MAN UTD v MAN CITY – City to silence obese rumblings

The lady of ample proportions gargles before spitting out the soothing fluid, producing a guttural grunt as she clears her throat. Her bulky bosom heaves as she fills her lungs with a massive inhalation, in readiness to belt out a big number…

The sizeable songstress has yet to let her vocals loose on Manchester City’s swansong of their Premier League title, but it’s only a matter of time before the fat lady sings.

Sadly City have played too many games in the key of ‘off’ this campaign, hitting a few bum notes in Hampshire and on both Wearside and Merseyside, failing to strike the right chord on to many occasions.

They’ve even orchestrated their own downfall from time to time, but make no mistake these boys aren’t one hit wonders – they WILL be back in a cacophony of sound, as befits the noisiest neighbours on the planet.

A crescendo of glory is just around the corner as City prepare to unleash a dynasty, ready to take centre stage in English football and make sweet overtures across continental Europe.

Like his countrymen Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, Roberto Mancini is a passionate act, evoking deep emotion in his audience, reducing men, women and children to tears at the climax of a peerless – never to be surpassed – gala performance.

The delirious, unbridled joy of May 13, 2012 delivered precious moments that can never – never ever – be torn from the hearts and memories of every living Manchester City supporter.

Almost 11 months to the day and Mancini will lead his team of champions into the den of their arch foe – the neighbours who are rather ‘up themselves’ – manipulative, arrogant and belittling those with the temerity to aspire to live in the ‘big house’.

Sadly his victorious warriors, who inflicted unimaginable pain on said hated rivals, will relinquish their crown in the coming days and weeks as the Dark Forces muster and spirit away City’s precious prize, and with it the mantle as the best in the land.

Just how a Manchester United side – who are not a patch on previous glorious line-ups of the Baconface era – are 15 points clear of City, is a quandary to those who witnessed the Sky Blues swashbuckling style as they swept to their first title in 44 years.

United will not have won this 2012/13 title, it will have been presented to them by a City side who, at times have lacked the will and gumption to press home obvious advantage.

The Premier League is won based on 38 contests. It doesn’t help Mancini’s cause when his team only decides to show up in 34 or 35 of these encounters.

One must hope that they turn out at Old Trafford full of heart, sound of mind and with the self confidence to plunder a memorable victory. By doing so City not only save face in a disappointing season, they also serve notice that they will want ‘their’ title back by 2014.

It’s true that those who sit aloft the table at the final whistle on the final day deserve to be champions, it would be sour grapes to say anything different.

City, having reveled in the ecstasy and elation of last year’s success, must heed the lessons of blunted hunger and diluted desire. It pains me, but City must look to United for their example of unrelenting ambition and an insatiable appetite for more and more success.

It’s a cultural thing – what Roberto would refer to as having a ‘strong mentality…only this.’ It will come and it will come quickly – it absolutely has to when you have men of the stature of Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon El Mubarak at the helm.

City arrive at The Swamp knowing this is their last face-to-face confrontation with the champions-elect following Manure’s Easter Monday reversal at Stamford Bridge.

A good proportion of City fans were disappointed to see Fergie’s double dream die. Their preference would have been to see their team expedite United’s exit from the FA Cup in a Manchester versus Salford semi-final. Still, it doesn’t really matter who City beat on their way to a sixth FA Cup success and Mancini’s third major trophy in his tenure at the Etihad.

The 4-0 demolition of Newcastle saw City playing unhindered by any weight of expectation. It also coincided with the return of the side’s backbone – in more ways than one. What team on the planet would not be hurt and rendered weaker by the absence of Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero?

Coupled with the traditional Easter resurrection – only this time it wasn’t good old ‘JC’ it was Samir Nasri – and you can see why City have nothing to fear travelling to the noxious neighbours.

How ironic would it be if the Frenchman turned into the hero of the hour having gone so woefully missing in action last December, when United came to Manchester?

Cowering behind Edin Dzeko, as the ‘bad brick’ in a City wall, Nasri’s cowardice enabled Robin Van Persie to score an undeserved winner in United’s 3-2 win.

If he were to be more than instrumental in a second consecutive City win in Salford, it would go down a treat, perhaps even delivering salvation from a summer exit to PSG –  who knows?

Let’s not delude ourselves City are going to be second best this season, but that doesn’t mean second best on the night.

The elephantine female WILL undoubtedly sing, but Mancini, his team and City’s wonderful supporters can be well out of earshot when she does, knowing that the new Champions of England won’t stay that way for very long.


 NB: Read But Never Red’s coverage of the Manchester derby will be delayed by 36 hours due to an ageing engagement by the Blue (sorry Red) Sea, as the author officially becomes older but not necessarily wiser.



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  2. April 2, 2013  6:41 am by carol main Reply

    to be honest Davy,I dont think either us or that other lot have been particularly inspiring this season, just infuriating that they manage to keep grinding out the results (albeit with the frequent help of the officials) never mind though eh. What we need is a nice fat win at the swamp and I dont care who orchestrates it as long as it happens!

    • April 11, 2013  6:11 pm by David Walker Reply

      Bit wise after the fact, but how good was it to see the Fat Bird choke on her lyrics and Baconface nearly choke on his gobful of gum? It was an obese win!

  3. April 2, 2013  9:50 am by Graham Ward Reply

    City are not the only contributors to the Rags current position in the Premier League table, the other 18 clubs have not exactly put any pressure on!
    The result yesterday should make for a 'interesting' atmosphere at the Swamp next Monday, and I would love to see the roles from the first game reversed, with Aguero or Tevez snatching a late winning goal. Quietly confident about the 14th.

    • April 11, 2013  6:13 pm by David Walker Reply

      So far so good Graham - Aguero did just that. Let's hope your confidence for Sunday is not misplaced. I don't believe it is - we are good enough and strong enough to take Chelsea en-route to a 6th FA Cup victory.

  4. April 3, 2013  3:53 pm by BonesBattlesBack Reply

    A delightful read David,got a feeling Mancini might not heap to much importance on the forthcoming derby, don't forget, the next game is the FACUP SEMI.
    Wouldnt surprise me if he leaves a few big guns out (silva etc), to avoid potential injuries.
    As much as I'd love to win the derby, city mustnt lose sight of the bigger picture, the titles GONE, the FACUP would be very nice.
    City are capable of beating the rags even without some of there star names, maybe give Sinclair a runout, he'd be mighty hungry to impress.

  5. April 4, 2013  1:52 am by ManCityFC Reply

    This is an amateur deconstruction, for what it's worth:

    This season was always going to be the underachieving perfect storm - when it came to our ability to retain and relinquish the title. Every team that faced us this season was always going to want to beat us...we are champions and this is a great CV filling opportunity. But we knew this was coming.

    But let's go back. Think right back to the back end of last season...we were struggling, winning, but we were struggling. The incredible Agreurooooooo goal is indicative of this, and winning that game was very typical of a team that was hanging on and running on hope and pure passion - and it wasn't, most certainly not, coasting to a foregone conclusion. The team seemed to be declining towards the mid to back end of last season. Was this the famous 'City Curse?' I don't know. But it wasn't comfortable. We dragged that cup to the Etihad...the hard way.

    Fast forward to this season, and we have simply not been living up to the performances of the early part of last seasons promise. We were simply awaesome. Tempo, one touch, creative....we were incredible....were!

    This season isn't really a shock for me. It should be a shock, when you compare teams on paper, but it isn't a shock when you look at reality;

    On paper:

    The strike force for me isn't debatable. Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko, and (the late) Balotelli trump RVP, Wig head, Wombledon, and the lad that sounds like a green Fiat.

    The defense we have is without question the best in the UK football league, and undoubtedly better with Nasti to boot (pardon the pun). The record speaks for itself on this - although it took a while to get sorted early on this season, and this didn't help. We also have great, full time or part time wingers (Zabba and Cliche) to join the action too, and allow Mancini's 3 at the back to work - on paper!

    Midfield is a quandary. Is Smalling, Jones, Young, Cleverly and the stand-in OAPs of Giggs, Scholes -- really better than Silva, Yaya, Milner, Nasri, Barry and Garcia. As much as it pains me to say it - we have much better players in there on paper, but they trump us. It's a better midfield than ours - collectively.

    Look at acquisitions; Was Garcia a worthy replacement of the incredibly consistent and often brilliant De Jong...and was Maicon or Sinclair the greatest replacement for the 'off and on' Johnson? For me, no, they never were and aren't - and if you don't strengthen, then you are weakening your side...but Mancini has kind-of explained this.

    We're told we missed out in the transfer window, but we aren't PSV who buy with reckless abandon assuming that if they break and ignore the FFP rules, they will be somehow overturned to allow great players in to the ECL. Our balance sheet looks incredible considering where we have come from - and a small price to pay for benign froogle for one season? There's also lot's of dross to be taken off our wage-bill at the end of this season, added by the previous manager (was RSC a decent buy????)

    At the end of the day we need to be patient, Winning the most important league in Europe has cemented City into the Elite Hierarchy that is possibly untouchable by honest businessmen that want to invest to profit from football in the future. We should be thankful to be in this Tupi FFP induced club. Next season will be different!

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