Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday November 15 2009
For bloggers and editors of independent City sites across Planet Blue, recently dreary international breaks have become tedious in an era of interviews ad nauseam...
...where Manchester City are concerned in 2009, a break in the campaign sees news involving the club split into three categories.
Firstly, 'Street of Shame' hacks dream up transfer targets and make mischief. Secondly, we follow the fortunes of our superstar players abroad in the hope they don't come back injured. And thirdly, we sift through a myriad of quotes from City players engaged in random interviews and try to make sense of them!
Give any Blue the middle option any day of the year. The feedback we're getting on VMC in these days of City fans learning fast in coming to terms with us er, 'ruining football' is that we're getting used to us being linked with a new signing almost each day. Many of us even indulge in the intrigue.
But the constant stream of sensationalist individual player interviews that are scattered throughout these random fortnights are beginning to grate for many of us.
In a week where the Republic of Ireland have been the main focus of meaningful competition and a young City squad's extraordinary mission to Abu Dhabi has taken place, we've so far seen Stephen Ireland, Carlos Tevez and Micah Richards all dishing out quite often crackpot quotes for football starved hacks to feast upon.
Invariably, the players concerned do themselves no favours, and this week Ireland, Tevez and Richards look to have fallen right down that particular hole.
Ireland, if anything made himself look somewhat spoilt in almost completely alienating himself from Eire in this correspondent's eyes. As he once and for all declared he won't play for his country again, there were things he said that he could have easily left unsaid. They can't have helped anybody. The timing of the interview in the context of Eire's current plight couldn't have been worse.
Micah Richards has since gone to the press over his continued exclusion from the England senior side and revealed his 'disheartened' feelings towards media speculation over City alledgedly planning to sign right full backs. Much as Micah promised to keep working hard in his interview, it's the fact that he's clearly unsettled and reckons he should be selected by Fabian Capello on the back of wretched form that will win the hacks focus.
Finally we come to South American player soundbites. As we saw principally with Elano and now relentlessly with Robinho, there is always the 'lost in translation' element to factor in but quotes from a 25 year old Carlos Tevez discussing possible retirement (of some sort?) if Argentina win the World Cup next year will be, and are being greeted with derision.
All three of the players above are in their early 20's. They are astronomically paid for what they do and live lifestyles that the vast majority of fans would find difficult to comprehend.
They are all of course, 'guided' in some way by their agents. The men whose grip upon the game shows no sign of loosening.
Of course, City's mainly young squad are not alone in the media spotlight that commands lucrative interviews and is swamped in sponsorship. Some of our rival's players talk bollocks on a weekly basis.
Yet The Blues do have some young players who are not currently holding down first team places such as Vincent Kompany and Nedum Onuoha who are thoroughly professional in their outlook without crying foul, publicly demanding inclusion or announcing they've almost had enough. They seem content to let their feet and legs do the talking. Ironically, Vinny was disciplined by Belgian coach Dick Avocaat last night for late arrival at a team meeting. He was benched for Belgium's 3-0 win over Hungary and accepted the decision with no complaint.
So all is not lost. But outside of getting used to my Blue heroes playing against a background of heightened expectations, I'm also coming to terms with the fact that the risk of them being portrayed as prima donna's is only a sentence away.
These lads need some good advice.
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Date:Sunday November 15 2009
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