The Vital City Zen: City's Siege Mentality
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THE VITAL CITY ZEN
CITY'S SIEGE MENTALITY
'Because everything has been going crazy outside of the camp, it has pulled us all together.' - Richard Dunne.
City's Blue through and through skipper Richard Dunne this week underlined the beginnings of a siege mentality which has already encircled City's warm weather training camp in Tenerife and is replicating itself amongst City fans across Planet Blue.
That's the last thing a hack like Michael Henderson would have wished for after he submitted his nasty anti-City article for publication to The Torygraph this past week.
Everywhere you look, City fans are angry and rightly so. For over a week now we've seen our club dragged through the mire on a daily basis by hacks tripping over themselves to pontificate over Silvio Berlsuconi's 'revelation' that City offered a £100 million fee and £500,000 in wages for the services of Kaka.
Of course, they really should have known better than to become willing pawns in Berlusconi's political game but to a man they did just that, doing The Street of Shame's* reputation proud in their lazy, bandwaggoning output.
Outside of the reasoned debate of Das Daily Mail's Martin Samuel and Dan Taylor's straight forward Grauniad sensibility, we've seen some shockingly hysterical reporting.
In truth, it is difficult to recall such venom dished out against both the rags and Chelski down the years after they repeatedly broke transfer records and bought success.
Mark Hughes' standing within the game as a man of honour, honesty and dignity has grown throughout the tsunami of propaganda. Speaking to Samuel from Tenerife, he did his cause no harm in defending the Manchester City cause and expressing his anger:
'I want to give good players the opportunity to be the best they can be. I want to make them successful. If that is too much hard work for them, if they have not got the mental strength, they are not going to come on this journey.
'The problem is that from the start the agenda has been set by the initial publicity around the takeover when one man, Sulaiman Al-Fahim, who is no longer involved, was talking about signing Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres. That set the tone and we are still trying to repair the damage. Kaka got roped in with that perception of us, when it was not the same issue at all.
'Look, if there is an opportunity to take world-class players then we have to try. I don't see a big problem with that. It is not being done over my head and this is not a Real Madrid situation with galacticos.
'I want the strongest possible team, yes, but we are going to build it. That was my remit on day one and it remains. Football decisions are my decisions. And feel free to spread that around because no f***** ever believes me.'
Mark Hughes is angry and we can expect to see a City side with bite take to the field when Newcastle come to town on Wednesday.
Forget the why's, wherefore's, should have's and shouldn't have's, Blues.
Time to get behind the manager and the players like never before and defend the club, the shirt and the badge.
* 'The Street of Shame' copyright Private Eye
CITY ENJOY 'MIDWINTER BREAK' IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
By New Year's Eve City had played 32 competitive fixtures in all competitions.
Since that date they have played only twice thanks to the Pompey postponement and the Forest FA Cup disaster. In fact, the visit to Stoke on the last day of January will be only City`s fourth game in over a month.
Though the circumstances are far from preferred, this has been an ideal opportunity to get the squad fitter, work on team bonding and integrate new players with far greater ease than an intensive fixture list would have given us.
Mark Hughes has made a sensible move in taking the team to Tenerife and has the opportunity now to deliver us the strong second half of the season he has promised that we'll see.
ANYONE FOR 'OIL TRAFFORD' AND 'OILFIELD' AFTER 'MIDDLE EASTLANDS?'
It would be hilarious and at the same time fascinating, to see how City's most outspoken critics were to react should other sides follow Arsenal and City's lead in cementing links with the Middle East.
The beleaguered American Insurance Group have announced the first cracks in Manchester united's astronomically debt ridden façade by resigning their position as the Glazer family's shirt sponsor. The rags are now said to be in discussion with potential replacements Saudi Telecom. A development lending weight to the theory that the rags will be put up for sale later this year.
Meanwhile, negotiations are ongoing between Liverpool's own US proprietors and the Kuwaiti based Al Khafiri family over the Merseyside club's potential sale.
And if all this wasn't enough, Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, the gobshite in extremis who brokered ADUG's City takeover is leading the way towards replacing the bored and financially frustrated Roman Abramovich at Chelsea.
The hacks have conveniently ignored the fact that City owner Sheikh Mansour bailed out Barclay's Bank by buying a 16.5% stake in it and pilloried the City owner as a man intent upon 'ruining football.' How will they cope with running out of expletives should the rags, Liverpool or Chelsea also fall into Middle Eastern hands? Priceless.
SOME MIGHT SHAY?
This month City have to date strengthened the squad in defence, midfield and attack and were the club unable to bring in any further additions, you'd have to say that some sound business has been done.
Still, the over reliance upon youth between the City sticks has been a cause for concern this past year and ideally, an experienced goalkeeper would be beneficial in bolstering the side and helping the brilliant young Joe Hart who has done us so proud to further develop.
Newcastle's Shay Given more than fits the bill. Easily one of the top three 'keepers in the Premier League, Given has been responsible for keeping recent Barcodes defeats down to single figures. For City to head into the second half of the campaign with renewed belief, then bringing a 'keeper of Given's credentials to the club is essential.
MANCHESTER CITY: ET MAINTENANT DROGBA ET MOURINHO?
Despite 'The Special One's' protestations in his Torygraph column, speculation persists throughout Europe that he will become Manchester City's manager next summer should the Thaksin Shinawatra appointed Mark Hughes fail to revive his side's fortunes in the second half of this season.
This weekend's France Football magazine maintains that Mourinho was sounded out by City representatives last October and refers to Mark Hughes' tenure as one of 'transition.'
Of course, this could all be the usual two and two makes five nonsense, but what is certain is that City's owners are no mugs and will expect a serious turnabout in results following the arrival of January's reinforcements. I don't envy Hughes' job one bit.
MCFC ACADEMY LUNCHEON CLUB
Mark Hughes will be the special guest star at City's first Luncheon Club of the New Year, hosted by the Manchester City Youth Academy in the Eastland's boardroom suite on Tuesday February 3rd 2009.
The City gaffer will take part in a question and answer session with all proceeds going the Club's Youth Academy.
Tickets are strictly limited and available on a first come, first served basis at a cost of £40 plus VAT per ticket. Telephone 0161 438 7656 to book your place.
WHAT'S IN A WORD, THIS WEEK'S QUOTES
'It is difficult to overcome the idea that there is one price for us and another for the rest but we have dropped deals before and we will again. We will not pay ridiculous money. If a club wants us at the table it has to talk sensibly. Valencia wanted £90 million for David Villa and the fact is he isn`t worth £90 million, so no deal.'
- Mark Hughes disappoints the Fleet Street lynch mobs and 'City are ruining football' conspiracy theorists.
'So we tried to buy Kaka? I couldn't see a downside, because I didn't realise how badly we were going to get hammered if we failed to bring it off. We were right to do it and we got closer than people expected. Yes, we were running before we could walk, but we were trying to make something happen here.'
- Bluesy defends City's role in 'Kakagate.'
'I will deal with Robinho in such a way that I absolutely would not expect this to happen again and I feel confident that if there was a longer problem with any player, even Robinho, I would have the go-ahead from Sheikh Mansour to deal with it in whatever way I saw fit.'
- Judging by Bluesy's comments The bizarrely Missing In Action Robinho has some explaining to do and some reassurances to give us all in this coming week.
'I am a man of football. I know you have to do your sums and I know teams are also businesses. Therefore, if a fantasy football bid came in I would be ready to go.'
- Juve's Gianluigi Buffon reveals that if the money was right he'd be off like a shot.
'We haven't received anything from Manchester City. Of course every player in world football has his price but he's a massive part of our squad and he won't be going anywhere in the transfer window.'
- Chelski's Raymond 'The Crab' Wilkins reacts to the latest City obsessed media hysteria, this time it's about Didier Drogba.
'He's young and he must find a club that really trusts and supports him to play football. Maybe he has played 20 games with Manchester City but he needs to be playing every week. Celtic is the best club if you are young and want to play games.'
- Former City basketball star Georgios Samaras recommends Chedwyn Evans to the hoops.
'Kaka's decision to stay feels like if we have won another Champions League title.'
- The Italian spin supremo Silvio Berlusconi bathes in the afterglow of his media manipulating triumph having engineered a complete turnaround in morale at AC Milan and an upturn in his own popularity almost overnight.
WE WEREN'T REALLY THERE? THE FINAL SCORE THIS WEEK 10 YEARS AGO
Football League Division One
Stoke 0(0) - 1(1) Man City
Scorer: Wiekens, 20
At The Britannia Stadium on 29th January 1999
City: Weaver, Crooks (Bishop,54), Edghill, Wiekens, Vaughan, Horlock, Brown, Pollock (Whitley,79), Taylor, Goater, Cooke (Dickov,79)
@ The City of Manchester Stadium
FA Premier League:
Wednesday 28th January @ 1945 GMT
Last six PL games: DLLWDW
Last six PL games: WWLLDL
Internet: www.newcastle.vitalfootball.co.uk/ www.nufc.premiumtv.co.uk
Vital MC hopes to bring you our return meeting Mag 7 Fan's Interview with Vital Newcastle before the big game.
Johnny On The Spot?
This is a game that City need to hit the ground running for if they are to make anything of the second half of this season and I think they'll do just that. The inclusion of De Jong, Bridge and Bellamy should ensure that Newcastle's potty mouthed manager Joe 'Kinell has more than enough to swear about. I'm banking on a McDonald, Gow and Hutchison effect for the modern age.
I predict that the disgraced Joey Barton making his return to Eastlands will provide little more than a sideshow on a night when City as a club, a team and a support will rally to continue the fightback that began when we beat Wigan. We will also have a new captain in charge and the Vital MC community have voted for the classy Vincent Kompany.
Should Shay Given sign for City before the game I doubt he'd feature for either side. Were that to be the case, I reckon the Geordies could be in for a pasting despite the debut of the pacey Peter Løvenkrands.
City 3 Newcastle 0
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