Man City vs. Blackpool: Could Width Be the Key to a More Attacking City?
This weekend sees second place Manchester City take on Blackpool in an unexpected top-of-the-table clash.
The promoted Seasiders have surprised a number of people this season as they have accumulated an impressive ten points after six games.
Ian Hollaway has made several inspired signings, and their attacking style of football has been a breath of fresh air for the Premiership this season.
Their brand of football is the anti-venom to the dour performances produced by Roberto Mancini’s side so far this campaign.
They have though, suffered two heavy defeats at the hands of Chelsea and Arsenal.
So is it time for Manchester City to become more attacking against the lesser sides?
So far this season, City’s negative tactics have been very effective against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool, but have left a lot to be desired for against Blackburn and Newcastle.
The formation that Mancini favours in one that implements three defensive midfielders, with two wingers/floating midfielders, playing behind talisman Carlos Tevez.
Although it provides a solid base for the team, there is an attacking spark missing against the sides that set up with a more defensive game plan.
Even though Blackpool will not set up defensive—they’ve tried it once this season, and were 4-0 down after 31 minutes against Chelsea—they are one of the weaker sides that City would be expected to beat comfortably.
A more attacking 4-4-2 system could work well against Blackpool.
Playing two out and out wingers like Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adam Johnson would provide more width and a more potent threat when getting the ball in the final third.
If City wanted to play more unorthodox wingers, they could play James Milner or David Silva out wide.
They are not natural wingers like Wright-Phillips and Johnson. But they have the ability to trouble any team in the world.
Options out wide could prove to be the key as they look to break into the Champions League party this season.
Mancini obviously likes to have protection for the back four, so the much-maligned Nigel De Jong could play alongside Gareth Barry, to support Vincent Kompany, Kolo Toure and the full-backs.
That would leave one space to play an extra forward, alongside captain Tevez.
The favourite would be Emmanuel Adebayor, he could play as the target man, and let Tevez drop back into his favoured second striker role.
Adebayor is lacking in confidence at the moment, and this type of game could be just what he needs to ignite his season.
There are also the options of Jo and Roque Santa Cruz, both of whom are keen to prove their worth after costing a combined £37 million.
Mancini seems to have more faith in Brazilian Jo than he does Santa Cruz, and Jo has repaid his managers' faith this season, scoring in both the Europa League and the Carling Cup.
Jerome Boateng Kolo Toure Vincent Kompany Pablo Zabeleta
Shaun Wright-Phillips Nigel De Jong Gareth Barry Adam Johnson
Emmanuel Adebayor Carlos Tevez
Micah Richards Kolo Toure Vincent Kompany Jerome Boateng
Adam Johnson Yaya Toure Gareth Barry James Milner
Emmanuel Adebayor Carlos Tevez
Micah Richards Kolo Toure Vincent Kompany Pablo Zabeleta
Adam Johnson Nigel De Jong James Milner David Silva
Jo Carlos Tevez
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