Same Old City
Vital Manchester City member, discopants28 vents his spleen over the latest Eastlands debacle.
Us City fans are more than accustomed to stupid decisions based on knee-jerk reactions and ill-founded opinion. But December's embarrassing removal of Mark Hughes tops the lot. Over the decades we've felt many negative emotions as fans of this once great club - humiliation, despair, desperation, but never shame. Shame shame shame. We're in dangerous new territory.
The new regime presiding over Manchester City hardly resembles a group of businessmen representing fans' hopes and dreams. Instead it's easier to liken them to The Dark Side (Lucasfilm copyright pending) as Darth Khaldoon Vader carries out his work for the dark Lord Mansour - by employing henchmen Cook and Marwood to fulfill their dark plotting - ably assisted by a blue clone army of emotionless mercenary footballers. Is this what we have been dreaming for all our live long football lives? Is this what Young, Tueart and Dickov fought for on the fields of Wembley? Is this what I queued 8 hours at Maine Road for in 1999? Is this the reason I actually paid real money to watch Lee Bradbury kick air? Is it? Huh? I suppose I should be grateful for what City has become. Well you know what Gary Cook - I'd rather watch Jamie Pollock score a comical, 3rd division propelling own goal than have to bear you managing the day to day affairs of my club.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, although I must admit I feel better already. And relax. And breathe.
The one glaringly obvious problem on the field this season is the defence. We conceded several poor goals; often from winning positions and have made life difficult for ourselves - which was all highlighted in the 4-3 victory (Yes - victory!) against Sunderland. City fans everywhere, on websites and radio shows cited Hughes as responsible for not signing an experienced and reliable centre half. You know who you are. And if you do know who you are, I hope you won't mind me saying that you're wrong.
Can anyone guess who was actually responsible for this? Yes, you at the back with bitter blue tears running down your face; correct, it's Gary Cook! My mate Gary thought it made more business and football sense to try and nab John Terry from Chelsea, while also forcing Richard Dunne by gunpoint on a mega bus to Birmingham. Terry was never going to leave Chelsea - an utterly fruitless task. And Dunne had been the heartbeat of the defence - own goals aside - for years. Sparky`s plan for the season was to make our longest serving player Captain - and build the defence around him. Should Lescott or Toure have ousted him - Dunney would have been more than happy to fight for his place. Instead Cook sells Dunne to the Villa against the manager's and player's wishes. There was little outcry from the fans - instead sentiments like 'thanks Dunney - but you`re not good enough to take us forward', were echoed by the populous. It seems we were guilty of believing our own hype. The same kinds of comments have last week been made about Hughes. How wrong everybody has been. Dunne is proving Villa's saviour as they look most likely to take 4th spot from Liverpool this season.
This makes Hughes' sacking even harder to accept - had Cook not interfered and shipped Dunne out 'because we needed the money', (cough cough) our defence would have been stronger and more familiar. Instead Sparky gets the public hanging which Cook deserves. Let's not feel too sorry for MH - but this decision is undeniably the wrong decision to take at this point in the season. Which leads me on to his successor?
Just who the hell is Roberto Mancini? The guy can't even speak English! Yes I know all about Mancini the player - he's a legend. But so is Gazza. At least Brian Horton had managed in English football - Roberto who? Mamma mia!
This whole shambolic series of events begs the question - who is Man City? Who are we supporting? Does it even matter anymore?
I'm based in London nowadays and have spent much of my time wishing I could see City more often. But now I don't recognise anything except the colour of the shirt. I might as well start supporting Wingate & Finchley in the Ryman League. At least then I might get a discount on paper clips for my work. Had United or Chelsea behaved in this manner we'd be chastising them.
In the seventies, Peter Swales made the regular mistake of acting irrationally, without thought of consequence. In 2010 football may be very different. But it's same old City.