Manchester City: no need to look in the mirror with SWP back in town
Manchester City’s inspired signing of Shaun Wright-Phillips has brought smiles to the faces of every City fan across the globe. There’s a breeze sweeping over the City of Manchester stadium pitch, and it’s very sweet smelling indeed!
It has been a week to remember what with the Cook interview, the excellent display against West Ham, the predictable scrape against the Danes, the deterioration of the situation in Thailand, and the confident air of City’s advances in the transfer market.
The West Ham game was telling for a number of reasons. The signs of flowing football shown in the Aston Villa game, where the result didn’t do us justice, became absolute slick passing in the West Ham game. Many have pointed out West Ham’s poor showing in the game. But let’s not forget it was City that made West Ham look so poor (note West Ham’s 4-1 victory over Blackburn this afternoon, BBC report.)
We may wince at times because not everything is perfect. But there will be nothing more satisfying than beginning to see the media vultures, who seem so intent on doing City down at every turn, down their tools and button it for a while. Alex Ferguson was quoted as saying, “I’ve heard some unbelievable stories,” in his beginning of season Daily Mail interview. Well that may well be the case. But stuff ‘im. And stuff the the hacks. The desperation to headline with the age-old, “Crisis at Maine Road,” is almost tangible. (“Man City Cook up a recipe for disaster,” Mirror.co.uk, 30 August, 2008).
I can’t remember the last time I received so many texts and e-mails following a City news event. And yet the signing of SWP is just one very important piece in the jigsaw. We needed a right winger badly. Someone to rampage down the right and balance out Petrov. Add a bit of “welcome home hero” into the mix and we have ourselves a genuine feel-good factor. The addition of Kompany and Jo are yet to be fully digested as well.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is a very different story going on in Thailand. (See our members’ only Thaksin Watch page for the latest). September 17th will see the court make their first decision. The latest news is that the army has rejected the government’s call for a state of emergency as protests intensify.
With a queue of potential investors looking for majority control, it remains to be seen whether the club’s former directors moved too quickly to sell the club. The media vultures will be back again no doubt. But on the pitch City seem set to ride on guided by the stewardship of Hughes. Sparky seems to have spotted a long-term opportunity. One that is able, hopefully, to see out any issues ‘off the pitch’. You can see the current MCFCfans members’ views on Thaksin’s ownership of City by looking at the poll on the Thaksin Watch page.
It is only fair to balance out the rampant on-pitch excitement with a reflection of MCFCfans members’ views over this man called, “Cook”. Our man Scribbs calls him the “hand puppet!” Where on earth did they find this guy?! I’d sooner have Alistair Darling’s huge eyebrows at the helm than this fruit. His only redeeming feature is that he appears to be utterly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. It’s just a shame that he feels the need to spout more crap than an extremely concerned scooby-doo staring down the barrel of a gun.
The ongoing debate over Richard Dunne is an interesting one. I’d take it as a sign of a club on the up that fans are questioning his place in the side, let alone his captaincy. It can only be a good thing if players are challenged to push harder.
One thing that Mark Hughes will be looking to address, starting at Sunderland tomorrow, is City’s potential for poor away form. We need to take control of the game tomorrow against difficult opposition. Two ex-United players will be looking to come out on top and it will be games like this that will define City’s season.
So what’ll it be tomorrow? Well my money is on a draw and a 1-1 score. Boring I know. Looking at Betfair it’s interesting that Sunderland are pretty clear favourites (home win 2.3 – 2.32, draw 3.35 – 3.4, City 3.65 – 3.75 as at 18h00, 30 August 2008.). The screen shows about £4k of unmatched bets on Sunderland right now whereas City has sub-£1k hanging around. Is it telling that the draw has over £10k waiting for a home? The correct score 1-1 shows 7.2 – 7.4. Hmm, a bit short so others are obviously thinking the same thing. I hope I’m proved wrong with a stylish display.
Keep smiling, he really is back!