Barry relishes new freedom ... for as long as Mancini lets it last

 

Manchester City may have played some captivating football en route to leading the embryonic Premier League table with six points and seven goals from two games, but the suspicion is that, when he studied the table yesterday morning, Roberto Mancini looked at the goals-against column and frowned. Two goals against is two too many.

His players, though, have enjoyed being let off the leash. Gareth Barry, who thumped in the second goal in Sunday's 3-2 defeat of Bolton, said: "Hopefully we'll be entertainers. We'd like to keep on scoring goals. We spoke about being defensively solid last season, so we need to try and keep them out at the back. But, if we can add goals, we don't mind entertaining as well.

"We are more attack-minded this year with the players who have come in giving the manager great options. He hasn't moved away from the fact you always need to start with clean sheets – to win the title you have to keep them – but if we can add to the goals tally at the same time, we can go far."

City's next match is at White Hart Lane where, last season, they defended for a goalless draw in the campaign's opening match. "If we can put in a good performance against Spurs, it will show how far we've come," added Barry. "Then people may see us in a different light – but we don't worry what people are thinking too much."

This season's start has been far more impressive than a year ago when City took five points, and scored four goals, in their opening four matches. "We wanted to prove we were title contenders from the off," said the England midfielder. "We now have a really tough one at Spurs, but we go with confidence high.

"It's great playing in a team like this. We had quality on the pitch at Bolton, but look at the quality we had on the bench and even some of the players who weren't there. The quality is here and it's here in numbers. The more you have, the easier it can become."

Indeed. Carlos Tevez and Adam Johnson began on the bench at the Reebok, Mario Balotelli and Gaël Clichy never left it, and Nigel de Jong was absent injured. "It's fantastic to know you have a player like Carlos waiting to come on if things aren't going to plan," said Barry.

But there is room for improvement. City's seven goals have come from 43 attempts. Doubtless the perfectionist Mancini will be muttering darkly about his players' conversion rate in attack as well as their generosity in defence.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering