Everything's Gone Global
Blues everywhere could have been forgiven for thinking that it was time for Manchester City FC to take a breather, after a hard fought point at Pompey sealed a superb start to the season for our club.
Here was another chance to take stock of the assured progress made under the astute calm of Svennis and hope the internationals in our squad all return back to Carrington in good shape for the pre Christmas run in.
Instead, a bewildering whirlwind of activity engulfed the club. Manchester City were suddenly being linked across the sports pages with a promotion campaign for 'Global Domination' directed by our chairman Frank S.
An utterly incomprehensible situation for City fans to find themselves in. My shed goes every time I try to take it all in. I for one will be relieved to see the team take the field against Reading so we can take a breather from the last two weeks passport boggling events.
First up, Svennis and Jihai Sun jetted out of town for Shanghai and Bangkok where by all accounts they were mobbed and warmly welcomed in all directions.
There's been a conspiracy theory amongst Blues for some time that Jihai Sun, for an unknown reason, alledgedly HAS to remain a member of the Manchester City squad following his 2 million quid transfer from Dalian Wanda in February 2002. I'm treading carefully here, but since then, Sun has made only 87 league appearances for City including 33 as a substitute. That's a record of TrickyTrevoresque/Claudio Strainer proportions so why was he not shown the door during the recent clearouts? Any takers?
Next up, City Academy manager Jim Cassell popped up in Thailand this week to visit potential sites for the new MCFC Academy to be built in the country. A second one is to be set up in China.
Following an MCFCTV.COM rallying call from Frank, City announced airline style 'Global Alliances' with the following teams (our 'Global Partners'): Grasshoppers Club Zurich of Switzerland,
Chonburi FC from Thailand, Australian A-League outfit Perth Glory, Shanghai Shen Hua of China, Thanda Royal Zulu FC of South Africa, and finally FC Moscow.
Hot on the heels of these developments, the club then focused on our 'Official Partners.' A Thai-up with Singha Beer was announced swiftly followed by City announcing a strategic partnership with Chinese computer gaming company The9 Group who hold a 50% stake in MSN China.
The focus then switched to the squad. Just as we were all beginning to consider who City could be signing in the January transfer window, Kiatprawut Saiwaew, Suree Sukha and Teerasil Dangda, the three Thai internationals who came on trial back in August have now signed for the club.
City then agreed a deal to take three Chinese players on trial from the freshly announced partner club Shanghai Shen Hua.
Gao Lin, will be joined at Carrington by Wang Da Lei and Mao Jianqing.
I remember that not long after Frank came in, he stated that when he runs a business he expects results and by the evidence of the past two weeks he is not hanging about with his future plans for City either. Whether we like it or not, Man City has changed, continues to change and Frank's juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down post desperately needed takeover. As a footnote, the official City site now has a Thai or Chinese option.
Then there's the next match and a top three position to maintain...!
Almost 20 years ago, Steve Coppell brought a nasty Crystal Palace side to Manchester and their intimidating tactics saw Eric Nixon sent off(can't believe I am writing an article with Eric and Dalian Wanda included in it, but there you go) and Palace ran away with a disgraceful 3-1 win.
That defeat left a very bitter taste in the mouth of all those who witnessed it and I haven't got over it. Of course, Coppell's subsequent history with Manchester City needs no introduction, but how sweet it would be for our exciting young City side to take him to the cleaners and back this weekend at Fortress Eastlands.
Enjoy the game and keep the faith. When's the King of Thailand's birthday again?