Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to drop Angelo Ogbonna was big mistake number one and the stats demonstrate clearly that he needs to be recalled for the Spurs match.
For they demonstrate that in the five games in which Fabian Balbuena has been involved, 12 goals have hit the back of our net – seven if you exclude the Manchester City mauling.
Ogbonna, meanwhile, has played eight games and seen eight goals go in yet the manager decided he should be dropped to give the Paraguayan an “opportunity.”
At the time I asked why and it was at that stage I started having my first doubts about the manager. If a man is in form – and Oggy’s was better than most over his eight games then there is no good reason to drop him.
After yesterday’s utter shambles in which Balbuena played a leading part it’s time to give Oggy the opportunity he should never have been deprived of in the first place.
Pellegrini’s opinion on recalling Balbuena frankly shocked me. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t now. In fact, I don’t think it’s an explanation at all. It sounds more like soft sentimentalism.
Bring him back and I believe we will see an immediate tightening at the back against a Spurs team almost as out of sorts with itself as us.
The second change must be Michail Antonio during that forthcoming 90 minutes at the expense of Yarmolenko who really does look as out of form as the rest.
Not all is lost but many of the problems we have are self inflicted by the manager – to be this dar in and not know your best team is really pretty shameful.