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Man City's Blue Moon rises

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Phil McNulty | 20:42 UK time, Saturday, 14 May 2011


Roberto Mancini slumped heavily in his seat and puffed out his cheeks in relief before finally breaking into a smile. And he has only been trying to bring a trophy to Manchester City for 17 months.

Those who have lived every moment of the 35 years since Newcastle United were beaten in the 1976 League Cup Final were flying even higher on emotions all the money in Abu Dhabi would find it hard to buy.

Wembley was awash with symbolism as Carlos Tevez lifted the FA Cup after a deserved victory against Stoke City. The long and painful wait was over, the Blue Moon was rising over Wembley and a small corner of Old Trafford could no longer be draped in the infamous banner mocking Manchester City's barren years.

Mancini put the significance of Manchester City's win in context as he announced it was about "changing the history of the club" while the outstanding defender Vincent Kompany said: "We have laid down the first brick. Now we can build a house on it."

It will, no doubt, be the most expensive accommodation around but it is highly unlikely it will be another 35 years before the next piece of silverware goes on show.

It was Francis Lee, part of Manchester City's last FA Cup-winning side against Leicester City in 1969, who famously observed that if cups were "awarded for cock-ups" their trophy cabinet would be bulging under the sheer weight of honours.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

After winning numerous trophies as a player and manager in Italy, Roberto Mancini celebrates his first trophy in England - photo: AFP.

Yaya Toure's goal, 16 minutes from the end of a final Manchester City dominated, means the jokes can stop and a club too closely associated with the self-destruct button in the past can look forward to a golden future.

The image of Dennis Tueart's famous overhead kick that won their last major honour will never fade, but Toure's thundered finish beyond Stoke's heroic goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen can allow it to become just a little more blurred.

Toure can now take his place in Manchester City folklore after the giant Ivory Coast midfield man added an FA Cup Final winner to the goal that decided the Wembley semi-final against Manchester United.

And the sweet satisfaction of this success could not be soured even by rivals United clinching a record 19th domestic title with a draw at Blackburn Rovers minutes before kick-off at Wembley.

Mancini has been criticised this season, occasionally here it should be said, but a place in the Champions League and an FA Cup in the trophy cabinet represents a job well done, no matter how much has been spent on achieving it.

The Italian naturally wears a cloak of conservatism tactically, a trait that is still treated with suspicion even by some of his own supporters, but Manchester City will accept success in any form after a starvation diet and two major objectives have been achieved.

Mancini's lavish transfer budget makes him a target when Manchester City fail to deliver, so it is only right he receives the credit due to him after fashioning their first serious success since the mid-70s.

The quality that has arrived at Eastlands was obvious against a Stoke City side that sadly allowed the day to pass them by, Sorensen and Jermaine Pennant apart.

And with Champions League qualification assured, Mancini appeared to release the handbrake just a little with an attacking line-up that included Mario Balotelli alongside Tevez and more of an attacking emphasis to set alongside the usual defensive resilience.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis, thoroughly dignified and gracious in defeat, studied "the bigger picture" for solace after an uncharacteristically timid slide to defeat from players who have previously appeared fearless in the face of any challenge.

Whereas Mancini's decision to go with Tevez after a month out with hamstring problems was fully vindicated, Pulis' gamble on Matthew Etherington looked ill-fated long before he was substituted just after the hour.

Etherington, normally a figure of such influence for Stoke, drifted on Wembley's margins to little effect and was clearly way short of full itness, a flaw always likely to exposed in this unforgiving environment.

Stoke, their manager and their supporters - truly magnificent before, during and after this FA Cup Final - can rightly be proud of their progression this season but this will not be a day for happy memories on the field.

Only Sorensen stood between Manchester City and a more emphatic winning margin and as Mancini savoured the taste of victory, a victory he insisted would not be toasted by alcohol with work still to be done this season, he was already looking forward.

He said: "The FA Cup is an important trophy and we have learned a lot this season as a team. I think we need to improve more and take another step but it was important to start winning. The first trophy, the start, is so important."

As Manchester City's players paraded in front of their joyous supporters turning the tables on Manchester United's taunts with a banner emblazoned with "00 Years", Mancini heard the sound of acceptance sweep around Wembley as his name rang out.

Yaya Toure scores for Manchester City in the 1-0 FA Cup final win over Stoke City

Yaya Toure also scored at Wembley against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final - photo: AP.

And for the maverick Balotelli, praise at last as he gave a performance that went a little way towards answering the question Mancini has apparently posed since he arrived at Eastlands, namely: "Why did I buy you?"

The evidence was here in flashes, helped by Mancini's revelation after the game that he had warned young Mario that his FA Cup Final might be one of the shortest since records began if he acted up at Wembley.

Balotelli brought a magnificent stop - "the save of the season" according to Pulis - from Sorensen and played a part in Toure's goal. There was even one of the first recorded sightings of him chasing back with genuine enthusiasm to help with defensive duties in the first half. He looked a player.

Mancini is believed to be targeting four high-profile signings to ensure this landmark day in Manchester City's history is not an isolated incident, with a growing sense that Tevez's hoisting of the trophy will be one of his last memorable acts at the club.

The consolation for Manchester City is that if the Argentine does indeed leave, Mancini will have the muscle to claim a large fee, with £50m likely to be the demand, and the capacity to invest even more on his replacement.

And with the pressure lifted by the first silverware under the Abu Dhabi ownership, Mancini can work the markets as Manchester City move towards higher goals.

With a flourish of Yaya Toure's left foot 35 years of agony disappeared in an instant and Manchester City's Blue Moon is officially on the rise.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Poor game, but Man City definitely deserved to win, and Mancini should be congratulated for delivering the goods.

    I think they might have got here faster if they had just stuck with Eriksson or Hughes, but I like Mancini and he did win Serie A 3 times before he was sacked for poor performances in the Champions League.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'll get my post in before all the 'You'll never be better than us etc' comments.

    Great read! I sincerely hope Sheik Mansour doesn't feel the need to spend massively in the summer. City have a great spine of a team now in Hart, Kompany, De Jong, Silva and Tevez/Balotelli/Dzeko. I'm really glad that Mancini will still be in charge next season. For me he is now the most successful city manager of my life, and he is definitely leading us in the right direction

    Coupled with United's success its a great day for a shift in the weight of 'footballing power' in the UK.

    I've written a blog on the former topic. Have a read if you get a chance Phil! Cheers

  • Comment number 3.

    Congrats ManC. I just feel real happy for Mancini, he deserved this after the inexplicable pressure from the press and others he went through this season. Even if he didn't win it I'd still be a fan but as he said himself, if you win your the Hero, lose and etc etc. Football is so dumb sometimes.

    Afraid that Stoke just didn't perform, very unlike them, were they showpiece-shocked?

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    Pleased for City. Good to see them end their long trophy duck even if their methods and philosophy in terms of buying every good player available are not popular. But City fans have suffered for so long playing 2nd fiddle to the other Manchester club so this will feel wonderful. And Yaya Toure deserves to be considered a cup hero having been City's most consistent player all season. All the best for the Champions League next season.

  • Comment number 6.

    Great blog.

    Man city deserved the win. I hope the shiek or Mancini doesnt dive head first into the summer transfer window because quite frankly they dont really need it. Perhaps a better left back (Kolorov isnt the greatest and i dont rate boateng) but other than that they are solid.

  • Comment number 7.

    Make absolutely no doubt about it. If there was ever a trophy (or trophies) that have ever been bought, its the ones won by Manchester City. Their fans can romantisize it about it all they want but they have spent around half a billion pounds building a squad thats finally won this trophy, a squad full of mercenaries (admitedly talentled players) but people of low morale fibre who's main motivation was a pay increase. City fans can argue this point all they want but we all know that they used to pride themselves on being everything that Manchester United werent, a financial steamroller that outmuscled their opponents through financial bullying. Now City have become an even more dispicable force because their financial muscle that even been built on success, more on the lottery of some sheilk born into wealth just so happened to pick them. Of course their fans will now shrug their shoulders and say "so what, thats just the way football is these days, if you cant beat them, simply outspend them." But everyone else knows that it wasnt that so many years ago, City fans tunes have changed. Money has turned them into hypocrites of the highest order. Of course im going to be slated and called jealous but that doesn't disguise the truth that most City fans were happy to take the moral high ground when they didn't have money and everyone knows it.
    The simple fact of the matter is that any success that City will have will always be looked upon as bought, the promise that City will become a bigger dynasty than the likes of Barcelona/Madrid/Milan/Manchester Utd will never come to fruit because true football purists will always see City exactly for what they are, a team who's success was built solely on money and nothing else.
    I remember a player for City, Kinkladze - what a player he was. Absolultely spellbinding, he ran through defences like they werent there, more importantly he loved the club, remained with them when they dropped divisions when he could have jumped ship to a number of top clubs. Players like him will be eclipsed by the likes of mercenaries like Tevez and Man City fans of past and present will be happy to forget him because he didnt win them trophies. Its absolutely tragic.

  • Comment number 8.

    Firstly i'll say i'm a United fan.. Just to prove we don't all live in a stupid red bubble!

    City deserved the win, of course I was cheering on Stoke though (mainly cause I like them, not for who they were playing), City created the more chances and took one on the way. Stoke had little to offer with Etherington being more of a hinderence for most of the match and Pennant struggling with a twisted ankle for a lot of the 90 mins. Delap's throws were inefective (as they normally are on the big Wembley pitch).. and that was pretty much it! City had flair to spare, even bringing on Johnson late on to try make a difference.

    Credit where it's due they've got a CL place and a first cup in 35 years and it's only going to carry on; I dont think any one else thought differently!?

    In reference to #2 people will say "you'll never be better than us" and that may be the case, with United never giving up and City's money can only go so far.. I think the main talking point in future wont be are they as good/better, because the money they've spent to get there will overshadow their future (only need to look at Chelsea to see that!).

    It adds excitment to the game with money from Chelsea and City but they will never be legendary teams like Man United.. There are some things money cant buy!

  • Comment number 9.

    @#7: Kinkladze was a master indeed. I remember watching Man City - Oxford at the old Manor Ground when I was a kid, and Man City ended up winning 4-1, thoroughly deservedly and almost entirely because of him. Very special player.

    People say City will never be better than Utd. But people also said Chelsea would never be successful just by throwing money at big name signings, and that turned out pretty well for them. All Man City need is their Mourinho, someone to take a bunch of overpaid primadonnas and turn them into footballers. It's pretty clear Mancini is not that man, but when they do find him, City will really become a force to be reckoned with.

  • Comment number 10.

    # 7 Yardii_Boy.

    Been having a bit too much of the sauce tonight?

    You argue City fans all to happy to lap up sympathy when poor? It is not like they asked for all this money to be lavished on them.

    Name me ANY club in the world which has not been bankrolled in order to achieve a certain degree of success?

    What about Chelsea? And you must be mental if you don't think Madrid have spent massive? United in recent times have spend £16 Million on Valencia, £17 Million on Nani, £18 Million on Hargreaves.

    The total value of the City Team today?

    Hart - £750,000
    Richards - Free (Youth Team Player)
    Kompany - £6 Million
    Lescott - £24 Million
    Kolarov - £15 Million
    Silva - £24 Million
    Barry - £12 Million
    Yaya - £24 Million
    De Jong - £18 Million
    Balotelli - £20 Million
    Tevez - £24 Million
    Total XI: 167.75 Million

    Total Cost of Chelsea XI (v United) = £155 Million (not including the outlay of £50 million of Torres who was on the bench)

    Cost of Real Madrid XI (v Barcelona) = 263.7 Million

    Cost of A C Milan XI (Brescia) = £152 Million

    Nobody can legislate for some of the awful Money Mark Hughes Spent on stupid players (e.g. Jo, Santa Cruz etc). But the majority of that £1 Billion has been spent on improving the Infrastructure of the club

    - did you know with new funding City's community branch CITC has won national awards?
    - Did you know City are running over 100 soccer schools over the summer for kids in deprived areas of Manchester for FREE?
    - Did you know they are contributing to a brand new metrolink system in Manchester? (which may have been scrapped due to a lack of funding)
    - You didn't know any of this and just like any other armchair fan with an axe to grind and nowhere to grind it you just had a go as a keyboard warrior.
    - They have spent masses of money making improvements on the a stadium owned by the council and improving the infrastructure of a government run sports complex - at no cost to the council?

    To argue they give nothing back. I was at Wembley for Gillingham 99 when we nearly spent another season in a lower league, and the season at home when we only scored 10 league goals at home. Yes yes your right I should be bitter about the fact I'm watchin David Silva not Richard Eghill.

  • Comment number 11.

    As a Gillingham fan, Man City & Wembley doesn't bring about pleasant memories and to be honest today wasn't a Cup Final that will live long in the memory (but I think that was more to Stoke being nowhere near their best rather than anything to do with City, but if they had a midfield maestro who was a joy to watch I think City could make themselves an attractive team to watch for a neutral).

    However, that aside, the point I'd like to make as a neutral observer of the PL is that the events of the last week mean that the next 12 months could easily define whether the Abu Dhabai project will bring about the long last success they crave or not.

    I say this because they can now say to prospective players we have CL football for you (unless drawn against the 4th team from La Liga I can't see many of the potential qualifying opponents being a major obstacle for City) and we have won a major trophy. This will then allow them to attract the true galacticos and if they can maintain CL football for the season after probably even more star players because they aren't a flash in the pan.

    Now given the momentum that surrounds Liverpool and the investment that looks almost certain at Man Utd & Chelsea and possibly at Arsenal there will be 5 teams chasing 4 places next season and with the right investment you could make a case for any of these 5 teams winning the title let alone finishing in the top 4.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm not sure if it is indicative of Tevez's intentions, but as he ascended the steps at Wembley to receive The Cup he discarded the Manchester City scarf a supporter had put around his shoulders to the floor and then donned an Argentine flag. If I were a Man. City fan I would have been somewhat miffed. As it was I just thought the snub was the height of bad manners.

  • Comment number 13.

    C Payne, I would have thought you could have added Spurs to your list of challengers as they outplayed Man. City in both of their encounters this season and but for Joe Hart would have won both of them.

  • Comment number 14.

    TrashcanSinartra - don't bother pal, people like Yardi_boy are never gonna like us, or listen to a single good thing the club are doing for east Manchester. We'll just have to live with it.

    You forgot to point out, mind, that the United team that turned out against City in the semi cost more than the City team! Just because they spent longer building that team doesn't make them any less guilty of buying success, if that's how people want to describe it.

    A good article, Phil. I hope this is the start of great times for City, but I've been hoping that since God knows when. Personally, I think Roberto is the man for the job, although I'd like to see the lesser and out-of-favour players in the squad permanently moved on a.s.a.p. If Tevez goes (please not) they should fetch about £80 to £90 million all up. Enough to buy 3 or 4 top players and still leave change! I'm not thinking Fabregas, Xavi, Iniesta, Ronaldo, as some rumours have it. Why would they? No, I'm hoping for more astute purchases of team players like Vinnie, Yaya, NdJ, HiHo, Micah etc.

    We're nearly there. The spine's in place. And I couldn't give a flying wotsit what anyone else thinks or what any other club is doing.

    City are back.

  • Comment number 15.

    TrashcanSinartra - another point you could have raised is that the 3 subs used by City today cost, I think, only about £13 million collectively, and they're all internationals. Hate to pick nits, but it puts things even more into perspective.

  • Comment number 16.

    Congratulations to City on their first trophy for 35 years.

    It's really nice that Sir Alex sent over a congratulations gift to Roberto - a jar of silver polish (a very small one!).

  • Comment number 17.

    The blue moon is rising eh? Well,up to a point.
    On the day they finally buried a 35yrs hoodoo,their mighty neighbours were once again ruling the roost at the top of the tree..with a European Cup Final just around the corner.A Utd team that is evolving into a decent team with the old guard slowly and surely being replaced by the likes of the Twins,Smalling,Hernandez.
    The likening of citeh to Chelsea is a tad unfair. Yes,Russian money has been thrown about these last few years,but Chelsea were winning the odd trophy before Roman entered the frame. Vialli and the like were competing in the top four well before their financial godfather appeared.
    Not so city.
    With a 4th place following last years 5th place finish,progress is obvious...this follows a 10th..9th..14th..15th..8th..16th..9th..and before that,numerous relegations.
    I prefer to liken our noisy neighbours to Blackburn,who for years were a middling club whose history was of the ancient sort. Jack Walker spent untold millions and bought a title in '95. Then not much happened.
    Even in the throes of joy that the cup win has brought comes the realisation that Tevez is soon to leave and with him goes their best player.
    It is the way of the mercenries,they follow the money and he will join the likes of Robinho who joined the club,looked around for a bit at what he has done and then checks the flight times.
    Next season will be that bit more difficult. Opposing teams will see the Cup holders and will play accordingly,that little bit more effort will be evident and the chance to "put one over the mercs" will be unavoidable.
    Of course I could be wrong and citeh will build a dynasty..albeit one made of sand.
    My beloved Utd sees another Great Scot going about his business 35 miles down the East Lancs and the alarm bells which have been silent for a number of years..well,they are starting to ring,softly for now but they will get louder.
    Liverpool have been our rivals for nearly 50yrs. They are how we measure ourselves in this country.They will build a team they way it should be done. Yes with money,but money generated from within,from fans and other revenue...not from a sugar daddy.
    This cup win is has been bought for £500m..and like a lady of the night,city has lifted her skirt and accepted the price,a price more than Francis Lee and Shinawatra were prepared to pay.
    And the 35yrs banner may well be taken down..but rest assured it will be replaced with one which says "43yrs".

  • Comment number 18.

    Good post 1878onwards, maybe abit arrogant (synonymous with Utd), but certainly a true reflection of the situation.

    Being a Liverpool supporter for over 30 yrs, last Sunday and today, certainly hit home abit, but alas, that is the way it is, Utd chased the perch for 133yrs and are finally on it...but, as you rightly have pointed out, the alarm bells are going off at the red end of Manchester, suddenly the great rival has awoken. Sir Fergie has secretly missed Liverpool, as he candidly admitted that only Arsenal and Chelsea have sparodically challenged Utd´s dominence over the last two decades.

    Liverpools awakening may just be the reason he wont hang his boots up just yet...

  • Comment number 19.

    Well done City. As a neutral, it's great to see you guys win something. Hopefully this means that you will be in the running for a lot more trophies in the years to come. What with yourselves, and Liverpool on the up and up next season should be really exciting.

  • Comment number 20.

    Good win for City today. But why don't we all hold the accolades until they win consistently or their trophy cabinet matches United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool. We don't even know how the new financial rules will affect them. So let's all take a deep breath, congratulate them for the great win today and just leave it at that.

  • Comment number 21.

    @#18......."Liverpools awakening..."


    ah, bless.

  • Comment number 22.

    Well done to City. But the whole thing left me drained, like when you start falling out of love with someone you thought might be with you for life.

  • Comment number 23.

    Great post, TrashcanSinartra #10 (and well backed up 2xDiamond #14), and raises the question, Phil, "Why aren't we hearing how much Manchester United's team cost compared to Blackburn's, Tottenham's to Blackpool's, Everton's to Blackpool's, Stoke's to Blackpool's, even Blackpool's to Cheltenham's, not to mention English football's on the whole compared to almost anywhere else's in the world, on the back of what's happening at the top end of the market. A lot of the reporting is doused in soaking wet hypocrisy. It's disappointing that the supposedly impartial national flagship broadcaster appears to have a considered policy to single out City's spending, and ignore everybody else's, much of it from clubs massively in debt, sometimes unmanageably. And as TrashcanSinartra suggests, why do so many people seem unaware of the amazing community work that's going on at Eastlands?

    Congratulations to the solvent Manchester City, the team that cost less than Chelsea's and Manchester United's, on beating Stoke, the team that cost more than Cheltenham's. I don't know whether it was because City didn't allow them to, or Stoke just didn't perform, but City deserved to win yesterday. I have to admit there were tears in my eyes. All the more special after so long.

    Congratulations to Stoke too, for making it a fantastic occasion. It was symbolic that their fans were still there at the end showing their appreciation, and made a huge contrast from the quickfire emptied beaten opponent's end in our semi-final.

    I wonder if the pitch at Wembley might also explain Stoke's performance. To stop the pitch cutting up, they've entwined synthetic fibres with natural grass. Is it my imagination, but does the ball hold up and then suddenly inexplicably spurt when played on the ground, or bounce exaggeratedly high when played in the air, neither good for passing or dribbling. Add to that, I think it's wider, so the Delap threat seemed reduced and, possibly also due to the composition of the pitch, players seem unusually exhausted at the end of games, it isn't good for teams that rely on workrate to overcome deficiencies.

    'Who City might be signing in the summer?', or the significance of Carlos purportedly rejecting a City scarf while wrapping the sky blue Argentinian flag around his City shirt and proudly raising the FA Cup with a broad smile on his face, I will put on the back burner until the summer. Now is the time for celebration, not for sore losers and killjoys in general to be allowed to hijack and deny normal people a modicum of happiness in attempting to

  • Comment number 24.

    #23 (continued) impose their miserable lives on everybody else.


  • Comment number 25.

    They were the best team in the FA Cup this season so worthy winners although let's not forget even Portsmouth won it in 2008

  • Comment number 26.

    Stoke were poor, i was really disappoited with them. How did they hammer Bolton 5-0? Of course congrats Man City, but with a team like that, you expect them to win something, surely? Mancini needs to win a title to be taken seriously as a good Man City manager, with a team like that.

  • Comment number 27.

    What a shame Stoke never turned up.Fair play to City deserved win.They will see how hard it is next year.To do well in the league and in the champions league.Top four finish and maybe Quarter finals.If more players are bought.they will need time to settle down.If Mancini thinks his players were tired this year.Wait till he starts battling on four fronts.Good luck City in trying to catch Utd.They have set the bar high.
    It's taken years for Utd to get used to the demands of champions league.I think it was probably Spurs undoing this year.
    Be warned it's not easy.

  • Comment number 28.

    Great for the City of Manchester. For the first time in many years a local team has won a trophy, as opposed to a Singapore team that is Manchester based. Yes, close to 100% of the City fan base is local. The reverse could be said of their 'quiet neighbours'..

  • Comment number 29.

    At last city have bought a cup..oops sorry won a trophy...I remember when the FA cup day was really special when the whole family would be around the tv and it did not matter who was playing....not yesterday...did now watch it so cannot comment..lots of comments about city and money which i think is fair feel city will struggle in champions league next season if the really want to mount a league challenge..look how playing europa affected the challenge this looking foward to next season as I beleive that any team from about 6 could win the league and the battle for top four should be sure Utd will come up with a new clock at old trafford...maybe some thing about time since city last won league..1920s i think it was

  • Comment number 30.

    Gooner here;

    Congrats to Man City and thier Surporters!

    On the day Football prevailed and alas once again Stoke City were just there to " make up the numbers " obviously far to focused on bragging rights about a 3-1 triumph over Arsenal.

    nice also to see Citys triumph is given precedence over thier " noisy neighbours "

    who through more than good luck won a 19th title I look forward to seeing the Guard of Honour at Old Shatford made up of Blackpool and 11 PL Referees.

  • Comment number 31.

    " who through more than good luck won a 19th title I look forward to seeing the Guard of Honour at Old Shatford made up of Blackpool and 11 PL Referees. "

    anyone assuming i will watching the above game is indeed a sandwhich short of a picnic having said that............

    I wish the lads from Blackpool and Mr Holloway and thier surporters a great day out! and hopefully you will " spoil the party " I shall not at all be happy to see you guys demoted from the PL. youve won many many friends! so FIGHT! the PL has been interesting with you there here is one Gooner who will be rooting for you with my fingers/legs/eyes/toes crossed.

  • Comment number 32.

    Well done Citeh you deserved it, hopefully you will now put some pressure on your noisy neighbours, however us neutrals are waiting to see if your club's traditional self destructive streak will continue as normal. Well done to Stoke, they didn't play as well as I'd hoped but the fought and seemed a little subdued, Etherington was clearly not fully fit but Pennant did well despite being hampered by his injury although they carved out few opportunities. It was good to see Balotelli playing with a smile on his face and realising some of his potential. Hopefully Stoke will keep their squad together and make a few additions and have another crack next season. Tony Pulis is clearly good at polishing up rough diamonds and is tactically astute.

  • Comment number 33.

    Yesterday was a great victory for the Man City and Man U tribal football fans, who don't seem to have grown up much since the days of the Wars of the Roses.

    But it was a sound defeat for football, with Man U needing a dubious penalty to counter the well deserved Blackburn strike, and City getting a single scrappy goal to beat a hopeless and utterly overwhelmed Stoke side, who obviously found the occasion much too great, and it will be very interesting to compare how their next meeting in midweek compares with that game.

    But above all, why I say it was a defeat for football, is that probably the 2 most exciting and talented players in the Premier League right now - Adam Johnson and Dimitar Berbatov, were both confined to the bench for most of the games, and we would presume will be next season if they stay.

    So I'm sorry, but I'm not going to remember the 2010/2011 season as great for football, but a great disappointment, in which first Capello robbed me of seeing Adam Johnson play in a World Cup, Mancini mostly robbed me of seeing him play in an FA Cup final, and next week, no doubt Alex Ferguson is going to rob me of seeing my other favourite player, Dimitar Berbatov, play in a European Cup final.

    We seem to have lost our respect for skill, adventurous play, and think that winning is all that counts, however drearily and unfairly it is done, with terrible tackles yesterday from City by Balotelli and Toure while the game was deadlocked, for which neither even got booked, and an almost equally dubious penalty decision which basically won United the Premier League, after Hernandez failing all game to do anything other than a convincing dive when he didn't look remotely like scoring.

    The Man U players' protests at the referee were also appalling, and personally I would have been reaching for my yellow and red cards if I'd been the ref. Just like Fergie himself, the players were attempting to pressurize the ref into giving it their way, in a very threatening way, it was totally out of order, and if the FA are going to ban Fergie for that sort of thing, they should re-watch a video of the Man U players in my opinion.

    Then again, the FA themselves probably deserve banning for the outrageous ticket prices for the final, as well as having the cheek to play other games on Cup Final day, thus devaluing the tournament almost to the same level as the League Cup.

    David Cameron has been calling for an inquiry into the FA to see if it is "fit for purpose". I would guess that now it is making greater than ever extortionate profits out of the fans, he will probably approve of it.

    But I guess nowadays, that's mostly what football is really all about - mugging the fans, bigging up the games and the importance of the honours, but not really entertaining them.

    So yesterday was undoubtedly a "victory" of sorts for the die hard tribal Man U and City fans, but in my view, a comprehensive defeat for football.

    And although no doubt some fans will think I am "raining on their parade", if winning really is everything, then why should it bother them?

    I'm not complaining Man City or Man U won yesterday. Just that they didn't much entertain me in the process of doing it.

    I can't believe how all those great old players sitting in the stands, like Bobby Charlton, Francis Lee and the rest, can really watch those games they saw yesterday and feel it was anything to be proud of.

    The only lasting memory I'll have of yesterday was Adam Johnson's late solo run into the penalty area which sadly he passed from (under orders from Mancini no doubt) instead of taking it round the goalie and scoring it himself as he probably wanted to, and probably could have done.

    That would have been a goal to remember, but didn't happen, and that's what I'm complaining about.

  • Comment number 34.

    Well done City. Roll on next season.

  • Comment number 35.

    33. At 08:45am 15th May 2011, World Cup Wally wrote:


    I enjoyed reading that!

    and this ..........

    " David Cameron has been calling for an inquiry into the FA to see if it is "fit for purpose". I would guess that now it is making greater than ever extortionate profits out of the fans, he will probably approve of it. "

    sums up my view to a tee on how and what is happening to this game in this country. well said!

  • Comment number 36.

    Agree with #33

  • Comment number 37.

    Blue Moon rising? Please, we don't' even know if they will be playing in the Champions League in 2 years when the financial fair play rules come in. Their entire business is built on an owner who can leave as soon as things get a bit hot and a squad of individuals who are only here for the paycheck. Chelsea were hovering around the top 4 and made some excellent buys when the money came in with Drogba, Essien and Mikel who have since formed the spine of the team. City on the other hand bid for anyone the owner likes on Football Manager(remember Kaka? Etoo? Robinho?) and they shift through players so quick you don't even remember them. Sure, they may attract a few more players wanting to cash in for an year or two but unlike United they will never have the history and the ground-up success that has fostered a never say die spirit in every player who wears the team colors and created dynasties of title winning teams.

  • Comment number 38.

    Congratulations on a well earned FA Cup victory City.
    The Blue Moon is rising, but how far it will rise very much depends on how the squad continues to develop into a team (its just past the halfway mark between the two now).
    Also another issue to consider is the Financial Fair Play rules, but I'm sure the Sheikh has some very good lawyers to get around the problem.
    Realistically, I believe that City will start competing for the Premier League properly by the 2012-2013 season if their development continues as it did this year. Not sure what they will do in the Champions League in the upcoming season, indeed, they have not qualified just yet so its best not to speculate.
    I hope for City's sake they don't go buying big stars this season, it would only disrupt the team that is starting to build good chemistry with eachother. Also, sometimes I feel that Mancini's tactics work against the natural balance of the team he puts out (inc. their favouring of attack opposed to Mancini favouring defence at times).

    Oh, I'm a United fan.

  • Comment number 39.


    I think you are missing the point a little. Man City's squad has been more costly than everyone else's, but its not like United, Chelsea or Liverpool have been put together on a shoe string. The point is the underlying club does not generate enough revenue to get even close to that. Hence why people are a bit resentful. Remember, the debt placed into United by the Glazers has done nothing for the spending on the team, quite the opposite truth be told.

  • Comment number 40.

    Manchester City haters may claim this wasn't a great final as a spectacle, but as a Manchester United fan, I remember vividly how difficult every effort looked when United won the first title in SAF's sequence. Yesterday's performance of Man City was about having the grit, the determination, the will and the way to win their first trophy in 35 years and they did succeed. Congratulations to them.

    Stoke City paid the price of putting Etherington in the match, besides being clearly unfit. However, Stoke are also winners. Their team reached new landmarks this season, while generating profit during this campaign and they can enjoy the experience of European football next season, while acquiring extra revenue in the process.

    There were tears of joy and disappointment yesterday but they were always due to occur. Fans of both clubs should feel happy about their team's contribution in the final. Congratulations to both of them.

  • Comment number 41.

    A man saves up for his beautiful home over many years and pays his mortage by working hard and earning his crust.

    Another man discovers a long lost uncle, who was born into wealth, and is given money to buy a new home. He is happy in his new home, but is he proud (pwoud)?

  • Comment number 42.

    Some interesting comments/views about 'buying success' in 2011.
    Clubs have been 'buying success' for generations, though the main difference now is the amount of money spent to achieve it. In recent years Chelsea and Man City have led the way in spending, before them Man. Utd. had more spending power than anyone - how did 19 titles come about?
    Not too long ago even the likes of Blackburn found themselves in a position to 'buy success' from Jack Walker's millions.
    As long as we live in a capitalised society spending power will live on, and football isn't exempt from that. Or is that too difficult for most fans to grasp?

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 30, HAHA CharadeYouAre,

    How do you say opinions on a match you haven't watched? :)

    The reason for this posting is to place to your attention a great article written by Chris Bevan, about Gordon Banks. You will have the opportunity to read there how Arsenal robbed Stoke City of the opportunity to appear in two finals, in the beginning of '70s, in something like consecutive day-light robberies, using these referees you put the finger to, to a great effect for your team's success. I hope you'll have a good reading, besides it could hurt a bit.

  • Comment number 44.

    As a chelsea fan, i wasnt exactly supporting city, but now youve won im not exactly unhappy about it. As another team like ours who have spent a lot of money in a short time period, any success will be overshadowed by the spending.

    Just like our trophyless season will be met with cries of ' but youve spent all that money!'. City deserved to win that game and i think their team adds a new dimension to the title race (as well as liverpool?) which can hardly be a bad thing

  • Comment number 45.

    39. At 09:43am 15th May 2011, fletchhero wrote:

    I think you are missing the point a little. Man City's squad has been more costly than everyone else's, but its not like United, Chelsea or Liverpool have been put together on a shoe string. The point is the underlying club does not generate enough revenue to get even close to that. Hence why people are a bit resentful. Remember, the debt placed into United by the Glazers has done nothing for the spending on the team, quite the opposite truth be told.


    39. At 09:43am 15th May 2011, fletchhero wrote:

    I think you are missing the point a little. Man City's squad has been more costly than everyone else's, but its not like United, Chelsea or Liverpool have been put together on a shoe string. The point is the underlying club does not generate enough revenue to get even close to that. Hence why people are a bit resentful. Remember, the debt placed into United by the Glazers has done nothing for the spending on the team, quite the opposite truth be told.


    You clearly miss the point altogether.

  • Comment number 46.


    why so? I have made a point in the debate, make a counter...?

  • Comment number 47.

    David Cameron's FA Cup Final programme message: "From local parks and schools to football clubs across the land, the dream of the Cup Final has helped to inspire a fantastic legacy of grassroots football in this country ... Through football we can re-engage young people who are going through hard times. Football offers them the hope and confidence they need."

    This is the man who cut 80% in school sport funding starting this summer, with no ring-fenced funds after 2013.

  • Comment number 48.

    43. At 09:53am 15th May 2011, Football_UK wrote:


    I think yu will find it was in fact the Officials, afterall they Officiate, the Players, just Play.

    as it seems this has been a bone of contention for some time I and many others question why the FA have not acted to solve this problem.

    Video technology is not required to see a Blatant Fore arm smash ( eg Rooney ) and thus the corect straight RED! and subsequent 3 match ban for violent conduct Im sure if you recall this incident as it happend a while ago! sometime in 2011 i believe. It i of course but one " incident " where the opposition was " robbed " there are a few more that seemed to go unoticed and thus unpunished this term, oddly enough many of these incidents ( very controversial they were to ) involved man u

    try to focus on the NOW! not the past as the saying is " history teaches us nothing "

    the big question IMO is why we have seen so many glareing blunders by officials/dives by players ( see hernandez vs Blackburn 2011 ) why also have we seen frequent bad mouthing of officials ( see Rooney and Co 2011 ) yet no action is/has been taken.

    it is this that is dragging football into the gutter, not so much who spends what and why.

    video technology is not required when the incidents occur right under the officials nose ( rooney fore arm smash 2011 )

    anyway this blog is not to bang on about a tainted 19th Title it is afterall to congratulate manchester city Cup Triumph which ive already done.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45 (continued after pasting error)

    41. At 09:47am 15th May 2011, fletchhero wrote:
    A man saves up for his beautiful home over many years and pays his mortage by working hard and earning his crust.

    Another man discovers a long lost uncle, who was born into wealth, and is given money to buy a new home. He is happy in his new home, but is he proud (pwoud)?


    Are you sure it's me that's missing the point, and more than a little?!

  • Comment number 50.

    It was quite entertaining reading the "helping advice" of other clubs' fans about no need for Manchester City to add to their squad in the summer. Of course, new additions always take time to gel into the team but the benefits of adding top quality players in the squad has much greater benefits for Manchester City.

    The Premiership is a long, tiring season, with many unexpected injuries. A club needs to foresee going into such spells with adequate replacements, so that they won't suffer consequences. On top of that, Premiership + Champions League football is much more difficult than Premiership + Europa Cup.

    Man City will find a strong opponent in the group stages and they will probably not have the luck of Spurs, having been placed in the same group as a deteriorating Inter Milan side. It is vital for them to top their group, if they want to have the advantage of not facing early the opponents they will have to face, after the group stages (ask Arsenal).

    Quality players gel more easily into a team: David Silva, VDV, Modric - take your pick. Also, Man City's roadmap sees signs like Premiership title, progress in Champions League, establishment in top four. To reach these avenues, their club needs to take advantage of the situation they have been aiming at, from the beginning of this project: to be able to sign the players they really want.

  • Comment number 51.


    explain why Rooney was not playing in the semi-final against City...

  • Comment number 52.

    Well deserved win for City criticism aside!
    I watched the game with a true United fan who was more interested in knocking Liverpool of their perch than he was complaining and whining about City buying the Cup.
    City's hastily assembled side has cost a fortune and no doubt will be costing a fortune in wages in the years to come but we beat a United side of similar cost to get there, whether it took a few more years to put together has no real relevance. I congratulate United on securing their place in history it is some achievement to have won the the league so many times.
    However if all you can do is to ridicule a team and its supporters even when they have beaten you fair and square to to win a trophy it shows what sort of football fan you are.
    The same kind as I my wife and four year old son witnessed in Manchester City center as we were buying him a shirt with FA Cup winners printed on. A large number of United supporters attacked the City store trying to smash the place up setting fires to things and throwing them in the store luckily security and staff were quick to react and lock doors and police arrived soon after. So do true football fans act in this way? You may say its a minority but they were in their hundreds and the only people who were in the store were very frightened Saturday staff and young kids with their mums and dads!
    Have a bit of grace and just accept that City deserved their win, there is room enough for two great teams in Manchester!
    Don't be a part of the mindless minority you should be happy that City's money is going into the communities that so badly need it in these areas.

  • Comment number 53.

    @ 48, HAHA CharadeYouAre,

    I could counter argue that video technology was not required to show Song falling on Huth with elbow on his face, neither was required Wilshere tackling with trailing studs on, aiming to hurt an opponent but failing perhaps due to inexperience.

    Also, officials hadn't needed video technology to realise an Arsenal striker hitting Gordon Banks in the back, after he had the ball. Neither was required when an Arsenal player scored a goal against poor Stoke, in the beginning of '70s and robbing them from a final appearance, with the linesman confusing a programme-selling guy with a potential Stoke defender.

    Still, though, this board is about Manchester City winning their first trophy after 35 years and we're spoiling it. We can leave this argument for another, more suitable blog. The evidence is out there, anyway.

  • Comment number 54.

    Congratulations to City. I've been a United fan since the 1960s. But after watching 20 mins of the final my deeply entrenched and childish tribal instincts gave way to the spirit of the greater good and I genuinely wanted City to win. For whatever reasons Stoke were woeful in the first half and City were excellent. Thoroughly deserved silverware. And Mancini seems a decent bloke to boot.

  • Comment number 55.


    I guess my underlying point is the forthcoming revenue rules could be pretty tricky for City. Obviously not exclusive news I'm bringing to the fore, but worth remembering all the same. The absolute spend on a team is not the issue, it's the spend relative to the club's fundamental strength.

    Am I really missing something?

    BTW Not sure helping the council with some funds changes this, though plaudits to the club for doing so.

  • Comment number 56.


    you know what, I'm boring myself here. All been said a million times now. Well done on the trophy.

  • Comment number 57.

    All the Man City hating is getting boring. Well done to them.

    Must say their fans were excellent yesterday, some great banter before the game. All the Citeh fans we bumped in to at the services on the way back were humble in victory. They have always been a credit to their club.

    Perhaps a few of the posters on here could take note.

  • Comment number 58.

    #46, You obviously don't know your history, which started before the 1990s,
    and we won't get into the spin offs of CL qualification and what it's meant for the also rans, but on this blog, the day after our first trophy in 35 years, I want to savour winning the Cup, rather than confront someone unable to let it lie for just a one day. If you want to know my thoughts on this issue, click on my name and you will get an idea, and we can discuss it in a later blog that addresses those issues.

  • Comment number 59.

    Many keep arguing about Manchester City 'buying trophies' but every one of those fans can't help but forget 30 years of Manchester City being a feeding club. How convenient.

  • Comment number 60.

    It was a poor game, in terms of trophies all top clubs can be 'accused of buying trophies' but City's tactics are the real concern. They need to improve next season to be in with a chance of winning the title - a little more daring would be nice.

  • Comment number 61.

    @47 who wrote:

    David Cameron's FA Cup Final programme message: "From local parks and schools to football clubs across the land, the dream of the Cup Final has helped to inspire a fantastic legacy of grassroots football in this country ... Through football we can re-engage young people who are going through hard times. Football offers them the hope and confidence they need."

    This is the man who cut 80% in school sport funding starting this summer, with no ring-fenced funds after 2013.


    Great point and I completely agree. A pity that you did not reference that it is taken as a direct quote from the excellent 'Said & Done' column in the sports section of todays Observer newspaper.

  • Comment number 62.

    It's official - the magic of the FA cup is dead.
    The last stake into its heart came when a failed contestant who came third in a third rate singing contest who ate bugs for a reality TV show sang the National Anthem.
    She wasn't a fat lady, but when she sang, it was a reminder to us all as to how much this competition has changed from being the best club cup competition in the world to one where it found itself accommodating a congested premier league fixture list with the BBC airing instead junk found in attics that could make a bob or two to other people who like junk - the same junk that was churned out on the Wembley pitch, with the FA Cup most likely ending its days on the same BBC programme being sold at a local car boot sale.
    And it's not just Stacey Solomon. Sponsorship of the cup; Ferguson pulling out to play at the Maracana; both he and Wenger over the years insisting on resting key players for the competition; the formation of the Champions League at the expense of the Cup Winner's Cup and the proliferation of live games on Sky have all contributed to robbing the FA Cup of its majesty and magic.
    A radical overhaul is needed to save this competition, and yet the FA seem inept or indifferent towards its plight.
    Maybe an automatic Champion's League position plus tons of money could be the answer, with the jewel of the footballing calender returning to the BBC, because if the status quo continues, this jewel will very easily find its way tossed in someone's attic and sold for a bob or two...

  • Comment number 63.

    @Leveleleven wrote:
    " .... Being a Liverpool supporter for over 30 yrs, last Sunday and today, certainly hit home abit, but alas, that is the way it is, Utd chased the perch for 133yrs and are finally on it..."

    Its certainly arrogant to assume that Liverpool have always been on top of the perch. At the end of the 1970/71 season, Arsenal had won eight English titles, Man Utd and Liverpool were tied on seven apiece, with Aston Villa on six, and Sunderland on Five. Aresenal were the team on top of the perch and Liverpool were just one of the group of pretenders for that spot.

    Twenty years later, Liverpool had Eighteen English tiles, Arsenal had only moved to ten, and Everton had moved to nine, with Man Utd still on seven. Now, a further twenty years on, Man Utd have Nineteen English titles .... to put into perspective how far the 'Blue Moon' has to rise, Man City have just two English titles.

  • Comment number 64.

    I see that City are the target for the now usual buckets full of bile which follow a victory. I have no wish to apologise for what our owner has done, is doing and will do for the club I have supported for over 50 years: I simply wish to thank him from the bottom of my heart. I never dreamt on April 26, 1969, when Neil Young advanced elegantly, studiousle angled himself to swerve the ball away from Peter Shilton's despairing dive and then swept the ball imperiously into the Leicester net, that Nellie would not live to see his club win the FA Cup again and that I, twenty one the day after City's victory in 1969, would be a retired grandparent before we lifted it again. My sons are 39, 36 and 32 and the only thing my eldest son can remember is crying when we lost the final in 1981. Sheik Mansour rescued my club from the terrible future reserved for them - the season over when you get 40 points unless you're really lucky and you get to the semi final before being shown by one of the "big four" that trophies are none of your business. That's why I rejoiced with Birmingham City when they actually won the Carling Cup. Sheik Mansour's billions may bring about a revolution in the balance of football power, because, as he pointed out when he bought our club, football in Europe is dominated by those clubs who have made the champions league their own self perpetuating club. We hear a lot about United's income being generated from within. It is now: it wasn't 20 years ago. Ferguson's rebuilding of the United team was financed by three rights issues -which is asking the owners to dip into their pockets. (This is now known as depending on a sugar daddy because Chelsea and City have done exactly that.) Their average attendance before Ferguson's first title was under 34 000! So, what did they do? Break all the rules - appoint paid executives at the club (and what salaries!), and then, along with Sugar's Spurs, float on the stock exchange to raise revenue, change the basis of TV agreements to televise football to benefit all at Old Trafford by a massive redistribution of funds and then join with other greedy eurocrats to make sure the European cup became a champions league for the financial benefit of the few so that the same few clubs were protected at home by the income generated from dropping out of the top four. And of course, build a bigger stadium while you can fill it and get the regulatios changed so you keep all the income. The start flogging tat to the fans , get the little kids in the third

  • Comment number 65.

    I have registered specially to post this. Firstly congrats to Man City, but totally agree with JeffaSpur regarding Tevezs' total disrespect for the people who Pay his wages. I sat in disgust at the way Tevez discarded not only one but two supporters scarfs as he climbed the steps of Wembley. Before the game started i had total admiration for Tevez but now i realise he is just another foreign player willing to accept the English Pound at the same time wrapping himself in his own countries colours. And we all know where Tevez comes from.

  • Comment number 66.


    Fair enough. I'm not actually particularly bitter and not a Mancunian (cue the non-Mancunian United fan jokes) so I don't really feel all that part of the rivalry. Not sure how pre-90's is relevant but I take your point on how the Champs league has allowed certain clubs to prosper.

    Initially I was responding to your point on spend - but like I said earlier it is a pretty boring debate now anyway! May the competition prosper and all clubs live within their means (City's now being larger), charge respectable ticket prices and produce talented players in the future.

  • Comment number 67.

    First of all, I'm a Man City seasonticket holder, been going regularly since the early 90s when I was about 10. A fantastic day yesterday to finish off what's been a fantastic season. The pure emotion from everyone (I think I embraced everyone on my row at full-time) was unbelievable. 35 years and we were still there and how we, the long-suffering fans, deserved it.

    But I came on to voice my surprise at the whole United 'buying trophies' argument.

    In the three years between 1988 and 1991 Manchester United spent £15million bringing in the following players: Schmeichel, Parker, Phelan, Bruce, Pallister (British record for a defender), Irwin, Kanchelskis, Ince, Webb, Sharpe, Mclair and Hughes. Adding Cantona in 1991 (admittedly a snip at £1.2mil) they then broke the British transfer record in 1992 to recruit Roy Keane. In 1993, Manchester United won the league for the first time in 26 years, having spent in the region of £20million to get there.

    Now Fergie's Fledglings have been something else, and you have to take your hat off to whoever was in charge of the youth setup at the time. Being a football fan, Giggs and Scholes in particular are two of the greatest all-round footballers I've ever had the pleasure to watch. But it would be foolhardy to forget that by the time they won Champions League in 1999, a further £50million had been invested in the likes of Berg, Johnsen, May, Stam (most expensive defender in history), Blomqvist, Poborsky, Cruyff, Yorke (£12.6mil), Cole (British transfer record), Sherringham and Solskjaer.

    I could go on (£40mil in close season 2001 - including £28.1mil on Veron; £40mil in close season 2001 including £30mil on Ferdinand; £25mil+ in 2004 on the decorated trio of Saha, Smith and Heinze; how much for Ronaldo, Berbatov, Rooney, Nani, Anderson?)... but hopefully I've made my point.

    So please don't lecture us on buying success when you lot were the pioneers of it.

    Take down the banner.

    The tide is changing.

    The Blue Moon is rising.

  • Comment number 68.

    @47 & 61

    Having slashed the budget, Cameron should keep his mouth shut. However, there should be plenty of money in the game given the massive wages etc, that producing players for the future does not require a cent from the tax payer.

  • Comment number 69.

    @ 65, leggsy,

    I really fail to see the logic behind the moaning about Tevez and the scarves.

    Is this a new rule that, if fans want to give a footballer something of their own to hold, the player should oblige obediently? What a cheek!

    Tevez run really a lot, competed throughout and most of threat Manchester City posed at Stoke was registered to his name. Isn't that enough?

    Would you prefer to see Tevez ignoring those fans completely?

  • Comment number 70.

    Re: 67. Before all you reds come on saying Cantona was 92, Keane was 93, league was 94 - my error.

  • Comment number 71.


    If the second man has worked hard and 'grafted' all of his life, and supported his 'house' through thick and thin, even when his house was in the third tier of English football (how many fans of the first house would stick around if the house got relegated twice), I think the second man can, as you say be happy and thankful that his lifetime of hard work has finally been rewarded, whether the man has the ability to strike it rich on his own or if he needs the help of his uncle.

    We're all football fans here, so lets focus on the football and not the businesses behind then clubs. What matters is the squads each club have, how they got there really makes no difference. If a blog like this had been around 60 years ago, analogous comments might have been: "Most of your team don't even come from the local area, so your cup win is somehow devalued...", people need to get over how/where city have obtained their players because it is irrelevant.

    Congratulations on the cup win, the fans definitely deserve it after 35 years.

  • Comment number 72.

    Amazing what you can do with unlimited funds...

  • Comment number 73.

    67. At 11:05am 15th May 2011, bluemoonrising2011 wrote:

    So please don't lecture us on buying success when you lot were the pioneers of it.
    United didn't buy it though did they? A football club that has built itself financially through a solid business model that turns over 100m operating profits and on the pitch through a mixture of smart signings, one of the largest European stadiums that packs 70k+ weekly, expensive spending when necessary and youth development can hardly be compared to a team who were mid table at best before someone in Dubai spun the globe and landed his finger on East Manchester. Any debts United have is due to the owners who put it on the club to buy it, any debts City will have is because they are spending beyond what they make.

  • Comment number 74.

    We're all football fans here, so lets focus on the football and not the businesses behind then clubs.
    The sort of short term thinking that led to the ruin of Portsmouth and Leeds(and almost Liverpool) in football and the wider economy in general.

  • Comment number 75.

    REF 62

    I just want to add that you might get a bit extra if you include a copy of
    "City Successes Sucks" by Eddie Large on VHS (a tragicomedy lasting all of 3 minutes plus stoppage time) with the FA Cup at your local car boot sale...

  • Comment number 76.

    @70 bluemoonrising

    You make a good case but I think the point is until the Glazers turned up United had achieved all this with sound finances and no particularly rich benefactor.

    Anyway, I think this argument is now getting somewhat futile even though I keep pitching in! If the United manager was big enough to send silver polish to the City manager, we should all follow suit.

  • Comment number 77.

    Well done City. I think that this trophy will turn out far more significant than just another Man U league title. Their sad banner will no longer be seen at the theatre of screams!!

  • Comment number 78.

    @ 74, nit123esh,

    Why are you mixing Manchester City with Portsmouth, Leeds and the previous Liverpool owners?

    Portsmouth were driven to that mess by their own directors. Leeds likewise, just in their case their board at the time were gamblers placing all their eggs in one basket. As for Liverpool's case, those owners wanted to milk Liverpool just like Glazers do at United.

    Wasn't it nice to see a club owner, at the same age as the club's players, celebrating with them on the pitch? Stop restricting your mind to jealous thinking and admit: who from you wouldn't want Sheikh Mansour to be the owner of your club?

    You're funny and you surely know it. Not just nit123esh but the lot of you.

  • Comment number 79.

    I am a fan of La liga and for first team tis year i had followed EPL actively.I dont hve any favorites in Premiere league.But i have been watching both City and united this season.I can infer by watching that united fans are very jealous of other clubs winning.we all know united is a big club and you have numerous trophies to show but that doesn't means u have divine rights to win every ting.Try to respect the other teams around u.

    For mancity congratulation to them i hope this is the stepping stone fr them.On money aspect that they have bought the trophy,thts wrong every team has to spend money to catch higher in the fans mark my words Yaya toure and silva are big players nd any fan of la liga can say u hw big they re.

    United fans enjoy ur victory and dont point fingers on others ,bcoz then others will point fingers on u like few cases which i observed tis season -

    1.West brom away-Gary neville red card and penalty to west brom nt given
    2.Blackpool away- rock stone penalty on barney by raphel,u wuld hve gone 3-0 down by then
    3.West ham away- second yellow fr vidic and u were 2-0 down
    4.Arsenal away- vidic swinging hands red card and he may hve missed chelsea decider

    So overall u see u could hve lost 10-12 points here and u cn argue games against chelsea in bridge.

    So i will say dont point fingers on other teams .ur manager is a genius and he will many more laurels.But genius guys plays mind games and thats the reason u get good decisions frm refs.

    Jst enjoy ur victory.Congrats to Stoke fans for having a out standing season.

  • Comment number 80.

    Well done,Citeh,from A Utd. man! Not your fault Stoke were so bad & picked a clearly-unfit player. You were always in charge on the day, just a pity the idiots at the FA couldn't have let you & us both had an important day to ourselves.

    Now, the hard part-building on that win. Good luck, because you'll need it!

    Mancini's teams are pragmatic & that's a start-winning IS everything, as we've proved under Fergie. Worry about style when you're consistently winning trophies.

    And a word of praise to the official MOM Balotelli-excellent;keep concentrating on the football, sunshine, because you were worth the price of admission on your tod yesterday.

    And to my MOM-Martin Atkinson. Hardly knew he was in charge and that's the mark of a good ref.

  • Comment number 81.

    Ah its so refreshing to see the usual bitter Spurs, Man Utd et al " supporters ".
    And for those of you who say Stoke didnt turn up, don't you think that was cos Roberto got his tactics spot on....City wanted to win more than Stoke.....City simply stopped Stoke from playing.

  • Comment number 82.

    Portsmouth were driven to that mess by their own directors. Leeds likewise, just in their case their board at the time were gamblers placing all their eggs in one basket. As for Liverpool's case, those owners wanted to milk Liverpool just like Glazers do at United.
    And you think the fans weren't initially pleased when the rumours of rich owners came in? You think Sheikh Mansour is in it because he feels some affection for Manchester?
    Wasn't it nice to see a club owner, at the same age as the club's players, celebrating with them on the pitch? Stop restricting your mind to jealous thinking and admit: who from you wouldn't want Sheikh Mansour to be the owner of your club?
    I wouldn't if the entire pyramid were too heavily dependent on one man's whims, if clowns like Gary Cook were allowed any control of transfers and if there was constant uncertainty about who would be playing in and managing the club.

  • Comment number 83.

    When does the Robert Huth witch hunt start? Blatant cheap shot, disgusting.

    I think that the combination of Stoke losing and Huth having hit the media's favourite punching bag it won't get the fair and balanced handling these incidents should get in all cases. Dangerous, unsporting, despicable and DELIBERATE.

    This kind of incident can not go unpunished.

    Well done citeh on the win btw

  • Comment number 84.

    " And to my MOM-Martin Atkinson. Hardly knew he was in charge and that's the mark of a good ref. "

    how appropriate fom a man u " man " ( laughs )

    care to give us your " mark " of a bad " ref " carefull now! thats Clattenburgs christian name.

    how many other refs would you like to notice as not being in " charge " afterall
    many have been conspicous by thier absence for your shower this term.

    a ref being voted MOM by a man from manchester or is it surrey


  • Comment number 85.

    1.West brom away-Gary neville red card and penalty to west brom nt given
    2.Blackpool away- rock stone penalty on barney by raphel,u wuld hve gone 3-0 down by then
    3.West ham away- second yellow fr vidic and u were 2-0 down
    4.Arsenal away- vidic swinging hands red card and he may hve missed chelsea decider
    1. Rafael red card against Spurs
    2. Chelsea at the Bridge
    3. Carragher's assault on Nani
    4. Wilshere's fouling on Rooney at Emirates

    You don't win a title over 38 games through ref decisions, you win it by doing really well at home, going unbeaten for 24 games and performing in the big games.

  • Comment number 86.

    I never paid attention to silly banners in my life, so I don't really know which banner came about first: was it the "The City of Manchester welcomes Tevez" or was it the United banner for Manchester City? The sure thing is that this is a good opportunity for this banner to go down, for good, without silly replacements. And the most positive opportunity that has arrived is for both United and City clubs of Manchester is to ensure that neither of the two teases the other one in the future with silly banners. After all, both sets of fans share the same city.

    To give an example, is it a better expectation for both sets of fans to see a season when they share the lot of trophies between them?

    As for the 'perch' thing regarding Liverpool, a journalist mentioned that Liverpool fans had come with something like "au revoir, Manchester United. Come back when you have won 18 trophies". Still, I think it was yesterday that I've read SAF saying he never actually used the word perch first and he doesn't know how it came about. Was it a journalistic invention, yet again?

    When it comes to both banner and perch, 4 things should be remembered, perhaps:
    1. Manchester City should be concentrating on how to return to winning trophies and they did - it is the healthy approach.
    2. Raising that Tevez banner was always going to bring counter actions and it doesn't help the city of Manchester. Perhaps, in the future, the boards of both clubs should be acting like adults.
    3. Liverpool are working in the right approach when it comes to their club's fortunes: by re-establishing themselves as a force in English football again and they're doing some good progress.
    4. Both Liverpool and Manchester United fans should be gracious to their opponents when themselves look like emperors as life is all about swings and corners.

  • Comment number 87.

    To clarify my comments i am nt saying that united won sole of refs.I am saying united fans should respect other teams and digest their wins.

    Out of all 4 points except chelsea at bridge no where u lost points.chelsea u wuld hve got a draw.against spurs u didnt deserved anyting more thn draw.against pool
    u deservedly lost.Regarding nani assault it ws red card nthing to impact result.carra went to apologise but ur plyers didnt accepted.Regarding nani he is some sort of theatrical person who falls with faintest touches.

    Just wanted to make that respect other teams arnd u and winning trophies doesnt licence united fans to dis respect others.Our la liga is nt competive like EPL and i enjoyed a lot tis year.

  • Comment number 88.

    This was a really good FA Cup Final as it meant so much to both clubs and fans.

    It was also the most significant day in English football for a few decades as it heralds the start of a new football superpower following on from Leeds, Liverpool Man Utd and (just about) Chelsea.

    City will be competing for every big prize every season now, English football has changed.

    The past is Red the future is Sky Blue.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ 82, nit123esh,

    My friend, you're in grave danger to be characterised childish. Come on.

    Sheikh Mansour is not a kid who wants to play the club owner game.
    The sheikhs investment is a well prepared approach in marketing, establishing the Emirates as a global tourism destination. Loads of billions have been invested to their cause and Manchester City is an investment aiming at an umbrella of worldwide activities in making the Emirates Tourism project well known and seen around on a daily basis.

    This fact, though, counter answers the Platini talk about Manchester City being in danger to be left alone, helpless in massive arrears. Such projects, like the Emirates Tourism project, do not come about for the needs of a year or two. Don't you think?

    As far as I know, Sheikh Mansour could be somewhere nice with his yacht or his whatever and enjoy life. Instead, he chose to be present in the event and even allowed himself to join the chorus of celebrations which was nice to see.

    Why not leave bitterness for another day?
    Anyway, this is a club's day of joy after waiting for 35 years about it.
    Shouldn't we respect it?

  • Comment number 90.

    Re: 73, nit123esh United didn't have £100mil operating profits or 70000+ attendances before 1988. You also hadn't won the league for 20 years. Chicken and egg.

    From Wikipedia: "around this time Edwards had made millions of pounds available to strengthen the squad with the reacquisition of Mark Hughes as well as the signing of high profile players including Brian McClair, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Neil Webb and Danny Wallace."

  • Comment number 91.

    Welcome to Manchester Sir Alex! It is about to get a whole lot noiser because your neighbours are from MANCHESTER! Just in case you had forgotten..

  • Comment number 92.

    City are clearly on the way up.
    Things are set for City to compete for all the honours both nationally and in Europe.
    It looks like we need a left back who can attack and defend, and that we may never see Tevez in a blue shirt again. OK we only want players who want to wear the shirt with pride so if we have lost his heart the we'll take £50 million and see what we can do with it.
    This side is young and will get better.
    Kompany should be captain.
    United should be worried
    Chelsea need to spend well and wisely. Their record transfer record is pretty mixed.
    Arsenal may have gone as far as they can with the Frenchman with selective sight ( tho they should buy Shay Given)
    Liverpool still look short of quality through the squad ( and how deep are the owners pockets?)
    United need to hope they can keep Vidic and take less time to replace Van der Saar than they did to replace Big Peter Schmeichal
    The main thing for City to be scared about is Financial Fair Play

  • Comment number 93.

    " 3. Carragher's assault on Nani "

    yes i was in a packed pub in stratford london watching the alledged assault the whole place erupted with laughter when the player went down clutching his face having been pushed in the chest and the subsequent attempts at the victory role were even more funny.

    simulation? or what, as was a recent Rooney Incident again not picked up by the Ref from 7 feet away.

    now who? was that REF who was so good you did not know he was in charge and can you list a more appropraite and accurate list to prove man u have been hard done by.

    " going unbeaten for 24 games and performing in the big games "

    come back and crow when you've managed 49

  • Comment number 94.

    Out of all 4 points except chelsea at bridge no where u lost points.chelsea u wuld hve got a draw.
    That is an extra point, it was that win that started Chelsea's resurgence in form that took the race to last week's game.

    against spurs u didnt deserved anyting more thn draw.
    And how pray do you objectively make this judgement of "deserving" a result?

    against pool
    u deservedly lost.
    Again, "deservingly" is subjective at best.
    Regarding nani assault it ws red card nthing to impact result.
    By that logic so would the Gary Neville red. Nothing to impact result.

    carra went to apologise but ur plyers didnt accepted.Regarding nani he is some sort of theatrical person who falls with faintest touches.
    If someone first told me to "get up" after almost breaking my leg and only apologised afterwards I would not be so willing to accept the "apology" either.

  • Comment number 95.

    @ 93, HAHA CharadeYouAre,

    Now you're embarrassing yourself and you don't even realise it.

    ...and then you want fans to feel sympathy for Arsenal's misfortunes on the pitch.

  • Comment number 96.

    Tht shows the arrogance of united fans.Carragher red wuld hve nt lead to a penalty
    but neville's one ws in the box ,this is common sense friend.just being a part of global club doesnt gives you to utter anyting.

  • Comment number 97.


    wouldnt it be cheaper just to sponsor a team already in the Champs league? Why would City winning a couple of champions leagues make you want to go to Abu Dhabi on holiday? Perhaps that is a debate for another day.

  • Comment number 98.

    Phil, you remember me asking us all to judge Mancini on the results at the end of the season, well, you agreed at the time, and I think this is to all intents and purposes the end of the season, so we can now finally say well done to Mancini and the lads.

    As a City fan though, I don't want a weak Man United side (nor do I think it will ever happen). A power struggle in Manchester is good for both teams, keeps them sharp and on their toes, and can make for some cracking games. Goal of the season anyone?

  • Comment number 99.

    Re: 73, nit123esh United didn't have £100mil operating profits or 70000+ attendances before 1988. You also hadn't won the league for 20 years. Chicken and egg.
    United sold Hughes to Barca for 2.3mil and got him back to 1.8. Also a good chunk of the money to buy these players came from United floating on the stock exchange and the success came because of the appointment of(and then sticking with) Fergie. In comparison to City, United were still making a profit and had won the FA Cup twice in that very decade under Ron Atkinson. They also spent on few transfers that stayed at the club for the long term where City's strategy has been to buy a lot of squad players for highly inflated sums and pay them ridiculous wages, and many of these players are moving on alarmingly quickly(Robinho, Adebayor, now Tevez). United's investment was on some high profile players who stayed at the club and mixed this with the golden generation. City's has been on a revolving door of players and has no measure of stability about it.

  • Comment number 100.

    Completely agree with Football_UK. The point I was trying to make by saying 'focus on the football not the businesses behind them' was NOT that this is how club chairman should act, as in the case of Portsmouth/Leeds etc, but that as fans we should be talking about the football issues not the Corporate Finance issues. If you want to talk about business issues, find a business blog. An FA cup won by a team worth £165m counts the same as a cup won by a team worth nothing, so I really don't see the need to constantly talk about it as it is irrelevant here.


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