While City’s win over Chelsea has been much heralded by all blues fans and, dare I say over in Stretford. But it seems that not everyone is enjoying the fact that City have now beaten two of their major rivals and drawn a third. On Saturday, I spent some time searching for anything related to City’s win to see what the reaction is from pundits and journalists. Here’s a little of what I discovered.
The News of the World have enthused over City’s win as much as they have over Chelsea’s defeat. Hailing Carlos Tevez, the NOTW describe him as having everything. “Enthusiasm, endeavour and most of important of all, end product.” They describe the midfield as ‘body builders,’ more than a match for Essien and Mikel. Some compliment eh?
For Chelsea, NOTW claim they are ‘on notice, crushed and crumpled after their first league defeat since Tottenham in April.’ I wouldn’t go as far as saying they are crushed and crumpled but they are certainly looking over their shoulders at City now.
The Daily Mail claim it was a “£1.4m drudge match” but praised City by saying ‘Seldom will you see a Chelsea team outmuscled and outfought and even more rarely will you see them reduced to long-range shots from outside the area. Yet City achieved both feats yesterday, with Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure and Nigel de Jong acting like a mountain range protecting their back four. And Chelsea never looked like scaling such heights.’ High Praise indeed.
You can read the full article here:
And if that wasn’t enough, even Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer sort of seemed impressed, but it is difficult to tell when they aren’t talking about one of the big four. “City’s best display so far,” said Hansen and added that we ‘could be a force.’ Shearer described the blues as “solid and resilient,” but Gary Lineker tried to claim Chelsea had an ‘off day.’ There’s always one.
As with everything positives, there are always negatives. We start with The Guardian’s Paul Hayward, whose match report starts with the title of “Roberto Mancini’s boot-camp regime pays dividends but still lacks style.” A sub title of “The Manchester City manager’s main aim seems to be to make his team fight, not entertain.”
Now forgive me for being a pessimist Paul, but teams like us need to fight. If we went knocking the ball around against Chelsea in an almost arrogant fashion, they could have taken us apart by half time. “What City needed was an earth shaking win,” he says. But hang on a minute, we’re talking about the Champions, who won the league in style with an 8-0 hammering of Wigan, then started the season with two 6-0 wins, but it seems City’s style isn’t good enough for Hayward.
“Sheikh Mansour is still entitled to wonder how £600m can buy so little entertainment.” Maybe if Sheikh Mansour isn’t entertained enough by the fact that City have beaten two top five rivals and drawn against another, he should read more of Paul Hayward’s articles. They’re ridiculously funny. If you want to read this piece of tosh, the link is below.
Vital Man United accuse the blues of being boring and label us negative and unattractive. Well, if exciting means throwing a two goal lead away not to not one but two struggling scouse teams, I’d rather stick with boring. I’d post the link but to be honest, it’s not worth it.
The Paul Merson
On Friday, Sky Sports muppet, sorry pundit Paul Merson claimed City had mugged off the Carling Cup, saying if it was good enough for Man Utd, it should be good enough for City. He then went on to claim that City could have been drawn at home to Northampton or Brentford in the next round which I feel is completely disrespectful to the feats these two teams achieved in midweek.
“If they lose on Saturday, they’ll be out of the title race.” Were we ever in it? I know a few of us get carried away sometimes but I still don’t think we’re ready for the title just yet. “This is their first real test,” says Merson, who forgets that more often than not we go to Spurs and lose yet we got a draw there.
But turning to Chelsea, Merson claims they were disappointing in the League Cup. So, by leaving out several key players such as Essien, Mikel, Malouda, Drogba, Ivanovic, Cech, Cole and only allowing Terry and Alex to play a half each, they didn’t ‘mug off’ the competition in the same way City did eh?
“Even with injuries, they’ll be strong on Saturday,” claims Merson, who conveniently forgets that City have a worse injury problem than the Champions. “Chelsea can afford to drop points, but if City want to win the title, they can’t afford to lose. Unfortunately, I think they will.”
But it gets better. Merson’s prediction was a 3-1 away win. “I always fancy City to score a goal but Chelsea are too good for them all over the pitch. Merson then proclaims his “Magic Man” as Didier Drogba. “I don’t know how City are going to stop Drogba, who is almost unplayable at the moment. Kolo Toure always struggled with him at Arsenal and I don’t see how he’s going to do any better now he’s at City. Drogba looks like scoring every time he goes onto the pitch.”
Saturday evening’s meal for Paul was a starter of humble pie, followed by a selection of his own words, with hard cheese and sour grapes for dessert.