I guess it has happened to all of us in one form or another. You buy a new shirt, clean your shoes, have a longer shower than usual and for once in your life look in a full-length mirror.
You then spray on slightly too much Aramis or whatever and decide tonight is the night you’re going to ask out the attractive barmaid in your local who obviously quite likes you. Off you go in your Ford Mondeo and hope for the best.
But when you get there, she is holding hands over the bar with some flash so-and-so with a Porsche. You have a quick pint to keep what remains of your dignity then high tail it out of there. Realistically it’s all you can do.
Well on Saturday we were the Mondeo and West Ham were the Porsche.
Daniel Farke can moan all he likes about VAR but we were seriously outclassed and that is just a tad worrying. The defeat itself does not bother me (I was expecting it) but the manner of it concerns me immensely. I’ll take nothing away from the Happy Hammers – they thoroughly deserved their win – but there was a discernible gap in class.
Tom Trybull and Mo Leitner simply did not cut it. Mark Noble, Declan Rice and others such as Anderson saw to that. As complimentary towards us as Manuel Pellegrini was afterwards, he knew that he had worked us out beforehand, neutralised us during the match and could have walked away with a far better aggregate goal difference than he did. Well done Tim Krul for keeping the score down.
Avoidable errors from Leitner and Todd Cantwell (what a shocker of a misplaced pass) I won’t dwell on.
The international break comes at a good time for us. There has to be something of a rethink as we have serious personnel problems to address. I’m sure readers will know what’s coming, so in my usual off-piste fashion, here it is.
I lived in Coltishall for 15 years. I’d still be there now if it had a coastline. The railway bridge at Wroxham always left two feet of floodwater under it during heavy rainfall, so we’d have to drive home via Tunstead. One day even Tunstead managed to flood and that was no fun in an MX5, believe me. My mates and I referred to it the great Tunstead Tsunami of 2012. A joke of course.
And City now have the great centre-back tsunami of 2019. Many people have been pleading for a further recruit in that position since the start of the recently-closed transfer window.
But hang on, we have Ben Godfrey, Christoph Zimmermann, Timm Klose, an albeit rusty Grant Hanley and then added Ibrahim Amadou. Five are enough for anyone surely. Make it six if you think Alex Tettey could cover there. Seven if the same school of thought applies to the Stieperdude. I reckon he could have a fair old tilt at it myself.
However Klose is out for yonks, Zimbo’s fate is as yet unknown and Hanley has a groin problem, the nature of which we can only guess.
It doesn’t look good just now, it really doesn’t. But persevere we must.
However we didn’t help ourselves at the London Stadium. As soon as Zimbo got a bad one from Sebastien Haller he should have been taken off. No fuss no fight. If Amadou was the only replacement option, so be it. That isn’t the kind of challenge you can simply run off.
No wonder he couldn’t block the cross for West Ham’s opener in time. He shouldn’t have been on the pitch and if that extra couple of minutes has made his injury worse, I will be fuming.
But I’m not pretending to be a doctor, so I’ll wait for the denouement first.
As Gary G wrote yesterday, and many MFW readers agreed with him, I don’t think the Haller incident deserved a red, although it was pretty nasty.
I always thought three points from our first five games would be our haul but I just (for the first time in a long time) didn’t really like the performance in Stratford.
As to the “why wasn’t Patrick Roberts on the bench” issue, Farke and Roberts will know the answer to that, Speculation by the rest of us is futile.
And next the old Mondeo welcomes the finely tuned Rolls-Royce of Man City, which certainly purred against Brighton
I’m reasonably sure the only enjoyment I’ll get from that encounter is creating the MFW preview with my friends!