Football

David Silva must be freed by Manuel Pellegrini

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They say in music the second album is the hardest to make, and such an analogy could be used with Manchester City.

The Citizens were last season's Premier League champions, their title was fully deserved with a near flawless home record and the fact that City scored over 100 goals in the season always helps.

The Blues though have come into this campaign a shadow of the side of last season - a bit harsh you may argue as the season is still very young and there are a lot of twists and turns still to go.

But the reigning champions don't seem as solid as they were last year, and second album syndrome would appear to be creeping in.

Manchester City suffered the same fate when they won the title with Roberto Mancini. The next season as defending champions they surrendered their title with a real whimper, losing the title to bitter rivals Manchester United by some 11 points.

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This season the Blues are eight points behind Chelsea already and, unfortunately for City, the west London club don't seem keen to let their lead slip - which must be a worrying sign for Manuel Pellegrini.

Lack of personnel is one reason the Blues are struggling. City just didn't do enough in the transfer market, while their rivals were able to do so significantly. But the main issue has been the tactics of Pellegrini.

Tactical failure

The Chilean manager who is known as 'the engineer' given his qualification in this area, and he is clearly a clever man - but I can't seem to get to grips with why he doesn't play David Silva further up the pitch in a 'free role'.

The Spaniard is a magician on the ball and Silva showed us that he has a lethal left foot - just ask Adrian, the West Ham goalkeeper. But in the first half of the game against West Ham, Silva was put out wide and looked like a lost sheep. When Pellegrini changed his formation and put Silva further up the pitch he was far more at ease.

Defending isn't a part of Silva's game, nor should it have to be. I know what you're thinking - the modern players need to defend and attack, people will look at Jose Mourinho's sides as an example.

But Silva won't be the same player if he has defending to worry about. Look at Real Madrid for example and Cristiano Ronaldo. The 29-year-old isn't in the Real team for his defensive work, let's just say.

Move inside

Manchester City, if they are to succeed, need to put their best players in the best positions. I know it's stating the obvious but Pellegrini has stubbornly put the Spaniard out wide.

Silva's predicament reminds me so much of Mesut Ozil of Arsenal who is another player in the wrong position. The 28-year-old needs to be behind the lone striker, while Manchester City need to be better numbered in midfield.

More numbers in midfield would mean dropping a striker which would regrettably have to be Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian has played pretty well - but at a club like City someone is bound to miss out and be sacrificed.

Milner the man

The player to fill that hole on the left should be James Milner. The Englishman is such a workaholic and could look after the defensive side of matters while Silva can do what he does best, and that's making clever passes to the centre forward.

Cesc Fabregas links well with Diego Costa and, if Silva can create a similar relationship with Sergio Aguero, than maybe City might well just claw this deficit back.

With the modern day full back bombing forward at any given opportunity, it's important that there is some one there to cover. Milner in my opinion is one of the best players in the premier league to do that job.

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Topics:
Manchester City
Premier League
James Milner
Football
David Silva

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