but they battered them in the 2nd half and couldn't find a way through.  This has been too constant a problem to chalk it up to effort.  I agree with LTF, however, that a big FU is in order for Dean.  And also to our defense/keeping situation, who have managed to consistently turn the one chance the other team gets a match into a goal.  Milner was fouled, but City in no way deserved to lose yesterday.  Sunderland created fuck all and nicked a goal they didn't deserve.
 

teddykgb

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sachmoney said:
Any idea how long Hart is going to be kept out or is he done (i.e. a new goalkeeper will be ushered in, pockets lined with sterling notes)?
 
I doubt they can bring in a keeper in  jan unless it's a displaced keeper in Spain.  So I suspect Hart will be back when Pantilimon has his next bad match, or in Cups/CL matches, especially against Plzen and probably even Bayern since City are already through.
 

teddykgb

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When I fell in love with City, it was because of the fans, more than the team, which was pretty shit back then.
 
This is a great example why, making Bale's heart gesture at the Spurs fans (maybe other fans have done this, i really have no clue):
 
 

DLew On Roids

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Roger Bennett mentioned on this week's Men In Blazers that City fans were chanting, "Jesus, you'll never kill him again" at the Spurs supporters after Navas' opener. I don't know whether to be horrified or give a standing ovation.
 

LTF

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This is hilarious: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/dec/11/manchester-city-bayern-munich-pellegrini-rules
 
Shades of 1995-96:
 
"I am confident we will stay up, because we have prepared well and we are ready." That was Alan Ball, the day before his Manchester City side went into battle at Maine Road against Liverpool, desperate to retain their Premier League status. Even a win would not guarantee their survival. Wins for their fellow strugglers Southampton and Coventry City, on equal points but with better goal difference, and a draw for Sheffield Wednesday, two points ahead and also with a healthier balance in the goals column, would have done for City, even if Bally's boys spanked Roy Evans's FA Cup finalists. But in all statistical likelihood, a win would have been enough.
 
And a win would indeed have been enough. Saints drew 0-0 with Wimbledon, while Coventry held Leeds in another goalless encounter. But City were fed some bogus information – Wimbledon, they had been told, had scored a late goal at the Dell – and so a most Cityesque denouement to the season unfolded.
 
City looked to have been down and out, Steve Lomas clumsily deflecting Steve McManaman's cross into his own net after six minutes. Just before half-time, Ian Rush marked his last game for Liverpool with a deflected drive to make it 2-0. But with 19 minutes to go, Neil Ruddock clattered Georgi Kinkladze like some sort of lumbering oaf, Uwe Rösler slotting home the penalty. Seven minutes later, Kit Symons equalised. And so as the sands of time ran out, with Southampton "losing", the diktat was delivered: keep the ball in the corner, to secure the draw that would keep City in the big league.
 
Oh dear. Poor Lomas, whose day had began so badly, held the ball by the flag. As the clock ticked down on the pitch, the sorry truth was beginning to be realised off it. City might have prepared professionally, but their in-game information management wasn't quite up to speed. Wimbledon hadn't scored at all. As things stood, Saints were safe. Niall Quinn, long substituted and now demobbed in his shirt and breeks, sprinted from the stands to the touchline, screaming to Lomas to get moving. The midfielder went in search of the goal City were suddenly so desperate for, but it was too late. "This is the greatest disappointment of my career," sobbed Ball after the match.
 
Another would be coming a few months later, as he was sacked, his "three-year plan" to get City back to the top of English football in sorry tatters.
 
Anyway, I'm trying to be positive here. City had three straight matches away from Eastlands and took 7 out of 9 points. I like to think their road woes are behind them.
 

soxfan121

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How long has City been playing the love child of Frankenstein and Lurch in goal?
 

Dummy Hoy

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I've only seen the second half, but this is as dangerous as I've seen Milner in a while. 
 
Jeez, 5-2. It's hard to see this team not winning the title in the end.
 

soxfan121

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Dummy Hoy said:
I've only seen the second half, but this is as dangerous as I've seen Milner in a while. 
 
Jeez, 5-2. It's hard to see this team not winning the title in the end.
 
Scoring title? Yup. They might set the record for goals scored. An offensive juggernaut. 
 
But aside from Kompany, the defense is atrocious. Until they win some games on the road, they're destined for the Top 4 but not the Top 1. Manuel Pellegrini is apparently spanish for Paul Westhead.
 

Gunfighter 09

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soxfan121 said:
 
Scoring title? Yup. They might set the record for goals scored. An offensive juggernaut. 
 
But aside from Kompany, the defense is atrocious. Until they win some games on the road, they're destined for the Top 4 but not the Top 1. Manuel Pellegrini is apparently spanish for Paul Westhead.
 
Hard to see how they are not the favorite. City's home domination is incredible. They have  33 goals in 7 matches at Etihad, and five of those matches are against teams in the top half of the table. They have ripped up Arsenal, Everton, United, Newcastle, Swansea and Spurs at home, scoring no less than 3 goals in those games. 
 

Nick Kaufman

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Arsenal had conceded 11 goals in 15 matches before this one.

As for City, they have a whopping 29 goal differential, while they re supposedly bad defense is tied for fifth with some other teams with a game at hand.

I am loathe to christen them champions, but for the past month, it looked as if City's place in the standings was a statistical oddity; of all the teams competing for the top four, I am more certain about their chances than any.
 

teddykgb

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Kompany's health is the key.  City were more vulnerable early due to his injuries.  if he can stay healthy, the defense will be fine.  he's so good and a real difference maker
 

sachmoney

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City is a completely different animal away from home. I really do want Arsenal to be able to take some points away from the top clubs, they've been able to get to where they are by taking the points the other clubs, especially City have not, which is against "lesser" (note the quotes, DLew) opponents. The performance City put on today was breathtaking and were it not my team on the receiving end of it, I may have admired it. Great pressing. Great counterattacking. Very solid performance overall, though not without its flaws.
 

LTF

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City's taken 13 of the last 15 points on the road. Sure, the opposition has varied (Bayern Munich; Leicester City). But still, 13 of 15 points. So please, talk about something else. You sound stupid.
 
And improving its road form was crucial because just about all of of City's toughest second-half matches (Newcastle, Spurs, United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Everton) will be played on the road. Eek. Looking at the schedule again ... The second half is gonna be a grind.
 

teddykgb

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LTF said:
And teddy, how was your trip to Eastlands? A brief report would be nice.  :D
 
Let me oblige really late.  First of all, we fucking stuffed Arsenal and scored 6, so maybe we need to start referring to Eastlands/COMS/Etihad as some really stupid and ephemeral name.  Ideally one that can be used against us should we suddenly become relegation fodder...like, i don't know, THEATER OF DREAMS or something.
 
Manchester was fucking rowdy that weekend.  I came away floored by the youth complex plans and all the development they're doing around the stadium.  The Minihad is going to be MASSIVE and impressive.  Certainly reminds me of Barca's setup at the Nou Camp, only more modern.  They have a little shed setup outside of City Square with all the details and it's just super impressive.  When you see how much money City is investing in this and in the youth setup, it's easy to see how the Barca imports are trying to recreate their success.  Of course, buying high priced youth talent is hardly a guarantee of success, but they're putting in the infrastructure to try to make it so we're not having to spend so much on established stars.  
 
Speaking of which, I don't know if you've been in City Square in the last few years LTF but it's still super cringeworthy.  They employ a couple of cringey hosts and they try to get the crowd fired up outside, but it just doesn't work.  Similarly, something that was new (and awful) this year was that they had a pre match rendition of Blue Moon by some celebrity, like a separate sing a long than the one pre-kickoff.  Nobody gives a flying fuck about it and it is also very cringeworthy.  The atmosphere inside the stadium was good, obviously, and the 1894 group they've got had done a bit of an inflatables revival, which I really enjoy because those stupid fucking bananas/pools/dinosaurs are probably as big a reason why I support City as anything else.  The stadium and the crowd are the same.  Even when stuffing Arsenal there was plenty of bitching and moaning, which I find enjoyable.  
 
I'm able to get over because my work brings me to Paris with relative frequency.  So I hop on over when scheduling permits.  It's really funny to be in Paris for a week where everyone feels so tiny and thin and proper and then pop up in Manchester where it feels like all the men and most of the women could take me for all I'm worth.  Of course, the people are all pretty friendly as long as they're not reds, but this isn't much of a problem because there aren't any reds in Manchester.  In all actuality, given that I'm so obviously American when I open my mouth, people out are pretty much always asking me why I'm in Manchester, but the MUFC fans and MCFC fans are honestly really cool about it.  Chances are the MUFC fans are pretty happy to have a touristy American show up given all the taunts they've endured over the years.
 
It was the first time I had been in Manchester over the holidays, the German Christmas markets they had setup were really cool.
 

doldmoose34

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Tremendous Teddy, my sister was over visiting her in laws and sent me pics from when they went to a game at Burnley over christmas in 'typical english football weather' cold rain
 
and in case anyone missed it, City beat Blackburn 5-0 on to next round of FA Cup
 

teddykgb

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City have been buying a bunch of youth. One is Zacharias Faour, dubbed the next Ibrahimovic, which of course arouses suspiscion since these things never pan out

But he went and did this in a match today:

 

LTF

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That made my penis move a little.
 
And thanks for the write-up, teddy. Really cool stuff. I gotta get my ass over there soon. Over the holidays, I was up in the White Mountains at my parents' condo. We timed our arrival so that we could hit Horsefeathers for the start of the City-Liverpool match (my oldest follows the Reds). Well wouldn't you know it, there was a large group of fucking Scousers there also watching the match. I chatted with a few of them and when one discovered my oldest supported Liverpool, he just kept saying, "You gotta get over to Anfield. You gotta get over to Anfield."
 
So yeah, I gotta get over there. I'd love to visit around Christmas and take advantage of the crowded schedule. Travel around the North West and hit as many grounds as possible: Eastlands, Anfield, Moss Rose, the Crown Ground, maybe even the Swamp.
 

LTF

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Over the weekend, City became the fastest Premier League club to reach 100 goals. (I hate when they just limit these stats and whatnot to the Premier League era. Stupid.). Anyway, they sorta obliterated the record. Old mark was set by last season's Chelsea club, which did it in 42 games. City did it in 34.  
 
Also, the top-flight record for goals scored in all competitions is held by Manchester United's Busby Babes, who tallied 143 during the 1956-57 season. If City continues to score at its current rate, that mark will fall sometime in late March.
 
And finally, City is unbeaten in all competitions since Nov. 10. The club has taken 50 of its last 54 points. Insane. We may never see a run like this again.
 

Dummy Hoy

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LTF said:
Over the weekend, City became the fastest Premier League club to reach 100 goals. (I hate when they just limit these stats and whatnot to the Premier League era. Stupid.). Anyway, they sorta obliterated the record. Old mark was set by last season's Chelsea club, which did it in 42 games. City did it in 34.  
 
Also, the top-flight record for goals scored in all competitions is held by Manchester United's Busby Babes, who tallied 143 during the 1956-57 season. If City continues to score at its current rate, that mark will fall sometime in late March.
 
And finally, City is unbeaten in all competitions since Nov. 10. The club has taken 50 of its last 54 points. Insane. We may never see a run like this again.
 
This surprises me for some reason.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Your squad is just dominating a pretty good Spurs team at WHL. 
 
This could be the best English team since United sold Ronaldo.  City-Barca is going to be must-see TV in a few weeks and I wouldn't be surprised if you dismantle them.
 
Edit: Yikes, Aguero.
 

teddykgb

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Guess we know why Capoue was brought on. Marriner has been a complete joke in this match. Thank god his assistant got the offside right.
 
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