Manchester City, a game of two systems and things that would be nice to see

I'm sort of happy that we've got Manchester City today and that it's a tough first match for the manager and players. They've basically got nothing to lose and the manager has a lot to learn. Don't be surprised to see two very distinct tactics today from the manager, simply because he knows we have nothing to lose.

And I think we've got a smart manager that will use those two weeks in the right way. This is just me, but I sort of got the impression that the likes of Lambert would use those two weeks and look busy but achieve nothing and Sherwood would use it to get away for a few days to top up his sun tan and 'watch' some football.


One was a chancer, the other wasted so much time and achieved nothing. Two weeks in football is a long time and even though there will be a few players away, most wont and systems and methods can be developed and deployed in that time. It's all in the execution and this is a crucial time for him.

The players

But what is going to be interesting, for me anyway, is the team he picks. He'd have seen all the matches by now and he's had a week. I answered a few questions for the official Manchester City site this week and it I've as good as said that I don't want to see Micah Richards at centre back again and that we need to see Traoré play.

And I know I'll get stick for that, but Richards for me isn't a centre back and I think we have better at the club. I sometimes scream knowing what he's doing is wrong and it is so few players in my over 40 years that I've done that with. But it's not just about the players, it's about what they do.

If Garde is half as smart as I hope he is, he'd have pulled the numbers this week and he'll have learnt that our goal to corner ratio is really low. He'll also have seen that most of the time we don't find an Aston Villa player. He'll know that things need to change and for everything that is supposed to be right in the world, if Westwood is playing today and we get a corner and he takes it, it will be depressing to see that the manager hasn't figured that out.

But he'll be forgiven, because there are many things that need to be addressed. That's just one of the most obvious ones and one I'd like to think he had worked on or evaluated. Mostly because there are not that many 'attacking' data points in football but that is one.

The match

So with that written, it's time for me to make time to read the papers because kick off is just around the corner. And like I've written, team news is going to be very interesting today. And as I wrote at the top; expect two distinct styles of play today. A style is a tactic for this manager (I want to hope that is the case anyway) and as this is no lose, he'll treat it as a match where he can do that.

But I'm probably getting carried away with him as a manager. I mean, you can't get away from him only having three years experience in the top flight and his team doing better when he left. I'll not mention that again and you'll also notice I've not made any links to any other current French managers in the Premier League. Because that is just stupid.

Right, back an hour before kick off. Leave interesting links worth clicking on below. Coffee time.