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inevitably there was a lot of gallows humour, but the atmosphere darkened noticeably as the second half wore on. Quite rightly Grant Holt received a warm welcome from the City fans, but what should have been a dignified show of respect turned into a virtual apotheosis as his every touch was greeted with cheers from the City section.
While City still have their fate in their own hands, home form is what their survival will hinge upon, given the apparent inability to get results on the road. It's Groundhog Day again.
Despite the success achieved since the return of Tettey to screen the back four, Sunday saw the return to a 4 4 1 1 system which effectively became 4 4 2. What that meant in practice was that Johnson and Tettey were effectively required to deal with Villa's central three. While City had the lion's share of possession it worked, but once Villa started to dominate the Nike Metcon Ii inevitable gaps appeared.
And so to today and another high pressure game against a Stoke side who have proven hard to beat in recent weeks. The suspension of Charlie Adam will help City, and the injury news this week has been better, but make no mistake that we are in for another tense afternoon.
Whenever City have attempted to play 4 4 2, particularly away from home, the results have been less than impressive and it was disappointing to see a system that worked superbly against Spurs abandoned against a side renowned for their strength on the break. It was a gamble that clearly failed.
The huge ironic cheer when Hooper missed the best chance of the second half was equally difficult to understand and was hardly going to help the player's confidence.
It was yet another awful (and expensive) day for the travelling fans and Nike Kyrie Gold And White
While Elmander may not have set Carrow Road alight I have never seen him give less than 100pc and his pre Christmas partnership with Gary Hooper saw the latter have his most prolific period at the club. The Swede seems to be an unassuming model professional. What's more, he was once again asked to play out of position, so quite why he was targeted for such vituperation is hard to comprehend.
Of course, the Villa fans loved it. As one of them said to me on the walk back to the car, "I thought Normal for Norfolk was just a comedy stereotype until today".
fell apart, and it's impossible to ignore the fact that the formation chosen played into the hands of a counter attacking team like Villa.
can cope with. In that one City win in a high pressure situation, play with passion and show every sign that a corner has been turned and that everything is going to be fine. Unfortunately, Sunday was the other one; the one in which they fold like a cheap suit, surrender meekly and look doomed to relegation.
With no obvious leadership on the field and Alex Tettey and Bradley Johnson struggling to cope in midfield, City simply Nike Metcon 1 For Sale Ebay
It was a surreal afternoon. First we had the mysterious lack of celebration by City's goalscorer, then for 20 minutes things couldn't have gone better for the visitors as Villa made error after error and the crowd got on their backs. However, once Christian Benteke had scored a stunning equaliser we saw one of the most dramatic turnarounds I've experienced in 50 odd years of watching football.
What was really sickening, however, was the simultaneous and systematic belittling of Johan Elmander, whose every involvement was mocked by many City fans.
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