Pep set to make a spectacle of Mourinho and Clattenburg

As the world fixes its gaze on the Theatre of Screams and the Manchester derby becomes the focus of Planet Football, it’s ironic that a mysterious visual impairment could yet be a key factor in the clash of Red versus Sky Blue.

No love lost - Mourinho and Guardiola have a deep rooted dislike for each other.

No love lost – Mourinho and Guardiola have a deep rooted dislike for each other.

The nigh on blind Andre Marriner won’t be visible at The Swamp as El Mancunico unfolds to a global audience of umpteen millions, but the results of his incredibly poor eye-sight will be clear to see as Sergio Aguero plays the role of City’s Invisible Man.

Not only did the Football Association, the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) and the Premier League, happily accept Marriner’s – at best – dubious version of events in the Aguero-Winston Reid clash, they compounded the situation by appointing the ‘C’ word to officiate the first Jose versus Pep clash.

Head-scratcher - Marriner possibly wondering where he left his guide dog before kick-off.

Head-scratcher – Marriner possibly wondering where he left his guide dog before kick-off.

Mark Clattenburg – ‘affectionately’ known as Twattenburg to the City faithful – achieved a remarkable polar opposite to Marriner when refereeing City against Spurs at the Etihad last season.

He ‘saw’ something that nobody else in a packed capacity Etihad did, nor the viewing millions, or even the jaundiced pundits of the day noxious Niall Quinn, seedy Stan Collymore or rancid Robbie Savage.

 Klutz Clattenburg ‘saw’ Raheem Sterling handle the ball with his back, and thus ‘justify’ awarding Spurs a penalty.

Never a penalty - Raheem Sterling protests his innocence to controversial Clattenburg over the handball that never was against Spurs but to no avail.

Never a penalty – Raheem Sterling protests his innocence to controversial Clattenburg over the handball that never was against Spurs but to no avail.

Clattenburg has a horribly long list of ‘previous’ offences against City, and yet apologists for this most arrogant and objectionable of referees point to the fact he officiated City’s glorious 6-1romp in Trafford Borough in 2011.

The simple fact is that City were so good that day, even one of Fergie’s best mates couldn’t save the Reds from the rampant Blues.

City fan’s apparent distrust of Clattenburg – and most present day referees for that matter – was further compounded when former ref Mark Halsey claimed he (Halsey) had been in match situations where he’d seen an incident,  but was later instructed by PGMOL to say he hadn’t.

So that's Clattenburg spelt with a capital 'T' - it sums up how City fans feel about the reviled referee.

So that’s Clattenburg spelt with a capital ‘T’ – it sums up how City fans feel about the reviled referee.

PGMOL deny Halsey’s accusations, but calls for a full independent investigation appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

Football’s powers-that-be, don’t appear to have an appetite for accountability and transparency when it comes to explaining inexplicable and errant refereeing decisions.

Maybe it’s naïve to hope that win, lose or draw, the outcome of the eagerly anticipated and much-hyped derby will be achieved by fair, rather than foul, means.

City's New Number One - Bravo will be hoping to make Zlatan & Co Foxtrot Oscar in today's derby.

City’s New Number One – Bravo will be hoping to make Zlatan & Co Foxtrot Oscar in today’s derby.

Flailing Elbows Fellaini will undoubtedly want to make his mark and impress the Not So Special One in United’s ‘dugout’, the only question being on which City player’s nose or cheekbone.

Microphone Head got away scot-free last time he smashed Pablo Zabaleta in the chops in a derby, even having the temerity to claim Zaba ran into his elbow!

Pep wants to draw first blood in the Manchester derby duels with Jose's Swamp dwellers.

Pep wants to draw first blood in the Manchester derby duels with Jose’s Swamp dwellers.

Any recurrence, notwithstanding the current scrutiny of referees who really ‘Shudda gone to Specsavers’, would probably see Clattenburg claiming his wig slipped and temporarily obscured his line of sight.

United’s ‘Noisy Neighbours’ have kept a dignified silence in the run up to the derby, leaving it to the likes of Zlatan the egotistical Swede/Turnip, as well as Peter Schmeichel, the not so Great Dane, to indulge in tacky PR stunts and grubby sound bites, to slag off Guardiola.

Gobshyte Schmeichel - the not so Great Dane has been running his mouth and disparaging Pep Guardiola in the run up to the derby.

Gobshyte Schmeichel – the not so Great Dane has been running his mouth and disparaging Pep Guardiola in the run up to the derby.

To their credit, both Mourinho and Guardiola have sought to play down their deep rooted dislike of each other and focus on those tasked to preserve their respective team’s 100% winning records.

City are likely to give debuts to Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo and their prodigious German attacking talent, Leroy Sane.

The thus far, imperious John Stones, and the mightily impressive Nolito, should experience their first all-Manchester clash, albeit Pep’s attacking intentions remain a mystery at this stage.

Leroy Sane could make it an insane trip to Trafford Borough for City's fans if he marks his debut with a win.

Leroy Sane could make it an insane trip to Trafford Borough for City’s fans if he marks his debut with a win.

Does he play Kelechi Iheanacho in the Aguero role? Does Nolito take on the main striking duties? Does the Catalan strategist go with a ‘False Number 9’ formation involving Silva, Sterling and De Bruyne?

Regrettably Ilkay Gundogan isn’t quite ready for his debut and despite Vincent Kompany being on the verge of full fitness, he won’t be risked.

Strike force - Nolito & Sterling will want to provide City's goals in Aguero's absence.

Strike force – Nolito & Sterling will want to provide City’s goals in Aguero’s absence.

There’s a certain irony that Eliaquim Mangala, who effectively had Ibrahimovic in his pocket over two legs with PSG last season, has left City.

Conversely, who, being of sound mind, would’ve put a quid on Aleksander Kolarov still being at the Etihad, after his abysmal showings at the back end Manuel Pellegrini’s reign?

Centre of attention - Kolarov has been a revelation under Pep, whereas Stones is looking imperious.

Centre of attention – Kolarov has been a revelation under Pep, whereas Stones is looking imperious.

Kolarov to his credit and the astonishment of a large section of City fans, has been transformed under Guardiola’s guidance, almost akin to the resurgence of Raheem Sterling – City’s Renaissance Man and Premier League Player of the Month for August.

As one who felt a certain sense of loyalty to Pellegrini, it’s remarkable to see how City’s new boss has galvanized talented players who had previously either lost their way or, more cynically, effectively downed tools, last season.

Sterling on the rise - Raheem has quite rightly been recognised as the Premier League Player of the Month for August.

Sterling on the rise – Raheem has quite rightly been recognised as the Premier League Player of the Month for August.

Pablo Zabaleta was one who the City faithful didn’t want to see leave, albeit he was blighted by injury and, as a consequence poor form, in 2015-16.

The fact all roads didn’t lead to Rome and AS Roma in Serie A, could be a blessing and Zaba could make it a hat-trick of Premier League titles.

Whether he gets the nod over Bacary Sagna at right back, and Nicolas Otamendi edges out Kolarov in the centre of defence, is another Pep selection teaser.

Legends Both - Zaba and Sergio are chasing a hat-trick of Premier League titles under Pep Guardiola's leadership.

Legends Both – Zaba and Sergio are chasing a hat-trick of Premier League titles under Pep Guardiola’s leadership.

United, all height, mouth and muscle are the bookies favourites for the three points, but that won’t bother Guardiola who will have planned meticulously.

He knows the threat will most likely come from the air and it’ll be an encounter of contrasting styles – Mourinho content to defend, attempting to disrupt Pep’s possession style of rhythmic passing, and hit City on the counter.

Guardiola is one of the few managers to have the upper hand on Mourinho, having won seven and drawn six of their 16 head-to-heads.

Not so special - Despicable Jose poked Tito Vilanova - Barcelona's Assistant Manager under Pep - in the eye after a stormy El Clasico encounter.

Not so special – Despicable Jose poked Tito Vilanova – Barcelona’s Assistant Manager under Pep – in the eye after a stormy El Clasico encounter.

Unlike Jose, Pep doesn’t literally poke his opponents in the eye.

A blinding City performance and three points will consolidate Guardiola’s superiority as the master, further reducing Mourinho to his Portuguese pupil.

 

By David Walker

As City and United slug it out in the derby a true blue warrior, Lee Welland, is fighting the biggest battle of his life to see off cancer. This article is dedicated to you fella – just like Pep, you’re a winner mate, and you WILL win through!

 

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

13 Comments

  1. September 10, 2016  8:38 am by Pete lynch Reply

    Great piece David and beautiful sentiment. Come on City!

    • September 10, 2016  8:43 am by David Walker Reply

      The usual 'impartial' view on derby day :-)

  2. September 10, 2016  9:30 am by Ian Barton Reply

    Great stuff Dave, hoping to be bouncing by 3o'clock. Come on City destroy them!

    • September 10, 2016  10:16 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks your Lordship, hopefully more bounce than Pooh Bear's mate Tigger!

  3. September 10, 2016  11:31 am by Richard Cooper Reply

    After endless (yawn yawn) hype we can thankfully get down to the game itself
    Should be a close game I think - Got to watch the speed of Rashford (if he plays) but Sterling could be a match winner if he maintains his current form.
    So come on Silva,KDB, Nolito et al and go for it !!
    As always a good read David

    • September 10, 2016  12:28 pm by David Walker Reply

      Many thanks RC - here we go let's see if the Boys In Blue can execute Pep's plan.

  4. September 10, 2016  5:57 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Brilliant as always my friend. Shame none of the media thought we had a chance today. Large dolps of humble pie being dished out me thinks.

    • September 10, 2016  8:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      Happy for the media to have us as underdogs - just shows their poor judgement or their anti-City bias. Either way it doesn't matter - actions speak louder than words and City are the WINNERS! Thanks Doug.

  5. September 11, 2016  2:22 am by Philip Reply

    Thanks David! My regards to Lee, wish him and his family well!

    • September 11, 2016  5:09 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thank you Philip for reading, commenting and for your consideration towards Lee.

  6. September 11, 2016  9:53 pm by @BillGlas Reply

    David, great article as ever. Well done. I couldn't watch the match at the time, but had to record and watch it on Sunday evening. It was a major feat shutting myself off from the world for the intervening period, so that I could watch not knowing the outcome beforehand. What a delight, and a poke in the eye for the pro-United media and the individuals your mention. The potential is there for a great season.

    • September 11, 2016  11:47 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thank you and let me reciprocate the compliment...how the hell did you get through more than 24 hours, oblivious to the result? That, sir, takes some doing! It's only four Premier League and two CL qualifying games in but, there is huge potential for Pep to take City to unprecedented new levels of sustainable success. I think we all became a little over expectant when Pellegrini guided us to a great start last season, but this...this feels different. It feels very very good indeed.

      • September 12, 2016  8:07 am by @BillGlas Reply

        I had to prime all me,bers of the family not to talk football in my presence, and, having weekend visitors who are not football fans helped. We went places where I felt we were unlikely to hear footy conversations. I had to be prepared to stick my fingers in my ears though, and the telly was switched off until yesterday evening. It worked!!!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

New Order? MAN CITY v BARCELONA

Arguably the most glamorous game in the club’s history, Manchester City finally shape up to face Barcelona in the Champions League last 16, after 64 days of drooling anticipation. [...]

It’s a dog’s life for Pep

Having failed to tame some eager terriers from Yorkshire, Manchester City must now restrain a breed of pedigree poodles from France as they strive to ‘Winalot’ in Pep Guardiola’s d[...]