The Man City love in that went into overdrive this weekend is at last starting to abate and the focus is turning towards the appearance of the first chink in Perfect Pep’s amour: Claudio Bravo? Oh boy is he going to be bullied now. Claudio meet Arnoutovic and while I am at it here’s Shawcross……
It didn’t seem to cross a single one of those Guadiola fawning journalists that the reason for City’s dominance was not that they were so good but rather that Manu were so poor — and they were, as poor as pants in the first half. I look forward to playing them I don’t think we have anything to be worried about.
But before that, of course, we have the chance to test ourselves against Chelsea. Yet again I see no reason to be worried or certainly less than in recent seasons. Conte looks out of his depth especially in the transfer window. The idea of a Chelsea manger moaning about the spiraling cost of transfer fees got the same amount of sympathy from me as I did Keith Vaz for his infractions last week; you reap what you sow boys. Only being able to sign Batshuayi and Side Show Bob goes to show how hard it was to bring in big names and that is of course with the help of a billionaire who doesn’t care whether he ever gets repaid or not.
Or does he? We don’t get very much to chew on when it comes to Stan Kroenke but every now and then we get thrown a scrap. The last time was a couple of years ago when he was over and at the training ground where the memorable point he made was how Arsene Wenger was out in the rain taking the training sessions. The odd thing about this was that Kroenke was surprised that Wenger was prepared to get wet rather than, as I saw it, that our manager was simply doing his job for which he is very well paid. I know Wenger’s wages are used as a stick to beat him with but I think that it is appropriate here – a bit of rain, please?
Back to the story, Kroenke made one other observation that stayed with me and that was when asked about Chelsea’s spending, and this is the insight of one billionaire into another, he said that they may spend their money without return for a while but they won’t continue doing it forever and I think that is where we are with Chelsea now; their golden days of care free spending are over and, by contrast, the spending power that our new stadium affords us is now coming to the fore.
It wasn’t great on Saturday; we are not going to have a style of football named after us for that performance Tikka Takka? Nah. But what it did show, and I have been dying to use this line by VP of Oz, was that there was “a real sense that some steel was being forged”. Come on, how good is that? And what’s more, the more I think about it the more it rings true.
Arsene knows already who his “go to” back 5 are, so that is sorted. In the midfield there are many possibilities, all good and that can be altered and adjusted to suit the opposition which leaves the attack. It is not clear which is the best combo and I doubt that AW has it clear in his mind who his “go to” attack is either but fortunately we still have two more games to iron more of these things out and continue to improve before we are tested by Chelsea and if we can just keep 11 players on the field this time I think we will be singing ‘One Team in London’ with a bit more conviction this time around which brings me back to the title.