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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 atMaine 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 enoughto 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.

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The journalist

Writer: discopants28  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 30 2009

Time: 12:27AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
This must be a wind up or it is from the most irrational Man City fan I can imagaine. Fair do's every one is entitled to an opinion but this is so off the wall it could almost be written by Sir Alex Ferguson.
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30/12/2009 00:52:00

This drivel by Discopants does not belong on the front page of Vital Manchester City. I'm sure Wingate and Finchley eagerly await your support.
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30/12/2009 01:11:00

jesus man........ENJOY IT!!!!!! ctid
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30/12/2009 01:18:00

thats meant for discopants by the way,wasnt having a go at you dakeb :)
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30/12/2009 01:19:00

Stay in London then, you sound like a right t.w.a.t. I ****ing hate people like you. [Edited by tudor]
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30/12/2009 02:37:00

Thats called self control....believe me!
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30/12/2009 02:37:00

I think you will find that the majority of City fans, were not best pleased at the way the City management dealt with Mr Hughes termination at City and we quite rightly pointed the finger once again for making City look foolish, but also that same majority of fans who pay good money to watch City and buy the goods on offer at the shop recognised that the defence was not doing their job. Mr Mancini arrives, he immediately sees the problem and tries to do something about it, without buying anyone else. He changes tactics mid game because he sees something not right, he sees the balance not right, mid game he changes that. We have not had a manager brave enough to do that for many years. I don't think Mr Hughes was going to change his style of defence, I know you will say it was only Stoke and Wolves, but have a look at our clean sheets since his arrival result we win matches. We used to dream some season how we were going to get to that magic 40 point mark. Halfway through the season just 5 points short. We have progressed, Thanks to the Sheikh, thanks to Mark Hughes for his judgement in the players he bought. I just hope that they don't shaft Mancini the way they did Hughes, but I wouldn't complain to a public dismissal of Cook and Marwood, just so they know how Hughesy felt.
Buzz Lightyear
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30/12/2009 04:38:00

I have read some ***** on Vital over the years but this tops it.
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30/12/2009 05:51:00

I'm sure admin sometimes put these front page articles up just for a wind up - a well written article but the only thing i can side with is on Mr.Cook, who i think is an out and out w***er. As for Mancini, only time will tell, but his tactical changes in the last two games gives me hope for the immediate future. Move on mate, like Buzz i don't want to go back to the times when i was relieved at making the magical 40pts mark.
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30/12/2009 07:54:00

Rag WUM.
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30/12/2009 09:29:00

Cook, I can agree with. The rest of it - well, let's just say you are entitled to your opinion.
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30/12/2009 09:50:00

I do agree with a lot of what has been written, but I also agree with not having to wonder if we'll make 40 points every season. In an ideal world we'd have Dunny, be 5 points clear in the new year, Bernstein would still be manager and no-one on this site would have heard of G*** C***. But the business of football goes on..............
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30/12/2009 10:31:00

colin shindler, do one
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30/12/2009 12:28:00

I think that its safe to say that Discopants is on his own with this one.
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30/12/2009 12:50:00

Well, disco, the members of VMC await your reply.
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30/12/2009 13:06:00

What a load of tosh, flog this man with a bag of *****e, you sir are an utter buffoon
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30/12/2009 13:31:00

That's quite a response. thanks everyone - even the chap who called me a t**t. Clearly a good judge of character. Yes my article is at times irrational and off the wall - I was well aware of that as I wrote it - but the sentiment is one I think you'll find a lot of City fans agree with. A lot of us are hurting at the cold management style running throughout the club. I'm not the type of fan who sits at the game cursing players and wishing we would lose to prove a point. I've sat behind those fans. I only want us to win. I agree with Thai when he says I should move on. And yes, how wonderful is it to be within a shot of the title if we can just put a few wins together? But are we expected to not care whenever a manager is ruthlessly given the sack? Maybe Mancini is a genius of a manager - I'm not dismissing that possibility, but the manager of your club dictates how you identify with the club as a fan - and to attach no importance to who the boss is seems crazy to me. And if anyone really thinks I could ever think about thinking about supporting another football team - well either I've done myself a huge disservice or they're strangers to sarcasm.
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30/12/2009 13:39:00

A strong and good reply DP28 I was one who agreed with some of your points there and i was up in arms over the Hughes dismissal, but, i think we just look forward now. We are in a strong League position and are still fighting in every competition entered. The season wasn't poor enough to sack Hughes but atm i see some strong improvements on the pitch. I'm glad Garrido is getting his chance and once some defensive awareness enters his game i believe he will be a good player in Bridge's absence. It is a tad unfair to be despised so much on one post and at the end of the day we are entitled to our opinion. This article in my opinion has been brought about too late and reads harder due to the fact we have won 3 in a row 2 cleansheets and mancini has 100%.
Once a Blue
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30/12/2009 13:51:00

You can't have it both ways, but watching City against Wolves, the movement goin g forward was a pleasure to watch and entertaining for the neutrals. The Owners are not a charity and their aim is to sell the club world wide as a brand to be recognised everywhere you go. You don't make money through football if your team is crap, you make money commercially if you have a successful team and to do that you need to have the best of everything, not half and half or a maybe. Sheikh mansour has put in I would say at a rough estimate a quarter of a billion pounds and it is still growing. My only complaint is that the sacking wasd mismanaged, but mismanaged by a man who has shown The owners , the fans and the club to be less than professional on more than one occasion and we all know who that is.
Buzz Lightyear
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30/12/2009 16:24:00

dcp28, mate we have had 18 managers since Ol bacon face has at the swamp, so no we don't get attached to our manager's, mcfc yes but managers sorry. and MH was treated abysmally, (but so did peter reid back in 1994) and we were not winning games under MH's tutelage,as for Dunnie going he did not have to go, he had the remainder of his contract, to argue his case (and i liked him in the city shirt) but as for the owners/ chairman being akin to the ''dark lord'' Darth Vader, do you not remember the small man syndrome of the one and only Peter Swales, he was on a per with every comic known to man, tho he was one of city's biggest fans and put money where his mouth was till he started running low and then we had slight problems, (shall we say). but now we have as much money that any city fan has ever dreamed of, and yeah the owners WILL want a return someday soon (hopefully this year), so i am glad that we heve Khaldoon and Sheikh Mansoor as owner and chairman as it's not to long ago we had other's who loved the club but could'nt do anything with it as they had no resources to back up their extravagant claims...... so sit back and enjoy the ride it will be laden with trophies..
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30/12/2009 21:11:00

Why would anyone be up in arms about MH's sacking, for gods sake the man had to go, in whichever fashion. IF Gary Cook had anything to do with it then I salute you sir! Two good results and everyone is suddenly and quietly leaving their outrage at home. I don't subscribe to the 'entitled to their own view' mantra if the view is so far wide of the mark that it could be described as a wind up or provocative. Worst article i've ever seen.
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30/12/2009 21:21:00

My only problem with City was how they sacked MH, not the fact that they did. I was an avid supporter of him for a long time, but eventually I came to the conclusion that he had to go - just not the way they did it. I could done a better job of firing him, than the idiot that did.
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31/12/2009 08:45:00

As usual, I'm late to the conversation. We may not like the way Cook works, but he's a businessman. This is what businesses do. To make them more successful, you trim the fat, and you streamline the workers to acheive the best return for your money. Hughes' results were sad. Simples. We got out of the starting blocks like a hurricane, then petered out and the only decent results we were getting was against the top-4 teams, unfortunately there are 15 OTHER teams to play twice each year as well. 24 points against the Sky 4 doesn't count for much if you only manage 30 against the rest of the league. We were only looking good because of our good start. And to protect our season our backroom staff made the moves necessary to ensure that they didn't spend 200m for another 10th place finish, which is exactly where we were going to wind up at the rate we were going. So you don't have to appreciate how businessmen go about success, but don't expect them to coddle you and tell you "it's going to be alright" when it clearly wasn't alright. Onward and upward. ctid
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31/12/2009 15:28:00


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