1. When Average Meets Average
This is a Meeting of the Mediocre, unlike our game with Newcastle which was simply a Battle of the Bad.
2. The Stats
In their first 5 games, Man City have managed 3 goals and their main "striker", Paul Dickov has mustered 3 shots on goal. This scares me not. Well, okay, a little.
There are a bunch of guys who seem to hang around in front of Roy Carroll. I hesitate to call them "defenders" as such, given that this would indicate tackling, or organised movement and such like. And watching Danny Gabbidon play this year would disprove that notion somewhat. Anyway, how about not letting in the first goal this week? Just at thought.
We did beat Man City away last year in the FA Cup with a bravura performance from Dean Ashton. (No clean sheet, naturally, despite playing against ten men for most of the second half). In the League we were deservedly beaten 2-1, whilst managing the seemingly impossible and making Andy Cole and Darius Vassell look potent.
Enough with the negativity, on the plus side, Bobby Zamora has now scored as many Premier League goals as Franck Quedrue.
3. My Peg Is Squarer Than Yours
I read today that Tyrone Mears is injured and may not play on Saturday. Ho hum. My concern is that Hayden Mullins appears to be in line to replace him. Now, Hayden is one of my favourite players but he is really not a right back. Nor is he a left back or a centre back while we're at it, Alan.
Playing him at right back strikes me as being about as good an idea as eating your own cat. Sure - I guess you can do it but I don't think it's going to be all that enjoyable for either party.
If you want to compare the various square pegs of our recent managers I have voted for the following:
Alan Pardew - Hayden Mullins: Left Back vs Crystal Palace (Play Off Final)
Harry Redknapp - Trevor Sinclair : Left Wing Back vs Steau Bucharest
Glenn Roeder - Ragnvald Soma : On a football pitch vs anyone
4.Newtons Immutable Law of Ex Players
While we're on the subject of Trevor Sinclair he is one of numerous ex Hammers playing in the Premier League. Usually, we let them score against us -Lampard, Defoe, Ridgewell, Ferdinand (Yes, that's Rio Ferdinand of 7 career goals fame, 2 of them for us). In City's 1-0 defeat at Upton Park last year poor old Trevor lobbed Jimmy Walker, tricky as that is, and was all set to equalise before Micah Richards nipped in and poked it in from about 6 inches out. Unfortunately he was offside. And to top it off, Shaun Newton scored the winner. Oooooooooouch.
5. Take Cole To Manchester
Carlton Cole is down to a goal every 53 minutes. Get rid of him Al.
6. The Department of Delusion
Off topic but worth noting. The following sentence was uttered by a manager in respect of the Carling Cup this week. "We are the plum tie in the round and they got us". Who do you think that might have been? Harry Redknapp, manager of Premier League leaders,Portsmouth? Nope. Martin O'Neill, boss of high flying Aston Villa (oxymoron alert!)? Guess again. Well, dont actually. It was Kevin Blackwell, then manager of 2nd bottom Championship Leeds.
Perhaps "plum tie" means something else up there? I know for instance that in Leeds they refer to a charmless, odious, incompetent twat as a "Peter Ridsdale" whilst we in London would call him a "Peter Kenyon". It's a small but significant difference.......