The Daily Mail: There was no hunger
- 09 February 2014 08:56
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
The headlines rarely make for pleasant reading the day after a disappointing result. So what do the newspapers make of yesterday's stalemate?
Well, never hesitant to revel in City's misfortune, they make no secret that they were less than impressed with the Blues' goalless draw with Norwich.
Let's start with Dave Kidd of the Mirror, who seemed to enjoy writing his match report...
He jokes: "If you had listened to all the hype about Manchester City just a week ago, you’d have imagined that the Harlem Globetrotters had hijacked a juggernaut and set their sat nav for the moon.
"City’s great entertainers were unstoppable. They were going to win the quadruple. They were going to score 200 goals in a season.
"Their financial and footballing firepower was so immense that even Barcelona might as well not bother turning up to the Etihad in nine days’ time.
"Yet a week is a long time in the white heat of a title race. Manuel Pellegrini was outfoxed by his old nemesis Jose Mourinho last Monday and seemed to have been rattled by the old rascal’s jibes.
"And all of a sudden, it seems City can’t hit a barn door. Having failed to score just once all season, at Stoke way back in September, the Blue Moonies have now fired two blanks in a row – for the first time in more than two years.
"Pellegrini’s side are still only two points off the lead – but they have suffered a five-point swing to Chelsea this week. Even the strongest of squads can suffer when you are fighting on four fronts and so it is beginning to prove."
Ouch! Seems a bit harsh, although his thoughts are shared by many in the journalism world. Take a look at the Daily Mail's outlook on things...
According to Mark Ryan: "When all is said and done, they may look back and identify this as the week Manchester City handed the title to Chelsea.
"It sounds premature, of course. Yet no one who witnessed this unimaginative display can feel very confident that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have what it takes to keep up with a Chelsea team that played them off the park on Monday.
"The visitors must have known about Arsenal’s annihilation at Anfield; they must have realised top spot was there for the taking. Yet still there was no hunger."
Strong words there from Mr Ryan but, as he says, his suggestion that City are now out of the title race is far too premature.
As things stand, the Blues lie just two points behind Chelsea with roughly three months of the season remaining. I think we still have a pretty good shot at the title with those kind of statistics.
Yet, I can't find a media source that agrees.
Richard Rae of the Guardian writes: "So much for the expected backlash. Required to respond to Monday's home defeat by Chelsea with the sort of vibrant attacking performance which would confirm that loss to have been no more than a blip, Manchester City again misfired.
"While they dominated possession to a quite extraordinary degree, especially during the second half, Manuel Pellegrini's side failed to break down limited but splendidly determined opposition and in the end were fortunate not to lose."
His analysis is a tad milder, I guess... but that's enough of that. Is there anything else in the headlines?!
John Richardson claims: "Sunday Express Sport can reveal that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger attempted to bring the 32-year-old to the Emirates on loan last summer – only for City to refuse to allow the player to join a Premier League title rival.
"Instead, Barry joined Everton on a season-long loan in which his outstanding form has prompted talk of an international recall.
"Everton boss Roberto Martinez has been so impressed that he attempted to make the move permanent in the January transfer window, which would have freed up a loan slot for former Goodison Park star Jack Rodwell.
"City were prepared to sell Barry and then allow Rodwell to rejoin the Toffees until the end of the season.
"But the double move broke down when Barry made it clear he wanted to keep his options open until the summer when he becomes a free agent."
We'll see how that one progresses.
That's all for today. We'll be back in 24 hours with another round-up of the day's City-related media speculation.
City take on Sunderland in the Premier League on Wednesday 12 February in what will be a dress rehearsal for the Capital One Cup Final in March.
Can the Blues avenge the Stadium of Light defeat earlier this season? A night match under the lights at the Etihad and a preview of the forthcoming final - demand is expected to be high.
Don't miss out - ticket details can be found here...