Fabio Capello could have done with a ticket to Eastlands last night, to watch Manchester City, with 6 Englishmen on display put in a convincing 3-0 win over Liverpool.
In goal was Joe Hart, who kept his second consecutive clean sheet this season, pulling off a string of saves in the space of 10 seconds to keep Liverpool out. With performances from other English goalkeepers this season, Joe Hart is on his way to cementing his place in the England team for next month’s Euro 2012 qualifying fixtures.
Manchester City started with two English full backs in Micah Richards on the right and Joleon Lescott on the left, in the absence of the injured Aleksandar Kolarov. Richards put in a solid performance, but for a few fouls than earned him a yellow card. Lescott wasn’t as safe and playing like this he will be exposed by the better right wingers and full backs in the Premier League.
Team Mates Past and Present
Former Aston Villa team mates, James Milner and Gareth Barry hooked up in midfield. The latest of the arrivals from Villa Park setup his former captain for the opening goal after some good play from City down the right, that started with Yaya Toure.
An Exciting Future?
On the right flank, Adam Johnson had another influential performance as he caused Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel problems all evening. This performance should interest England boss Fabio Capello given the lack of form from Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips in England shirts. He’s a threat when he cuts inside on his left foot and has great delivery of the ball. He wasn’t far off with a long range effort early on, but if he wants to become a regular in the national team he needs to hold down a regular spot at club level first. He faces competition from Mario Balotelli in the coming weeks.
Also in Contention
Shaun Wright-Phillips was an unused substitute as he days at Manchester City appear to be numbered under Roberto Mancini with the number of midfielders bought this summer by the Italian. His pace could have been useful in Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool side yesterday, who failed to create any real opportunities but for one attack that resulted in 3 shots at Joe Hart. Liverpool themselves named just two English players in the starting lineup; Glen Johnson and Jamie Carragher.
Despite the big money signings from abroad over the past few seasons from Manchester City, the core of their team can provide a number of players to the England team. With Gareth Barry being a regular. Joe Hart and James Milner looking to become ones, the likes of Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards and Adam Johnson have all been given chances to prove their worth to Roberto Mancini this season. Shaun Wright-Phillips was also given his chance on the opening day of the season.