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Busy day at work today so I'll keep it brief;
70% possesion, the highest pass completion rate for a team away from home all season, and a goal which contained more passes leading to it than any other goal all season, against a team that we've got two wins against away in eleven years. much better performance than i expected.
blackburn will probably feel they deserved a goal after testing ddg with some cracking shots, but united could've, and probably should've, been 2-0 up after ten minutes.
up from the airport). Philip Neville doing a very reasonable job as a colour commentator. Must be in the blood. Sounded like United dominated possession but found it very difficult to actually create anything with Blackburn forcing some top class saves at the other end. A deserved winner for Antonio a reward for another 9/10 display.
About De Gea....I've got a lot of admiration for the kid. He was hammered(somewhat unfairly) for some understandble mistakes early on but has bounced back with some top notch performances in the 2nd half of the season. the lad is ice...saved us more then a handful of points.
the first half of the season could really have broken him but he's done a Partridge and has been fantastic since the Chelsea game really
An absolute must buy back in the 01/02 glory days. The Valencia to Cherno Samba's Rooney.
That's kind of depressing. Obviously nobody ever thought to pair him and Richie in real life
Pike is the nephew of former Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers striker Mark Falco. Not in dundee
blaming our current position on the fact we don't have Young, Downing or Walker this season
Please take Downing back.
It shouldn't *really* surprise anyone how all this works. We all know the written press have to have one top-four manager "on the brink", it was Villas-Boas (when Chelsea were still on course for a double), then Wenger (with Arsenal still in the Champions League and on course for the top four spot that would've surely been their target at the start of the season), then Redknapp (after Spurs had had three bad results towards the back end of their best ever Premier League season) now because City are only the 3rd form side in the country it's allegedly Mancini.
It's quite sad that peoples minds function in such a black and white way...and of course, when any of these clubs do fire managers, it's the very same people (those who write such shite, and those who lap it up) who are the quickest to criticise decisions as premature.
I find football's much more enjoyable if you only bother reading, and listening to, the opinions of people who actually, y'know...like football.
and it is looking more and more likely that they won't, Mancini has failed.
The matter of contention and discussion is surely how responsible he should be held for failing and what the best response to that failure is.
The general consensus seems to be that Ferguson has been the decisive factor in what will seemingly be another United title win (I'm not sold just yet, myself- plenty of scope for a City turnaround yet). Our man in the north has himself repeatedly referred to the 'Fergie factor'. Does it not stand to reason that City's failure therefore must be in its management- the alternative, that City's playing staff don't match up to United's, doesn't work for me.
A side making clear progress cannot be deemed to have failed. Simple as that. If you want to live in that sort of bubble, that's your call.
The title race has involved one club with a huge amount of experience in winning Premier League titles, against a club with little, infact none. It's pretty straightforward, really.
At the start of the season City's aim would've been to challenge for the title. Even their staunchest critic couldn't deny they've done that. Let's be honest, though, even if we had won it we'd have received little credit.
Winning the title is par for United. It's the way their seasons are measured, if they don't win one of the big two then their supporters will deem that season a failure. City aren't quite at that point yet, and money doesn't mean they ought to be.
Next season, yes, i would expect Manchester City to win the title. If that doesn't happen then i'd anticipate the board will ask questions of the manager.
A completely seperate question is COULD City have won the title this season...and the answer is quite probably yes. But you have to give United some credit, they're heading for a record points haul, even surpassing Mourinho's Chelsea. City have had the odd bad result, but as Ferguson said last night "teams win the title, teams don't lose it". He ought to know, and they deserve a bit more praise than they're getting.
And with the exception of one sentence, I don't think what we're saying is that different, really. Just slight spins on the same underlying point- while I do think Mancini will have failed if City don't win the title this season, I don't think that's particularly damning of him or an indication that he should lose his job. There are lots of reasons for failing, many of them legitimate. Once the new year hit, I never once denied Villas-Boas was failing at Chelsea, but not one person can fairly claim I wanted him sacked.
You say the expectation should be on City to win a title next year, presumably because of exponential growth. But if they don't do it this year, what will be the reasons? Alex Ferguson? United's experience of seeing out campaigns? How will those things change next season? What is it that you envisage happening over the summer to change City's fortunes? I already see a squad that is better than United's, so the only change that City could make to pull them up to the same level would be in management. Put simply, City have one of the very few elite squads in world football; they do not have one of the very few elite managers. They have a good one, but not one out of the top drawer.
And I disagree that a side making progress cannot possibly be simultaneously failing- you can progress, but still underachieve. The two ideas aren't at all contrary to each other.
I'm inclined to agree with you, though he's been lot better than I expected, but wouldn't necessarily be judging that on anything particularly tangible like wining a European Cup.
Wenger maybe hangs about just outside the super special elite meetings, called in when youth development and more holistic concerns are being discussed, but sent out for doughnuts when set pieces come up.
It's obviously fluid and a matter of opinion, but there seems to me a broad consensus that Messi and Ronaldo are in a class of their own at the absolute top when it comes to players- no one says that to denigrate the likes of David Silva, Robin Van Persie, Andres Iniesta etc. Same with management for me.
Like I said, more of a gut thing than anything tangible. Putting Mourinho up with Fergie and ahead of Pep though? Big shout.
but that group of "elite" managers you talk of us minute. It's basically three members large - Ferguson, Mourinho, Guardiola.
None of those, in my opinion, are realistic prospective mangers of Manchester City.
Mancini isn't on a par with any of those, quite obviously, especially not the first two, goes without saying, but who would you put above him bar those three? Ancelotti? Wenger? I read a journalist mention Benitez?!? Haven't all three of these managers, to varying extents, "failed" in the Premier League already?
The only manager i'd be happy to see replace Mancini would be Guardiola, but talking about the possibility of him leaving the greatest club side there's ever been to come to Manchester City is beyond silly.
Replacing Mancini at all would be an outrageous decision. The kid was untoucable 'til about a month ago, ffs. It's sad we live in this world where people believe and actively encourage such reactionary bollocks, but course it's nothing new, it's just our turn on the merry-go-round, it'll be Redknapp again soon, or Dalglish if Everton beat Liverpool.
Replacing Mancini with Capello, van Gaal, Rijkaard, Ancelotti, any of the other names that get bounded about whenever a big job comes up, would not be a positive move.
In a sense, i'm falling for the trolling by even engaging in talk of a Mancini-less City, i appreciate that.
i have nothing to base this on apart from they seem better managers than Mancini.
is at once hilarious and quite scary
I hope Everton beat Liverpool so much.
... while I do think Mancini will have failed if City don't win the title this season, I don't think that's particularly damning of him or an indication that he should lose his job ...
yes it can.
This is City's first tilt at the title in like what 45 years? At the moment it appears they're going to fall just short.
If by the time Mancini leaves City he hasn't won the title, then yes he will have been a failure. But at the moment he's changed them from overspending mid table under Hughes to genuine title contenders. I think he's pretty much par at the moment
Is 'nearly winning the title' an acceptable goal for a side who spent approximately £80m last summer to improve a squad who'd mostly been acquired in the previous two years at a cost of around £300m? I wouldn't say so. It's easier to meet your goals if you set them low though.
But it's seemingly impossible to talk about City critically without being made to look like you're really tearing into them. I'm not.
if City spend £100m a year and never win the title, that's obvious failure.
if City, say, don't win the title or European Cup over the next couple of seasons, is that failure? 100%.
can going from top ten, to top six, to top four, to title challengers in as successive seasons be deemed failure? not unless you're on the wind-up.
to be fair to Daniel, i see where he's coming from. the shitter Chelsea become the more desperate he is to rummage around for muck to sling at other clubs. it's fine, though, but you should at least try to be good at it.
obvious progress has to be made every season at Manchester City, and the fact that that is clearly happening whilst your own club peddlles backwards has left you a bit sore, clearly.
It's good of you to admit why you talk about Man Utd at every opportunity, even if you have to veil it slightly.
I'd give it a rest for a bit.
(I appreciate the irony of an Arsenal fan saying this to a Chelsea fan)
Obviously the size and speed of spending has skewed the expectation of fans, media etc. and it is a factor, but it can't be the only factor in how you assess targets or achievments. At what point in the spending does a title become expected?
Just as I think the spending negates somewhat the 'lack of experience' pleas from City fans, it also doesn't make winning the title an imperative.
What do you spend money for if not to improve? What do you spend a lot of money for it not to improve a lot? What do you repeatedly outspend your main rivals for if not to overhaul them?
Nothing is ever simple, I'll agree with that. More than one factor (in this case expenditure) needs to be assessed.
the title becomes expected once you are eclipsing everyone around you in terms of spending. Its pretty ridiculous to think anything else.
The most worrying think about Mancini though is thinks the only way to solve his problems are to keep chucking money at it. Ferguson said he had a strong enough squad to win the title when it was questionable if he did yet MAncini is always going on about how he needs another midfielder or another striker. Can be good for team morale. I mean buying Van Persie and Modric might win them the title, or they might just have the exact same problems they have now.
Of course the sort of money they've spent means they have to be aiming for the title, but not getting it immediately doesn't mean the manager has necessarily failed. All depends of course on whose standards you're judging him to have failed to meet.
Also worth pointing out that this isn't the same as one of the established 'BIG' clubs spending vast money, or even Roman chucking loads at a Chelsea side which was already Top 4 or 5 and winning cups. City started from a low base and have progressed fast, as KiK says, if they haven't won the Prem and or the European Cup in the next couple of years then I'm sure Bobby Manc will be out on his arse, but they're heading in the right direction
When we won the championship and when we came up and Briatore gave us no money cos he wanted to sell Warnock constantly bigged our players up. They played excellently.
Then we got money and he spent the whole time talking about how he was literally counting the seconds in interviews until he could replace players. Strangely the guys in who were constantly being told they were going to be replaced stopped playing very well
lot of teams dropping points.
If that's of any interest to anyone.
As it brings together my club with the club of the majority of my pals. Shame its in Norwich though :P
We've won three in a row so I fully expect that run to come to an end. It's nice to see Wayne Routledge getting a game again, he always worked hard when he played for us, and he's decent enough on his day.
It'll be interesting to see if they actually are the best team at football in the world. It should be a fairly even game what with Sigurdsson, in red hot form, and the returning Dyer up against our free scorin' strike force and saturday's surprise motm, James Perch. 2-2.
a draw would be fine for newcastle, unless they really are going for 4th place
But really that's a ruse to try and secure fifth. They way Liverpool are carrying on, sixth won't be enough to sneak into Europe.
We've got a similar run in to Chelsea, in terms of positions of teams we're paying, so the game at Stamford Bridge could be pwopa naughty in the race for the Europa, especially if their squad is a bit knackered from the cup competitions.
And he's been tipping him for superstardom for a few years now. I didn't take much notice at the time though; he said the same thing about Jay Tabb.
Didn't he have a great goal record at Hoffenheim? Mental.
But then he got injured,they changed manager while he was out and he couldn't get back in the side.
Could be that Hoffenheim just view this as a loan to get him fit, haven't seen any suggestions that they're particularly looking to sell him.
I hoped that somebody would get it, but no :(
So it's just THE ICEMAN who's back.
Though I expect we'll see the same team/formation as against Arsenal.
Main aim - keep our goal difference down
Barton - Diakite
If QPR stay up, who stays and who goes over the summer? And who arrives? Or are you just going to be the new Wigan.
Shame as I think Hill has earned a contract extension.
If we stay up I think Bothroyd will be moved on. DJ kept as back up. Helguson will retire a hero
Buzsaky is out of contract and despite Hughes liking him I sadly think he'll be let go. Likewise Matt Connolly (mistake - I think he'll come good). Think we'll also ditch Hall, Gabbidon, Smith
We've got a raft of shite that's going out of contract - Agyemang, Cook (:(), Vine, Shittu, Dyer, Ramage. That'll about £80k a week off the wage bill.
If we stay up then Taiwo and Diakite become permanent signings. Shame as I think Traore has done well but Hughes clearly prefers the Taiwo. The main reason I want to stay up is I want Diakite. He is the nuts.
In the summer we'd need a new number 1 and a young back up. Another centre back, a central midfielder and I'd like a genuine left footed winger
Happened once already this season, odds of 22/1 ...
Milan HT/Barca FT
Milan to qualify
complacency is rife in the group stages. I dont think this game will bear any resemblance to that one.
Not sure I'll put anything on, tbh. And I gather you know your gambling stuff ...
*fast forward a few hours to me weeping as Ibrahimovic scores a last minute equaliser*
shouldnt listen to me.
Ironically (maybe? Dunno) 'cos I might need money to buy a Chelsea-Barca/Milan ticket ...
an outfield player has had to go in goal due to a keeper sending off/injury and made an arse-up of it? There's plenty of stories of players saving penalties and suchlike, but I can't recall anyone having to go in and letting in loads or making mistakes, they're either mid-level naturals or never get properly tested.
Though iirc the actual keeper had conceded just as many prior to getting sent off
its all getting a bit silly.
More on the lad's part, to be honest, it must take a severe shortage of brain cells to not realise comments like those might be seen as inflamatory, but we have to remember that he is a young lad, and we all make mistakes at that age. I have to be honest, i'd never heard of him, but apparently he's signed relatively recently.
Bottom line is that with the exception of The_BigSam and duncanonionsfc, little good has or will ever come of Twitter + football.
Definitely not news-worthy, though, but i guess that's where we are nowadays, any old idiot saying any old shite on Twitter is apparently worth talking about.
Greece home, Czech home, Holland h & a, Sweden away and the france kit are all nice.
The Greek lads look like they're ready for a post-match night on the tiles.
that Germany away strip is just as beautiful as when I first saw it
The green German one is my favourite
looks like a rubbish proto-type of the new England kit
would Team GB need an away kit at the London Olympics?
(because having a home kit and a 'fans' kit might not make enough money?)
Going to one of their games, potentially two depending on how they do. The home kit is hideous, but the away one is less so ... Hmmmm.
Barca/ Messi wankfest tonight then?
Not sure I can be arsed now
no point tuning in
They pretty much threw away a gilt edged chance to score immediately prior to Messi going down.
and actually having to face them now :(
Picking him is like having 2 extra players (both of whom are dicks).
Can see Milan scoring tonight. Just needs somebody to help Zlatan out, rather than ruining all his good work by running straight into a defender everytime he gives them the ball.
Cesc's been a bit pony :(
game (tentatively) on
I've already decided to watch The Undateables at 9
Barca get another questionable penalty
The fact they're given so rarely shouldn't cloud the fact it was a blatant infringement. Stupid from Nesta IMO onion
hope not though.
a Chelsea-Milan Bayern-Real semi final line-up would be absolutely delicious
chance had been denied?
Tell you what did confuse me a bit- why Newcastle didn't get a penalty when Reina VIOLENTLY ASSAULTED Perch on Sunday. Rulebook virgins?
It was a sort of WWF head butt I thought. He clearly didn't intend to actually head butt him. He just wanted to be angry for a couple of seconds and then get on with the game.
since Perch committed the first foul, i.e. the trip on Reina for which he received a yellow card, the play had already been stopped when Reina rubbed noses with him, and the play was restarted from there. or sutin
if he wasn't in such a good time he would get found out quite a lot i think.
Really good on the ball too, starts so many moves for Barca bringing the ball out of defence. If Thiago Silva does join them next season they might never concede another goal
i'd actually go as far as to say i enjoy listening to him, and Neville.
sadly, we still have to put up with Cliche Ray, Literally Jamie and Ruud Gullit sighing whole sentences.
enjoyed souness ripping into nesta
not because he's used to getting away with it in Italy or whatever it was Shreeves said.
I like a pundit who respects foreign leagues whilst looking like Uncle Fester.
rather than Roy Keane who just sits there staring bloody murder at folk