Manchester City stumbled to a 2-2 draw away at Birmingham, which coupled with the previous games against Villa and Wolves, means that City have only picked up four points from the last nine available — all against teams in or near enough to the relegation zone. When you consider the uninspiring efforts against Leicester and Notts County in the FA Cup, Manchester City are in a dire run form, and certainly not that of a side that has/had title ambitions.
And of course, after every poor performance, comes the obligatory 'it's all my fault' interview where Mancini, just predictable as a Carlos Tevez penalty (it's always right down the middle!) will squeeze in at least one mention about football being "a strange".
It's Roberto's way of tucking us in, pulling the blankets up nice and tight so we don't catch our death, before he kisses us on the forehead and tells little LiP that "everything's going to be just fine... you get some sleep now... it's important..."
"I am disappointed with myself because I am the manager, and if we don't play well I blame myself. But we can't concede two goals every game, we must do something (about it) and we must play better."
"We played well for the first 50 minutes and then we forgot to play. I should change something. We must think about improving — we should try to play football again, because in the last few weeks we've forgotten this."
"We didn't play well. Sometimes it's impossible, in January and February the team are tired, but a team like us should be able to defend strongly and win 1-0."
"Football is strange..." (There it is!)
"Three months ago, we were nine points behind Chelsea. But we have to play like a team, play football and not concede goals..."
The problem is we've heard it all before from Roberto, about changing the system, being more positive, and especially about football being strange. I'm all for trying to eke out a tense 1-0, or even putting eleven men behind the ball and drawing 0-0 at tough away games like Arsenal. I don't even mind when we play James Milner and Jo as inverted wingers (okay, maybe not in the case of Jo). But when we're leaking goals for fun we may as well just throw caution into the wind sometimes. It just seems odd when you've spent the GDP of Tonga and Sao Tome and Principe combined (I did the maths) on footballers, you're still letting the opposition dictate the game. Especially opposition like Birmingham.
Of course, the cause wasn't helped by a sickening collision in the first-half between Maicon Richards and Nigel de Jong, with the midfielder requiring stitches to a gash — although it's probably more akin to hammering out a ding in the side of your car. Maicon was knocked unconscious, and had to be stretchered from the pitch. Compared to the last person that took on de Jong, he got off extremely lightly...
In better news, Ratface Gary Neville has retired football at the age of 47, leaving the game to concentrate on his life-long goal of finally growing a proper moustache. Although he'll most likely still be on the bench on the Derby to run up the touchline giving it the big I am, the gormless prick.
Here's a highlight reel showing his best contributions of a stellar nineteen-year career. (I think you know what video is coming next...)
@SultanaofBrunei: My stream is so far behind that Dickov's just equalised and is currently sliding on his knees...