Smell The Fear
Vital Manchester City received the following from one of our longest serving members, fifthcolumnblue.
In the past, the Manchester/Stretford derby has been noticeable for one thing - the number of rags bleating on in the press about City and how they're not worried, how we're not their biggest rivals, etc, etc.
City players have been noticeably absent from the back pages, and although there has been the odd interview or quote provided, the media coverage has been profoundly concentrated on what our almost - Mancunian neighbours have to say. Not this time!
Now I was a bit ambivalent about this in the first instance, as I thought it was just a bunch of smugly arrogant rag players given the opportunity to gob off about their 'superiority' by a fawning press pack, and I quite liked the fact that City players more or less got on with preparing for the game without feeling the need to brag about how confident they are. Horses for courses, and I thought the reds were just acting with typical hubris whilst we demonstrated our class by keeping schtum. This derby is different.
Aside from the usual procession of current and former rags and various pundits contributing to global warming by waxing lyrical in the build up to the derby, this time the media seem to be paying a lot more attention to City and what our players have to say. I also notice that it is the City players who are bullish about our chances, whereas every red has sounded a little shrill in their protestations that they will run out the winners.
Some of them have even been admitting that the Manchester derby actually means something - SHOCK HORROR, what happened to the game with Liverpool being far more significant than the derby?!
What's brought this on? Is it a newfound confidence amongst our players that we are no longer going to the swamp as underdogs, but go there for the first time in years as the better team? Or is it a long overdue (and grudging) acknowledgement by the media that there is no way they can continue to ignore this City team, that we have at last arrived whether they like it or not?
Whatever the case, it certainly makes a change to hear City players talking about the derby rather than the old focus on the rags, and the latest interview from Micah Richards in which he suggests that un**ted are afraid of us makes a rather refreshing change!
We've made the world sit up and take notice, now let's go to the swamp on Sunday and get 3 points to send out a message to everyone that we will not be going away any time soon!