The true faith TIFOSI has now spoken.
So another defeat to add to the “loss” tally for the season. In fairness, the result probably flattered Citeh. If anything, we looked like the one team who were going to win it. We were much the better team in the first half and the second half was fairly even. Cisse could (and probably should depending on whether you think it was a bad miss or good save) have put us ahead early on in the first period of extra time. At the end of the day their quality shone through. If we could have put in a performance like that against those sluggers down the road at the weekend, we would have battered them. Tiote was very good once again – it really is looking like we’re seeing the Cheick of a couple of years ago. The back four were superb as well. I feel like I’ve been a one-man-Mbiwa-fan club in recent weeks (and deservedly so) but he was brilliant, as was Iron Mike alongside him. The full backs both did very well also. Gouffran put in a hell of a shift protecting the wing against that Navas fella. The way I’m talking, you’d think we’d won. We probably should have. The derby could have knocked the players’ confidence big time but they seem to have forgotten about it which is good. No point in dwelling. The next couple of league games are going to be incredibly tough. Anything from those will be a bonus.
Disappointing that, but mostly because I thought we actually played well, at least in the 90′ minutes. A tweaked team saw Anita playing (finally), and whilst he didn’t set the world alight, he was tidy. Quite what Pardew sees in Sissoko in the right midfield slot is beyond me. It’s a complete waste of a player. Tonight, I thought Shola was fantastic in the game before being subbed midway through (something I never thought I’d write). He held the ball up well, controlled the play when he had it, and caused the centre-backs of City all sorts of problems. Infact, the game and momentum swung City’s way when Shola went off. It got me thinking that maybe a two up top might be the way to go forward, obviously with Rémy filling one of those holes, along with Cissé, Shola, AN other. Onto Cissé, who looks an absolute shell of a player from the player we first bought from Germany. I’ve never known a confidence player to be effected THIS bad. What the merry fuck happens on the training pitch to get him like this?! He is just in the way at the minute, and doesn’t contribute ANYTHING positive one bit. In the end, as I tweeted during the game, you don’t deserve to win games against anyone with the chances missed like the one Cissé did early in extra-time. Two bits of attacking quality from them, Negredo nipping in ahead of Mbiwa, and Milner’s slide rule pass for Dzeko were the difference. Always next year eh? It was ever thus…
It’ll be difficult for anyone who was privy to this to recall the positives – for positives there were, The slick passing, the staunch defending, the fact we had the ball in the net twice, the fact we reduced Manchester City’s lavish reserves to falling over, petulance and virtually no chances of any significance for 45 minutes. We won’t remember these things because none of it matters, because the chances we had, we squandered with guileless abandon. These are the chances that teams like us, against teams like them, need to take…and we didn’t.
When I bought the tickets for city I thought we might be on for a bit of an upset. I couldn't imagine Manuel putting out the big guns against us...then I remembered, they are all big guns! A team who can field Dzeko, Navas and Rodwell as second string is a pretty awesome one. Then to bring on Silva and Kolarov...there was always going to be only one outcome. However, to be fair to the lads we more than matched ithem for 90 minutes and with a striker with confidence and a natural right winger we could well have won it in normal time. I am really really starting to feel for Cisse, he is clearly struggling and snatching and scuffing at everything. My mate reckons Demba put some sort of curse on him and I laughed in his face...but what price to lift the curse now. I've said until I'm blue in the face, I think he needs a battering ram up top with him but I can't see Mike splashing any cash in January. Lil Vurn, Iron Mike and Tiote all had brilliant games. I just don't see how Vurn isn't ahead of Sissoko at the minute, I think he is class. His size isn't an issue most of the time because his brain and technical ability give home the edge. There was a few odd goings on in the crowd and a fair few numpties including the little tosser who ran on the pitch. Massive ban for waving your arms around like a total wet end. Good thinking. In the end I think we just ran out of steam and their class came through. Barfa looked like he was playing in his own world when he came in and that daft Ballon D'or crack has obviously been a load of merde. Unlucky lads but we are in for a few more like this under the current set up.
It’s somewhat cynical that all I can hear at the moment is Pardew blabbing on about fatigue come Saturday afternoon. I should be talking about an excellent showing against one of the country’s top outfits. Yes, they made 10 changes from the weekend. But nevertheless they’re still a pretty impressive (and expensive) outfit. I should be telling you that MYM was outstanding at the back, that Debuchy continued to impress and that Anita once again showed just what a tidy footballer he is. However, what I’m actually worried about is whether or not we will have it in the tank to avoid surrendering tamely at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday. It’s sad that this is what I, and probably many others, have been reduced to. Most of us expected a tonking. The bookies certainly did. But while the starting XI seemed gallingly short on creativity, it was full of players who would put a shift in, would track back and would work hard off the ball. And they did just that. In fact, they went a step further and put together some decent passing football. There was movement off the ball and we got in behind City a couple of times. Shola drew an excellent save from Pantilimon in the first half before having one chalked off for offside when diverting a wayward Cisse effort goalwards Papiss also had a magnificent chance to put us ahead during extra time when exquisitely found by Hatem, but he was foiled by the big man between the sticks. I’ll tell you one thing though Joe Hart could be struggling to get his place.A decent showing on a night when not much was expected.Still much work to be done before memories of Sunday’s escapades are erased though. Which Newcastle United will turn up on Sunday is anybody’s guess.