Man City away will be a good test of how far we’ve come in the five minutes or so since ‘Arry took over. Amidst the hype it’s been easy to get carried away by results, rather than analyse performances which have been decent (and lucky) rather than exceptional.
The win at home to Bolton was a decent result, particularly given what had preceded it, but can hardly be attributed to the new boss’s tactical nous, given that he took charge at half-time. The draw vs l’Arse was fun but lucky, ditto the win vs Liverpool. Zagreb was undeniably a strong performance, but the limitations of the oppo ought to be taken into account. So Man City away should prove a handy gauge. Away from home to a decent team, with some fantastic individuals, who aren’t having the greatest run of form – we should be looking for at least a draw.
As ever, happy to back ‘Arry, but not yet convinced of his tactical expertise. In particular, his instruction to Pavlyuchenko to “just f******g run about” at half-time vs Liverpool, while a nice soundbite from that loveable cockney rogue (helping to banish the memories of his surly foreign predecessor, who had the temerity to conduct his press conferences through an interpreter – wot a disgrace) hardly merits a £1.5 million salary, or whatever it is. It’s obviously still early days – won’t really be able to judge him until he’s had a full season, or calendar year at least – but after the drama of a North London derby and the visit of the league leaders, a trip to Eastlands will, for me, provide the first true test of our quality and ambitions for the season.