Monaco vs CITY

monOnce upon a time there was a football manager, we’ll call him Joe, who once said that he’d never disrespect the FA Cup by playing a weakened team (not like that nasty Manchester City) at least not whilst they are drawn against low championship and 1st division opposition.  But with an upcoming EL tie and winning said tournament could lead to qualification to the CL, their only realistic chance of doing so,  Joe changed his mind.  But how could he do it without sounding like a hypocrite?  “I know” he said, “I’ll tell everyone that all my strikers are injured and that I have to play the walking lamp post Fellaini as a makeshift striker.  If by some chance, we win, I’ll be considered a genius, but if we lose, everyone will feel sorry for me and the press won’t hound me like they did Mr Pellegrini.”  Anyway, that’s enough fairy stories for now, let’s get down to the important matter of beating Monaco. After coming back from the dead in the first leg, we all felt euphoric, but I’d have been a lot happier if we’d taken that last minute chance to make it 6-3.  We only have to lose by two goals and we’re out, unless we score three of course.  The first twenty minutes will be vital.  We must start high tempo and frustrate them.  Concede early and we’ll have a big problem.  That said. I think we’ll go through with a few nervous moments and I’m going for 2-2 on the night.

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49 thoughts on “Monaco vs CITY”

  1. First I think we will score and go through.
    After all the bookings in the first leg I got my conspiracy theory head on. There are 5 Monaco and 4 City players (I think) who with another booking will miss the first leg of the next round. Sterling already has 2 so will miss this game? Lets see what clown of a ref UEFA have allocated and what he does, as if he books these players again it wont matter who goes through they will be seriously disadvantaged in the next game which will no doubt be against a team that the establishment cow tows to.
    I watched Monaco’s second half on Saturday afternoon after City’s game and when their keeper made a mistake and 2-0 went to 2-1 boy can they waste time. They make Wengers team look positively speedy. So if they do get a couple we know what to expect.

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  2. Think the wheels will come off on Weds night. We saw what an attacking threat they are at our place, so what could they be like in the principality?. I still can’t trust our defence even though we’ve been better of late, still too many cock ups waiting to happen. Monaco 3 City 1. Think this will be our line up: Caballero, Sagna, Clichy, Stones, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Sane, Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero.

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  3. Think Sterling is banned, given how poorly we did in the Stoke game without him, a bit worrying. The referee as an Italian, Mr Rocchi, don’t know much about him. Not confident at all.

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  4. A few nervous moments? City? Surely not!

    I was a nervous wreck on Saturday until we got the second goal when either we looked suddenly much more comfortable or my mood suddenly changed (probably both!) and this against a team who we were clearly superior too. Heaven knows how I’m going to feel on Wednesday as a free scoring attacking team pits itself against our defence. How foolish I was thinking that watching City was going to get easier……..

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  5. There was a lot of confusion over whether Sterling had been booked against Monaco, but if I remember correctly, it was the TV commentary that got it wrong, and Sterling won’t be suspended.
    However, I’ve never checked since.

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    1. I just checked the Soccer Base site and under the stats for the Monaco game, Sterling ISN’T listed as having been booked. Fernandino, Zabaleta, Aguero, Otamendi and Stones were the booked players

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  6. Everyone in the media keeps harping on about City’s rubbish defence letting in 3 against Monaco, while none of them appear to have noticed that Monaco shipped FIVE against City. Do you know something? That makes their defence worse than ours! I expect a high-scoring game on Wednesday, with City winning or losing by one and going through. And what about that tosser Oliver? If Valencia had been wearing a City shirt, he would have gone with a straight red and got a 3 game ban. Wearing red, you don’t even kop for a booking.

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  7. They should’ve finished with 9 men however fair play to Oliver, at least he had the bottle to actually send one of them off. As for the others, just too much to ask yet. Has anyone noticed since Mou got his second red (and only a one game ban not the two for already being sent off this season) and had a whinge about the refs, the amount of decisions that have gone their way? Its worse than when Taggart was in charge.

    As for MCFC, we won’t lose by two goals. As for the score, I’m banking on 0-0 or one 1-0 either way. MCFC will go through though

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  8. It will be interesting to see how we approach this one. They have to get two goals at least,so do we sit back and hit them on the break or get at them from the start to try and put it beyond them? We are capable of putting five past them so do they go defensive and try to hit us on the break. So glad we have Pep to work this one out. Not a game I would even attempt to predict but looking forward to it.

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  9. How do we approach this game though?. I think we have to go all out for an early goal, quieten the crowd and hopefully it knocks a bit of stuffing out of Monaco. If they score first though i fear for us, and reckon we could be on the end of a real doing. As everybody says on here another game that’s going to be no good for the blood pressure. Nothings ever easy in this City journey is it?

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    1. We should approach exactly as I said in the post, we must avoid giving them an early goal as PSG did to Barca, that was all the incentive Barca needed. It’s not going to be easy, but as Iain (I think) has pointed out, we scored five against them partly because they did tire by 70 minutes.

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      1. Tony: Start high tempo and don’t concede early,if that’s possible I’m all for it.
        I think Pep has started some mind games against a side used to demolishing inferior opposition by hinting at all out attack against a side not used to “bus parking”. I don’t think anyone will go “gung ho” in the first 20 minutes and a “cat and mouse” type approach will be seen. I would like to see us go for it from the start go in at half time 4-0 up on aggregate and then get a couple more on the break as they throw the kitchen sink at us but I doubt that will be Peps game plan.

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  10. How far back are we going Tony? Was this the UEFA cup in 1978? Was that before we became the most envied club in football? Let’s hope for a better future, if not for us then for all the youngsters in Manchester City shirts especially those having their education paid for by the club. How I’d love to be there roaring them on. COME ON YOU BLUES!

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      1. I can’t find the game on google Tony,although we did beat them 5-1 in a pre season tournament in America in 2014.

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  11. Truly abysmal first half, infact I’m fuming with the zero effort being put in all over the pitch. We’re out here without a fucking fight, where are our supposed big game players De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero etc?, I’ll tell you where they’re fucking hiding not interested, crying because the poor sods are having to play every few days.
    This second half has to be a million times better, because Guardiola and this lot will face a few uncomfortable days ahead if not.

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  12. Second half better but we’ve seen it so many times in this competition over the years. We’ll never win this tournament, we’re not clever enough, foreign sides are far too clever and skillful for us to handle. Pep has to take a lot of the blame , Kolarov, Sagna and Clichy in the defence simply woeful. They all have to go this summer. So pissed off tonight, but i predicted this scoreline so not totally surprised.

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  13. Oh yes, our sloppy defending from set pieces.
    As, I said, after both the Boro and Sunderland games, it’s been creeping-in for a while, and sooner or later, an opponent would benefit from a free header.

    However, it was our big names who let us down tonight. Aguero, Silva, and De Bruyne were all anonymous for large periods, summed up by that last minute free kick.

    Add to the mix, two ponderous, lumbering full backs, and it was always going to be tight.

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  14. Just too angry for words because having got ourselves back in front we allowed them to re-take the lead from their only effort of the second half. It’s not just recently where we haven’t been able to defend those vicious in swinging free kicks, watch the season review videos, you’ll see lots of goals conceded from similar positions going back to 1990. Sterling should have shot when through, Aguero should have done better with two chances. Awful just awful first half cost us, but more importantly conceding three goals at home is unforgivable because it gives them such an advantage. Okay, we had a two goal lead, but if we’d won 2-0 at home, we’d be through tonight. I said a long time ago, that I’d written this season off because we have too may aging defenders, so it’s next year when we can judge Pep. But on his tactical ability on tonight’s first half showing he looks more like Malcolm Allison in his second spell at City than the best coach in the world..

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    1. Great post Tony, i also think the vast majority of our players are lazy, only start to play when they feel like it. It’s happened all season, we can’t string two good halves together. De Bruyne has to be dropped, way off form for ages now offering nothing, Aguero very close to being dropped but his last few domestic matches have helped his cause a bit, but tonight he was back to his crap self.

      Then our defence, don’t even get me started on it. Four can go in the summer if any mugs want them namely Kolarov, Clichy, Sagna, Otamendi. Prem mid table players at best. Oh well, let’s put all our eggs in the FA Cup basket and win it.

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  15. It was a very, very disappointing result considering we had a 2 goal cushion. In the first half the players seemed to be a bag of nerves and the ball was a hot potato that nobody wanted, misplaced passes, no forward movement, empty midfield, no players creating angles for an easy pass. Fatal error of allowing the oppposition to get an early goal. The second half was far better, positive and direct. Aguero could have had two. But we then get ahead and can’t hold the lead and see out the game. Awful defensive line for their free kick. It was a gift. The frustrating thing is that the tie was winnable with more effort, application and bottle. I think we suffer and have suffered for a few games now with the poor form of Fernandinho. He is not the force in midfield that he was.
    Talking about the defence I thought Stones and Kolarov had reasonable games in the circumstances. Sagna and Clichy were given a bit of a runaround. we did not defend as a team.
    You have to give credit to the way Monaco played. They were very good and got the goals they needed but we certainly gave them a helping hand. When teams employ an up and at ’em approach we really can’t handle it. After the first 5 minute of the first half, Silva, KdB and Sterling vanished and were spectators and couldn’t get into the game until the second half.
    At least we won’t now have as much fixture congestion!

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  16. After seeing the way the referee screwed PSG last week, I really couldn’t give a toss about this tournament. It’s bent and they’d only do the same to us at some point. I may be small minded but I’d rather win the FA Cup and the PL as Chelsea will probably do than reach the CL final and be cheated.

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  17. Tonight exposed all of our weaknesses:

    1) We still have an inferiority complex in this competition – how else do do explain that disgraceful first half performance when everything that we needed not to happen actually did.

    2) We have no pace in defence or midfield – In the first half Monaco were so much sharper to the ball and quicker with it than we were, the gulf in performance was actually embarrasing.

    3) When we get on top we can’t put the ball in the net and once again chance after chance went begging.

    4) We continually give away free kicks in and around our box – we often get punished from these.

    None of these are atributable to Pep, they have been in evidence for years. What is disappointing is that he hasn’t managed to resolve them. I firmly believe a massive clear out is required, not just because some players are now past their best, but to change the whole mentality of the squad. We need a team of ruthless winners, not players who have a streak of laziness who try and win with the minimum of effort. My elation at Sane’s goal quickly faded when I saw how long was left, I just knew we’d ease off and let them back into it rather than going for the throat whilst we were on top. It pains me to say it as he’s been really good of late, but Silva never performs well against the better sides in Europe and I don’t think we’ll ever win the CL with him in the side.

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  18. Tony:
    Talking of Chelsea, it’s ironic that if it wasn’t for their implosion under Mourinho last season, then City probably wouldn’t have qualified for the Champions League.

    That’s how far we slipped under Pellegrini, and it also explains why Aguero and Silva now look peripheral, when we reach the knockout elite. They’re still capable of the odd moment of magic, but they’ll never dominate like some of the Barca/Real/Bayern lads.
    In contrast Sane looks lean and hungry, even when he’s just made a few mistakes.
    Similarly, Sterling was poor, but still got his obligatory assist.

    I agree about De Bruyne. His set piece delivery was awful tonight, and the pressure seemed to get to him.
    Ironic, because he did the pass of the game, for the move where Sterling got caught in two minds.

    However, the move that summed it all up for me was the one that ended with Silva fouling their goalkeeper from an overhit Clichy pass.
    That particular farce started with Sane charging down the left wing, but having to stop, because nobody was in the middle. Ten passes later, the ball arrived at the feet of our least creative player.

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    1. It’s the timing that frustrates as well Neil. Remember back in 2014/15 when we’d pegged Chelsea’s 8 point lead so that they were ahead of us by having scored one goal more. We faced Everton away and went 1-0 up after 70 minutes. We managed to keep the lead for around six minutes before conceding a free kick in a similar position to tonight’s. Everton’s equaliser was almost identical. Why, when we concede so many goals from those situations, don’t we learn to defend them? Why are our corners and free kicks still a shambles?

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  19. I also meant to say I’m getting sick of hearing about our ‘lack of experience’ in this competition – we’ve been in it for 6 seasons running now- that’s longer than most squads stay together. When we have a squad that’s good enough, we’ll win it. Obviously, we haven’t reached that point yet! No doubt we can all look forward to a few weeks of hearing about how Leicester are doing the country proud…….

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  20. Totally overrun by quick, high press in the first half, but they burned themselves out and we bossed the second period. The attack has pretty much been sorted, but the defence needs major work in the summer. You can’t gift opponents simple chances, like we did for their third – a line so high that anyone with pace can saunter past our back four and are then through on goal. We should have scored more than one after the break, but familiar failures let us down again. I was so disappointed at FT, throwing away the tie the way we did. However, unless we drew Leicester, we were going out in the next round, anyway (and the way they are playing right now, the Foxes could well have turned us over, too). Oh: and just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it’s the Scousers on Sunday, with THEIR high press…..

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  21. It’s dead easy to criticise us because of the money spent on the squad and the overall investment at the club and to be honest, reflects the lazy journalism that takes place these days for the most part. As for tonight’s game I felt that the error started with Pep because he picked a really poor side on balance for this match in my opinion. I felt it was definitely a match for two holding midfielders and an argument for doubling up on their wing backs who were more like wingers in both legs at times. I agree with the comment earlier about Malcolm Allison in his second spell, at present we are going backwards and will perhaps just about heave ourselves into the top four places…as if I care. If we don’t win the title we could finish tenth for all I care at this stage. Winning trophies is what matters and we are miles away from winning the Chimps League at this stage. We’ve got a very winnable FA Cup semi-final to come and that really is the only thing left for the remainder of this season. We can’t defend well enough as a team to really expect to challenge for top two places, we give away too many cheap goals and having a lively front fix/six will cut it against the mediocre teams but as we’ve seen this season when we’ve come up against quality we have really paid for it at the back. Two new full backs, yet another centre half and a replacement for Yaya is just about the minimum that we need in the summer.

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  22. A few points; As much as I agree that our defence needs a major overhaul I don’t believe they are the reason we lost tonight. Our midfield was not existent, they didn’t protect the defence and they certainly didn’t support Aguero.

    The first two goals came from them creating a two on one situation in the corner. Why wasn’t a midfielder there to support Stones? All things considered, the midfield left them massively exposed and overworked in the first half, and a lot of our best attacking work started with them. I agree that when Clichy and Sagna are creating our best openings, we have a problem. In the second half even Stones started driving forward.

    Similarly in the second half when we were much better, Aguero gets the ball and takes on a few players, ends up at the corner flag, looks up, not one MCFC player near him for 50 yards. Where was the midfield supporting him?

    KDB has been poor for a few weeks but gets by because he still usually sets up one great chance. Monaco packed the midfield meaning we had to go wide because our midfielders didn’t work hard enough.

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. The quality is there but the application is questionable at times.

    I don’t think Pep got the tactics wrong, I still believe we don’t have the right cattle for the job yet however I think the players, and specifically the midfield, let Pep, the club and the fans down.

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  23. I think Tony called it from the start. Don’t concede early and or play at a high tempo. Pep told them to play as if it were a one off game. In truth we did none of these things and paid the price.

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  24. Our best centre back is, we are told, fit and ready to play, yet he doesn’t even get on the bench. If VK is finished, we should be told so we can celebrate his career and move on. If not, then not playing him is a farce, given the issues with all the others.

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  25. And another gripe that bugs me, why can’t Pep settle on one captain instead of handing it to somebody different every game. Maybe it makes no real difference to how we perform but Aguero and Silva simply aren’t leaders, so why Pep insists on this heaven only knows.

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  26. I don’t even want to look at the newspapers this morning – no doubt they are all kicking us in the teeth. Before the first leg, I was trying to be positive about Monaco, writing here that the reason they’d scored so many goals was because it was a poor French league and to a degree, I still stand by that. They looked lively in the first leg until around the 70th minute when we took control of that game. The media reckoned that they tired and couldn’t keep up that tempo and that was why we dominated them so much for the last twenty minutes. Last night, they were in total control of the first half, limiting us to a total of no chances. So what happened in the second half, because the second half was a mirror image of the first. This time we were totally in control and had we taken our chances (ha! – as if) we would have won comfortably. So what happened at half time, did they tire again? I doubt it. As others have pointed out Pep got the team selection wrong. On the bright side, we can go all out and win the FA Cup, or have the players or at least those who are likely to be on their way out, given up?

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  27. I have waited over 12 hours to say anything because I was so incensed last night I couldn’t think straight never mind type. We did score so I got that bit right, didn’t go through though so got that one wrong.
    Just read Pep’s ‘I couldn’t convince them to attack and score’, bleat to the press.
    You are the boss Pep, tell them what to do (some of them need telling as was very apparent last night).
    If you are not willing to take charge and issue some orders instead of having a meeting and consensus you can sod off somewhere else for me. You are dragging the club I love and have supported for longer than you have been on the planet into the mire and giving the rag press enough bullets for a gatling gun.
    I am rapidly becoming very disillusioned with City and football as a whole too.
    Last nights lack of performance all over the pitch was nothing short of disgraceful and Pep and every player except Sane should be having a long hard look at themselves right now. (Not holding my breath on that though.)

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  28. The problem is Pep my old mate is that for too many of our players, their natural instinct is to pass the ball sideways or back. Your job if you choose to accept it is to convince them to be more aggressive and go forward

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  29. We’re here again with Pep aren’t we?. Is he really this master that all and sundry seem to think, I’m far from convinced so far. Only seems to know one way of playing, attack at all costs, but even our thick lot didn’t understand that last night especially in the first half. If we don’t win anything in his first season then I’d class it as a huge failure and he’ll get absolutely ripped to pieces by the media vultures. Never fails to get Bayern and Barca to the semis, comes to City can’t even get us past the last sixteen. I think that tells us everything where we are at present.

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    1. There is certainly a split into two camps when it comes to Pep. Some say he’s the best manager in the world, that his record speaks for itself and after waiting patiently and courting him for two years or more, we can’t start questioning his decisions. He drops Joe Hart and replaces him with a keeper whose past record admittedly is good, but who seems incapable of making crucial saves and whose distribution looks no better than Hart’s, but we must accept it, he plays Kolarov – a left back in centre of defence ahead of Otamendi who has improved in the last five games, but we must accept it because his distribution is better. He buys a player recovering from a serious injury whose total playing time for us consisted of ten games and promptly gets injured and is out for the season. He insists on playing it out from the back when even Stevie Wonder can sense the danger, but again, that’s the way he played when at Barca and Bayern and it worked there, so we mustn’t question it. In the other camp are those who at present see no Messiah, no great footballing brain, no youth policy, whose only method of playing worked in a one dimensional leagues, but won’t work in the PL and who doesn’t appear to have a plan B. In fact the only time we did change things and it worked against Barca at home, I’m not convinced he had anything to do with it, more like the players just sussed out that if they could play it over the top, they’d get results. The reference to Malcolm Allison in an earlier comment was deliberate because even today there are some who think that all Allison needed was more time and it would have all come good and that Swales panicked. Then there were those of us who could see that Allison mk2 was taking us the way of Crystal Palace in 1973/4, into the third division.

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  30. Last season it felt like I enjoyed about 4 weekends, practically all of which were at the beginning of the season when we started like a house on fire. By the end of the season probably the only further highlight was when winning the EFL cup. So when it comes to entertainment I have to say Pep has been a big improvement on Pellegrini. However, when it comes to tactics and team selection for key games it seems there’s little to choose. I think Sundays match against Liverpool will tell us a great deal about how far we’ve come, or haven’t! I’m not looking forward to it one bit but then again I wasn’t looking forward to Arsenal or Spurs at home. As for last night, it’s hard to add anything that hasn’t already been said above but here are my thoughts in bullet form.

    Fernandinho has been poor for months. His disciplinary record is abysmal – last night he was a booking away from yet another suspension and he was responsible in a big way for that early goal. Gundogan has been a huge miss.

    KDB should have considered how he’s been performing before opening his gob to have a go back at Mourinho. who was no doubt pissing himself last night. How De Bruyne wasn’t brought off for Toure had me baffled.

    Media blue-eyed boy Aguero let us down again. I swear I did not even get excited when those two golden chances were presented. I just knew he’d miss. My Brother felt exactly the same.

    Silva has been superb in recent domestic matches but once again disappeared in a key Champions league match. We just can’t rely on him at this level.

    Sagna and Clichy were truly abysmal. I thought Sagna was a right back yet he seemed to expect Stones to defend his flank. At one point he could even be found on the left wing. Zabaletta, who I thought was finished last season, should have been playing.

    Stones must be wondering what the hell he’s let himself in for. No doubt he was looking forward to playing alongside Kompany but playing one week with Otamendi, the next with Kolarov must be a total nitemare. In the absence of anything from the club, the journo’s at the MEN have a duty to investigate what the fuck is going on with Kompany.

    I asked last week what makes Aguero a suitable captain and I see one of the lads above has similar misgivings about both Aguero and Silva. The fact is the only leaders we have are Kompany and Zabaletta. This needs addressing. Gundogan, if he can get properly fit, would be my choice from the current personnel.

    What is our aim at corners? I bet we win more than any team in the Prem yet hardly ever score from one. Is this surprising when most of our corners are lofted towards attackers that are generally dwarfed by their opponents?

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    1. Corners are a waste of time Glyn and I actually mean just that. It has reached the point that if we win a corner in the 88th minute that I just want them to take it quickly and give away possession because we are wasting precious seconds. You just know nothing will come of it. Long, short, sideways they are all dreadful.

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  31. Can I just thank everyone on here for the sensible and thought provoking posts. Following a poor defeat, one of the first things I and I suspect a few others who use this board used to do was head over to the KK blog where we could chew over what had happened. Sometimes, I was given a confidence boost, sometimes it was good to hear that others had seen and felt the same way as you did and sometimes it was good to just get your moans off your chest. Glad to say that the same thing is happening on here. We may not have hundreds of contributors, but style is better than substance (have I got that right?)

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  32. Seems like we have a load of thick idiots playing for us now, as Clichy has admitted that the players didn’t play how Pep asked them to. Questions need to be asked here, seems like the players are taking the piss to me, not for the first time as well.

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