End of Week Blues
With the midweek matches concluded the focus in the press turns once again to the kind of mindless dross that often accompanies no-news time.
First off we get Edwin Van der Sar telling us that City weren't ambitious enough to 'go for it' against United on Wednesday. Did not Edwin have to make the most important save of the match(from Tevez free-kick), did not United also line up to cancel out any threat from City (something they have not done for many years) and did not many writers give their best performers as Ferdinand and Vidic?. That tells us a somewhat different story, Edwin.
It was disappointing to see Stretford's Un-finest deface Mary Ds. Long renowned as a famous City watering hole, out came the red paint sprays leaving disparaging remarks about Marc Vivien Foe. Those of us with fond memories will remember Marc with much affection. He only played for us for one season. He was a very humble man who almost couldn't believe that whatever beginnings his life delivered to him, he was suddenly playing his football in front of 35000 every week at Maine Road who adored him. As we know, Marc died suddenly representing his country at the game he loved and played from the heart. There isn't a Club in the Premier League who wouldn't want a player like this in their team let alone Squad. So to the half-wit who wrote those remarks - I hope that one day you walk into Block 111 or 116 by accident one derby day.
Now we have Peter Schmeichel at it. Apparently we are buying into a whole host of problems. Well, Peter, I remember a certain over-the-hill goalkeeper eking out the last season of his career taking the Man City £, but fair play to you I reckon you won us 18-21 points that season and I have a photo of us together somewhere. But get real, Peter, the likes of Veron, Bosnich, Poborsky, Cruyff, Anderson, Hargreaves and others have hardly been buys of the season and with Rooney and Ferdinand et al constantly hunting for more money everything is far from rosy at (lack of) Gold Trafford.
Ian Wright once again pipes up this morning telling Shaun, once again, to get the hell out of Eastlands to play more matches. Wasn't this the genius who told SWP that Chelsea was the venue and sentenced him to three of his prime playing years on the Stamford Bridge bench? We know that as City fans we love Shaun, but Shaun now knows that he needs to repay that love by making it happen whenever he gets playing time. When he has come on he has lacked that desire and that is why Mancini doesn't trust him. I have complained on many occasions that he still hits the first defender, even after all these years, and I think his value as an impact footballer is not there any more. He may defect down the East Lancs Road but I suspect he will still be a squad player and not an automatic choice starter. Ian Wright correclty says that Shaun is still an England player, but based upon the World Cup that is more an indictment than a credit. If Shaun wants to play every week he needs to go somewhere like Newcastle or Sunderland or Wigan or Villa and then put the work in. Those Clubs probably can't afford Shaun so a wage cut looks inevitable. And he mustn't forget that Stephen Ireland hasn't progressed at all since leaving City and there is already talk of Villa shifting him on.
It all goes to prove - it is not an escalator..it is a ladder!
But at least this week the comments from Ferguson showed some respect and showed he fully understood what was happening at City. He knows it is not easy to get anything off us at home, he knows we are starting to have to be taken seriously in the hunt for honours and probably for the first time in 24 years he has admitted it to the world.
So maybe the would-be words-of-the-wise merchants should listen to what their messiah is saying. It is also another hooded message to the Glazers that some strengthening needs to be carried out at United, because there is a genuine fear that we are catching up. For once it is well done to Ferguson for his admissions. Based upon his team selection and tactics at Eastlands on Wednesday, the anxiety really is starting to show.
Tomorrow sees Birmingham City appear at the City of Manchester Stadium and City needing to get back on track. They are another robust team who last season defended their area well and at times were quite miserly in terms of goals conceded. In reality we all know that the main reason was not McLeish's tactics, it was simple -
Joe Hart. Well he lines up for Manchester City tomorrow and of we kick-on like we did against West Brom, I don't see any major obstacles in the way tomorrow.
The last month has seen City hailed as potential title challengers one week then getting ready to dispose of the Manager the week after. We are in a realistic position in the League and four point clear of fifth place. We need to keep it there and where possible gain from other team's misfortunes. That's what Chelsea did on Wednesday and what leading team have done for many years. City needs to learn that part of the trade. With the casualty parlour almost clear, the New Year should herald some exciting times.
Did I really hear City fans singing...
Breaking legs in the hot sun
I fought de Jong and de Jong won
I'm sure it was meant as tongue in cheek and am sure that they all join me in hoping that Hatem Ben Arfa is on the road to recovery.