Playstation Football

A beaten Mancini at a joyous Molineux.
Manchester City vs Wolves. Match report and reaction. 

Yesterday a Tevez-less Manchester City limply succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Wolves. Emmanuel Adebayor was charged with taking over the captain's role up front and he converted a penalty after 23 minutes. David Silva went down in the box and the Togolese striker opened the scoring in what was suspected by many to be an easy win for City.

However things did not go to plan and Wolves hit back seven minutes later. Milijas firing in after a very well-worked move from Wolves. In the second half Wolves upped the tempo and managed to take the lead when David Edwards headed in just before the hour.

Adam Johnson replaced a very average Gareth Barry but his mazy run into the Wolves box towards the end lacked any sort of finish. Wolves managed to hold on and the cheer around Molineux at the final whistle told the whole story.

So Manchester City have now lost two on the bounce after a hard fought 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. Yesterday's game could've been a good opportunity to regain their confidence and score a few goals. Perhaps this game could also have been used to show that they aren't a one man team; Carlos Tevez had become rather homesick and flew home to see his family.

Losing our top goalscorer was always going to be a problem but you could forgive some fans (myself included) for thinking that in Adebayor and Balotelli we had two, more than capable, replacements.
"The term ‘Playstation Football’ came to mind although without the sprint or through ball buttons."
However the Argentine's absence was sorely felt as City looked very slow and lumbering. Their passes weren't connecting and generally they seemed to lack any sort of spark. The term ‘Playstation Football’ came to mind. Although whoever was playing seemed unable to find the sprint or through-ball buttons. Milner and Silva were the best of a bad bunch; Gareth Barry was perhaps one of the worst.

I can't really see what Gareth Barry brings to the team. I watched the whole match against Arsenal and he did nothing to prove that he's still the versatile, box-to-box midfielder that was signed from Aston Villa for £12 million pounds. Rarely did he move about ten yards from his start position.

Against Arsenal it was Barry's sloppy positioning that led to the penalty and his passing and tackling were appalling. In fact this distinct averageness, which I have come to associate with Barry, has been here ever since his arrival.

Bar a goal against Manchester United last season he has done very very little and yet maintains his place in the team alongside two other players who do his job far better. That said Yaya Toure also went missing against Wolves and unfortunately Nigel de Jong was actually missing. It was also a little bemusing that Mancini waited as long as he did to bring on Adam Johnson, 13 minutes after going behind.
Gareth Barry... worst of a bad bunch.
I have picked on Gareth Barry here but there were a number of others to choose from. Jerome Boateng and Mario Balotelli weren't that impressive either although they are both still new to the Premier League. That said Balotelli did create a number of chance in the first half.
"Matt Jarvis was impressive and another performance like this will continue claims that he should be given an England cap."
But let's not take anything away from Wolves. They were excellent in defence and looked good coming forward. Matt Jarvis in particular was impressive and another performance like this will continue to fuel claims that he should be given an England cap.

Surprisingly Wolves have started to become quite likeable. I didn't think much of Mick MaCarthy and his selection decisions when he put out a second string side against United last season. Or when Karl Henry, for a while, looked as though he was on a personal vendetta against everyone who came within a few yards of him; like many before him he took a specific dislike of Joey Barton.

But "MicMac's"change of style has pleasantly surprised me and I now genuinely hope that they can stay up with this new brand of exciting, free-flowing football.

Jarvis for England. 
Another interesting point to this game was the heated argument between Adebayor and Vincent Kompany. Balotelli started acting as peacemaker; a role that is perhaps new to the volatile Italian. This City side isn’t new to bust ups. Most notably when Tevez and Mancini locked horns over tactics earlier in the season. Paul Wilson in the Guardian said at the time that this showed the commitment and desire that others said were lacking from City.
"Micah Richards and [Adam] Johnson reportedly paid £10,000 at a charity auction for a date with Jordan."
And although I agree with Wilson’s sentiments I can’t help wondering if this indiscipline within the ranks could prove fatal to our chances of winning some silverware. Earlier this week Johnson, Barry, Shay Given and Joe Hart were pulled up by Mancini for getting drunk at a party in St Andrews. Why they were even in Scotland is a bit beyond me.

Unfortunately there are other incidents like these. Hart got himself into trouble when he was spotted drunk at a bar in Spain and Mancini complained about the work ethic of Micah Richards and Johnson (again) when they reportedly paid £10,000 at a charity auction for a date with Jordan.

Not to say that I necessarily agree with Mancini’s view on drinking and having fun. I think that it’s probably fine, in moderation. But some players seem to be getting themselves into the papers a few times too many. Maybe they wouldn’t be as rebellious if Mancini was more relaxed in the first place.

Perhaps I’m just making too many excuses for a City team that yesterday, acted in a very typically City way. Maybe I should just accept that Wolves were simply a lot better on the day and look ahead to the Manchester derby next week. A win there and these last two games will, no doubt, be conveniently forgotten.

Highlights of the match available here

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