Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Flat back four

Another 'Dr' Fox

Since my mini revamp at the beginning of the year, many readers will not be readily aware of the total number of posts so far published, while others will hate the fact that I mention it. Well, tough. I have an obsession with numbers and there isn't much I can do about it. I like to see myself in the mould of great OCD sufferers like Dr Johnson - thrumming my stick against each railing - for example. When watching a match on the telly, I have to be staring intently at the screen as the clock ticks round from 11:10 to 11:11, 22:22, 33:33, etc. but must not be looking when it ticks over to 11:12, 22:23, etc. The symmetry of 22:55 also entrances me, being a far more satisfying picture than Rush's 2112. Ahem.

This is post number 442 in the four year history of this ongoing ramble, so it seems appropriate that it should be football and numerology related. Why do I feel a creeping sense of unease? Is it the approach of the football linked apocalypse that is 11/11/11? After all, 4-4-2 only tells part of the story, doesn't it? Let's not forget Joe Hart, who makes the total up to... yes, 11! Spooky, or what?

Or could it be the imminent appeals from Tevez against his likely humungous fine (if we're talking numbers, then six weeks of his wages would be a tidy set for anyone to have as their phone number, don't  you think?) which look set to rumble on and on till the new year? Surely there can be few things (with the possible exception of the ongoing farce that is Dr Fox) more stomach churning than Kia Joorabchian's pathetic squirmings in defence of the Argentine? I also think that Dzeko has escaped fairly lightly as a result of being overshadowed by Carlos. He hardly covered himself in glory with his silly spat at the Allianz Arena, did he? He was playing shit anyway and deserved to be hooked - even if he did bag one against the French the other night. Not quite Silva standard, but not bad.

All of this leaves us with the conundrum of the starting XI for the match at the weekend. Anyway, with City players knocking them in all over Europe for fun, here's my punt:

25. Hart 2. Richards 22. Clichy 4. Kompany 34. De Jong 18. Barry 21. Silva 42. Yaya 10. Dzeko

11. Johnson 7. Milner

Amazingly, I think we are still struggling to find the right defensive balance. Barry is steady enough for a match like the Villa one, but is still too slow and prone to being turned. Nasri is OK (occasionally exceptionally good) going forward, but is hardly likely to track back. I think Clichy is our best bet at left back, but I haven't seen a great deal of Savic yet. In any case, I think we're got enough to beat the Villans at home, and I predict either 3-0 or 3-1. These are the right numbers.

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