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Man City's Struggles Can Be Summed Up By One Farcical Moment Yesterday

Man City's Struggles Can Be Summed Up By One Farcical Moment Yesterday
By Gary Reilly Updated

If you're looking forward to Monday Night Football tonight, then we apologise for ruining some of the surprise. Jamie Carragher is going to tear Eliagium Mangala apart for his part in Chris Smalling's goal. We don't actually know that but there's a fairly good chance.

Apart from some deluded City fans who are still saying it was offside, everyone else could see how poor the Frenchman was for the game killing goal. Despite that, we still need to have a quick rant before Carragher jumps on it later this evening.

United's third goal should have been given as offside. It wasn't. Their fourth goal was as a result of some of the most calamitous defending you'll see in top flight football.

Mangala, English football's most expensive defender, has been having a torrid time of it this season. And, for the most part, we have some sympathy for him. The key word being some. Most of the stick he's been getting has been for being a bit off the pace, something that should get better with time.

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He's a player who is keen to lead from the back and, as such, you'll often see him grab the bull by the horns and charge out to clear his lines and set his team up on an attack. Only, that hasn't really happened this season. Instead he steps out from the back to clear his lines and gets caught out by a game that is significantly quicker than he may be used to.

As a young footballer moving to England, you have to forgive him that. Regardless of his price tag, he's only played 19 league games in England and there's a steep learning curve that he hasn't quite gotten to grips with yet.

A fixable case we'd say. That was until we saw the above camera angle yesterday. That's as close to certifiably criminal defending you'll see outside Mickey Mouse League Minor C.

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Granted, he's not being helped by the defensive liability of Yaya Touré (Dunphy was right), but for a £30+ million central defender to not be able to stay in his defensive line it's almost unbelievable. Not only that, there's actually a physical line drawn on the pitch and he still can't keep to it. It's laughable, and quite possibly unfixable.

Manuel Pellegrini turned to Mangala to shore up his defence at half time and the Chilean must look at that image and just think 'why do I bother?'. He may be in a job for much longer but when this is what he has to deal with, he's probably better off.

And just to drive that point home, here's the saddest GIF we've ever seen.

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(Click on image if not playing)

GIF via /r/soccer

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