21.02.2015… Man City (a)…

Manchester City 5 Newcastle United 0

Etihad Stadium…… Saturday February 21st… 5.30pm

Attendance: 45,602

Ticket: £44Programme: £3

Let’s get the misty eyed niceties out of the way early, my first trip to Manchester City since I paid £12 to watch the famous 3-3 draw at Maine Road in 1996; the less happy bit follows below…

Unacceptable, completely unacceptable. Getting thumped I can take, follow any football club for long enough, particularly away from home, and you learn to accept that occasionally this will happen. What I will never be able to accept is a lack of effort, character or any semblance of team spirit. All of those ingredients were missing today, along with even the most basic tactical awareness; this was as bad as it gets…

John Carver’s excuse was the early penalty but does that really excuse the ineptitude of the 89 minutes that followed?

So I’m going to ignore the game, most of our players did, I don’t see why I should be any different. Let’s just say, they turned up, played very badly, got back on the coach and went home….

Instead, I’m going to focus on ‘the product’…

man city v newcastle...

Millennium People…

The stadium… My first trip to The Etihad; not impressed, it doesn’t impose, it’s just there and it has sky blue seats. In fact, it wouldn’t be out of place in a JG Ballard novel, corporate, sterile, overly regulated, football attendance as leisure activity. Big screens everywhere, all giving out the same thinly veiled messages to consume, numerous official outlets throughout ‘the campus’ in which to do so. An ‘Arsenal approach’ to history, images all over the shell of the stadium, any references to Manchester City v1.0 hidden at the back. It fools no one, and it’s never really going to work when there’s an Etihad Airways logo stamped across Dennis Tueart’s arse..

The stewards…  I thought Chelsea were heavy handed but at least they were polite. Outside the the ground… Sniffer dogs, coats undone, full body search, full bag search (including every pocket within the bag) and the opening and searching of the HMV bag inside my bag; the guy in front of me was even asked to remove his hat. Just a thought, but could a Belle & Sebastian album ever be used as an offensive weapon, can you twee someone to death? Inside the ground… A steward (wearing safety glasses?) to every row of seats during the match, no access to the toilets via the gangway next to the home supporters during the game, constant abuse from a very easily identifiable minority of home fans going unpunished… ‘Welcome to Manchester’…

And Manchester… The embarrassing appropriation of one aspect of mainstream laddish ‘Manchester Culture’ throughout; New Order, Oasis, James, Richard Ashcroft, The Happy Mondays, Doves (don’t play anything too left-field, you may frighten people)… Who are you trying to fool? This is a rootless football franchise, it could just as well play its home games on the moon, I’m sure that one day, it will…

So, this is it, the new, improved Manchester City, a designer zombie club destined to play in a European Super League,  ‘Manchester Thanks You, Sheikh Mansour’….

man city v newcastle...

Rushing To Paradise…

What next for us then, where do we fit in? We’ll continue to drift under the current regime but our long-term fate is still to be decided. One day, when Ashley goes (and takes his hangers-on with him), we will have an opportunity to be something better. We must never be seduced into buying into this airbrushed nonsense as an alternative though; without it we can never win the Premier League, we can never qualify for the Champions League but we can win a far more valuable prize, our heart and soul. We could have our club back…

The fate of this franchise has already been decided, they wear sky blue shirts, they win matches, they win trophies but they’re not Manchester City. By contast, we’re currently on life support but we do have one thing that they don’t, the tiniest glimmer of hope that one day we can recover and return to being what we should be, Newcastle United…

Manchester City; Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (YC), Mangala, Kolarov, Nasri (Lampard 70), Fernandinho, Touré (YC), Silva (Jesús Navas 59), Dzeko (YC), Agüero (Bony 60)

Not Used; Fernando, Caballero, Clichy, Demichelis

Goals; Agüero (2 pen), Nasri (12), Dzeko (21), Silva (51, 53)

Newcastle United; Krul, Janmaat (Taylor, R 71), Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara, Colback (YC), Anita (YC) (Abeid 45), Gouffran (Obertan 86), Sissoko, Pérez, Cissé

Not Used; Ameobi, Riviere, Armstrong, Woodman

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

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