Manchester City need help
I keep reading reports of Stuart Pearce talking about Manchester City being toothless and how he will look to resolve that in the summer. The inference being that the problem rests with the strikers and that buying better ones will solve it. But, unfortunately for the City fans, and anyone else unfortunate enough to watch a match involving Citeh, the problem is clearly Pearce's tactics. Before I go any further I have to say Stuart Pearce was a hero of mine as a player, and as a manager there is a lot to admire. But his tactical decisions are terrible, his strikers can not score because they do not get enough chances.
Pearce has learnt nothing from the embarrassment that was Sunderland 'a draw will do' Wilkinson. He has learnt even less from the successes achieved by Reading and West Ham United in recent seasons. City go out to not lose every game, instead of setting out to win the match. Once a mindset like that sets in the players suffer badly if they concede the first goal. The game-plan goes out the window and they need to attack, the problem is their training has been too focused on not conceding.
A good illustration of the way Man City should go is West Ham. It is no longer a case of a new manager coming in and sorting out the defensive problems to save a team. No, Alan Curbishley has only done one thing to give the Hammers hope - he has them attacking with belief and purpose. Admittedly that obviously was not his intention when he joined the club, buying Lucas Neill and Matthew Upson shows what he meant to do. But, whether by accident or design, Curbs has got West Ham playing with attacking flair and verve once again.
The opposition teams now worry about conceding and so they attack with less numbers, thus making it easier for the Hammers defence to halt the attacks. All of a sudden the West Ham defence can cope, confidence increases throughout the side and the whole team improves as a consequence. I just hope Stuart Pearce is watching them!
Article written by Tris Burke