After the historic events of Sunday 13th May 2012, who could have foreseen the return of the rubicund, rancid, bacon rasher impersonator, Alexander Chapman Ferguson to the Etihad Stadium?
By his own prophecy, the Glaswegian pensioner should have expired, shuffled off his mortal coil, gone to meet his maker – call it however you wish – moments before Sergio Aguero’s historic Premier League winning strike.
After all, when asked if Manchester City, the ‘small club with the small mentality’ the ‘noisy neighbours’ were ever going to finish above Sir Funeralface’s beloved Manchester United in the PL, the ‘smartAlex’ sneering retort was, “Not in my lifetime…”
So it’s disappointing that the embalming fluid is still on hold, but nonetheless it does give Roberto Mancini another opportunity to stick Fergie’s words right up his fundament for the third time on the bounce.
The snide Scot is deluded enough to think he has enough left in his cranium to play the proverbial ‘mind games’. With the orifice licking media pack hanging on his every word, the old man laid his poisonous trail at his press conference.
A staunch Labour supporter, the United boss stated that a House of Commons inquiry would not be inappropriate given that City have been awarded 21 penalties at the Etihad in the past two-and-a-half seasons.
Funny that, since it’s exactly the same number of spot kicks given to Ferguson’s Salford Dying Swan Society over the same period. (Sorry did somebody mention a sick swan?)
Oh yes, Fergie is so subtle and sophisticated with his pre-match mumblings. Referee for the derby, Martin Atkinson will now go out of his way NOT to award Mancini’s marauders a spot kick, no matter what he sees.
This is the same referee who, with City drawing 3-3 at The Swamp under Mark Hughes, decided to go into Fergie-time overdrive, playing a spurious seven minutes to enable United to score.
Surely Atkinson’s services have already been secured by Florid Face? The official has ‘Sending off Mario Balotelli’ as one his hobbies on his Wikipedia profile.
Like any gnarled senior citizen, Fergie doesn’t like too much noise, especially when the volume has been pumped up by the now ‘Screaming neighbours’.
He’s not to good with numbers either, because City, according to the farcically knighted Sir Alex, have a ‘…bigger squad than anyone else…’
Strange that – City have a nominated 25-man squad just like every other PL team. Still, forgive the old dodderer, he’s 71-years old on New Year’s Eve and he still thinks he’s got teeth.
Thankfully, Roberto Mancini doesn’t give two shakes of a camel’s wotsit for Fergie’s fermentations.
The City supremo gives as good as he gets and adds on some hefty Italian interest, when shooting down his counterpart’s feeble attempts to undermine his team.
He jokes about Ashley Young going swimming every week at Old Trafford towards the end of last season, and claims United are the title favourites because of their 20 years at the top.
He knows if his comparatively goal-shy attack can get their act together, they can go make hay against a United defence leaking like a BBC Newsnight internal inquiry.
It’s ironic that City’s striking quartet of Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli have scored a ‘paltry’ 19 goals between them so far this season, yet United led by Van Persie, Rooney, Hernandez and Welbeck have hit a ‘wonderful’ 20.
Mancini will hopefully be able to add power, speed, creativity and energy to his team after a dismal display in Dortmund, with Yaya Toure, Gael Clichy, David Silva and James Milner in contention to start. United will be without Vidic, Valencia, Anderson and Nani.
Were it not for the fact that there’s still 23 games to play rather than two, it could be a carbon copy of last season’s title run-in. Before City’s 1-0 win, they trailed their neighbours by three points but with a superior goal difference, and a trip to Newcastle the following week.
City’s premature exit from the Champion’s League means Mancini will probably need to win the PL for a second successive season, if he is to keep the spectre of messrs Mourinho and Guardiola away from the Manchester City managerial role.
Strong rumours of imminent transfer moves for Roma’s Italian powerhouse Daniele De Rossi and Malaga’s midfield prodigy, Isco, would, if accomplished, be a huge boost to City’s playing ranks.
In the meantime there’s the little matter of the top-of-the-table Manchester derby and making sure a gum chewing Glaswegian gargoyle goes home wishing he hadn’t turned up in the first place.