More poison with the ‘praise’ Mr Guardiola?

Just when you thought maybe – just maybe – Manchester City’s version of ‘total football’ was winning the hearts and minds of those who genuinely appreciate the beautiful game, up pop the ‘haters’.

The moment a sour-faced French pensioner slanders Sterling, and it has nothing to do with the Euro-exchange rate.

By now everybody has heard the slanderous and self righteous rants of an embittered, myopia-afflicted French pensioner known as Arsenic Whinger.

Now that might be considered harsh, if indeed the Arsenal manager’s eyesight is in sharp decline but, let’s face it, sour-faced Monsieur Wenger has more ‘tunnel vision’ than all the Eurostar train drivers put together.

Same old Arsenic, always whinging.

Arsenic – there are other derivations of his name which are more offensive and perhaps more apt – labelled Raheem Sterling as a serial diver saying “…we know that he (Sterling) dives well…”

 If that doesn’t warrant a ‘disrepute’ charge from the FA what the hell does?

Stonewall penalty for Sterling.

Good old ‘Auntie Beeb’ then waded in with the BBC Sport Twitter account reporting that ‘Raheem Sterling will face no action over the penalty incident that led to his side’s second goal against Arsenal.’

Why on earth would City’s Number 7 face action? What a load of bullshit, even the idiotic leader of the ‘free world’ residing in the White House would be right to ask ‘What the fake is going on?’

No matter the angle, it’s a penalty every time.

Lest we forget City attracted similar innuendos when Bernardo Silva was fouled and a penalty awarded against Burnley.

Is there some sort of insidious subliminal media campaign being waged in an attempt to undermine future City penalty claims?

Goal No 179 for Sergio.

Of course Wenger chose to ignore the first half push on Sterling, as the ball flashed across the Arsenal goal which should also have been a penalty.

He claims there was refereeing bias towards City, inferring it’s often the case. Maybe the 68-year old Frenchman is showing signs of memory loss or even senility?

It’s only last April that Arsenal were the huge beneficiaries of two refereeing howlers against City.

Goal bound – Sergio adds another to his record tally in a City shirt.

Nacho Monreal blatantly handled for what would have been a penalty in the dying minutes of the 2-2 draw at the Emirates on April 2nd.

Three weeks later City had a perfectly valid goal ruled out in the 2-1 FA Cup semi final defeat at Wembley, the last competitive game the Sky Blues lost.

Monreal could so easily have been red carded.

The self same Monreal could and should’ve been sent off for the foul on Sterling – he was the last defender and Sterling had a clear goal scoring opportunity denied him. Wenger should’ve been grateful to referee Michael Oliver, not bemoaning the referee’s performance.

In fairness, even the likes of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright on BBC’s MOTD – normally Muppets of the Decade – said it was a definite penalty.

But still pernicious elements of the press persist, mixing their own droplets of poison with the pseudo sweetness presently being directed City’s way.

Sergio and Leroy celebrate City going 2-0 up.

Many, if not the majority, of City fans, have long since stopped reading what some would laughingly have us believe is credible sports journalism.

Take this little snippet from The Mirror’s Andy Dunn – Bin Dipper Extraordinaire & Editor-in-Chief of the Sterling Sniper:

“But as if a team (City) like this needs any help, up stepped Michael Oliver, falling for Sterling falling over as he ran across Nacho Monreal’s perfectly reasonable path, allowing Aguero to impudently improve his record-breaking tally to 179 from 12 yards.

Raheem anguish – Sterling fluffed a pass to Sane but City’s No 7 is confounding all his critics.

“City, even allowing for the spells of slapdash, were the better team and, in De Bruyne and David Silva, have the two most creative midfielders in the Premier League … by the distance of one of Raheem’s overcooked passes.”

City supporters quite rightly, say ‘screw the media’ – they can’t hurt the club if Pep’s team keep performing in such scintillating style.

Pep celebrates City’s 15th consecutive win of the season.

That may well be true, but the fact is nobody should be fooled into believing the media are suddenly City and Pep converts.

The talk of City going undefeated all season – quite rightly dismissed by Guardiola – is merely a stick with which to beat City over the head if, as and when, they do eventually lose.

As it was City thoroughly deserved their 15th consecutive win in all competitions as the Gunner’s firepower was easily muffled.

KDB turned from goal-maker to goal-taker.

It’s a victory which puts City eight points clear at the top of the league – a place known to be Raheem Sterling’s preferred place of residence.

City could and should’ve been at least 3-0 up by half time, but their high octane exertions in Napoli had taken some of the snap out of their usual bite.

Unstoppable? Only time will tell if City will be beaten this season, but the media will love it – just love it – if it happens.

Pep, ever the perfectionist, knew all too well that City’s +31 Premier League goal difference should’ve been more at the final whistle, but if this is as profligate or as sloppy a performance as it gets, the Etihad faithful won’t be losing too much sleep.

Kevin De Bruyne turned from goal maker to goal taker to put City ahead, before a certain Sergio Aguero added to his all-time record goal-scoring haul with strike No 179 from the penalty spot, courtesy of Sterling’s sterling efforts.

KDB struck City’s 50th goal in all competitions this season.

Yes, City did benefit from David Silva being offside for his assist in Jesus’ goal, but how sweet was that after Merlin was brutally kicked out of the FA Cup semi final by Arsenic’s hired thugs?

City transfer target Alexis Sanchez looked like he must be feeling – a man who desperately wants to be playing for City – not against them. January or June should see that situation rectified, depending on Pep’s requirements and City’s levels of acrimony towards Arsenic & Co.

Sweet Jesus and sweet justice for David Silva as City went 3-1 up against Arsenal.

As it is Wenger is to face no action for his outburst, leaving us all to wonder if Pep had said something similar, whether the FA would be quite so hard of hearing?

And yes, he’s still whinging!

With 52 goals scored in 17 games and no sign of City’s winning streak coming to an end, it’s a case of echoing the words of Liam Gallagher’s chart-topping album, as sung to Sergio by LG to celebrate the Argentine striker’s achievements…

…As You Were.

By David Walker

Dedicated to three City fans I’m privileged to call friends – Lee Welland, Dave Hughes and Doug Henshaw – as they battle Cancer. They’ve something in common with Pep in that they’re all winners. Keep fighting gents and stick around for all the fun. @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu


  1. November 7, 2017  9:06 pm by gary brown Reply

    Again another good article - I would only like to add a couple of things: Not sure why Sky could only find die - hard Arsenal disciple - Alan Smith to commentate I got the feeling he was desperate to see us lose, second regards the penalty perhaps all concerned should look at what have should been the first one when Sterling was shoved into the goal (sorry cant remember the defender responsible) in the first half.
    Unbeaten would be fantastic - Champions by April much more desirable - I expect as next month approaches Pep will be borrowing a couple of double - decker's (painted red of course) as part of his training regime.

    • November 7, 2017  9:48 pm by David Walker Reply

      Haha - great stuff Gary - thanks for the feedback. Only the two double deckers? ;-)

      • November 8, 2017  9:01 am by gary brown Reply

        Thanks David- Just a closing thought regarding the Arsenal game - your namesake well at least first name - David Silva - when he held onto the ball a ran rings round the opposition ball glued to his foot - outside of the Etihad the most underrated player in the Premiership. A joy to watch and a privilege to have him in Blue I hope our future great young Foden is taking every opportunity to learn from the best.
        Lets hope all our players stay well and injury free during the International break - and the blue snowball continues its journey to glory

        • November 8, 2017  9:31 am by David Walker Reply

          Absolutely right Gary. Hopefully Merlin will sign a contract extension and will be with us for three more seasons and win more silverware than ever before. Foden looks very very promising at just 17 years old and he can learn so much from David Silva, as could David's namesake, Bernardo.

          Sergio has been hogging the headlines for his all-time record goal scoring exploits, as has KDB for his outstanding contribution to City's scintillating start to the season, but Silva has been the mainstay for many years as far as making City tick.

          He's a joy to behold, the consummate professional and arguably City's greatest ever player. If Silva was injured City always lacked a certain spark but, as the win against Napoli demonstrated, Pep now has much more choice and balance to ensure we are not so reliant on one man. That has to be a good thing for both David and the team and one of the reasons why City are heading into the most rewarding era in the club's history.

          • November 8, 2017  4:34 pm by gary brown

            A bold statement regards greatest ever but I have to agree - his style of play has been lacking not only in our team but to a degree in the entire Premiership, and he seems to be reveling in his role both as a player and Captain, long may it continue.

          • November 8, 2017  8:58 pm by David Walker

            His contract runs until the end of June 2019 and I understand he's close to a one year extension taking him through to the summer of 2020 and 10 years at City. Just imagine what he might be able to win with City this season and two more seasons thereafter. He's arguably the greatest - right up there with Colin Bell - but in terms of trophies won, he could end up streets ahead of Colin The King, and that has to be a factor in the final analysis.

  2. November 7, 2017  9:09 pm by Allan Reply

    Good piece as usual. I noticed Wenger didn't mention Sterling getting pushed in the first half. I think Monreal sent off would have been harsh, the angle was narrowing for Sterling and yes Silva was offside but how often do we get the benefit of the doubt? I also noticed that Lukaku a few weeks ago kicked a Liverpool player on the head while the player was still on the ground. Did the F.A. decide to investigate? But a city player looks sideways and everybody is screaming for action to be taken.

    • November 7, 2017  10:12 pm by David Walker Reply

      It was ever thus where City are concerned but, as you say, it's about time we had the rub of the green. Arsenal screwed us twice or more last April and Whinger still has the neck to come out with crap like that! Happy to see him stay at the Emirates until he's 80+ that way we'll know they'll never mount a serious title challenge :-)

      The beauty of it is that we are playing so well at present and I think Pep tells the team to score three or more to offset any dodgy refereeing decisions. Thanks for your comments.

  3. November 7, 2017  9:11 pm by Paul Barber Reply

    Say that a referee cheats and immediate punishment. Wrongly accuse a player of cheating in his work place and get away with it. Arsene knew what he was doing and should be punished. City keep winning is a great form of punishment for the rest of the League. As you were Pep.

    • November 7, 2017  10:15 pm by David Walker Reply

      As you were indeed. The thing is this daft old Frenchman is now an irrelevance and if Arsenal don't make the top four I reckon he'll be gone next summer. That'll be a real shame...for City ;-) Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. November 7, 2017  9:19 pm by Levenshulme Blue Reply

    Another gloriously 'fighty' article, Dave. Keep 'em coming!

    • November 7, 2017  10:16 pm by David Walker Reply

      Can't be a good 'fighty' article :-) Cheers fella, much appreciated.

  5. November 7, 2017  9:54 pm by Ian B Reply

    Nailed it Dave, scandalous by Wenger & also the FA for doing nothing, he’s contravened their own regulations yet they turn a blind eye. Seem to recall Sagna getting a ban for saying we played against 12, which was a fact!

    • November 7, 2017  10:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      It is FOOKIN disgraceful. I'd bet my humble abode - not your castle - that if Pep had said something similar about Rashford or someone of that ilk there'd be hell to pay.

      Sagna was fined £50k for his Instagram message on Lee Mason - bloody scandalous - and as you say FACT!

      Thanks for the comments - much appreciated.

  6. November 7, 2017  10:03 pm by Susan Bookbinder Reply

    Brilliant as always. X

  7. November 7, 2017  10:49 pm by Pete lynch Reply

    How do you do it fella? Brilliant as ever

    • November 7, 2017  11:48 pm by David Walker Reply

      Steady on with the praise fella, there's plenty better than me, I'm just doing 'my bit' ;-) That said it's very generous of you and thanks as always for reading and commenting.

  8. November 7, 2017  10:51 pm by Maureen Tucker Reply

    What an excellent report on the game, all the comments prove there is a lot of bias from media, pundits and City haters, the good thing is City core fans know who we are and where we've come from. Proud to be Blue.
    Whinger should be sued for Defamation of Character by RS! The FA should be taking action against Whinger for bringing the game into disrepute and making comments about a ref after a game, all these points have been thrown at City so what is the difference?

    Oh yeh we're City

    • November 7, 2017  11:46 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for your thoughts and yes, it does beggar belief that Wenger isn't being hauled over the coals.

  9. November 7, 2017  11:05 pm by Paul Glennon Reply

    Thanks Dave yet another great read,

    • November 7, 2017  11:46 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thank YOU PG! Do you remember back in the day when I once said to you that if you, and you alone, read RBNR and enjoyed it, then it was worth doing? We don't see each other very often, but you, Aileen and Team Glennon will always have a special place in my thoughts. I'm so pleased you're here mate and you're seeing all this glorious football. Hope to see you at the Etihad at some stage during the season - a season that could be the best ever in the history of Manchester City.

  10. November 7, 2017  11:46 pm by Carin Reply

    Great piece! Sterling should sue him for slander or defamation. It's disgraceful that Arsenic should get away with it.

    • November 8, 2017  12:11 am by David Walker Reply

      City and Sterling are probably opting for the moral high ground. If they go after the barking mad old chap he'd probably end up getting the sympathy vote and City would be portrayed as the bad guys. That said, the media don't need an excuse to continue their vitriol and persecution of Raheem. Sterling has done remarkably well over these past two or three years, since switching to City, in the face of vile abuse and scrutiny.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  11. November 7, 2017  11:57 pm by Peter Reply

    Great summary of jealous and fading Monsieur Wenger.
    A good report spoiled.

    • November 8, 2017  12:18 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for your remarks on the overall tone and content of the blog. However there's nothing sneaky about my references to President Trump, I've written them for all to see and stand by them. The man's a menace, democratically elected menace I grant you, albeit with a little bit of help from the Russians...allegedly ;-)

  12. November 8, 2017  1:49 am by By Reply

    (sympathy vote and City would be portrayed as the bad guys. That said, the media don't need an excuse to continue their vitriol and persecution of Raheem. Sterling has done remarkably well over these past two or three years, since switching to City, in the face of vile abuse and scrutiny.) I love your words. But it's time man city sue the press or a club. What is all this? We should ban some press from entering into the club press too. This is evil against competition.

    • November 8, 2017  8:55 am by David Walker Reply

      It must be said that City are incredibly tolerant of those who show no respect or regard for the club or their employees. Like you, there are many supporters who would prefer City take a more combative approach to the detractors who spew bile and venom. Thank you for your comments.

  13. November 8, 2017  2:01 am by By Reply

    I read your article everyday. I am so sad sometimes when I don't read them. You are the best. Always the best. I wish you are in Sky Sports. We need to stop this constant negative attacks .we are top of the league yet people are so bitter. Now what most people are say now is the amount we spent on players. Please are we the only club that buys players?. I am confused. Our highest purchase player is Kevin. 52mil. What's all this. Others buy 100mil. Or 90mil. Yet they said we are good only because we bought players. Do they want us to use old players like last season so will lose all the time. And they will be happy?. Or yet don't buy players at all? I am confused here please help me.

    • November 8, 2017  9:12 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for your generous words. The simple fact is City, under Sheikh Mansour's ownership, have come along and broken up the cosy cartel of United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and to a lesser degree, media darlings, Spurs. The mainstream media have a huge vested interest in keeping the reds of United, Liverpool and Arsenal sweet, because they form a large proportion of their viewers, listeners and readers.

      They daren't ostracize them by being seen to praise City. The red audience love any negativity towards City and the mass media pander to those wishes. However, if City can sustain their success and attract more and more support then the dynamics may shift and the media will have to be cognisant of not offending a large and growing audience of City fans and admirers of Guardiola's style of play.

  14. November 8, 2017  7:10 am by Prestbury Blue Reply

    Wenger along with Mourinho are the kind of manager who’d rather have their teeth extracted with pliers rather than give credit to a better opposition. The fact the FA haven’t brought Wenger a disrepute charged should surprise no one. They’re just as complicit.

    • November 8, 2017  8:51 am by David Walker Reply

      We just know how different it would've been had Pep spouted accusations of this nature. It's pathetic isn't it?

  15. November 8, 2017  7:17 am by Lynn Mollekin Reply

    Excellent as usual ?

  16. November 9, 2017  11:26 am by Richard cooper Reply

    Yes Wenger should have been reprimanded. Did I expect him to, No. He is a serial excuse merchant who knew his team were well beaten. Should have been over at half time, and yes we should have had a penalty for the Sterlig push in first half.
    Will we "slip up" at some point, probably, Will the media all be happy and think the bubble has burst, yes, do I care, No.
    A fair thinking Manu fan who we bumped into yesterday implied he would rather watch the entertaining football at City,, than the fare being served up at OT.
    Apart from our desire to go "marching on" being entertained along the way is what the Pep philosophy is all about. Long may it continue with trophies thrown in to keep the "knockers" quiet !

    • November 9, 2017  10:56 pm by David Walker Reply

      That's a strange coincidence RC because I was talking to a very eminent ex-newspaper Editor friend of mine, and a lifelong United fan, who said much the same about the contrasting styles adopted by Pep and Mourinho. He reckons Jose will be gone within 18 months, possibly sooner, and he had nothing but praise for the way Guardiola has City playing.

      I don't think there's a single City fan who will get too far ahead of themselves, the old Typical City is forever lurking in the shadows, but it sure as hell is looking encouraging.

      Thanks, as ever, RC.

  17. November 17, 2017  7:02 pm by Geoffrey Blake Reply

    Maybe Mr Carragher might just be starting to get the message...

    ...although its normally been his line about City...
    By the way thanks David for this blog, always worth looking out for and reading
    Appreciate your honesty and style

    • November 20, 2017  7:58 pm by David Walker Reply

      Many thanks for your input and generous thoughts on RBNR. JC isn't the only one having to change his negative attitude towards City and Pep. The snide pundits are whistling a different tune through gritted teeth - not an easy feat at the best of times - and these are the best of times if you're a City fan.

      NO...hold that thought - things could just keep getting better and better if Pep extends his stay at the Etihad well beyond 2019.

      Thanks again :-)

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