Friendly: Borussia Dortmund 3 Manchester City 1
For anyone wondering why Brian Kidd and David Platt failed as managers, this game provided ample explanation. The sooner Roberto Mancini returns to instil some purpose into this side the better. A few more players wouldn’t go amiss either.
Thankfully the likes of Tevez, de Jong, Boateng and Silva are ready to step up. Milner, Dzeko, Balotelli and Luiz could all have added something to this game.
The biggest plus points were the new signings. Yaya Toure is a top class midfielder, looking superior to Barry in every aspect of the game. Aleksander Kolarov provided consistently high quality balls from set pieces which is something we’ve been lacking for years.
The Serb clearly fulfills the fashionable role of attacking full-back. Here he was looking to attack towards the opposition goal whenever possible. His willingness to have a shot is also renowned.
City managed to concede two penalties in the first-half. The first saw an off the pace Barry needlessly going to ground and bringing down the forward. A rugged aerial challenge from kolarov where he was adjudged to have led with his arm saw a more debatable second spot-kick awarded.
Both penalties went to Hart’s right and he comfortably saved the second. It was a fitting reward to the end of a half where he had looked more like his old self. Shay Given looked typically composed in the second period.
Jo claimed an equaliser shortly after the first goal thanks to a cross from Wright-Phillips. It was worth noting the pass which sent Wright-Phillips away came from Yaya Toure. The Ivorian isn’t just a defensive midfielder.
It was disappointing to see us play on the break rather than trying to build attacks through progressive football. Only when Ireland was introduced did this look like changing with Stevie trying to get a passing game going.
By this point a host of substitutions were taking their toll on the team shape. Kompany was again moved into midfield for the second period, a position where his inconsistent passing was again exposed. Poor distribution was particularly noticeable from Pablo Zabaleta, who came on for Richards at half-time.
Kolo Toure could have done better when looking to track rather than tackle his opponent for the third goal. Jo had a good chance to score his second immediately afterwards but drove his shot wide.
Arguably the most remarkable thing from this pre-season is the amount of playing time given to Jo. Here he was playing behind Adebayor and showed some good touches interspersed with the odd mistake before disappearing for a spell.
It was a role most of us would rather see Ireland in, but Jo is now our top scorer in pre-season with three goals. In fairness to the Brazilian he offered as much as Adebayor and Santa Cruz, with the former going through the motions and the latter not up to speed.
If the plus points were the new signings, then the downside was the lack of teamplay and coherence as we resembled a collection of individuals without a decent striker. Dzeko or Ibrahimovic look to be needed more than Balotelli as our attack lacked a focal point.
Next up is Valencia on Saturday when we should finally have a full squad to pick from. Given the Spanish team are playing Villa on Friday night, they might not be at their freshest and hopefully we can pick up a morale boosting win. It’s to be hoped Roberto Mancini is in attendance as the team are clearly in need of some managerial guidance.
City: Hart (Given 46), Richards (Zabaleta 46), Kolarov, K Toure, Kompany, Barry (Ireland 58), Wright-Phillips (Bellamy 65), Y Toure (Lescott 58), Jo, Adebayor (Santa Cruz 46), A Johnson (Bridge 58).