That display on Tuesday against Bournemouth was as far from a Greek tragedy as it is possible to get and much more a case of Greek Fire** courtesy of a young man we’ll be seeing a lot more of – Christos Tzolis.
Let’s be honest Scott Parker opened his book of excuses early doors by citing players coming back from injury, wanting to have a look at a couple of his youngsters and a thinly-veiled demonstration of his lack of regard for the Carabao Cup as a competition that should be taken seriously.
Daniel Farke made 10, yes ten, changes from the battalion beaten so easily at the Etihad on Saturday, with only Lukas Rupp [he of half-time hook fame] surviving. This didn’t stop Parker from proclaiming that we could still field four players with Premier League experience as well as five current internationals. True of course but an attempt to appease disgruntled Cherries fans nonetheless.
Visiting the Bournemouth Echo site early yesterday morning I found the comments section to be full of doom and gloom with several brickbats for Parker, particularly regarding a comment of his that I hadn’t previously seen which suggested there was very little difference between the bottom of the PL and the top of the Championship. One wag replied: “the difference seems to be about six goals, Scott”.
If I don’t have a friend I can speak with about a particular game I like to do this as I’m always keen to see what the oppo has to say and I know nobody who supports Bournemouth so I thought I’d explore the local paper on this particular occasion. Not in any sense of gloating this time around, I genuinely like to know what other folks think.
Replacing my Canary cap, that was just the performance we needed. But do not be persuaded to take the line that this was Norwich City Reserves against Bournemouth Reserves as it wasn’t.
Daniel being Daniel we are unlikely to see wholesale changes from the Manchester City XI to the team that emerge as first picks against Leicester on Saturday, but I can think of at least four who will be knocking on the door.
The exceptional debut from Tzolis was very nearly matched by those of Josh Sargent and Brandon Williams and if the return of Kenny McLean at full throttle doesn’t buy him a start on Saturday I will be surprised. These four only know each other through limited training time at this stage so consider what might be to come.
I’m pretty much sure the days of a City starting XI that picks itself are over, which is exactly what Farke wants himself, of course. Selection is going to prove an increasingly important part of his job.
We’ve well under a week to recruit a defensive mid and a centre back. Will Stuart Webber come up with the goods? We still don’t know as the closure of the window edges ever nearer.
Otherwise, we have the options of Jacob Sorenson and Andrew Omobamidele respectively. So many of us would like to see both of them prosper but is a bumpy early ride in the PL really the right time to bed either in?
I cannot answer my own question but, as always, if any MFW readers have an objective view we’d love to hear from you.
The football world is a better place than it was on Sunday morning, and that is for sure.