By Mac Izu Nelson
The weekend brought about lung busting football action, and today’s post remembers a few things we learnt.
1. Manchester City Thoroughly Spanked; Manuel Pellegrini must be the happiest man in the world at the moment.
When the City bosses booted him off the curb because they wanted the genius that was Guardiola, they must have imagined they were making the best decision.
Guardiola was young, brilliant, and more marketable than the aged, torpid Pellegrini and so the footballing world made little fuss about the quite mooted scandal that involved terminating Pellegrini’s contract with the club so as to accommodate the Spaniard.
Yet, months into Guardiola’s reign, City look devoid of ideas.
The tiki taka advocate has talked about how he doesn’t intend to change English football by imposing his own style of play on his players. But in offloading a certain Joe Hart for the erroneous Claudio Bravo, hasn’t he done the exact opposite of his claims?
In yesterday’s drubbing by Everton, Manchester City were a complete shambles.
No other player embodied this than the abysmal John Stones who continues to flatter to deceive.
His ball playing ability was at the fore of reasons for his fifty million pounds transfer fee yet he misplaced a pass which led to a goal, yesterday.
Yaya Toure was another culprit of quite daft and puerile play.
His running was ponderous and his manner was lethargic.
It was easy to see why he had not featured greatly in Pep’s team so far.
Sterling was the culprit of a few missed chances at the other end and he would have to do better if he intends to keep his place in the team.
The only shining light for City was, as is fast becoming the norm, Belgian international Kevin De Bruyne.
After two losses in three weeks of Premier League football, City sit in fifth place, two points behind Arsenal who sit in fourth.
Yesterday’s 4-0 spanking at the hands of Everton might just be the tip of the iceberg if Guardiola doesn’t return to the drawing board.
The clock is ticking.
2. Real Madrid Finally Undone; It took 40 La Liga games for Madrid to finally lose. And it must have felt like a big disappointment for the capital side having been a goal up till the dying embers of the match when Stephan Jovetic gave Sevilla the lead.
Sevilla who currently sit in second place in the La liga charts are proving a daunting prospect to tackle this season.
And after Real Madrid escaped a loss in midweek, there was nowhere to hide yesterday.
Few would argue that had a few seconds been added, Madrid would have found a way to equalise but that is akin to mourning over spilled milk.
It was a great run which ended after Real’s 2-1 loss last night.
Here is to hoping we see another run like that, soon.
3. Pointless Pogba; The Twitter community raved over the idea of an official Pogba emoji before yesterday’s game against Liverpool.
In match, banners could be seen with the hashtag Pogba, and even his hair was done to draw attention to himself.
Yet, doesn’t it feel sometimes like Pogba is one of those empty barrels which rumble loudest?
Against the minnows of the league, Pogba is a roaring lion, obliterating all in his path.
Against the Sunderlands and the Swanseas, he is a fierce storm, imposing and relentless.
But in a match dripping with hype as the Liverpool game, the watching world saw a cowed, pointless Pogba.
“He wanted to dab the ball away”, was what one Twitter user said about Pogba’s needless handball which led to United conceding a penalty. The momentum of the match swung in Liverpool’s favour after James Milner coolly dispatched his 6th penalty of the season.
Time and again, Paul was dispossessed and his tracking back or his tackling was done without conviction.
It took an 86th minute header by Zlatan for United to salvage a point but a case must be about why the most expensive player in the world cannot deliver when it matters most.
His idiosyncrasies mean that United languish in sixth place, well off the pace of Premier League glory.
* In other news, Juventus lost away to Florentina. Real lost, City lost, Juventus lost. Let that sink in. What a weekend lads. Wow!
Thank you for reading.