Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he will not change the approach to his side’s away games. City have lost four on the road already this season and have only picked up four points with a win against West Ham and a draw at Stoke City.
Pellegrini told the Manchester Evening News: ‘If you review all the matches, we had a lot of chances than the home teams, but some individual mistakes stopped us from getting the three points. I am absolutely convinced by the way we’re playing.
‘I’m always thinking about our performances, not only when we’ve had a defeat but also when we win.’
The more worrying aspect will be the two games that City have led away from home and yet somehow lost in Cardiff City and Aston Villa.
Ever since Pellegrini took charge at City, they appear to have played much further up the field so much of the game is played in the opposition’s half. It seems to be very effective early on in the game as the only sides that have managed to draw first blood against them this season have been Chelsea and Sunderland.
However, it is games where they take the lead away from home where they run into trouble as they persist with the higher line. If they were to make one alteration at all it would be to perhaps sit a little deeper as sides like Aston Villa and Cardiff – who do have players with a good degree of pace, have had success – you could even put a couple of Joe Hart’s errors down to that over uncertainty as to whether he should’ve been acting as a ‘sweeper keeper’ or should stay in his penalty area but that is a whole other article in itself.
People will ask why it doesn’t work away from home when it does at home, and it’s probably because of how the visiting side plays when they go to the Etihad Stadium and sit a little deeper and don’t pose as much of a threat.
But if City were to grab the initiative and then sit a little deeper, with the pace, power and energy in their side they could easily move the ball from back to front very quickly and be a counter-attacking force.
It wouldn’t need much changing, but that change could be effective.
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