There is always someone to blame when the final whistle blows and the game is lost.
I’ve said it before and I shall say it again – the losing team must be able to find a scapegoat, a reason, for the defeat.
This weekend Manchester City were expected to cruise to victory against Championship side Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup, and continue their relentless march to that oft-spoken quadruple. Of course, as the law of Sod would have it Wigan gave a repeat of their previous heroics against Manchester City in an FA Cup game – and beat them.
Blame was sent in the direction of Manuel Pellegrini for having the temerity to wear a hoodie, instead of a suit, as he prowled the touch line barking instructions to his Manchester City players. Obviously his casual attire meant that he and the players were guilty of complacency and not taking the game seriously enough. Here is Matt Stanger from F365 with some comments:
How football managers choose to dress shouldn’t be an issue, and nor do I ever wish to debate the subject. But Pellegrini’s wardrobe miscalculation set the tone for a dismal afternoon for Manchester City….Pellegrini wore a suit for Barcelona, so why not Wigan?
Natural scapegoat Martin Demichelis endeared himself further to opposition teams giving away the penalty that led to a goal from Wigan’s Jordi Gomez. As one tweeter neatly summarised it: “the only thing more surprising than Wigan’s lead is Demichelis’s presence in City’s starting line up”.
Mr Pellegrini came in for another bout of criticism with the selection of his back four for this game. In came Micah Richards (who seems to have forgotten the relationship between foot and ball), Gael Clichy, Joleon Lescott and the adore-mentioned Steven Seagal lookalike, Demichelis. Manchester City seem to have struggled without Kompany, Zabaleta and Kolarov in their defensive unit this season and the evidence of Sunday’s game would support this theory.
Part of the blame for the lack of defensive cover, however, should rest with the club owners and/or director of football who seem to fling money at world class attackers like rappers in a music video, but appear unwilling to invest in decent defenders. Bargain basement deals like Maicon and Demichelis may be light on the pocket, but City should heed the old maxim “when you pay cheap, you pay twice”.
Refreshingly, the one common scapegoat in a large number of games managed to avoid scrutiny this time. The referee was not given a tongue-lashing by Mr Pellegrini, for a change….
Personally, I believe that Manchester City are not a solid defensive unit without Vincent Kompany marshalling the team and this definitely contributed to their downfall. In addition, the team did not appear mentally prepared for the game against Wigan and perhaps had one eye on the return leg with. Barcelona. From a potential quadruple, City could potentially end the season with just two, or even one, trophies.
So Wigan progress in the FA Cup for a meeting in the next round with Arsenal. The North London club will be looking to end their 8 year (and counting) wait for silverware and with potentially Wigan and Sheffield United/Hull remaining in the competition they will be hopeful of avoiding finger pointing come May.