Scchhteve McClaren knows his onions
When Edin Dzeko arrived at Eastlands last January the Utterly Incompetent Imbecile With The Umbrella (okay it’s not as catchy as Wally with the Brolly but far more accurate) warned that it might take the powerful Bosnian a little while to settle in the British top flight but then he would soar.
Dzeko duly proceeded to impersonate David Nugent on valium but McClaren stood firm in his belief that his former Wolfsburg goal-machine simply required a pre-season and a chance to acclimatise.
Well, what do yer know? Beneath that comical tuft of copper hair lies a football brain after all. Dzeko is now thriving on the array of artistry around him and has got off to a screamer, so far bagging seven in four. He has consigned Tevez and Balotelli to the bench for the foreseeable future and looks the complete centre-forward, a formidable warhead amongst a nuclear arsenal of weaponry at City’s disposal.
His four goal looting of Tottenham – for which he’s expected in court this Thursday – included the perfect hat-trick and a redirected header of such quality it would have garnered breathless plaudits on its own.
The Twinkle Twins
It was suggested by many in the media that Samir Nasri and David Silva would alternate starting line-ups. This was mainly based upon the outdated notion of Mancini favouring a more defensive style of play but naysayers should get with it man; that’s just so 2010. After securing the precious Champion’s League spot and ending City’s trophy draught Bobby Manc is now intent on world domination; and to do so, as the name suggests, you need to dominate. City’s possession play was beguiling, fluid and constantly inventive. Most of this was down to the tiny terrors who pressed tirelessly and revelled in the spaces left by a lightweight Spurs midfield (see below). The quick interchanges allied to a commendable work rate throughout ensured that this will not be a one-off festival of fun – the Twinkle Twins are going on a nationwide tour and will be appearing at a ground near you very soon.
Silva looked in his element – he finally has a friend to play with – whilst City’s lesbian debutant ran riot, setting up goals for fun and popping up here, there and everywhere.
At one stage Nasri had the ball out on the far left. Overlapping was Clichy whilst inside him was a square pass available to Yaya Toure. Aguero made a darting run across his marker and Dzeko loitered predatorily in the box. Silva was effortlessly in a space of his own making. I looked at such breadth of talent and options available to such an extraordinarily gifted schemer, thought back to the days of Lee Crooks and Eddie McGoldrick, and felt a warm glow inside akin to being given a puppy by a lingerie-clad Scarlett Johansson to celebrate our first anniversary.
England’s next gaffer blundered horrendously in his team selection
Redknapp is tactically naïve
Or to be more concise, tactically inadequate. Mr Triffic is far too long in the tooth to be deemed naïve. England’s next gaffer blundered horrendously in his team selection and it was inevitable that the powerful duo of Barry and Toure would dominate the midfield areas against Modric and Kranjcar all day long. The game was won before it even began. Yes he was missing Sandro, and if Parker had been drafted in a week earlier then thing may have been a touch different, but employing any personnel of physical stature – even out of position – to bolster that key area would have been far preferable to his bizarre starting XI. By the time Huddlestone waddled on for the second half City’s thoroughbreds had bolted through the stable doors and were running havoc around the paddock leaving Harry’s face looking more like a deflated soufflé than ever before.
What a season lies ahead!
Last term it was the Merseyside clubs who both suffered shocking openings to their campaigns. This time out it is North London who are trying to ignore the giggles and schadenfreude of the rest of the nation. Meanwhile Manchester is booming and, though it is still early days, already a title race of momentous proportions is brewing between the two arch rivals. What’s more both sides are demolishing opponents with verve, adventure and goals aplenty. This weekend’s headlines will rightfully scream Manchester 13 – London 3 but in the weeks and months ahead the real story is that one of the most exciting and potentially epic duels in recent football history is set to light up the Premier League and beyond. With superstars, youth, resplendent attacking flair that borders on fantasy football and a deep-set hatred it promises to be a ride like few have ever before witnessed. Bring it.