Sunday, December 26, 2010

Match of the weekend: Newcastle United v Manchester City!!!

City ripe for Toon taking!!!

Newcastle normally save their best performances for games they're not expected to win while City are still under pressure thanks to their major internal problems.

The Carlos Tevez situation hasn't gone away, whatever club management says, as these issues don't suddenly resolve themselves after a nice chat.

There must have been promises from the owners and there will be major concerns in the dressing room that he has retained the captaincy in such circumstances.

I maintain that Tevez's issue is with Roberto Mancini who, for all his public claims, will not have wanted the player to keep the armband.

Mancini was a top, top player at club and international level, and as a player he would not have condoned someone retaining a position of leadership after what Tevez did.

I think there was a little coercion from executive level and, while Mancini's background in Italy means he will have no problem with interference from the board, I doubt the decision was fully his.

City have a bit to do if they are to become top four contenders, let alone title challengers, as you cannot buy cohesion and team spirit: if you go down the route of a massive, sudden outlay to achieve success then the road will be rocky.

Toon, meanwhile, have had their problems at home but they beat Liverpool and I believe, in general, the players struggle with the weight of expectation at St James' Park: when they go into a match as underdogs, as they will on Boxing Day, they tend to perform better.

This is a great chance for Alan Pardew to create a siege mentality, and use it to the team's advantage: the club is not stable, the owner is widely reviled and the fans are naturally suspicious of the coach.

For more detail about the match CLICK HERE!!!

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