On Wednesday night, Newcastle were beaten by Manchester City in front of the Sky cameras.
However, in the aftermath of the defeat many pundits were quick to lay the blame with Rafa Benitez’s tactics. The somewhat cautious tactics were labelled by Sky’s Gary Neville as being ‘unacceptable’ in this league.
But surely the point must be made that Manchester City have gone the whole season so far unbeaten. Numerous teams have tried and failed to beat the Citizens.
So how do you approach a game such as this? Surely the plan must be to try and make the game as difficult to play as possible for City.
If United were to try and approach this in the usual way and try and face up to the Citizens they would be blown away. Better teams have tried to play City at their own game and failed.
You just have to look at the likes of Watford and Stoke, who certainly have better teams than Newcastle do. They were completely destroyed by City.
Furthermore, the point must be made that these sides who are considered to be stable Premier League clubs cannot deal with City. Neville’s comments about United’s defensive style are outdated.
The Premier League is no longer competitive or the best in the world for the top teams against the smaller sides. Whilst there has always been an element of this in the league.
This season it has gotten to La Liga levels with Manchester City having longer winning streaks than Real Madrid and Barcelona in their prime.
Even Manchester United have employed defensive tactics to try combat City and failed. So surely Benitez was justified in the way he set up against the runaway league leaders.
Newcastle came as close as anyone to snatching a point at the end. With even City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan saying on Twitter that the last ten minutes were tough.
United should be praised not criticized.
Featured Image Credit: Steenburgs