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Mancini must recognise brutal truth for Man City

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Phil McNulty | 06:56 UK time, Wednesday, 7 November 2012

At Etihad Stadium

When Roberto Mancini's rage against the slow death of Manchester City's Champions League aspirations finally fizzles out, it will be replaced by the recognition of a brutal truth.

Mancini was the flesh and blood embodiment of all the frustration this competition has brought City as he stalked on to the pitch carrying bitter disappointment and a burning sense of injustice at the end of the 2-2 draw with Ajax.

The result leaves the Premier League champions needing to win their final two games at home to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid and away to Borussia Dortmund, then a few other cards to fall favourably, to avoid a second successive departure at the group phase.

This combination of an imminent exit and a contentious finale led Mancini to boil over for the second time this week as Danish referee Peter Rasmussen and a television cameraman felt the full force of the Italian's fury.

Ajax's fans had urged "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" as they went into a two-goal lead - it became clear in those chaotic final scenes there were no takers of a sky blue persuasion.

Rasmussen was the target after Sergio Aguero's late strike was ruled out by a borderline offside decision while he did not award a penalty in the final seconds when Ajax defender Ricardo van Rhijn clutched a large piece of Mario Balotelli's shirt, although there was a touch of six of one and half-a-dozen of the other about it.

Mancini's jets had not cooled when a cameraman copped it for invading his personal space. It was a ragged end to a ragged night that summed up City's flawed Champions League campaign.

Roberto Mancini confronts a cameraman

Mancini angrily confronted a cameraman after the final whistle. Picture: PA

Heads will soon clear - although Mancini may not have heard the last of his impromptu pitch invasion from Uefa - and when they do City and their manager must accept that they are to blame should they fail to reach the last 16. This campaign has not been a hard luck story - City have not been good enough.

Mancini announced that City's destiny will be to win the Champions League if they escape this perilous position and get out of the group. He perfected the art of dismissing his own team's chances during last season's triumphant title race - but this time he is likely to be right.

There is currently a strange atmosphere surrounding City and Mancini. It has manifested itself in a lack of belief in the Champions League and appears to have spread to the supporters, who were subdued until a second-half rally lifted spirits.

It was as if players and fans were in need of inspiration to make City feel as though they really belong in this competition. The spirit of Mancini's men should not be doubted, given the manner of Tuesday's comeback from two goals down to almost win, but a spark is missing.

City have struggled to get to grips with the Champions League, even with the added layer of confidence being champions should give them, while Mancini himself has never got a handle on it, either with Inter Milan or at Eastlands.

Hindsight is a wonderful gift but perhaps City did need an "A-List" signing such as an Eden Hazard or Javi Martinez to lift them to the extra level required in the Champions League, to make them feel collectively more at ease on this stage.

The sloppiness that handed Ajax captain Siem de Jong two early goals from corners is what Mancini should remember, not his feeling of ill fortune.

Among the usual debate about zonal marking, this was simply a case of Manchester City's defenders not doing the basics of defending and paying for it. If it had happened down the divisions in England, questions would have been asked, let alone at this rarified level.

Mancini has cut a pressurised figure this week, reacting angrily about links with other clubs on Monday then quick-marching on to the pitch in search of aggravation on Tuesday. It was not a pretty sight.

Of course the miracle may yet happen, but the truth will hurt City and it is this - two points from four games is a fair reflection on their performances and a dismal return on the investment their Abu Dhabi owners have made in this squad. One of those points, at home to Borussia Dortmund, was a gift from the gods as a last-gasp penalty rescued them after a superb display by goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Dortmund's draw with Real Madrid may have opened a door but City, in the Champions League at least, seem too timid to walk through it.

It takes time to grow into the Champions League let alone win it, and there will be pains along the way. Chelsea took until 2012 to finally win it, and Arsenal have been hammering away in the competition for years without lifting the trophy.

So to expect City, no matter how much was spent, to pitch up and instantly lay waste to Europe's elite was somewhat fanciful, especially given the groups they have been given. Where City have come from in such a short space of time should offer some context.

What could reasonably be expected is better than two points from four games, amid a sense that City are still not getting to grips with the requirements of the Champions League.

Before kick-off, young City fans brandished a banner emblazoned with the message "We Still Believe".

City will never have a bigger opportunity to prove they still believe than when Real Madrid come to Manchester later this month - but Mancini's anger may just have betrayed his own belief that their chance has come and gone.

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    City simply haven't played in the Champions league. There will be much debate about who is to blame but they didn't deserve to win last night.The offside decision was probably technically correct but very harsh if as we are led to believe the attacking side should be given the benefit of the doubt. The ref was spot on re the last minute penalty, he could have made three calls , penalty because of the defenders shirt pull,defense free kick for Balotelli trying to strangle the defender round the throat or do nothing. He chose the right one.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hot head as a player, hot headed as a manager - but the fact remains that Mancio should be given enough time and knee-jerk calls for him to go should be ignored.

    Just because Chelsea eventually won the Champions League (after many, many years of trying), that does not mean to say their method of sacking any manager who fails to win the Champions league should be followed by City.

  • Comment number 3.

    Mancini needs to recognise it is he who has got it all wrong. City started the season looking as though they were beatable and none of the displays this season have been convincing. They are still a good side with top players but Mancini has to learn from his mistakes if City are going to challenge for the Premier league and FA cup. Unfortunately I don't see that happening, Mancini is too fixated on blaming anyone but himself.

  • Comment number 4.

    The brutal truth is that Mancini is negative, has always been negative and will always be negative. Very few man management skills and a poor judge of players character(Balotelli). He keeps quoting that City won nothing for 15 years before he came, cant rememeber City spending £600mill+ before he came either. He is a difficult cold little man, who has not made the most of the money spent. Time to go methinks.

  • Comment number 5.

    As a Man Utd fan, remembering the humbling experiences we endured in our Champions League beginnings, it's no wonder that City are stuggling. They have built a team very quickly and it will still take time for them to come to grips with each other in a tactical sense. In the Premier league, you can get away with tactial naivity assuming the skill, power and pace is there. City have all of those things. At the next level of Europe, tactics are far more important.

  • Comment number 6.

    It's not a 'knee-jerk' reaction. But do we honestly believe Mancini is the right man for this job? His trophy count looks good, granted, but with the money spent City really should be dominating at home and ceretainly getting close to doing the same in Europe. There have already been some funny league results for them this season - failing to score against a newly promoted side with their wealth of attacking options? Not good enough, and do we really enjoy watching them play? Flair is almost non existent when Silva is crocked.

    If City were to 'seduce' Pep Guardiola, I think it would give them the injection they needed; he would attract a different kind of player and hopefully get rid of the likes of Barry who is dead wood. They would then get the domination they desire; he is better used to managing egos.

    And selfishly, I'd love to see him coach in this country.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree with Altair in (5) but then again, let's all laugh at City ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha.

  • Comment number 8.

    I said it earlier that man city were awful in the transfer market
    I tot keepin ur squad esp the one that won u a trophy,was only logical
    City sold good players nd replaced them with mediocres
    Now even the manager is confused with team selection esp defensively
    As a man city fan I av givin up hope of winning anything this season
    We are simply not good enuf.

  • Comment number 9.

    First of all let me say I am not a Manchester United supporter. You will read all their comments before they go off to school.But both the decisions by the officials ,the disallowed goal for offside and Balotelli not getting a penalty were correct.Its amazing how Roy Kean and others in the studio said that City should of been given the benifit of the doubt in the offside.The linesman was RIGHT he was offside when he recieved the ball .And as for Balotelli , I dont think grabbing the throat of your opponent warrants you in getting a penalty. Yes the defender was pulling Balotelli's shirt, but this was a case of ever there was of six of one and half a dozen of the other. Roberto Mancini and his team have been losing the plot for quite a while now and blaming it on officials, is cowardly.

  • Comment number 10.

    The trouble with getting a new manager in (especially a big one) is that they tend to want to bring in a new draft of players. This is all well and good (get rid of Balotelli for a start) but I dont see how it is possible with FIFA monetary regulations coming in (if thats still happening, dont seem to hear much about it).

    Never rated Mancini. Hes one of those managers who are good at spending money but tactically challenged. City have looked anything but convincing this season and when players start talking about their discontent with his system, its normally the start of the end.

    Trouble is when you base a club on large investment ( and I realise there are all the club expansion sidelines) then the investors expect results and Mancini isnt producing.

  • Comment number 11.

    Disagree with a few comments here. I'm not a City fan but the decisions to disallow the goal and not give a pen were ridiculous. City can feel very aggrieved last night in my opinion.
    As for Arsenal - I knew we needed a third goal against Schalke. As it is a draw now seems a decent result and hopefully we'll beat Montpellier at home which will surely see us through to the next phase. Won't be any better than second in the group though unfortunately.

  • Comment number 12.

    City scored three goals last night - tell the truth, Phil! You do not enhance your argument by fudging the truth. Of course, the goals conceded were 'stupid', as everybody knows but if the goal had been awarded, all the papers would have been full of City's magnificent, stirring comeback!

    And again, don't try to be 'reasonable' when judging the penalty claim - just look carefully at it, from all angles, and tell us honestly what you saw: Balotelli being hauled all over the place! I note that the referee ignored another claim for a foul on Yaya in the first half and brought the first half to a close without allowing a second, consecutive corner to be taken. Facts

    It took Fergie, managing the richest club in Britain at the time, seven years to win the title and thirteen years to win the Champions League. You all venerate and fear him.
    Just get off Mancini's case, please, and acknowledge his remarkable achievements in the context of City's extraordinary vacillating history - he is only in his third full year at the club, for heaven's sake. This kind of insinuating tittle tattle is not worthy of you, frankly. Tell your editors at the BBC that they can't have stories on demand. Facts must always lead.

    I have no dispute with you about City's other CL games although one can't help but wonder what might have happened if they had held onto victory at Real for the final three minutes. I think this is called 'subjunctive' history - i.e. 'What if....'

  • Comment number 13.

    City have the toughest group this year, again, but they cannot blame a seeding system that they have only been a part of for 2 seasons. They need to get out of their group for their seeding to improve.

    Mancini is certainly showing his true colours of late as well, acting like a spoiled brat a lot of the time, and I think its influencing the players at times, he needs to keep a cool head like lat season.

    The notion City needed an "A-List" signing is ridiculous, they have a good enough squad to perform much better than they are doing.....

  • Comment number 14.

    @Collymonster
    "The brutal truth is that Mancini is negative, has always been negative and will always be negative"

    wow I can only assume you haven't watched any of the City games last season. Which would make sense given you your comment, this also leads me to the conclusion that if you didn't watch any of city's games last season, you're not a football fan. If you're not a football fan then you almost certainly don't know anything about football. Given that you don't know anything about football, yet are on a football blog, I can only conclude that you are an idiot!

    Anyway onto football matters. City haven't even got out of 1st gear so far this season in any game. Not sure where that leaves us really. With regards to Europe, this is the 3rd time we have played in at the top European table. The last 2 times we have fallen at the 1st hurdle also. With regards to our 1st season I believe we lost to a turkish side! Last season we were in a group with the eventual finalists. This season, we are in an even stronger group. (Looks like Real may finish 2nd, which means any of the English teams left will be waiting for the draw with much trepidation)

    As for the PL, as I said above have't even got out of 1st gear and are still unbeaten. I do believe if we can just slide through the gears even to 3rd gear, we will be too strong for the rest of the teams in the PL.

    Still unsure as the to Euro woes though and am at a loss to explain this. Is it Mancini? Not sure. We started the match last night with the line-up that the players "apparently" like.

  • Comment number 15.

    city hunger for success is only motivated when they are fighting united, maybe city would need to draw the same group as united to progress which is impossible under the current rules....manchester city have not gotten over last seasons pipping united to the title, they dont have the commitments to fit for the ball, win every tackle...one thing i noticed last night in the two Ajax goals is the city defenders movement we seconds late after an Ajax player moved...in current football, you blink or switch off for half a second you usually have to pick the ball from your net

  • Comment number 16.

    Football is supposed to be a team game, so I think the team, as well as Mancini need to take a look at their respective team performances. There should also be an element of common sense - surely Ajax's second goal could easily have been prevented if someone took the initiative to mark, or bother De Jong when he came flying in to head the easiest of goals. Also, the whole first half all Citeh did was attack down the middle. It took them and hour to realize it just wasn't working. Also, I don't think they have noticed just how different the leagues are (Champions & EPL), and their style of play should adapt accordingly. Lessons well learned, I hope they improve next season.

  • Comment number 17.

    The Champions League has exposed City as simply not good enough to compete with the top European clubs. They spent truckloads of money and then started to believe their own propaganda. They were extremely lucky to get a point against Dortmund and conceded two goals against Ajax with basic defensive errors. Whatever his tactical faults, at least Mancini shows a passion for the club which is lacking in many of the current players. Don't they realise what it means to put on that sky blue jersey? Where is the spirit of Mike Doyle? Sadly lacking in the present set up I am afraid. Rant over.

  • Comment number 18.

    In life, it is good to believe but it is also good to be real to yourself. Mancini is at best an average coach. City have the best squad in the PL by a mile. Chelsea come second because they still lack a formidable strike force. Mancini has no clue what to do with the lads. Am sure his next interview will be about buying new players. I still can't get my head around why he went on and bought Jack Rodwell and scott Sinclair and Javi garcia. He is not a world class coach, simple. At home, needing a big win and you go on the pitch and produce such a performance is just disgraceful. If Ajax had come out to attack more, they would have gotten more goals. He should just concentrate on the league and not waste his time. City will not qualify and they might even loose their last 2 matches from what we saw yesterday.

  • Comment number 19.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 20.

    Watched the entire match last night and think they were a little hard done by. However, resorting to refing decisions is not good at all as Man C shouldn't have let 2 sloppy goals in. If the defence was as solid as last season then it would have been 2 or 3-0 to City, in which case the case for a penalty wouldn't have been such an issue.

    As a Gooner we get criticised for our lack of silverware but many years of CL qualification shows in situations like these. Arsenal have not 'YET' failed to go through the group stage and I believe experience is fundamental. City will most definitely get there but 2 seasons of CL is not a lot. It is unlikely that Arsenal will win the CL for some time, given the way things are at the club, but City are likely to. They definitely have the quality but probably need a little more experience playing in this competition.

  • Comment number 21.

    @20

    as a " gooner " I must ask did you watch our game as well or just the recorded highlights.

  • Comment number 22.

    9. foscari wrote:
    "The linesman was RIGHT he was offside when he recieved the ball"
    ================
    Obviously foscari doesn't understand the offside rule.
    Where a player is when he receives the ball is irrelevant, it's where he is when the ball is passed that matters.

  • Comment number 23.

    @swintondude

    I laugh when I read stuff like "they haven't gotten out of first gear, bla bla"

    Those are just media jargon! They are playing exactly what they can. There is nothing like 2nd or 3rd gear. There is no guarantee that they will get better. In fact, they could get worse. The real problem is Mancini. We live in a different world now. People like fergie had the luxury of trying and trying before getting it right but the world has changed. Everything in todays world is about instant success. It is a winner takes all world. I don't see Mancini surviving this. Except the owners can't get a good replacement. But with the fact checkbook, that won't be too difficult.

  • Comment number 24.

    21.At 09:08 7th Nov 2012, HaHA CharadeYouAre2 wrote:
    ________________________________

    Hi HHC2
    Congrats on the draw , I was flicking between the arenal ,City , and Real Madrid games last night.
    Have to say City were mugged by the ref.

    But the good news is you , Baggio , and I all predicted a 2-2 draw for City vs Ajax :)i

  • Comment number 25.

    The scenes at the end of the match were pretty disappointing in my view. ok Man city probably were on the end of a few dubious decisions but you could hear the abuse the referee was subjected to. Furthermore if Balotelli wasnt held back I think he would have actually assualted one of the officials!

  • Comment number 26.

    Cracking up, cracking up, Manchini is cracking up!!!

    Let's be clear here:

    Kolarov was offside. It may be marginal but he was offside.

    Whilst there were perhaps suggestions of a penalty, it can easily be argued the other way. Balotelli had a clear grip on the defender's neck / throat. Not to mention the awful tackle from Aguero that did not even warrant a yellow card on de jong.

    Complain all he wants, he should have won 2-0 as opposed to the schoolboy defending that gifted Ajax 2 goals.

  • Comment number 27.

    17.At 08:53 7th Nov 2012, kippaxgrowler wrote:

    Don't they realise what it means to put on that sky blue jersey?

    ---------

    Of course they do, it means an extra £100k a week ;)

  • Comment number 28.

    Great players do not necessarily make a great team, and nowhere is this more obviouse than at Manchester City. Signore Mancini is a lovely chappy, but, like Mark Hughes, he is clueless when it comes to forging an effective team.

    How sad it is to witness a waste of human resources when we could be witnessing a ruthless footballing machine. And how much sadder it is to here this well-meaning but ineffectual man sounding more and more each week like 'Bruce the Excuse'.

    If the club want Pep Guardiola, then my best advice to them is to snap him up before Chealsea do.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have never liked City as a team, this as a result of selling my soul to the Red Devils! It goes without saying that; having dominated the EPL the way they did last season, it is an atroCITY to not progress from that group or any group for that matter. Mancini is the weak link in my humble opinion. He is tactically naive more often than not. He has the tools but no craft. He reminds me of a starving tycoon.
    Just throwing ingredients in the blender does not constitute a sumptious meal with out a recipe!

  • Comment number 30.

    18.At 08:53 7th Nov 2012, Dico wrote:
    I still can't get my head around why he went on and bought Jack Rodwell and scott Sinclair and Javi garcia.
    ____________________________

    I agree with you on Rodwell and Sinclair , but Garcia is a very good defensive midfielder , much better than De Jong.
    Garcia only left Real Madrid a couple of years ago because Alonso was ahead of him in that position.

  • Comment number 31.

    History shows that EPL teams need time before achieving CL sucess. MCFC have had the biggest budget yet, bigger than the Chelski heyday so no surprises that the media are looking for blood. I'm sure the fans are more patient but are frustrated that getting out of the group stages is proving a bigger hurdle.

    As a team they are underperforming and the manager has to be seen to be addressing the shortcomings.

    As for the penalty Balotelli waited until the last moment to throw himself to the floor and wonders why he didn't get the penalty, queue mayhem that should see the club face UEFA sanction. English sides that winge and moan usually suffer sanction from UEFA & get the rough side of officials decisions making life harder than ever.

  • Comment number 32.

    City only have themsleves to blame for failure to qualify from this group ?! REALLY ?? They never stood a chance; just because a club is "Champions of the World's best league' (copyright, SKY) doesn't mean they have a right to progress....especially when faces with a resurgent Ajax, one of the best sides in the world in Madrid....and the small matter of Dortmund. If you want to watch the best leagues in the world i.e the best FOOTBALL....watch the Spanish AND German leagues - hey they CAN pass a ball.....unlike half of the players in our 'premier league'. English football at ALL levels gets shown up time and again for what it is - second rate - it MAY be the most exciting league in the world (copyright, TALKSPORT i.e Sky).....but that doesn't make it the best.

  • Comment number 33.

    14.At 08:49 7th Nov 2012, swintondude wrote:

    The Guardian wrote an interesting piece dispelling this myth that Man City are "inexperienced" in Europe. They have 4 CL winners in their team, plus a long list of internationals. In fact, their squad has played more international games than man utd or arsenal.

    Spurs managed to do fine in their maiden season in CL, what's their excuse? I'd hardly call Harry Redknapp a tactical genius........

    Also what happened with the tickets? Was there a problem? Why was the stadium half full? Are the Stockport bus drivers on strike?

  • Comment number 34.

    28.At 09:20 7th Nov 2012, Aunty Sue Knows Best wrote:
    Signore Mancini is a lovely chappy, but, like Mark Hughes, he is clueless when it comes to forging an effective team.
    _________________

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Board would like to introduce man city's new manager, Harry Redknapp.....

  • Comment number 35.

    22-Of course you are right. I meant to say that he was a shade off side as the ball was passed to him.

  • Comment number 36.

    26.At 09:18 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    ______________________________

    Morning ESG
    I see you activated WUM mode this morning :)
    As you know I am no fan of City , but lets face it they got mugged by the ref.

  • Comment number 37.

    Mancini is now dead man walking, for my money. He's cleraly not in control of the egos in the dressing room as players throw public strops when substituted and criticise his tactics in the press. He set the example last season in how he handled (or rather failed to handle) the Tevez and Balotelli issues and players like there are at City will pounce on such weakness.

    Tanking twice in the CL should bring down the curtain on Mancini. City look uninspired this season which is a bi-product of expensively assembled mercenaries who have no real feeling for the club.

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm getting bored of the bbc trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill with man city. As a journalism student i was asked to present the FACTS in the work i presented but looking at this company it is clear that taking interviews out of context, small fragments of larger interviews used to present a turmoil in the city camps, their work is not to present fact but exasperate the truth. This has been going on all season, The 20 second snippet of the 15 minute interview which showed mancini as losing grip when asked about previous job offers is ludicrous. I Grow tired of the bbc and other large news companies that seem now more seduced by sensationalism than presenting the news as facts. Phil you are a poor journalist and are yet to produce an article that is of good quality about city, hell bent on trying to bad mouth the champions you forget to produce rounded and unbias work that a journalist should. No doubt the players and the manager have alot blame for the previous results in a group any British side would struggle in, but come on mate and do a well written article for once in your life and put some of the facts down. Penalty in the first half as Toures legs were hacked at, corner denied by ref at the end of the first and second half (even if balotelli pen is borderline) it should have still been a corner, An incorrect offside call. City Should have won that game and the ref and his team are to blame for a poor performance in the whole game, Not denying Cities Poor performance in the first twenty minutes of that game but they went on to dominate possession in the second half, FACTS. Anyway Rant over

  • Comment number 39.

    @24 Repo

    the " draw " we were extremely fortunate to get that i was quite mortified at what I saw to be honest, it does seem the Arsenal players work in shifts, as to which one/s decide to switch off and in what games etc. Our Keeper kept us in that game thats for sure.

    I only saw the highlights of the City affair

    by the way my prediction of 1-4 for the Arsenal was based on Walcott actually playing up front, as it was some french guy took his spot. I have to say I am not impressed with him whatsoever. Bendtner Mk2 IMO.

    as for the pred table we still don't have the final results from the weekends perhaps Drastic's computer has malfunctioned a bit like Arsenal I suppose.

  • Comment number 40.

    30.At 09:21 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:
    _____________________
    Morning Repo! What game did you watch yesterday? The RM one?

    I have to disagree with you on garcia. IMO de jong was a much better player, and one of the reasons I think why city are suffering more this season. I'd have loved utd to sign de jong. He's a disciplined player that just sits and allows the creative players to do their job and cover for the full backs.

  • Comment number 41.

    One of the pundits last night on Champion League Goals said the city players combined had played over 250 champions league games and even more international caps, so I don’t believe in the excuse of them not having experience.
    Champions League games are so tight, played at an increased intensity from the premier league, you need to take your chances and defend well, City have not done either so far this season and the Champions League has exposed that.. It’s an incredibly tough group and they are without Silva who undoubtedly makes everyone else look miles better.
    I don’t think Mancini had that good a Champions League record at Inter either did he..?

  • Comment number 42.

    @23. At 09:13 7th Nov 2012, Dico wrote:

    After watching City over the last season and a half we are simply underperforming. Not individually but collectively. I believe we are currently opertating at about 50% possibly less. As I said playing really badly in all games. However, unbeaten in the PL, but getting seriously found out in CL.

  • Comment number 43.

    The offside problem is far worse than 'goal line technology problem' and as bad as the diving, soft tackles being penalised and arrogant/vain referees problems. Linesmen still don't give the benefit to the attacker and the speed of the game catches them out constantly. Shane Long clearly onside on Monday night for example. Kolarov's foot was offside. Incorrect offside decisions spoil the art of the striker playing right on the edge, which everyone wants to see. I often call onside watching on telly when the linesman gives offside and unbelievably the replay shows I'm correct. And I'm nearly blind (and deaf according to the wife)

  • Comment number 44.

    Yuu can buy the players, you can buy the coaches and managers, what you cant buy is the experience and thats all that city are lacking. im not being funny or having a go, but city look like they are happy to buy who ever they feel will work for the team, im time they are bound to get it right. in saying that the FFP will have them banned from europe anyway, so in truth whats the point in building a team to play in europe. i cant see the etihad sponser getting through the FFP rules, as it a non profitable organisation as its used by many of the abi duabi businesses to deliver collect & transport etc. where they expect to earn £400m i dont know, that coupled with the fact the city owners cousin owns the firm....
    Im not looking to start with the city fans, as everytime i bring this up they go off on one, the fact is that the club relies on the owners money not the money coming through fromthe football world. the FFP is designed to stop clubs from using too much money that isnt earned through football, so the facts are city and chelsea can survive, but only for so long, no one can continue to spend the money spent in transfers wages and structure improvement without hitting a brick wall at some point. and please city fans dont say "why is it all about money" because simply without it we wouldnt even be having this discussion

  • Comment number 45.

    36.At 09:23 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:
    26.At 09:18 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    ______________________________

    Morning ESG
    I see you activated WUM mode this morning :)
    As you know I am no fan of City , but lets face it they got mugged by the ref.
    ____________________________

    Why? Balotelli had his hands on the guy's throat!! When's that ever been legal?

    Also if the game ran out of time, why on earth should the ref blow? That was one of my gripes about the CFC Utd game in league cup. 4th official gave 3 mins ET, the penalty was awarded after 93.23 mins. Where did those extra 20 seconds come from??

    As for the offside decision, the replay clearly showed kolarov's foot was past the man. Unless I'm mistaken, if any part of him is offside, then he is offside is he not?

    Plus they made a rod for their own back with their shambolic defending. Blaming the officials just disguises how poor they actually were.

  • Comment number 46.

    @21

    as a " gooner " I must ask did you watch our game as well or just the recorded highlights.

    -------------

    Nope, I only have FreeSat so couldn't watch the match and went to bed before the highlights were shown. I would never prioritise a Man City match over an Arsenal one lol.

  • Comment number 47.

    42.At 09:26 7th Nov 2012, swintondude wrote:

    "However, unbeaten in the PL, but getting seriously found out in CL."
    _______________

    And you laughed at me when I expertedly pointed out that Manchini is clueless in Europe.....

  • Comment number 48.

    I’m sick of hearing about how it is a learning curve for them. They have spent over £500m on players these past 3 years and using inexperience as an excuse is rubbish. Plus they have seasoned internationals in their team and champions league winners lest we not forget. Sympathy for Mankini and his expensively assembled band of mercenaries is thin on the ground.

    Malaga seem to coping okay as do PSG. Dortmund have hardly been a regular feature in the champions league group stages, but again they are coping okay. People will talk about United’s struggles in the early 90s, but that was at a time when English clubs had been banned from Europe for 6 years (thanks to our scouse friends) and couldn’t compete financially with the Italian clubs who were dominating during that period.

  • Comment number 49.

    Decisions or not, they went 2-0 down at home in a "must win" game which isn't good enough. City seem to have forgotten how to defend this season, no concentration at all. Atmosphere was strangely subdued too. That said, Mancini has form in Europe so not sure this is a massive surprise?

  • Comment number 50.

    40.At 09:25 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    Morning Repo! What game did you watch yesterday? The RM one?

    I have to disagree with you on garcia.
    ______________________________________

    As usual I was trying to watch 3 games at the same time , but mainly the City game.
    Real Madrid did a Liverpool , loads of chances but poor finishing. The equaliser was strange , I think the keeper thought Ozil´s freekick was going wide and only dived at the last sec , but too late.

    As you say we must disagree on Garcia , I watched him for 2 years at Benfica , he is basically a De Jong with skill.
    But funnily enough, if I remember correctly , he was one of the players you wanted Utd to buy in pre-season ?

  • Comment number 51.

    From what I saw last night City are missing a proper on field leader any of the other four English teams have had great captains or leaders when they have done well in euros Keane at Man u Terry at Chelsea Viera at Arsenal Gerrard at L/pool. City still lack some one who the rest of the sqaud either fear or respect the guy who will kick ass if the rest are not doing their jobs

  • Comment number 52.

    Clearly Manchester City's executive board need to look closely upon the performance of the Business Development and Corporate Hospitality teams.

  • Comment number 53.

    I would like add, that in fairness to City, that is indeed a " tough " group but you should be doing much better than you are.

    but being an Arsenal supporter I can hardly shout from the rooftops how good we are
    in such an easy group.

    Schalke flatter to deceive, a one man roadshow, they wont be going much further in the competition either.

  • Comment number 54.

    The total incompetence of the officials was matched only by City's terrible defending at corners in the opening minutes. However Mancini can sanction his dosey defenders by dropping them. I doubt UEFA will do anything about their bumbling buffoons.

    At the end of the day Man City are still undefeated in the league without having played remotely well in most games. When will Phil McNulty write a blog about that ?

  • Comment number 55.

    @33. At 09:22 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:

    ESG, I never said we were inexperienced. I just said we had only been in the top trophy 3 times and had crashed and burned on the previous 2 occasions. I was trying to say that as a club we seem to have some kind of allergy to the top Euro trophy.

    Not so sure about the half empty stadium, I thought there were 40k, given the segregation for euro games it will only hold 46 anyway

  • Comment number 56.

    I just hope SAF sets his team up well tonight as I fear he might have contracted the Mancini Màlaise!

  • Comment number 57.

    50.At 09:31 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:
    As you say we must disagree on Garcia , I watched him for 2 years at Benfica , he is basically a De Jong with skill.
    But funnily enough, if I remember correctly , he was one of the players you wanted Utd to buy in pre-season ?
    ___________________

    yeah the Real goal was a little odd. Did it take a slight deflection? But Real never really do that well against german teams do they?

    Which one are you referring to? I wanted utd to bid for de jong (as unrealistic as it was). He is the type of player perfect for us. I think utd were looking at javi garcia, but I've never really seen that much of him / rated him. Give me Lee Cattermole any day! ;)

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm not sure why Mancini & Balotelli were so angry last night. Balotelli was clearly pushing the defender away from him to give him a chance of a shot on goal. But, at the last second when it was obvious he wasn't getting a shot, he suddenly went sprawling all over the penalty area.

    City were lucky to get a draw & I reckon that kills off any hopes of progressing to the knockout stage.

    Mancini should remember it took Man Utd 6 years to win the trophy in the 90's after their first league title for 20 odd years in 1993.

    Man Utd will go through confortably & I reckon Arsenal sould still go through despite losing a 2 goal lead but Chelsea need a win tonight as Juve should win their game.

  • Comment number 59.

    @50. At 09:31 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:

    A couple of my Spanish mates said exactly the same thing. From what I've seen this appears to be the case. He wasn't great last night, but neither were the other outfield players.

    ESG, De Jong left because he was in his last year of his contract, he wouldn't sign a new contract (or atleast he wanted silly money and Citeh wouldn't acquiesce) Given his server over the previous 3 seasons all parties came to an amicable conclusion.

  • Comment number 60.

    Ya Ya Toure looks as unfit as I've seen him. Talk about plod around the pitch.
    Pair him with speed merchant Barry and you have a less than dynamic midfield. There where times when Ajax ran rings round them.

  • Comment number 61.

    45.At 09:29 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    Why? Balotelli had his hands on the guy's throat!! When's that ever been legal?
    _____________________________________

    Nice spin on the incident :)

    From what I saw the defender grabbed Balotelli´s arm and he was just trying to free himself.
    Also with the other hand the defender was trying to swap shirts with Balotelli a little prematurely.

  • Comment number 62.

    44.
    At 09:28 7th Nov 2012, King Red wrote:

    I also know its Abu Dhabi not abi duabi as i effectionatley call them.... long story

  • Comment number 63.

    Hello all. Apologies for vanishing as I did. My laptop had a major malfunction on Monday night and I was out of the office on Tuesday so was unable to post.

    Unfortunately for those who made guesses I wasn't at the 9 goal thriller last night, I wasn't trying to crank up the tension or play with my slide rule!! However I appreciate all the speculation - it almost felt like genuine concern at times.

    Anyhow turns out it was a tie between repo and weallfollowunited. Well done gents. I will put the leader board up after the midweek games. As my laptop needs repair I might not be able to the results of the midweek game until Friday morning.

    THE EXPERT PICKERS --- PTS EX CL CR WR TG
    1. repo -------------------- 9 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 6 - 10
    1. weallfollowunited -------- 9 - 2 - 1 - 1 - 6 - 10
    3. londoner in exile returns - 9 - 2 - 0 - 3 - 5 - 10
    4. drastic ------------------ 8 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 6 - 10
    5. eduard_strelsov_ghost -- 7 - 2 - 0 - 1 - 7 - 10
    6. haha charadeyouare2 --- 6 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 8 - 10
    7. mr boy ------------------ 6 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 7 - 10
    8. baggiosponytail --------- 6 - 1 - 0 - 3 - 6 - 10
    9. parksthebuskickandrush -5 - 1 - 1 - 0 - 8 - 10
    10. becks-phone-call ------ 4 - 0 - 0 - 4 - 6 - 10
    10. frank black ------------- 4 - 0 - 0 - 4 - 6 - 10
    12. liverpaul85 ------------ 3 - 0 - 1 - 1 - 8 - 10

  • Comment number 64.

    55.At 09:34 7th Nov 2012, swintondude wrote:
    @33. At 09:22 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:

    Not so sure about the half empty stadium, I thought there were 40k, given the segregation for euro games it will only hold 46 anyway
    _______________

    Well I heard that they didn't sell all their tickets for starters. DUring the match I noticed a lot of empty seats. There seemed a lack of atmosphere (It was like watching a game behind closed doors) and even the ITV pundits commented on it!!! Where you there? Did it seem "empty" or was it just a bad atmosphere?

    I keep telling people, the reason why city are poor in europe is Manchini. I can bet that if you stuck Benitez there, they'd be winning games in that group and probably finish top or 2nd. With a team that city have, that is the only reason.

    What surprised me is that he didn't buy a decent CB over the summer. That Serbian lad is a replacement for Savic, and he obviously doesn't rate Lescott or Toure so odd he hasn't bought anyone else?

  • Comment number 65.

    "Hindsight is a wonderful gift but perhaps City did need an "A-List" signing such as an Eden Hazard or Javi Martinez to lift them to the extra level required in the Champions League"

    You have got to be joking with this comment. Is suppose you put this down to the lack of A-List players at Man Ciy. Nasri, Yaya Toure, Tevez, Aguero, Silva etc they are just bit part players who are just there to make up the numbers til they make one of these 'A-List' signings.

  • Comment number 66.

    Yes they should have had that last-second pen (IMO), wonder if Fergie had anything to do with it, but in terms of football they were outpassed by an Ajax team who are a joy to watch. Only when they started really pressing Ajax in the second half and used the long ball towards the end did City look threatening. Definitely missed Silva but that expensive squad shouldn't need to rely on one player. Body language of the players doesn't look right, Toure has the hump throughout every game now. Once again they proved zonal marking at corners sucks.

    Is anyone in the EPL looking at Eriksen? Quality player.

  • Comment number 67.

    58.At 09:36 7th Nov 2012, Liam wrote:
    Mancini should remember it took Man Utd 6 years to win the trophy in the 90's after their first league title for 20 odd years in 1993.
    ________________

    But in those 6 years Fergie never had £300m to spend on experienced internationals. What he did have to contend with was a ridiculous 3 player foreigner quota per CL game that no longer exists. Can you imagine how bad the city team would be if they had to play with 8 english plodders?

  • Comment number 68.

    61.At 09:38 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:
    45.At 09:29 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    Nice spin on the incident :)

    From what I saw the defender grabbed Balotelli´s arm and he was just trying to free himself.
    Also with the other hand the defender was trying to swap shirts with Balotelli a little prematurely.
    _________________

    Not really, that was what it was, a tussle. Nani got dragged versus Spurs and he didn't even have his hands on the defender. The ref didn't give that one that either.

    Swings and roundabouts. Even if it was a penalty, the ref blew the whistle. City had the other 90 mins to score.

  • Comment number 69.

    @36

    well done Repo top spot no less, good effort.

  • Comment number 70.

    Usually I can not stand City or whining Mancini, but I feel that in this case they had more than enough cause to complain. The offside decision was a tad close but yet another example of need for technology in the game, following the disgraceful decision in the merseyside derby. Also Phil as an unbiased observer I can not understand how you can think the Balotelli penalty claim was 6 of one and half a dozen of the other!? It was a blatant penalty...which the referee had a perfect angle of seeing the defender pulling handfuls of Balotellis shirt off him. At the end the referee knew he'd bottled it hence no yellow cards...although he went to then felt better of it. For once I agree with the behaviour at the end of the game...when is the madness of contentious decisions ruining games and costing millions going to stop!? We seem to spend more time talking about the decisions than the game itself! Technology is needed now

  • Comment number 71.

    no.45, why do you have to refer to a past united game on this topic today. And a united fan of all people complaining about 20 seconds. Hypocrites, hypocrites

  • Comment number 72.

    The shirt pull at the end smelt of a desprate situation, if Ajax had have got that pen mancini would have appoarched the ref in the same manner. could you imagine how the prem would be if those were givenm as pen's???

  • Comment number 73.

    Man City keep getting harder draws due to their obvious lack of European pedigree. If they want it a bit easier in Europe next season, they should lean towards doing very well in the Europa league even if that is at the expense of the Premier League since that may serve them better in the long run.

    That said, Man City are only losing to teams in the group stages that they would have lost against in the knockout stage anyway so there is little sign of them making much progress based on this season and last. Have they beaten anyone over two legs apart from once in the Europa League? (I think.)

    I think Man City do well in the domestic league because they have players of talent who can have match winning moments. And against what is some turgid defending at time domestically, that is possible. The better class of team in Europe tend to be better at defending hence Man City struggle.

    So, I think they are still largely a group of individuals and not a team. Players and managers make a team.

    I don't think Mancini is doing his part. At times he doesn't seem to contribute very much and his interviews and comments are getting bizarre. Maybe he's trying to be cleverer than he actually is.

    As for the players, they seem some 'local' players who will go the extra mile both in terms of performance in putting themselves on the line and to pull the others together when things are going wrong.

    Man City have probably got through two teams (squads?) worth of players in the last four years. One to get them top four and one to help them win the league. Do they really need another load to get them further forward and who are those players?

    Bit of a mess really.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    No question City have the toughest group... since Ajax have upped their game. ManU conversely have by far the easiest group. (wonder if Fergie had anything to do with that?)
    If everyone (inc. Celtic?) progress bar City that's going to be a hard pill to swallow.

  • Comment number 76.

    Creditable draw for City against solid, Europa-League standard opposition.

    Mancini should be very pleased ;)

  • Comment number 77.

    63.At 09:39 7th Nov 2012, Drastic wrote:
    ____________________________

    I got 0.5 points.............. OH YEAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome back mate :)

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    Comment number 66.At 09:40 7th Nov 2012, TheBlameGame wrote:
    Yes they should have had that last-second pen (IMO), wonder if Fergie had anything to do with it, but in terms of football they were outpassed by an Ajax team who are a joy to watch. Only when they started really pressing Ajax in the second half and used the long ball towards the end did City look threatening. Definitely missed Silva but that expensive squad shouldn't need to rely on one player. Body language of the players doesn't look right, Toure has the hump throughout every game now. Once again they proved zonal marking at corners sucks.

    Is anyone in the EPL looking at Eriksen? Quality player.

    Complain about this comment (Comment number 66)
    Comment number 67.At 09:42 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    58.At 09:36 7th Nov 2012, Liam wrote:
    Mancini should remember it took Man Utd 6 years to win the trophy in the 90's after their first league title for 20 odd years in 1993.
    ________________

    But in those 6 years Fergie never had £300m to spend on experienced internationals. What he did have to contend with was a ridiculous 3 player foreigner quota per CL game that no longer exists. Can you imagine how bad the city team would be if they had to play with 8 english plodders?

    ---

    When Utd did win it, it was in a group which included Bayern and Barcelona. And they beat Inter and a Juventus team from 2-0 that had Davids, Zidane, Inzaghi in it. To win the biggest trophy you can't avoid the best teams all the way through, City haven't been good enough.

  • Comment number 80.

    75.At 09:51 7th Nov 2012, TheBlameGame wrote:
    No question City have the toughest group... since Ajax have upped their game. ManU conversely have by far the easiest group. (wonder if Fergie had anything to do with that?)
    ____________________

    Get your tin foil hats at the ready. I'm sure Fergie has a say at which plstic balls are pulled out of the bag by who. I'm sure he personally ensures utd are seeded 1st and get the easiest possible group, whilst city get the hardest possible group. That makes perfect and logical sense....

  • Comment number 81.

    #73. MrBlueBurns
    "Players and managers make a team."

    Thanks for clearing that one up Mr B. :)

  • Comment number 82.

    •Comment number 67.
    At 09:42 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    Can you imagine how bad the city team would be if they had to play with 8 english plodders?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Good point esg.
    A team based around the silky skills of the likes of Hart, Richards, Lescott, Barry, Milner, et al wouldn't get anywhere near a top four finish in the EPL.

  • Comment number 83.

    49.
    At 09:31 7th Nov 2012, Guernsey Red wrote:

    Decisions or not, they went 2-0 down at home in a "must win" game which isn't good enough. City seem to have forgotten how to defend this season, no concentration at all.
    -==-=-=-=-
    Kompany has his £60m 6 year deal.... his work is done, thats the thing with mercs once they are paid their job is done. Yaya doesnt seem fit atm and ballotelli isnt playing how he can for italy..... somethings not right

  • Comment number 84.

    59.At 09:37 7th Nov 2012, swintondude wrote:
    64.At 09:40 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    _________________________________________

    Strangely enough Garcia is a pretty handy centre back. He has filled in there for on a few occasions when Benfica have had problems with injuries, red cards, or suspensions.
    Maybe he could make a good pairing with Kompany ?

  • Comment number 85.

    #81 TheBlameGame

    I am a beacon of knowledge this morning make no mistake! :-D

    (p.s. sometimes it only needs players.)

  • Comment number 86.

    #80 ESG

    You didn't really fall for that one did you Ed?
    Surely no-one would believe that...

  • Comment number 87.

    Anyway enough about Mancini, let's talk about how old red nose would have reacted. Waited for the furore to die down, quietly knock on the ref's door and say, "I didn't agree with some of your decisions but that's football, goodnight"
    Isn't that right Ghost

  • Comment number 88.

    Manchester City were excellent at times last season and deservedly won the title. This season they have stood still while others have improved. They have the feel of a person who has gorged themsleves too much at the banqueting table and now cannot move.

    I don't think Mancini knows his best team or formation because he has too many stars in the side. Tevez and aguero may well be the two best strikers but can they play in a 3 or 4 man attack.

    Although on the other side of the coin, it Man U quite a few years to become even modertaely successful in the champions league. Blackburn couldn't get out of the group stage when they were champions.

  • Comment number 89.

    83.At 09:55 7th Nov 2012, King Red wrote:
    49.
    At 09:31 7th Nov 2012, Guernsey Red wrote:

    Decisions or not, they went 2-0 down at home in a "must win" game which isn't good enough. City seem to have forgotten how to defend this season, no concentration at all.
    -==-=-=-=-
    Kompany has his £60m 6 year deal.... his work is done, thats the thing with mercs once they are paid their job is done. Yaya doesnt seem fit atm and ballotelli isnt playing how he can for italy..... somethings not right

    ----------

    I've said before Kompany looks a different player since signing the contract, perhaps it's just coincidence?

    Same goes for Silva, all the ranting about how City are "crying out for his creativity", he's been rubbish since 2011, he has one assist and zero goals this year so not sure quite sure what he's going to bring to the fore. In any case, surely they signed Nasri for creativity?

  • Comment number 90.

    City had two teams in the group that are tough, and another team (Ajax) that at the bare minimum they should have got 4 points from, if not 6. They managed a magnificent 1 point against them. They should really be looking to beat Dortmund at home as well considering the money they've spent.

    Tough group yes, but not impossible. They've just not been good enough, it's that simple.

  • Comment number 91.

    #87
    Fergie blamed himself for picking an inexperienced team when we played Ajax.

    Of course, because we simply trampled on them in Amsterdam the home tie was already done and dusted by then....

  • Comment number 92.

    How can anyone say city where in a difficult group? They lost and drew to Ajax, a team with players whose total wages were less than Yaya and Nasri. A team that had Babel as a key payer. Babel that could not even make liverpool first team? And you tell me they were in a difficult group? If they have beaten Ajax home and away, they will be on 7points, same as Dortmund and better than Madrid! There is no way to spin this. They were crap! Manicini has no clue. He is the new Rafa Benitez!

  • Comment number 93.

    We could debate decisions that went against City until next year. The fact remains you cannot defend that poorly and expect to progress out of the most difficult champions league group in recent memory.

    EVERY single goal City have conceded in this years competition could have been avoided with a small amount of defensive concentration and organisation. You can't shoot yourselves in the foot in every match and fightback to win. It is a different level to the rather mediocre premier league.

    The side simply aren't playing very well. There seems to be a lack of energy, width and movement. Last year, teams couldn't live with City, this year they are finding it quite easy to blunt City's attacking threat.

    Zonal marking is a mugs game, particularly at a level where the opposition are intelligent. The story goes that City have a new 'defensive coach' that speaks hardly any English. You can see that on the pitch. Its very strange.

    City can now focus all their energy on defending the league title and achieving that would be another excellent season as the club builds. They will have to play much better and do it soon though.....

  • Comment number 94.

    #90 Weallfollowunited

    So why haven't the English champions been good enough?

  • Comment number 95.

    84.At 09:57 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:
    59.At 09:37 7th Nov 2012, swintondude wrote:
    64.At 09:40 7th Nov 2012, Eduard_Streltsov_Ghost wrote:
    _________________________________________

    Strangely enough Garcia is a pretty handy centre back. He has filled in there for on a few occasions when Benfica have had problems with injuries, red cards, or suspensions.
    Maybe he could make a good pairing with Kompany ?
    ______________________

    Well I wouldn't know, I take it he's in the javi martinez mould then?

    It's just odd that he hasn't bought another decent defender or give Kolo toure more games in CL. Surely he'd be better than the serbian lad?

  • Comment number 96.

    77.At 09:52 7th Nov 2012, repo wrote:
    63.At 09:39 7th Nov 2012, Drastic wrote:
    ____________________________

    I got 0.5 points.............. OH YEAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome back mate :)
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Cheers repo. I did have a laugh reading everyone's posts this morning. Congrats on the 0.5 points. You'll have to blame weallfollowunited for matching your performance.

  • Comment number 97.

    It is quite simple ladies and gentlemen, there is no passion from players, a desire built in by heritage, ie, a mancunian who wants to play for his shirt, a scouser who wants to play for the shirt, a weegie who wants to play for the shirt, etc etc. There is too much money and not enough pride in what these "workers" are supposed to produce. True enough, the manager or coach or whatever modern term it is for the "gaffer", has to ensure he has a formation that gels together and creates something worthy of their pay. These highly paid men are first and foremost entertainers at the top of the footballing game and as such should be able to keep their fans happy rather than frustrated. In the case of City, 600 million later and a rather lucky end to the title, all be it exciting. I would have expected a bit more from the "champions of the best league in europe". In my opinion there is more emphasis on star names rather than home grown talent. Look at history, Notts Forest, Liverpool, Man U, Celtic, Aberdeen, Rangers and all the rest that won real euro trophies, how much foreign influence in these teams?

  • Comment number 98.

    @92. At 10:03 7th Nov 2012, Dico wrote:

    Didn't we already establish that you know nothing about football and shouldn't be on this blog?

    If you are going to remain, I suggest to remove the O from your username to correctly reflect who and what you are!

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    87.At 09:59 7th Nov 2012, glenn-quagmire wrote:
    Anyway enough about Mancini, let's talk about how old red nose would have reacted. Waited for the furore to die down, quietly knock on the ref's door and say, "I didn't agree with some of your decisions but that's football, goodnight"
    Isn't that right Ghost
    ___________________

    Fergie would have got his team to score 3 goals to win the game. See 2 weeks ago v Braga. 2-1 down at HT. FT score, 3-2.

    Plus this blog is about city (small c) and Manchini, so a bit difficult not to mention him! ;)

 

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