According to Sam Allardyce he’ll be doing the whole country a favour if his West Ham side beat Manchester City and pave the way for a Liverpool title triumph.
The bus parking consultant from Dudley believes every neutral fan wants the Merseysiders as champions and, on a personal level, Fat Sam wants ‘Stevie Geeeeeeeeeeee’ with a Premier League winner’s medal around his neck come Sunday evening because ‘he deserves it.’
Will somebody please pass the sick bag.
For so many years a sycophant of Sir Alex Ferguson, one wonders if sour Sam sought Baconface’s sanction for his Scouse-endorsing sentiments?
The man even the West Ham fans love to hate, is as subtle as a flying mallet in a Ming Vase Museum, but the only things getting smashed this weekend is the Hammers’ net, the PL goals record and a fair few thousand City fans as they celebrate a second title in three years.
Don’t call it arrogance, put it down to confidence…attribute it to the belief that City of old are no more.
City no longer specialise in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, not with a world-class spine of Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
Staggeringly, City’s backbone of the Belgian Boulder, the Ivorian Colossus, Merlin and Kun have only played as a quartet for 216 PL minutes all season.
Aguero has missed 15 PL games, Silva 11 and Kompany 10. It reflects well on a squad that has suffered more than its fair share of injuries, that City are odds on favourites in the face of such prolonged adversity.
The only comparable loss from when City last lifted the title in 2011/12 was Carlos Tevez, and that stemmed from Bavarian splinters in his backside, before he eventually returned to the fold after that infamous night in Munich.
Above all else, City fans are eventually – and not before bloody time – trusting the man – the gentleman – who has engineered a season that will be the most successful in the club’s history.
Manuel Pellegrini will join an elite band of foreign managers to win the Premier League in their first full season in charge, if his team avoids defeat at the Etihad in their last game today.
Only Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti have that distinction. Pellegrini would be a fitting addition to an exclusive club.
City fans who felt a sense of loyalty to Roberto Mancini were undecided about Pellegrini when he was appointed. The media fuelled the debate by constantly referencing the fact that the 60-year old Chilean had not won a major honour during his time in Europe.
In five years at Villarreal – the country cousins of Valencia and with no real history of success – Pellegrini transformed them into one of La Liga’s leading lights. He broke the monopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of the table taking runners-up spot in 2008.
He took Villarreal to the semi finals of the CL in 2006 and, when handed the poisoned chalice of the manager’s job at Real Madrid, amassed the club’s biggest ever points haul of 96 – just three behind the all conquering Barcelona at the peak of their powers.
He was subsequently sacked from the Santiago Bernabeu, before going onto prosper with Malaga, taking them to within two minutes and two ‘illegal’ Borussia Dortmund goals of the Champions League semi-final in 2013
Lest we forget he had already chalked up a myriad of successes in his native South America winning a trio of league titles, one in Ecuador and two in Argentina with San Lorenzo and River Plate, along with numerous domestic cup successes and the Copa Mercosur – the equivalent of the Europa League.
It will be a vindication of Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain’s judgement, along with Pellegrini’s managerial skills, if City keep hold of the top spot after 38 games.
Having lost four of their opening 11 PL games by early November, the knives were out for the new man. A run of 20 games undefeated, gradually built up his stock in the eyes of the City support, albeit Wenger, Mourinho and Rodgers – the new darling of the media – were getting the rave press reviews.
Throughout the dreadfully repetitious references about ‘the money’ and the ludicrous laments about the size of City’s squad (25 – just the same as every other club) Pellegrini and City have been denied the credit due to them.
This is a team that has scored 154 goals, delighted the neutrals who Allardyce claims can’t wait to see City fail and, at times terrorised their opponents with fabulous attacking flair – just ask Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester United, Fulham, Norwich and West Ham all of whom have been taken down by City, with a combined score of 52-9.
Perceived wisdom says the team that wins the PL does so on merit, irrespective of a season packed with dodgy offsides, penalty claims, fluke goals, inept officiating, red cards and injuries.
And yet, there are those around who are saying that City will have won the PL by ‘default’ because Liverpool and Chelsea handed the initiative back to the Etihad outfit.
It’s easier to curse the bad luck of a Steven Gerrard slip, a Liverpudlian collapse at Crystal Palace or Chelsea suffering the effects of a prolonged run in the Champions League, than to recognise the quality and staying power of City.
In the past 10 days the Liverpool infested TV and radio pundit gallery has taken a decidedly lower profile. Hansen was missing from MOTD – Muppets of the Decade – when Pool started floundering in the white water rapids of the PL finishing straights.
Didi Hamann’s howler in the wake of Liverpool conceding three goals in 11 minutes at Palace had to be heard to be believed. In paraphrasing the ex-Pool and City midfielder said ‘If Liverpool had won 7-0 at Palace they would have been in with a great shout for the title on the final day of the season…’
Isn’t that a bit like saying the maiden voyage of the Titanic would have been a lot smoother if it hadn’t hit a certain iceberg? And they call it expert analysis!
The only way City will ever get anything even remotely like a ‘fair press’ is to carry on winning until those who wish to carry on sniping lose credibility in the eyes and ears of viewers, readers and listeners.
On this issue, credit must go to Michael Owen on BT Sports, having achieved the alienation of a football watching nation in less than a season. Well done Michael.
But enough of the bigotry and irrational hatred of the beloved sky blues of Manchester.
City are well aware of their massive good fortune in having Sheikh Mansour as owner and all the subsequent benefits that have ensued in the past six years.
Jealousy abounds, but in their heart of hearts, every club on the planet knows that they would have done exactly the same as City, had they been in City’s boots.
When Vincent Kompany lifts the blue and white bedecked Premier League trophy up to the Manchester skyline this afternoon, it will be Blue Moon joy and happiness that will eclipse the dark and ugly emotions harboured by City’s detractors.
As one smart-arse MCFC blogger stated as long ago as August 11th 2013, #TrustOurMP – 10 months on it looks like sound advice
By David Walker
Last Day Dedication
Lifelong blue and father-of-five Paul Glennon is all set to see what will be his last Manchester City match at the Etihad – a game that will live long in the memory of his family after he has gone.
Paul has fought, and continues to fight, what will ultimately be a losing battle against a crippling condition, a chronic disease he feared would prevent him seeing City crowned as Premier League Champions for a second time.
For his sake and the sanity of all Manchester City fans – COME ON CITY!
READ BUT NEVER RED COMPETITION TIME
Read But Never Red and Campo Retro have come together to offer fans a fantastic opportunity to win a unique and personalized Campo Retro shirt plus free delivery.
Campo Retro have a wide range of Man City retro shirts and track jackets ranging from the 1950s to the 21st century . Not only that, but Campo Retro will also print the name & number of the winner’s choice on the shirt, to make it a little more extra special.
Whether you live in Moss Side or Melbourne, Denton or Abu Dhabi (you get the drift) you still have a great chance to win this super prize. All you have to do is answer the simple question below and email the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
‘When City won the League back in 1968 who was the Manager?’
The competition closes on 31st May 2014 and the winner will be announced soon after.
The winner will receive an email from Campo Retro to request information on shirt size, personalization and delivery address. All entries will also receive an exclusive discount to use at www.camporetro.com GOOD LUCK.