A welcome (?) return for the feature that looks at the subjects we’ll be talking about in the lead up to the game. This week it’s off to the City of Manchester stadium where I doubt much time will be spent cogitating over the Commonwealth Games or the architecture. There’ll be plenty of back slapping and reference to the League Cup but we’re playing city and it won’t be long before our thoughts turn to past events, rambling chairmen and Cola Cubes.
A partnership between Jewell and Pearce? There’s about as much chance of the FA asking Venables back. Despite Mr. Whelan’s protestations that Jewell would be ideal for the job, psycho is a much more likely choice to lead his country. I can’t help thinking though that he’s been touched by a bit of the Keegans. There’s no doubt of his qualities as a motivator and cheerleader, but his teams are a little naive tactically and until he proves differently that has to be put at his door. What is clear is that these two have been chalked up as two of the more promising managers in the country and if they both manage to stick around then I’m sure that they’ll be in a race to be the new Alan Curbishly before long. You know, linked with everything but never going anywhere.
The Hand of Goat
Someone more optimistic than me might tell you that if it weren’t for the goofy looking one cheating in the play off semi-final, we’d have started at the JJB as a First Division side and we’d have got to where we are now, more quickly. Personally, I sort of like the way things have ended up. If we’d been promoted earlier would we have ended up with Jewell as managing a team that goes into everything with passion, energy and tries to play things properly, or would we have ended up carrying on the line on Bensons and Riochs and stuck as a first division team who put not losing before winning?
Maybe that would have got us to the Prem anyway, but would it have been as much fun and would we have made the same impact? Now I wouldn’t go as far as to thank, or even forgive, Goater for what he did (not least because he cost a good man his job) but what’s gone is gone and I’m not bitter about it anymore.
We’re considerably better than yow
Whether it was true or not, I don’t know, but growing up I always got the impression that City were a club that many Latics fans had a leaning toward. You know, in the “my mates don’t think Latics are a proper team so I have to have a second one” type way. At that time it was perhaps excusable, we were fresh out of non league and many people will have followed the fortunes of a ‘bigger club’ prior to 1978.
And then came ‘that season’, when Manchester City gave the second division the pleasure of their company. The media picture is one of a club that in its darkest hour was still supported to the hilt by 30,000 wonderful supporters. It would be closer to the truth to describe them as arrogant tosspots, but you can’t see Sky running with that story.
I don’t suppose they will be quite so full of the “playing you is so below us” attitudes on Saturday.
What sort of man would take a 9 year old boy into Moss Side, the same year that the locals were revolting? Did my dad think he was doing me a favour walking me past the boarded up shops and scary people to watch his team or was he trying to stunt the development of the Latics tendencies that his son was showing?
If that was the case then it didn’t work so well. The most memorable things about the 7-1 thrashing of Norwich were – a whole half pound of Cola Cubes, having a shiny programme, being allowed to stand on my seat and that woman with the bloody bell. You might think that, at such a young age, watching a victory like that in the midst of a massive crowd might have swung things, but no, it wasn’t very long before I was back at Springfield waiting for the gates to open to let people out, so I could get for nowt.
I’d just like to take time out to thank City for our own version of Statler and Waldorf, Messer Benson and Bond, two men who achieved so much in geting the club where it is today.
Enjoy the game, and goodnight.
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