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Vital City Zen: Due Delusion


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.

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

Goals Factor:
Liverpool last 6 PL games: 9
City last 6 PL games: 10

In the City sin bin: All clear

Squad size:
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: - The petition has now realised 11,000 signatures.

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 30 2008

Time: 11:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
well rumor has it that sven is going to be in talks with dr sina about his future lets hope something goods out of it SVEN DONT GO
dunne deal
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 09:15:00

JB, good article, I cannot believe that Frank is not a man of honour. Can he now change his mind without losing face? Has he aready signed a new manager, I cannot believe that all this public talk about SGE not being in charge for next season yet he is to take the team on the tour of Asia, If I was Svennis I would be throwinf a sicky and not going. It needs to be sorted and Frank needs to issue a clear statement.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/05/2008 10:36:00

I can't see Sven taking the Asian tour as he will before then be snapped up by Benfica leaving us managerless and rudderless. Who will take on the job ? Scolari is a definite no no as he has publicly stated he will not manage in England because he cannot tolerate the Media persecution in this country. Mourinho will take a top job in Italy or Spain, Bilic has signed up for Croatia, who does that leave us with....Megson, Allardyce, Jewell, McClaren....WHAT A THOUGHT...
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 10:37:00

alphie, buzz, dd, all spot on. The walls are closing in on Shinawatra who I understand from learned mates of mind has already lost the nickname Frank in favour of Toxin. Sven and the City fans have stood their ground in what has become a massive embarrassment to our club. Top managers save for PL journeymen chancers are out of the running. If Sven makes a very public pull out of the chairman's star spangled Asia tour, then Thaksin faces derision across the far east. If he and his advisers can't see any of this then the future for MCFC is utterly bleak. He can still back down. He could always say he never said Sven would get the sack in as many words!!!
Johnny Baguette
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01/05/2008 12:39:00

The pressure on the chairman has just racked up a notch. Athole Still, Sven's agent: "He is unlikely to continue but it is still not 100 percent sure that he will leave Manchester City..." "...After the last game of the Premier League, in two weeks, it will be definitively determined if he stays or not. But If any club wants to talk with Eriksson, call me. All the people have my number."
Johnny Baguette
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01/05/2008 13:00:00

The MUEN has revealed that Dunney had organised a players boycott of the Asia tour but Sven, although appreciative of the squad's support asked the players not to go through with it.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 13:10:00

if you were in svens shoes honestly would you go cos if iy was me i would tell dr sina to stick it up his arse
dunne deal
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 13:39:00

Good point dd and key to what is going on. I reckon Toxin told him he's out and expected a resignation. Sven, no mug, is digging in and is now in a position to call the shots. From humble origins he is now a wealthy man and does not need the pay off. if I was him I would turn back along the airwalk to the plane for the Far East Tour and say "manage that."
Johnny Baguette
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01/05/2008 14:06:00

Does anyone really know the truth regarding Sven ? There has not been one word issued by MCFC on the state of affairs regarding the present situation. Is it again a case of the media pre-empting the situation and getting it all wrong AGAIN. Or is it a case of mind games being played out by both Sven and Frank to fool all of us...answers on a psotcard please...
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 15:13:00

There is no doubt that something is seriously wrong alphie. The media are of course having a field day. All we can do is stick with facts. Ther was a meeting. It clearly went badly as the parties do not talk of it. The chairman refuses to make a statement to clarify the managers situation. Sven no longer talks about summer signings. The worldwide respected Tord Grip announces it's game over, Sven's agent touts our manager publicly to other clubs. The backdrop to all this is Thai MP's invited to Eastlands en masse following Ronaldhino's brother. Thai board members gathering autographs outside Chelsea's dressing room. These are the people advising Thaksin. We're a laughing stock again. No wonder so many of us are furious!
Johnny Baguette
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01/05/2008 16:23:00

It does not matter now if Toxin comes out and says that he did not say that Sven was being sacked. The job has become untenable for Sven, he could not carry on if he wanted to, because every game would be under the microscope and the media would hound him until he went.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/05/2008 16:34:00

What is more annoying that this has been made a public farce and should have been dealt with better. The initial statement from Toxin was ill timed to say the least. I would love for SGE to stay but like DD says, if it was him he(Toxin) could shove it where the sun dose not shine, but not in those words. I am pleased to say that Svens reputation is not tarinshed here, but there were many City fans who were grateful to Toxin for investing in our team, but he has lost a lot of respect of the City fans, the only thing that is saving him from more ridicule is that City will not appear at Eastlands until next season and I doubt whether he will appear at either of the games we have left this season.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/05/2008 16:43:00

Spot on, Buzz. Same goes for any manager coming in. If Sven walks we could be in big trouble. Arsenal now linked with Johnson. Every day without this issue being resolved does more damage to Manchester City. I think we are witnessing the mother of all stand offs.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 16:44:00

Just one point there is now a bundle of talk about our best players going, what City must do at all costs is to hang onto our talented players, without Sven, (who they respect) it is going to be hard.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 16:44:00

I bet his boardroom accolytes don't show again this season either, Buzz. It's going to kick off badly at some stage at this rate, we all know it, and it's going to look very bad in Thailand which we were warned by some quarters last summer is where the chairman's main focus lies. That fact alone is what could lead to this debacle being stopped. For now.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 16:48:00

If you take a look at the list of players names I offered up last night Buzz, why would any of them want to play on under a chairman who does not give his manager a fair chance? They can command top wages at a big four side and hardly have to play as much. Dunney is clearly their leader and if he goes first, it will be a switch the lights off job.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 16:51:00

The Petition has now broken the 9000 barrier.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 16:53:00

If what you say happens then Toxin will quit the club sooner than later, but where will he find a buyer, or will he sell to anyone who comes along and has enough money to buy him out.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 18:01:00

So much is in the balance here. As some Blues have posted on the MUEN, we now have to wait and see. Anfield first and a travelling supporters backlash on worldwide television.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 19:36:00

The Petition has now broken the 10,000 barrier.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 20:41:00

10, 001 actually. ;-)
Report Abuse
01/05/2008 23:34:00

So, Thaksin is set to appoint Garry Cook of Nike as Executive Chairman and Sven's weekly press conference is cancelled due to "exceptional circumstances" while Thaksin's kids have to face the press questions. Mayhem. Bangkok Post this morning: "Thaksin still has time to think about Eriksson's future. Fans have lost faith in the Thai chairman and unless he makes the right decision he could be a public enemy at the City of Manchester Stadium rather than a hero."
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 08:08:00

JB, say SGE does lose his job, who IYO would placate the fans?
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 08:45:00

That's me on the spot, Buzz! I think this whole episode thus far will leave a very bitter taste in the mouth for the majority of Blues. I maintain that for Toxin to turn this around in his favour he will have to break the bank and he already said he can't. That means a Mourihno level appointment which is surely a pigs might fly job.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 09:06:00

Then there are these rumours knocking about of a letter Toxin is alledged to have left with the players post Fulham slagging them off. Wardle is said to have backed that up with one to them himself apologising for the whole Thaksin debacle. Whatever happens now, the fact that a new manager is imminent puts our Academy and Academy graduates loyal to Sven at risk.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 09:11:00

to see sven isnt speaking to anyone befor the match on sunday against liverpool he must be realy annoyed about this well being honest who wouldn be annoyed about it cos i would say every manchester city fan in the world would have to be realy fustrated about this
dunne deal
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 11:56:00

is manchester ready for the invasion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 13:51:00

Oh God. Glasgow Strangers coming to town! Congratulations by the way!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 17:50:00

I hope they play a lot better than they did last night, really pleased to see them through to the final though.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
02/05/2008 18:00:00

So the promising Schmeichel is the first to go and Bluedolph cites unrest at City as a factor. Isaksson will follow meaning a keeper crisis. Benitez, Taggart, LMA, Wigan Chairman, top sports writers and 14,000 Blues on the petition all criticise the absurdity of sacking Sven. Toxin's high risk policy rumbles on and the dmage to the club mounts daily...Come On City at Anfield!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 08:04:00

Sven has done a good job so far
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 10:33:00

Absolutely codbater. the biggest problem outside of the baffling limbo we find ourselves in right now is amongst our fans. It's pretty rational on here and stems from genuine concern. We have also had plenty of other teams fans registering their disbelief. But on other sites, chiefly the Manchester Evening News comments sections there is a lot of falling out and that can only intensify as the saga drags on. I would much prefer it now if the chairman came out, made a statement, sacked the manager and faced the music rather than this turgid daily grind of damaging rumour.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 12:36:00

JB, just what I was thinking! It maybe that he was expecting Svennis to fall on his sword. I wonder if we can steal O'Neill from Villa.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 14:41:00

There's more revelation to come, I'm sure of it. What I'd give for a convincing City win tomorrow and results going for us today!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 15:55:00

Well results have gone our way today, up to us now to do our bit tomorrow.
Report Abuse
03/05/2008 20:02:00


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