I am now admin to a couple of MCFC Facebook pages. Manchester City Loyalists and Singing The Blues. The latter is mainly for home based City fans rather than world wide ones, however, I know that everyone on here, wherever you are in the world are all big fans, so you are welcome to join us. I am trying to make it a little different to a typical FB page, so as well as video clips, MCFC news from various sources, I am also posting a lot of photos from the last 50 years from my programme and book collection. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting. Search “Singing The Blues” on Facebook if you’re interested in joining us.
The World Cup means many things to many people. Three of us went to Stuttgart for a few days, during the 2006 tournament and were at the England Fan Fest in Nuremberg to watch us play Trinidad and Tobago. The city was packed with Eng-er-land fans, the weather was beautiful and the supporters were both drunk and noisy. Winning 2-0 left everyone happy and I even blagged a T & T bandana from a Trinidadian girl that I still wear to play squash. We had a fantastic time, despite the team’s less-than-glorious efforts, even sneaking into the Dutch Fan Fest on our final day. Following our more recent failures, I have taken less interest in the national team, while appreciating a parallel increase in my wonderful club’s fortunes.
However, having just returned from a Baltic cruise (lucky me) and coincidentally being in St Petersburg on the day of the Argentina/Nigeria game, everything I enjoyed about the Stuttgart experience came flooding back. The place was a sea of blue and white shirts, it was a lovely day, fans from every nation taking part in the competition were visiting St Catherine’s Palace and the Hermitage museum before heading to the stadium, the Fan Fest or a local bar and the entire city was in the very best of moods. This is how football should be, all the time.
So while I am a realist and expect City to win the Champions League well before the national side reach the final of the World Cup again, it is great to see that supporters from many other countries with even less chance of success than England are still prepared to travel ridiculous distances to support their team – much like we all spent many years doing, back in the Dark Ages between 1978-2008 AD. God Bless all football fans (except rags)!
Wythenshawe born Ronnie Healey, reserve keeper who played for City in the 70’s has died after collapsing whilst cycling. Ron almost helped win us the League title in the 1971/72 season, when he stood in for Joe Corrigan. He played in seven games whist Corrigan recovered from a back injury and didn’t let anyone down. Equally important though was his loan spell around Christmas time when he went to Coventry and helped them draw 2-2 in their game at Old Trafford. At the time, United were top of the table and I think five points ahead of us. Healey made several great saves, denying the Reds two points. Ronnie was only 65,only two years older than me.
New fixtures have been released. A tough start away at Arsenal, but after that, a run of six games we should be winning.
So it begins. No doubt we’ll be linked with every big name signing whose agent is looking for a bumper pay cheque this summer. here’s a few from the UK press so far today. The Star has an “exclusive” story informing that we are about to pay £100 million for Hazard. Quite honestly, if the Star told me the world was round, I’d be tempted to join the flat earth society. We are supposedly trying to sign Mbappe, but PSG have said that he’s going nowhere. I think this is definitely one we should step aside from because the lad has hardly set a very poor French league on fire this season. Leicester have said that they are prepared to reduce their asking price for Mahrez. Not much of a story here as if we weren’t prepared to pay £90 million in January, we are even less likely to pay it now. I doubt any transfers will be completed before the WC, but I set up this thread so we can list any rumours as and when they appear.
I thought I’d start us off on a World Cup thread, now that the England squad has been named. Personally, even the inclusion of four City players will barely rouse my interest in the fortunes of the national side, or indeed, any of the teams taking part. My only concern being that we don’t sustain any injuries during the tournament. Naturally, United had to be represented, but the only one who should be there on merit and even then, only as back up is Lingard. Young is past it, unless he’s there to form some sort of synchronised diving pairing with Alli. Rashford has barely played this season, as has Jones, so the conclusion must be that the manager has been told to include United players whether or not they deserve to be there. Liverpool have two players in the squad, Henderson. although I don’t particularly rate him, I can see why he’s included, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is a bit of a gamble. the big surprise of course is that Joe Hart isn’t in the squad. As far as I’m concerned, Joe is still the best English keeper and whilst no longer good enough for the way Pep wants us to play, he is surely better than the three selected. The only other surprise is that Tom Charlton wasn’t included, after all, he’s received as much coverage for playing football at 71 as Pep has for winning the MotY. Anyone any thoughts or comments on the WC, or like me are you all indifferent?
Another fixture which holds a few special memories for me. I was at Maine Road on Wednesday, 18th of May, 1966, when City and Southampton played our a 0-0 draw. It was the first home game following City’s confirmation as champions and I (aged 9) joined many others in attendance and ran on the pitch at the end of the game, to celebrate. The one and only time I have set foot onto the hallowed turf. By coincidence, the two teams met in the first game of the following season in the first division, at The Dell and drew 1-1. Malcolm Allison used to tell a great story, that the Saints manager of the day came up to him at the end of that match and said, “isn’t the pace of the game so much faster in the first division?” What a season it’s been and no doubt over the summer, we’ll can perhaps start a thread on out favourite moments. For now, there are two more records to break if we can win this game. Most away wins in a season and most points ahead of the second placed team, the record being United’s, so it will be good to take that one off them too. I really want to win this one and break those records because as has been mentioned before, if United win the FA Cup and Liverpool the CL, the media will try their best to take away everything we’ve achieved. Saints are pretty much safe, barring a ridiculous set of results, so I’m going for 2-1 to City. Finally, let’s pray Chelsea win and that Brighton catch Liverpool in CL dreaming mode and beat them, meaning that the scousers fail to qualify for the CL. They won’t care, because the PL isn’t an important trophy.