City will see off sly Sky Sports and the putrid pundits
Ignore the facts, never mind the rules and whatever happens, stay on message by undermining Manchester City and always empathise with City's opponents.
It’s a simple enough directive and one followed with great gusto in recent days and weeks by City’s ever growing army of detractors.
Led admirably by the snide shites at Sky Sports, the licence fee subsidised morons on Match of The Day, the liars at La Liga, the corrupt Catalans at the Nou Camp, the gesticulating jerk Jurgen Klopp, the malicious Mike Dean and, lest we forget, PGMOL’s ‘medium’ ‘Mad Bob’ Madley, with his amazing ability to see things that never actually happened…it’s fair to say City have had an eventful start to the season.
The increasingly blatant attempts to disparage City’s reputation and damage the club’s on field results, reek more and more of desperation as Pep Guardiola moulds his squad to challenge for the big prizes.
Provocation from so-called ‘pundits’ and rank awful decisions of rancid referees, has given more credence to the long held belief that something is definitely amiss when it comes to fair mindedness, balance and an unbiased perspective, where City are concerned.
The media and various football governing bodies will vehemently deny any anti-City agenda, and there are plenty of others who will ridicule any suggestion of discrimination against City.
If it isn't anti-City, then it is most certainly pro-City's opponents - either way it amounts to undue negativity being heaped upon the Etihad outfit.
For example, take Sadio Mane's reckless challenge on Ederson which left the City keeper needing eight stitches in facial wounds.
A lack of ‘intent’ by Mane has been trotted out as a defence by ex-pros Lineker, Neville, Shearer, Sutton, Wright and Gale all questioning the validity of the Liverpool striker’s red card. Only Jamie Carragher, ex-Liverpool stalwart and an unlikely voice of sanity, readily accepted the sending off in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
The rest of the 'know-all but know nothing' assembly of ex-players, all chose to dispute the law which left ref Jon Moss with no option but to send Mane off.
The outpouring of sympathy for Mane was nauseating. Sky and the BBC went into sycophant overdrive, clamouring to soothe the feelings of the precious Liverpool fans - their viewers and listeners. Liverpool were losing and had just had their star man sent off - this wasn't in the script.
Martin Tyler and Valencia’s ‘legendary’ ex-Manager Gary Neville, agreed live on air that Mane was innocent. The case for the defence rested squarely on the 'evidence' that Mane's 'eyes followed the ball' - presumably with not even the merest hint of a hefty 6ft 2" Brazilian bloke in the vicinity?
Sky would have us believe that on that basis alone, it stood to reason that FIFA’s Laws of the Game 2017-18 should be completely disregarded, you know, the one which states ‘…a tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality must be sanctioned as serious foul play…’
Neville had the gall to say: "Sorry Jon Moss, you just ruined the game..." Why, for doing his job correctly?
Never one to stopping digging, the ex-Manchester United defender continued, blaming City's defence for the fact Ederson had just had his face ripped open by Mane's blades.
It then behoved Sky’s commentary duo to blather on for nigh on eight minutes about the injustice to Mane, with little sympathy or concern for a brave and highly talented goalkeeper who, for all we knew at the time, could’ve suffered a catastrophic head injury.
Klopp later emphasised that Mane was ‘…very very upset and shocked by the situation…’ before proceeding to say how everybody thought Ederson was seriously injured but ‘…not as serious as everybody thought, as he was running around after the game.’ The clear implication being it was a ‘nothing’ injury.
Poor old Sadio. Poor old Liverpool. Always the victims.
Of course the Merseyside media darlings only lost 5-0 because Mane was sent off. The fact City were already 1-0 up and in the ascendency was brushed to one side. Being a man down obviously compelled the Scousers to become invertebrates and capitulate in pathetic fashion.
Forgive me, but weren’t City 1-0 down to Everton in the second match of the season, when Kyle Walker was sent off at about the same stage of the game as Mane’s dismissal? The only difference being that Walker saw red for an offence which never happened.
Where was the debate about 'intent' when Everton's Calvert-Lewin gave an Oscar winning performance to earn Walker his marching orders?
And didn’t City battle back manfully for a 1-1 draw, after going all out for the win, leaving Wayne ‘Merkin Wearing Granny Shagging Adulterer’ Rooney and his chums hanging on for dear life?
I must’ve been imagining it!
According to Sky slime ball Tyler, Ederson became an outfield player and fair game when he attempted his headed clearance, as Mane whacked him in the head.
Therefore, if Martin’s Mantra was to catch on, any player should be prepared for a good shoeing in the ‘fizzog’ on any part of the pitch, from an opponent who can act with impunity.
Tyler’s fellow Sky Sports Neanderthal, testosterone-fuelled Tony ‘Tough Guy’ Gale, even implied that Ederson was not a ‘real man’ as he had to be stretchered off the pitch.
The Cockney ‘hard man’ (hard, but only in comparison with budgerigar diarrhoea) incurred the wrath of just about every City fan on the planet, most of who would willingly put Gale’s ‘boat race’ to the test, if he fancied re-enacting the Mane Facekick Challenge.
Back to Tyler, and his propensity to have more digs at City than seen in a garden makeover by Alan Titchmarsh, this time focusing on Saint James Milner of Merseyside.
As ‘Jimmy’ came on as a sub to try and stem Liverpool’s second half bleeding - (he didn’t succeed) - he was greeted by a crescendo of boos, prompting Tyler to pipe up with a ‘How quickly they forget…’ admonishment of the City fans.
No mention of Milner running his mouth against City since his departure or, God forbid, not even a whiff of the Liverpool fans abhorrent abuse of Raheem Sterling.
And yet, in the midst of all this bullshit, here was a City team annihilating Liverpool 5-0, a Liverpool side recently highly lauded for tearing Arsenal apart 4-0.
Mindful of not upsetting the already morose Merseyside viewing masses, it would never do to deviate from the script and actually heap praise on Jesus, Aguero, De Bruyne, Sane, Silva, Mendy, Danilo, Fernandinho, Walker, Stones and of course Ederson, who had performed brilliantly up until the point of his departure.
Gary Neville did manage to squeak out a sentence praising Aguero’s selfless assist to set up Jesus’ second goal, before continuing to defend his indefensible stance on Mane.
As for Jesus, that’s an impressive 10 goals and four assists in 12 Premier League games, with two of those as a sub.
Strange how Sky et al, bang on about City’s record transfer spend, but fail completely to highlight the paltry £27m ‘splashed’ on Jesus.
The goal was particularly pleasing. Sergio could just as easily have scored himself as he closed in on the all-time City scoring record. Instead, he sowed the seeds of a flourishing partnership with the Brazilian protégé.
Aguero’s first half opening goal, following a perfect pass from the exquisite De Bruyne, was classic Sergio.
Jesus headed home to make it 2-0 in time added on for treatment to Ederson. Leroy Sane’s beautifully crafted brace was the icing on the sky blue cake, with livewire left back Benjamin Mendy delighting as much on the pitch as he does on social media – a ‘Mario with Brains’ kind of guy.
An emphatic victory, but still Klippety Klopp had his wriggle room and the media their 'get out card' because Liverpool wouldn’t have been thrashed if Kung Fu Sadio had stayed on for the last 50 minutes...would they?
The FA has rightly upheld Mane’s three-match ban, but Raheem Sterling had to sit out Saturday’s massacre of the Merseysider’s, due to yet another farce at the hands of Mike ‘It’s All About Me’ Dean.
Dean sent Sterling off for celebrating his 97th minute winner at Bournemouth. Sterling ran to the away supporters, but it was the fans who encroach
ed onto the pitch, not the player going into the crowd, during the wild scenes of Mancunian delight. Never let the facts get in the way of a City sending off.
Earlier in the game Dean failed to red card the Cherries’ Nathan Ake when, as the last line of defence, he brought Jesus down 25 yards from goal.
Similarly, Dean did nothing when Bournemouth’s Steve Cook steamed in, totally out of control on Jesus. It’d have been a straight red had it been a City defender on a home player.
At this early stage of the season, City are already consistently on the wrong end of dodgy decisions. It was therefore refreshing to see Moss had the cojones to do his job where Mane was concerned - there was nothing remotely questionable about that decision, despite the ignorance of Neville, Tyler and the rest of their ilk.
City even attracted unwarranted criticism when they weren’t playing, during the international break, effectively slandered by a couple of ‘simple minds’ from Spain - ‘Juan Kerrs’ - you might say.
La Liga President Javier Tebas, clearly p*ssed off that his precious league had lost a big name attraction in Neymar to Ligue 1, decided to lump City in with PSG and accuse the two Arab-backed clubs of ‘financial doping’.
City alluded to possible legal action against the despicable Spaniard, so let’s see how that one plays out.
The other element of City’s unprovoked Spanish Inquisition, came in the shape of Barcelona’s President Josep Maria Bartomeu, who accused City of distorting the transfer market and ‘peeing in the swimming pool’ along with PSG.
No sour grapes there then Senor.
Can you imagine, just for a nano second, if Lionel Messi fails to sign his new contract and leaves the Nou Camp for nowt, nothing, zilch, next summer and ends up at the Etihad on a free.
City would once again be 'ruining football' only this time without spending a penny - oh what sweet irony if it were to happen.
City would willingly have spent £55m to secure Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal on transfer deadline day, only to be thwarted by the ineptitude of Arsene Wenger’s weird and not so wonderful transfer ‘strategy’.
It’s rather amusing that Arsenal’s chief transfer negotiator, the rather aptly named Dick Law, has resigned after the last minute debacle. Sanchez is now likely to join City in January at a cut-price £20m, or on a free next June.
One thing’s for sure City have done great business over the summer, shifting out deadwood and bringing in top quality players who will be at the Etihad for years to come.
The new talents of Bernardo, Ederson, Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo plus a returning Ilkay Gundogan, the emergence of Phil Foden and a soon to be fit again (please make it happen) Vincent Kompany, illustrate how City should be a much stronger, robust, creative and dynamic proposition on all fronts, continuing in Rotterdam tonight.
Pep has been ringing in positive changes, whereas the pundits, media and green-eyed rivals will carry on hitting the same pejorative notes for a long time to come.
All Guardiola can do is have his team play to their potential, win games and give Sky and the like all the more reason to feel sorry for anybody who stands in City's way.
By David Walker
Just a quick personal indulgence to express my love and gratitude to my wife, son and future daughter-in-law, as well as my heartfelt thanks to the Czech paramedics and doctors who, in all probability, saved my life 12 days ago. Thank you and Dekuji. It remains Read But Never Red as opposed to Read But Rather Dead, at least for the time being.