Is that a bit Rich?
- Sun 08 Apr 2012, 9:16AM
- Posted by David Clayton
‘The rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated’ – not exactly the words Mark Twain once said, but you get the gist.
City lay five points adrift of United at the start of play – an identical lead the Blues held over the Reds for several months – with the bookies giving short odds of starting the game with Arsenal eight points behind the current leaders.
With the Gunners a very tough nut to crack at the Emirates Stadium and with City failing to win in the league away to the North London side since 1975, several writers have felt confident enough to begin their post-mortems of ‘where it all went wrong’ this morning.
That’s fair enough – the Blues have hard work ahead and need a performance or two from the teams United have to face – but surely with seven games to go City’s gallant attempt to wrestle the title from our cross-city neighbours deserves a little better than ‘they think it’s all over… actually it is’-type pieces?
Or does this writer have blue-tinted glasses on?
The Independent’s Tim Rich writes and intelligent piece on how clubs similar to City (in that they have had investment from overseas - Paris St Germain and Malaga being the others mentioned), threaten to end their season in disappointment.
But surely it’s too soon? There are plenty of 'ifs' in the piece, but still, one surprise result could change everything in the blink of an eye. That's a Rafa fact
Rich writes: “This should have been football's Arab spring – the year when the petro-dollars from Abu Dhabi and Qatar changed the old order in England, France and Spain.
“The old order has been rattled rather than removed by the three clubs under Arab ownership. Malaga, the smallest of the three, did manage to outspend both Barcelona and Real Madrid, although Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani did not remotely expect Manuel Pellegrini to deliver La Liga.
“Malaga, whose biggest European night saw a modest 13,000 come to La Rosaleda for a Uefa Cup quarter-final against Boavista, are at least on course to achieve their goal of Champions' League qualification.
“In Manchester and Paris, both Roberto Mancini and Carlo Ancelotti were talking like men who did not expect to win, which, unlike Pellegrini, was something they were explicitly funded to do.
“At least Manchester City were chased down by one of the great masters of the art.
Paris St-Germain have not won in almost a month and have not lost the lead to a Manchester United but Montpellier, a club whose president Louis Nicollin looks like Bernard Manning and talks like Ken Bates
...Media round-up, 8 April.
Next to Rich’s piece Glenn Moore dissects, piece by piece, where he thinks the reasons City have been knocked off the top lie, but again, surely it’s a gamble for such articles with 21 points still to play for and an Etihad derby on the horizon?
Moore also writes a feature on how United have remained unified throughout their pursuit of the title. All seems like a done, deal, in fact.
We’ll see, of course and it both writers are proved correct, they can say they were first to the operating table… but if not, the Blues may yet have the last laugh.