Last night I witnessed an astonishing game of football. Manchester City took on Watford… and I don’t think it would be unfair of me to say that the match was by no means a classic. In fact, I don’t think it would be unfair to say that it was the worst match I’ve ever seen. The weather was terrible (I think metre and a half of rain fell on the Manchester City Council Stadium) and the players were too. Dour, dismal and dire. I’m sure that the Opta stats would give telling facts about the match, but there is one fact which I doubt they covered which I’d really like to know more about. Has there ever been a game of football where the ball spent as little time on pitch as last night’s game?
After watching the game (with a stunned City fan I’ll add) I’d convinced myself that the game had the ball on the deck for about 20 seconds. Obviously, this is a complete lie, but it was easy to believe at the time. You see, some sides are unfairly brandished with the long ball (mentioning no names *coughBolton*) whereas some sides seemingly get away with it… and I’m talking about the two sides featured here. Both Watford and City were unable to field a creative player, which resulted in both sides bypassing the midfield by hoofing the ball heavenward in the hope that the wind might blow the ball in. If you could have a 3D graphic of where the possession was, I think it would have read;
2% 10% 2%
It really was a stinker of a match. Both sides favoured the 8-1-1 formation, with the hapless Corradi taking up a position on the right wing, with an umbrella and a packed lunch, and a copy of War and Peace. Bless him. You also know you’re in trouble when Stuart Pearce makes an impact substitution. Hamman on for Reyna. Hilariously, some quarters dubbed the match as ‘entertaining’ (hold your hand up BBC). This bizarre statement could only have come from the stat that the match had a ridiculous amount of corners. Eight each at the last count (before I nodded off). Obviously, I’m hamming it up a bit, because the game did have a couple of incidents. Danny Shittu (snigger) hit the bar with a thundering header, City had a goal ruled out for some push and shove… both came from someone hoofing it. Also, Gavin Mahon, Watford’s captain, should have seen red in the first half with a Macho Man Randy Savage forearm smash that left Joey Barton looking like a cadaver for a spell. Stuart Pearce was quite happy with the game though, saying "It was a tough evening. They were organised and aggressive and it was like football in the 1970s and 80s. I wish I could have got involved."
Micah Richards however looked brilliant. I sincerely hope that any move to a ‘bigger’ club would be delayed a while because whilst he gets regular first team action, he gets better and better… something that Chelsea could not guarantee (just ask ex-Citizen – Shaun Wright Phillips who incidentally has played a grand total of ZERO full games for the Oilers). In a game where few shone, the man of the match award would probably go to him. Nicky Weaver was also bright to make an incredible save from a looping header which was all the more impressive for the fact that he had very little to do before hand. Danny Shittu also looked impressive for the visitors, who did more than enough to be guaranteed a place in Watford’s next starting XI. All that said, the match was still rubbish and I was glad when it was over. [Mof Gimmers]