City to raise bar higher than Tan’s waistband – MAN CITY v CARDIFF CITY

Profanity spewing Alan Pardew only served to illustrate how lucky Manchester City are to have Manuel Pellegrini at the helm.  The gulf in class and ability between the Newcastle manager and the chilled Chilean is immeasurable.

One glance at the Etihad ‘Director’s Box’ at 3pm today will draw a similar reaction when it comes down to the club’s ownership.

For potty mouth Pardew, substitute Vincent Tan and for Pellegrini think Sheikh Mansour.

One Direction - UP! MP is having a magnificent first season at MCFC

One Direction – UP! MP is having a magnificent first season at MCFC

He may be absent from the arena, but the Sheikh has a live feed from every City game at his disposal, and no, unlike other mere mortals, he doesn’t have to surf the web looking for a stream that isn’t prone to ‘buffering’ and gradually falling further and further behind live play as the afternoon wears on!

You don’t have to be religious to realise that City are truly blessed to have an owner with the wisdom, business nous and financial clout of Sheikh Mansour.

God forbid if City had drawn the short straw and fallen into the hands of the Sheikh’s opposite number, a man who is to waistbands what Usain Bolt is to sprinting – at the very top of his game.

Cardiff owner, Vincent Tan – is a man who could conceivably use vaseline to avoid his trouser belt chaffing his nipples, a man who makes Malcolm Glazer look like a fashion icon, a man who is probably every football fan’s nightmare when it comes to taking ownership of ‘their’ club.

Subs - Joleon Lescott and Javi Garcia will probably drop to City's bench

Subs – Joleon Lescott and Javi Garcia will probably drop to City’s bench

The downtrodden Cardiff faithful can maybe take some solace that if it all went pear-shaped for the Bluebirds’ owner, he looks like a shoe-in as the ‘baddie’ in any forthcoming James Bond movie.

Hopefully Tan and the travelling Welsh support, will be both shaken and stirred, rather like 007’s favoured vodka martini tipple, after Manchester City make it 11/11 Premier League home wins, reach, and then surpass, 100 goals for the season.

Back in late August, the PL newbies inflicted Pellegrini’s first competitive City defeat on a day of vastly contrasting fortunes for the City boss and Cardiff manager Malky Mackay.

It was just the second game of the campaign and boy oh boyo did Cardiff celebrate, as the media pulverised Pellegrini, undermining his position…after just 180 combative minutes in his new job.

First of 21 - The Beast's looping headed goal gave City hope of a draw in wasn't to be!

First of 21 – The Beast’s looping headed goal gave City hope of a draw in Cardiff…it wasn’t to be!

Some elements of the City support were given to knee jerk reactions. Condemnation of the new manager’s attacking philosophy and defensive formations was rife.

Bring back Mancini was tweeted vociferously by some of the more misguided among the City flock – a wholly inappropriate and disproportionate reaction – albeit to a shock loss.

Nearly five months on, Cardiff’s trip to Fortress Etihad does indeed coincide with a change of manager, obviously not ‘Our MP’ – in whom the overwhelming majority of Sky Blue supporters now trust – but for the visitors, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replacing the luckless Mackay.

Amazingly ex-Manure striker, Solskjaer, never experienced victory over City in four playing appearances with two draws and two defeats.

Toll of the Bell - Craig Bellamy will be warmly received at the Etihad

Toll of the Bell – Craig Bellamy will be warmly received at the Etihad

The Norwegian disciple of old Sir Baconface (not to be confused with the beautiful plumage of a Monty Python-esque Norwegian Blue), can expect a frosty reception, unlike ex-blue Bellers – Craig Bellamy – who will be warmly received by a crowd who never failed to appreciate the fiery Welshman’s 100% commitment to the cause.

Of course the figure of 100 is on everybody’s radar and City’s collective firepower will want to move from the ‘nervous nineties’ asap and bring up the ton of goals milestone.

Pellegrini, who has thus far been masterly in his rotation of his multi-talented squad, is able to recall Joe Hart, Pablo Zableta, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Yaya Toure and start with a fit again Sergio Aguero.

Be afraid - Sergio is back...and must surely start

Be afraid – Sergio is back…and must surely start

It bodes well for a modicum of payback for that less than august August afternoon. It’s interesting that Pellegrini says that the two goals Cardiff scored from corners, were the last goals City have conceded from corner kicks all season.

Talk about lessons learned, Pellegrini has now seen his team go unbeaten since early November – 10 PL games and 16 in all competitions.

It’s a great run but the fatalist element, the essence of ‘Typical City’, cannot help but think it has to end soon. But why should it?

City have the best squad in the PL, the best team and are playing the best football. In Pellegrini they have a leader who is getting the very best out of his players and, noticeably, they are a group of smiling footballers.

Action man - Fernandinho just gets better and better

Action man – Fernandinho just gets better and better

I would never undermine the achievements of the club under Roberto Mancini’s watch – Bobby Manc is revered by the fans – BUT Pellegrini seems capable of taking City to a whole new dimension.

City’s 59 goals in the PL – almost four times more than Cardiff’s 15 – means revenge is in the air as City attempt to right the wrongs of that shock 3-2 defeat.

For Cardiff it might be six games without a win having drawn one and lost four, but City cannot be complacent after the Welsh team put in stoical efforts at both Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks.

Just passing - David Silva links City's play like a magician

Just passing – David Silva links City’s play like a magician

If the Bluebirds were to inflict an unthinkable home defeat on City it would be THE shock result of the season, easily eclipsing the earlier win.

But the Blue Moon is rising and stargazers confirm there is no anticipated eclipse any time soon.


By David Walker @djwskyblu           


  1. January 18, 2014  1:33 am by Jim Land Reply

    This is possibly the biggest test to the old 'typical' label. In earlier times it would have probable shock written all over it, especially as the press would be (miss) quoting City players and staff as saying it would be an easy game. These days our MP seems to be the only one giving press conferences as there are far fewer statements from players; as it should be.
    As an indication of how times have changed, when we first moved to Australia in 2004 I used to wake up, start the pc, and say to the wife, "I'll just go and see how many City lost by." Over the last few years that gradually became more optimistic - "...if we lost;" even "...if we won." Recently it has changed to "how many we won by." I hope I don't have to revert.

    • January 18, 2014  1:48 am by David Walker Reply

      You can't be reverting at your time of life Jim - it's not good for you. No, I think you're going to be ok for the next two decades!

      Cheers fella.

      • January 18, 2014  3:23 am by Jim Land Reply

        20 years should be OK, but hopefully I can last a bit longer. 2050 will see me get a telegram for my 100th; hopefully from a president, not a monarch.

        • January 19, 2014  10:31 am by David Walker Reply

          Oh well in that case let's double it - 40 years of Sky Blue domination - that should see us both out, but only you will have the email - telegram indeed - from the ruler of this fair land, be it royalist or republican. #MCFCBLUEBROS

  2. January 18, 2014  7:49 am by Mark Turner Reply

    Great article as always David and yet again I find myself starting the weekend with a smile on my face thanks in no small part to your witty and incisive scribe. Thanks as always. Personally I'd like it if Jimmy was the scorer of our 100th goal but whoever delivers this milestone will have my admiration - even Sr Garcia. Just hope goal numbers 101 through to say 104 follow before 4:45 today.

    • January 18, 2014  11:38 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Mark - can you imagine by season's end - it could be like the darts ...180!

  3. January 18, 2014  8:00 am by Susan Richardson Reply

    Great breakfast read. I think you've captured it exactly 'the players are smiling' this has been the key I think. I'll love Mancini forever but MP has equal footing now. Glorious times especially the rag baiting! History being made at the Ethiad Yeh!

    • January 18, 2014  11:38 am by David Walker Reply

      Fully endorsed!

  4. January 18, 2014  8:25 am by Andy Devereux Reply

    As always an excellent read David , thanks.You are spot on, I've been saying it to my mates for some time about the players looking happy, smiling faces all round on match day in training everywhere. I say of you're enjoying your football and who you're playing with and for things will go well.As for today should be no problem getting our 100th goal and another 3pts don't think Sergio will start though think MP will ease him back seeing as Edin and the Beast are doing so well.If we do get to 100 today I'll wager talk in the media will shift to can we score 100 prem goals, what orice that I wonder.#TrustOurMP

    • January 18, 2014  11:40 am by David Walker Reply

      Cheers AD - Happy Days!

  5. January 18, 2014  10:31 am by Mole Rocks Reply

    Thanks David, another excellent piece.

    We are truly blessed to have Shiekh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak driving the club forward in all areas. On and off the field City are oozing class.

    An early goal will calm the "typical city" posse, I'm hoping for a 3-0 win, anymore would be great of course.

    Come on City, history beckons!

    • January 18, 2014  11:41 am by David Walker Reply

      I always excelled in history lessons

  6. January 18, 2014  10:44 am by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    I so badly want to give The baby-faced Ass a good kicking it hurts.

    "City are good, but Yoonited will always be better than them and will be back to the top before long" Shut it you little rag cretin.

    Come on City, send the little turd and his team of Championship rejects packing.

    • January 18, 2014  11:42 am by David Walker Reply

      Very eloquent No 5

  7. January 18, 2014  11:28 am by Graham Ward Reply

    Thanks for the preview, David. We're really flying at the moment, and, like Fifth, I'd like to see us reply to that early season loss in fine style.
    A bonus to see Solskjaer sent home to muse on his (so far from our POV) flawless record against us. He's got form in the wind up stakes.

    • January 18, 2014  11:45 am by David Walker Reply

      Hope Babyface chokes on his dumny & fills his nappy.

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