Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Wednesday April 30 2008
Only one fact dominates this weeks Vital City Zen: Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra is deluded.
And so is anybody else who buys into his and his advisers evident belief that today's Manchester City are a major footballing force capable of attracting the very top managers and players to Eastlands should Sven-Goran Eriksson be sacked after 10 months in charge.
Patently, City are nowhere near that status, yet the club's reputation had begun to be rebuilt steadily this season with much room for optimism should the manager be given a full summer to prepare for a new season.
Ignoring the no doubt by now panic stricken advice of Messrs Wardle, Bodek and Mackintosh, and for reasons currently known only to himself and his people, City's owner has chosen to embark upon a strategy of high risk.
He is prepared to stand by and allow a damaging, divisive and embarrassing situation to envelop the club and it's supporters.
By remaining silent and leaving agents and sports hacks to release his Sven sacking plans for him, he sends out the signal that the running of the club is at best disjointed and it's decision making dictatorial. Leaving the manager and the club in limbo over what I suggest to be related to financial pay out/stand off reasons, he sends out a second signal that he is not a man of honour.
But there is a third and more worrying signal that Thaksin's game of risk shows the footballing world. Sven-Goran Eriksson is as shrewd and studious as they come and holds worldwide respect throughout the game, particularly from his managerial peers. It really is time to wake up and smell the burnt coffee if anybody out there believes that a big name manager would witness the treatment of Svennis and agree to work under Thaksin.
The latest revelation in this sorry episode came when Thaksin's son, Panthongtae told the media that the Swede, who refuses to resign, is expected to lead Manchester City's end of season tour to Asia in the absence of a new manager. That would be nothing short of disgraceful treatment if this transpires to be the chairman's view.
Not only is it highly likely that following a Sven sacking the men who accepted Thaksin's bid to buy MCFC will leave Eastlands, but also a good deal of our promising players could decide to go, too. They might consider that an atmosphere of uncertainty and a ruthless unpreparedness to patiently build for success coming from the top is not something to hang around for or risk being part of. No doubt the Premier League's Big Four are already monitoring the farcical developments at Eastlands and the likes of Hart, Onouha, Richards, Dunne, Sturridge, Corluka, Elano, Petrov, Ireland, Johnson and even Bojinov will all be on their radar. We also have 10 players out on loan whose futures are not resolved and the one's gaining experience could be snapped up amid the potential chaos.
Whether the few Sven detractors we have like it or not, a hell of a lot of hard work has been put in to bring City this far. Frustrating as the recent results Sven's small, young squad mustered have been, that hard work could become completely undone.
Outside of the hope that Thaksin will see sense and climb down from his football clueless position and publicly back Sven, I can only give him and his people two points to consider...
...Point one, if you intend to move on rapidly from sacking Sven and his management team and obtain the immediate success you demand, then you are going to have to throw mega millions at Manchester City. The evidence to date, including your match programme comments, spending less than Sunderland did last summer and sealing deals with Sky money staged on the never never suggests that is unlikely to happen.
Point two, you don't invite 50 odd Thai MP's to Eastlands for nothing. It certainly won't look good back in Bangkok should you endure the Manchester City supporters backlash that you are in the process of igniting.
Think on, Doctor.
NEXT ON THE AGENDA: LIVERPOOL AT ANFIELD
Sunday 4th May, 16:00 GMT
Liverpool Form Last 6 PL games: L,W,D,W,W,D
City Form Last 6 PL games: D,L,L,W,W,L
Liverpool last 6 PL games: 9
City last 6 PL games: 10
In the City sin bin: All clear
Liverpool 32 + 9 on loan
City 24 + 10 on loan
Onouha is out for the rest of the season and Richards looks to have gone the same way. However, Dunne, Bojinov and Sturridge could all feature. Be great to see The Boj get a run out to show us all what might have been this season.
Johnny on the spot?:
Two Premier League clubs in foreign ownership ignited turmoil go head to head. Certainly the mood at Liverpool will have darkened after their energy and morale sapping defeat at Chelski in the Champions League SF, so an end of season party atmosphere will not be on the agenda.
Then there's City. Faced with losing a manager who has given them all a chance to prove themselves under his leadership, I expect a demoralised City squad will be vying with the travelling Blues fans in a bid to show the Thai controlled boardoom their anger. That's if any of them have the bottle to show up having saved up their dispatch of Sven until after the last home game of the season.
A turgid draw could be on the cards but my heart hopes City come away with a defiant 2-1 victory.
In an attempt to get someone at the club to listen to the fans, please give your support to the on line Save Sven Petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/savesven/petition.html - The petition has now realised 11,000 signatures.
Date:Wednesday April 30 2008
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