City prepare to breeze in on double cup glory

It’s an ill wind that could ultimately prove beneficial for Manchester City after last night’s encounter with Sunderland turned into a stormy affair without the flashing of any red or yellow cards.

With 100mph winds uprooting City’s classy programme vendor booths and generally wreaking havoc, it was completely the right decision to call off the game.

Weathering the storm - Manuel Pellegrini prepares his men for the next leg of the unlikely 'Quad'

Weathering the storm – Manuel Pellegrini prepares his men for the next leg of the unlikely ‘Quad’ Courtesy @MCFC

However, as one of many who travelled from long distance I would question the timing and a lack of foresight on behalf of the powers that be. The weather forecast wasn’t exactly a secret and the motorway network across the North West was testimony to the extremely hazardous – no, downright dangerous – conditions.

National radio stations were regurgitating reports that the local Manchester media had been running a story advising that people should stay indoors, especially between 17.00 – 20.00hrs when the gusts were expected to peak.

Given the game was postponed due to concerns over spectator safety en-route and around the Etihad, the specific three-hour window was surely something of a clue to the Greater Manchester Police?

Shaping up - City will gradually see the return of injured stars  Courtesy @MCFC

Shaping up – City will gradually see the return of injured stars Courtesy @MCFC

This isn’t intended as a malicious ‘bitch’ against what was undoubtedly the correct course of action, it’s just that a good few thousand folk – the away support more than most – will be well out of pocket this morning, having taken the financial hit on fuel, travelling and subsistence costs.

Ultimately it’s ‘one of those things’ and admittedly hindsight is a wonderful asset, but one can’t help but feel it could have been addressed earlier in the day.

Premier League postponements are such an unwelcome novelty nowadays due to the advances in under soil heating and the ability to preserve a pitch. Had the occasion been judged by events inside the Etihad, the chances are the fixture may have been playable, but that’s subjective.

The fact is Manuel Pellegrini would be quietly satisfied with events elsewhere, bar Liverpool’s last gasp win at a Fulham side, who suddenly have a bit of wind in their sails! The Scousers’ win came in spite of the continuing efforts of undercover agent Kolo Toure!  

Double winner - MP displays his second consecutive Manager of the Month Award  Courtesy @MCFC

Double winner – MP displays his second consecutive Manager of the Month Award Courtesy @MCFC

The ‘exhilarating’ Emirates draw between the stumbling Gunners and Europa League wannabees, Manure, was perversely entertaining for the paucity of football product on show.

Had it been the sky blue side of Manchester playing out the listless stalemate with Wenger’s Boys, City would have been criticised for lacking invention and prolonging their ‘goal drought’.

But because it was those of the red persuasion from Trafford Borough it was a hard earned, well deserved point from a difficult away fixture against a title challenging team blah blah blah ad nauseam.

Dynamic duo - City want Sergio & Fernandinho back ASAP  Courtesy @MCFC

Dynamic duo – City want Sergio & Fernandinho back ASAP Courtesy @MCFC

The upside for Pellegrini is he has a fixture that will be rescheduled when some of his injured star players could be back playing. He has been presented with a vital few days to rest weary bodies without the risk of game time injuries and he’s seen City’s two principal title rivals drop vital points over two nights.

He still, however, has a selection dilemma for the FA Cup 5th Round clash with Setubal’s favourite son, ‘The Snide Sniper’ riding into town with Chelsea, just three days before the clash with Barcelona.

French Connection - Samir Nasri is almost ready for first team return  Courtesy @MCFC

French Connection – Samir Nasri is almost ready for first team return Courtesy @MCFC

Samir Nasri could appear ahead of schedule after being assaulted at St James’ Park on January 12th, providing much needed attacking impetus. Sadly Sergio and Fernandinho seem set to miss both major cup games, although I still wonder if there might, just might, be a bit of skulduggery going on and the superb Brazilian midfielder might play a part against Barca.

Social media-using City fans now laughingly refer to Mourinho as ‘Maureen’ – I wonder if it has any reference to the wonderful actress and comedienne, Maureen Lipman CBE –  given that Jose is always giving it plenty of lip when it comes to City and Pellegrini.

Let’s hope the ‘Special Needs’ One will be tripping over his trembling, pouting or sulking lower lip on Saturday evening as City advance to the quarter finals of the FA Cup.





By David Walker



Birthday greetings on this day go to two lovely ladyeeez & both ‘lookers’: True Blue Susan Bookbinder @SuzyBookbinder a friend and would-be business collaborator, as well as Lisa Butler @lisabuxa who gives not a jot about football, but is a cherished friend and ex-colleague – have a great celebration ‘girls’ xx


  1. February 13, 2014  8:57 am by Andy Biggar Reply

    Like you I understand the decision to postpone the game, but 1 hour before kick off? Seriously? We were just pulling onto the car park when the news broke on the radio, having had an horrendous 3 hour journey up from Shropshire.
    With all the weather warnings we'd had the game should have been called of by lunchtime at the latest.
    Our disappointment soon turned to frustration, as we made our journey back to the Shire through the gridlock on the M56!

    • February 13, 2014  6:08 pm by David Walker Reply

      Whilst appreciating people wanted to give the match every opportunity to go ahead, it must have been apparent that it wasn't looking good by late afternoon or even earlier. That'll teach us not to live in Manchester!

  2. February 13, 2014  10:20 am by Toby Teasdale Reply

    Urbane and troll free, I am getting addicted to this site. Thank you for making the effort Mr Walker.

    'Snide Sniper'. Excellent, succinct, sharp and spot on. I love it. Perhaps even better than Maureen. You could have added 'shit stirring', but that would have been over egging things.

    You are right, the game should have been called off much earlier. Getting to mid week games is not the same as weekends. Public transport is more expensive and last trains and busses are often gone by the time the match finishes and more travel to the game by car. Even on a good afternoon/evening, those heading towards Manchester midweek on M56, M6 or M62, will hit nose to tail traffic all the way.

    If safety was the reason the match was pulled, then what of the safety of drivers and passengers? Given the dire (red) weather warnings the match should have been pulled before the Sunderland coaches set sail. Still these are once in a 100 year events which will not occur again I my lifetime (they say!).

    But cloud's do have a silver linings.Given the results from St James' Park, I am sure the Mackem's had one of their best 'away trips' ever, with most having to be helped off the bus when they eventually got home. God works in mysterious ways. How long before your mate Pardew gets his P45?

  3. February 13, 2014  10:45 am by David Walker Reply

    LOL - great comments! Are you suggesting the Sunderland fans may have par taken of an alcoholic beverage or two? Night games are a particular pain in the butt for those who live considerable distances, but we just have to put it down to experience & move on. Thanks for reading & commenting.

  4. February 13, 2014  7:12 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    Dont understand why it was left so late the radio stations had been giving out red warnings most of the day. It definitely could work in our favour give the players a much needed rest. I just wonder what team will be for Saturday game with Barcelona on the horizon will MP decided C/L is more important tham FA Cup. #TrustOurMP

    • February 13, 2014  7:35 pm by David Walker Reply

      Undoubtedly MP has a mandate from our ex-Barca executive team to make ECL TOP PRIORITY.

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