In the last episode we completed pre-season and prepared for the first game of the season, this is the continuation.
Man City vs Everton (Result)
What a way to start a season! (Although only for the neutral) We fall into the same trap the Pep squad fell in to that led to his downfall, clearly an immediate impact wasn’t possible. So much for a management bump on results right?
It’s a tough game from the get go – Bruma’s pace on the wing decimates us three times in quick succession and it seemed like there was no way back. We quickly swap things around so Azpilicueta moves to the left to show some experience and counter the threat, it’s to no avail though. The goals fly in thick and fast and I think, “what have I gotten myself into here?”
My trusted Inter players struggle to settle in to the team, despite playing the same system. Darder does ok but I expect bigger things, Sule doesn’t contribute in the slightest and seems massively out of place – a new main defender is desperately needed. Sule will settle as a decent back up, and although it’s only one game, he doesn’t seem suited to be a every game player.
After ten minutes we’re struggling and a good result seems out of the question, but Coutinho rifles in a shot to give us a glimmer of hope. It settles us down massively as we start to get some rhythm. An Isco penalty gives us even more hope and confidence is at a high now, Sane gets in on the action immediately after to compound the feeling. We’ve done it, we levelled it up! It’s an unbelievable game of football and gets crazier. The feeling doesn’t last long though and Everton grab a fourth before half time.
Things calm for about twenty minutes and when Lewandowski grabs his two goals, I can’t take any more stress. It’s the maddest thing I’ve seen on FM for a long time. I beg we hold on and get a win in our first game, showing a lot of heart along the way.
It’s not to be though, Everton grab another goal, in a carbon copy of the first. It’s a low cross from the wing across goal which leads to a tap in at the back post. It’s not a solid performance from Bertini but he’s still young, and the defenders have given him nothing to work with.
The final whistle goes and the madness ends. I’m happy that we didn’t lose, and considering the first ten minutes that’s a big surprise. There is still plenty of work to be done to get this squad back to it’s best. To the transfer market…
After the outrageous first game we look to reinforce the squad further. We send out some feelers to clubs with players we want and one deal we do get done is a new No.1. I still have faith that Bertini will be a great purchase in the long run, but it’s too much pressure on the lad. Jack Butland is available for a decent £25M and has plenty of experience. Yes he comes direct from Liverpool but he’ll do us a good job.
He signs but Bertini keeps his place in the team for the next game against Middlesbrough. Can we get our first win?
Middlesbrough vs Man City
That’s a resounding “no” right there then. Sule once again has an absolute shocker. The need for a full time centre back has reached critical levels now. He’s at fault for both goals being either out of position or not tracking his man. The famed attack also fails to do anything as the top stars flop. We’re outclassed by Boro who were solid throughout. We really didn’t play well, but full credit to them. Their whole line up played their parts – compared to our players it was night and day.
With no more business happening before the next game, we make some personnel changes as we look for our first win. The middle of the park is swapped out as we opt for Gundogan and Tielemans preferred to Darder and Isco. Butland comes in for his first game too, meaning Bertini is relegated to the bench.
Man City vs Sunderland
We see my first win in charge and it’s a dominant display. Sure, Sunderland aren’t much competition but we restrict them to little of the ball and a rare shot. Gundogan and Tielemans worked well together and helped us control the game. The goals weren’t the best, being quite fortunate, we didn’t put away our better chances but it’s a step in the right direction.
They’re still areas of the squad that need improving and despite a bump in performance, Sule isn’t the man to take us forward. Butland showed his quality though, which is encouraging. There isn’t much time to get business done now either, with money still being hard to come by, there’s a lot of work to be done.
In the next episode we’ll be finishing the transfer window and covering a lot of games, you’ll get to read it here on Man on the Post.