MAN CITY v WEST HAM – City & Hammers unite for MVF

So, Manchester City now have to go approximately 11 months before being able to proclaim themselves as champions once again…but it’ll be worth the wait.

It’s been an amazing buzz to refer to Roberto Mancini’s braves as ‘Champions’ in the glorious aftermath of May 13, 2012 – but now it’s gone.

The dull aching pain that washed over many a City fan in the aftermath of Manure’s mandatory win over Aston Villa, is tempered by the fact that it hardly came as a surprise.

City fans were resigned to their fate weeks ago – even when celebrating the 2-1 win at The Swamp – when City proved they ARE the best team in the Premier League this season. They just lack the trophy to prove it.

It goes without saying the Etihad faithful are understandably disappointed – they know, the players know and Roberto Mancini’s managerial team knows – they could and should have won it.

But in the wake of the slow burn loss of the title this season, it struck me how utterly devastating it would have been to the Reds when we all went crazy in the wake of the Aguerooooooo moment.

Every single United fan from Salford to Singapore, from Maidenhead to Malaysia would have been annihilated – they didn’t see it coming. They plunged from dizzy ecstacy to suicidal despair in the space of 120 seconds. 

Holding that thought, I suddenly felt more at ease with Monday night’s ‘bereavement’, and 100% convinced that the focus and desire will be back in City’s DNA next season.

There’s no doubt City will spend this summer, spend big and spend early, wherever possible.

Some of the names in the frame are mind-blowing. It would be easy to mock what is about to come, BUT, such information is from sources of integrity connected with City and published in good faith.

Constrained by UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, City kept their powder dry in the summer transfer market.  They held back and missed the men Mancini maintains would have taken City to the title again, plus a darn side further in the Champions League

Edinson Cavani, Isco, Marco Reus,  Stevan Jovetic and one …Gareth Bale are all, seemingly, on City’s radar. Sheikh Mansour wouldn’t see much change from £150m such is the calibre of Mancini and City Director of Football, Txiki Begristrain’s targets.

Offsetting such a mouthwatering spree is  the sale of Mario Balotelli and upcoming deals which should see City recoup a sizeable portion of the proposed transfer budget. Dzeko, Nasri, Lescott,  Kolarov, Sinclair, Maicon and possibly Richards and Guidetti could be on their way this summer. Kolo Toure is a definite departure having come to the end of his four year deal.

Yaya’s ‘big little’ brother has performed surprisingly well when asked to step into the breach this season.

There will be much sadness on the Etihad ‘terraces’ that the Yaya-Kolo ditty that reverberates around every Premier League venue with such gusto will now be consigned to songs of yesterday. Fair to say opposition fans have often raised a smile when hearing the City fans giving a full on rendition of the Toure brothers tribute tune.

Anyway, all of this is for the summer months when City fans won’t know what to do with their idle Saturdays or Wednesday nights. More immediately, Mancini’s men need to rack up half-a-dozen victories and rid themselves of the calamitous traits as displayed in six mad minutes at White Hart Lane last Sunday.

Just what possesses our heroes in maroon (in this case) or sky blue when playing Southampton away, escapes the average City supporter. It is as frustrating at it is aggravating as it is totally illogical.

Still, that was then and this is now, so sticking a few past Big Fat Sam’s ‘Cocker-nees’ will be a starter for 10. The likely return of Aguero, Silva and the swift re-introduction of Milner will go a long way to bolstering City’s attacking play.

The antidote of closing the points gap on the Swamp-dwellers is important, but nowhere near as important as winning the FA Cup on May 11th. A Champions League slot is virtually assured, but City have to finish as runners-up – and in no little style – if they are to put sunshine in their hearts of their phenomenal supporters as we down tools and head off into an English summer.

The team needs to reinvigorate itself and the supporters find voice in sell-out Etihad occasions – this is no time to be showing the world that we lack heart or can be accused of being fair weather fans.

Aside from the obvious necessity for a rip-snorting City win, one of the highlights of the day will be an emotional 23rd minute tribute to fallen City and ex-Hammer hero Marc Vivien-Foe.

Moistened eyes will abound when images of the man from Cameroon are flashed on the big screen, to the inevitable rapturous applause of both sets of fans.

Truly one of the tragedies of modern day football, the loss of the genial giant out of Africa is still felt to this day.

Images of a Maine Road stadium adorned with tributes remain vivid and front of mind. The sea of scarves from teams of all persuasions, handwritten messages scrawled across sacrificed City shirts, the flowers, the cuddly toys…the emotions still well up inside almost a decade after MVF’s passing.

The No 23 shirt retired by City in his honour, the Cameroonian colossus will always have a place in the beating heart of Manchester City and the thoughts of its wonderful support.

What better way than to celebrate his life than City and the Hammers serving up a feast of football entertainment?

It will always be Forza Mancini and RIP MVF.





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  2. April 27, 2013  9:04 am by Alan Baxter Reply

    Hi David, you're right that its disappointing but at least it's not soul crushing like it must have been for the Rags last season. I do hope that you are right and we do buy class and as you say early. Integration is key with new players in any team, next season we need to hit the ground running. As for Foe, lest we forget, the last Blue to score at Maine Road. I used to find him frustrating at times, his finishing sometimes left a little to be desired (I used to refer to him as Pyramid Head) but he always gave 100%. We always love a trier. He was like a working mans Yaya. I've no doubt both sets of fans will pay him the respect he deserves. Oh, and as I'm not a massive fan of big Sam's "hoof it up the meadow" approach to the beautiful game, I hope we annihilate WHU. My prediction 5-1. Enjoy the day!

    • April 28, 2013  10:49 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Should've been 5-1 - story of our season - too profligate in front of goal, but nonetheless, a great performance.

  3. April 27, 2013  9:07 am by Graham Ward Reply

    What a nice touch by City, with the welcome support by our visitors today to remember MVF. The fools say this club has 'no class'. Pardon?
    Noted a tweet from City offering congratulations within minutes of the Rags game finishing on Monday night. Stand to be corrected, but I don't recall such grace being displayed by the occupants of the Swamp.
    Good to see an almost fully fit squad at the right time of the season. Let's show it to West Ham today.

    • April 28, 2013  10:51 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Manure will never fail to live down to our expectations #graceless. MVF tribute was fitting and, for some, emotional including my old Ma, nearly 80 yrs, who shed a tear.

  4. April 27, 2013  9:26 am by carol Reply

    summed up with the usual Walker aplomb! RIP 23

    • April 28, 2013  10:51 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Thanks again Blondie x

  5. April 27, 2013  9:45 am by susan richardson Reply

    Scribe your prose has cheered me up this morning!! It is all in the winning and ours won't be surpassed. Hope they keep it polished. We will do MVF proud today and of course forzamancini

    • April 28, 2013  10:52 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Yes, Manure's new summer signing - Mr Sheen - so we get PL trophy back all nice and ship shape next April.

  6. April 27, 2013  9:53 am by Andy Devereux Reply

    Monday night passed with a shrug of the shoulders from me as the title had gone some time earlier i'm afraid but was still disappointed but with the right buying this summer we will be back stronger and better.Todays MVF moment will be a moist eyed moment and i'm sure us and the fans of WHU will do his memory proud.RIP MVF and FORZA MANCINI.

    • April 28, 2013  10:54 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Cavani, Isco, Reus and would you believe, possibly even Bale if THFC miss out on Champions League - here's hoping. Lessons learned from last summer - never to be repeated.

  7. April 27, 2013  10:35 am by Blueyorkie Reply

    Travelling to the Etihad with the essential Walker
    perspective, top read as ever Dave. 100% spot

    • April 28, 2013  10:55 am by DAVID WALKER Reply

      Thanks Yorkie - hope your trans-Pennine trek was fruitful. See you at Wembley.

  8. April 27, 2013  11:04 am by ALAN BROWN Reply


    • April 28, 2013  11:01 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Alan - hope to see you back in your seat with opinions aplenty, 'not sitting on the fence' when we go and retrieve our title from the Dark Side.

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