Sometimes you just have to say “that was absolutely f***ing atrocious,” neck a beer, slit your wrists, swallow a few pills and then bathe in a cold bath of misery before waking up in the morning when everything will be OK.
But you know what, lads and ladies, I reckon this one’s going to hurt for a while.
Of course, we could just wipe away the result with the ‘it’s sound, Pep’s coming’ line that has become our Cillit Bang ever since the club announced that perhaps the best coach in world football would be taking over next season. Norwich City, 18th in the league and without a win in nine games, nil; Manchester City nil. Bang, and the dirt is gone. Or in our case, mention Pep’s name and the dirt is gone.
For me, that line is about as useful as the one that references the good old days back in Division 2. Even though I’m as excited as the next guy about Pep Guardiola being our manager next term, it’s completely unproductive to live in the past or the future. The present is what matters, and right now, what we’re seeing on the pitch is tosh.
Manuel Pellegrini – ‘the Engineer’, supposedly – has this season conceived a machine that groans and suffocates under a coat of rust from some of the finest materials available to a man of his trade. Successful engineers excel in developing new solutions. They must adapt their ideas and choose the solution that best matches the requirements, but this one is a one trick pony that refuses to learn from previous mistakes.
It seems that Pellegrini looks at this talented bunch of players and believes that, regardless of who he picks, they’ll have a good chance of winning. Manuel is a professional football coach, he knows far more about the game than a keyboard warrior like myself, but for Christ’s sake, both you and I know that football doesn’t work like that. Playing a terrific striker like Sergio Agüero does not guarantee you goals if your tactics isolate him and playing a fantastic creative midfielder like David Silva does not guarantee that chances will be created, especially when the player, by his and Pellegrini’s own admission, is struggling with an ankle injury. Looking at the last two seasons, Pellegrini has to be considered as one of the five worst managers in the division with the resources he has.
The players deserve roasting, too. They talk too much. “This is what we call hunting season,” says Vincent Kompany. “We can catch Leicester,” said Fernandinho with all the fight and passion of Rubén Cousillas after 105 joints before he and his teammates went to Carrow Road and gave one of the most lifeless performances I’ve seen since the 2008 takeover. Close your mouths and do the talking on the pitch where it actually matters.