Blue Moon Rising: The light side of Manchester City's rise makes essential viewing

10 September 2010 12:29
Together with the fat signing-on fee and ridiculously lucrative contract, Manchester City could do far worse than hand their new players a copy of Blue Moon Rising. In fact it should be compulsory viewing.

Because in the time it takes them to play one game for City, the young men whose primary reason for moving to Eastlands will more than likely have a pound sign in front of it, would be educated in the very essence of the club and its supporters: eternal hope, unfailing loyalty and self-deprecating humour, not to mention an in-bred hatred of neighbours Manchester United. plus the inflatable bananas and Noel Gallagher of course.

City slicker: Roberto Mancini arrives at the premiere at Manchester Odeon

The documentary, which focuses on the story of last season, was given a blue-carpet premiere in Manchester on Thursday night and will open next week in cinemas, initially around the north west.

It combines match action with footage and interviews behind thescenes, but is mainly viewed through the eyes of five diehard fans fromStockport as they follow City home and away in a battered 1992 RenaultEspace called Helios.

Headline act: After joining City from Middlesbrough in January, Adam Johnson has played a starring role in Manchester City's fortunes

One admits to knowing nothing aboutpolitics but votes Conservative because they wear blue. Another ispictured sitting with his four-year-old daughter as they weed out herred crayons and throw them away.

The rivalry with United isplayed out through the dramatic Carling Cup semi-final between the twoclubs, and the banner at Old Trafford mocking City's failure to win atrophy for 34 years.

'That banner drives us nuts,' admits City chief executive Garry Cook.

The heart of the drama: Carlos Tevez puts City 2-0 at Eastlands. United would win the tie 4-3 on aggregate

Sir Alex Ferguson and Garry Neville are portrayed somewhat as pantomimevillains who become the target of former United striker Carlos Tevez.'I'm not interested in what Ferguson thinks because I did things theright way,' says Tevez. 'I have nothing to prove, least of all to thatman.'

But this is not just a blue-tinted view of City. The story may start with victory over Arsenal 12 months ago and Emmanuel Adebayor's infamous goal celebration, but there is a critical eye on Mark Hughes's sacking and it ends with the defeat to Tottenham that denied Roberto Mancini's side a place in the Champions League.

Cultured evening: Patrick Vieira looks as pleased as punch at the premiere

Afterwards the Italian tries to lift his shattered players in the dressing-room, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak places a consoling arm around Cook and the local radio reporter looks close to tears.

There are some bizarre moments along the way. Mancini's tutor, Dolores Long, plays the role of Gareth Barry as the City boss attempts a team talk at the Manchester Academy of English, while long-serving club secretary Bernard Halford is seen holed up in a broom cupboard full of memorabilia admiring a porcelain cow.

Boy's night out: Famous fan Noel Gallagher is accompanied by an unknown reveller

You don't have to support City to appreciate Blue Moon Rising because any supporter can relate to the rollercoaster of emotions in football. But it would help. As Helios drives off into the night after the Spurs defeat, one of the group sums up what it is all about.

'Being a City fan, you've got to have hope,' he says. 'You can't have any emotion but hope.'

Verdict: Four stars - a must for the players

 PICTURE SPECIAL: Mad-cap Mario Balotelli in high spirits at Milan clinicMicah Richards targeting England recall to send Manchester City into seventh heavenMANCHESTER CITY FC

Source: Daily_Mail