skip to content

Martin Samuel: The problem with Manchester City is their mewling paranoia

More

24 Feb 2011 01:31:21

Martin Samuel: The problem with Manchester City is their mewling paranoia

Mike Summerbee has had too much of footballers scoring overhead, volleyed bicycle kicks to win matches, apparently. Who hasn't? What a nuisance they can be. There you are, settling in your armchair for an afternoon of pure tedium, when up pops Wayne Rooney with one of those irritating goals of the season, and the next thing you know the whole country is off its feet in dizzied excitement wanting to see it again. Who needs that every week? The fact that Rooney, a striker for Manchester United, did this against Manchester City did not contribute in any way to Summerbee's suggestion that Sky television is biased towards the Barclays Premier League leaders. He would have been equally unenthusiastic if, say, Mario Balotelli had appeared after months of ineffectuality to win the Manchester derby in such a spectacularly decisive manner. Divide and conquer: Manchester United's George Best (left) and Manchester City's Mike Summerbee outside their boutique 'Edwardia' in 1967 Summerbee's status as a Manchester City ambassador did not cloud his judgment at all. Sky only see United, he wrote in the City programme at the weekend. They certainly won't be seeing too much of Summerbee after his temper tantrum over Rooney's goal, that much is certain. The least appealing product of City's rise to prominence is mewling paranoia. Roberto  Mancini, the manager, has been moaning that some find his team dull. Who cares? Critics said that of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, too. No doubt Roman Abramovich would settle for a hefty dose of winning boredom now. Every fan thinks the media has it in for his club. It never occurs to them that partisan leanings cloud their own judgment. Boring! Wayne Rooney's spectacular winner against Manchester City hasn't pleased everybody Summerbee, a wonderful player, should delight in the talent of Rooney whatever colour his shirt. Instead, he is so one-eyed he turned over to Antiques Roadshow rather than watch a re-run of a brilliant goal scored against his club. It would seem Sky are not the problem here; it is the sky blues that need to see both sides of the story. 'The media go on as if we don't exist and that annoys me,' Summerbee said. 'I don't mind  banter, I don't even mind jokes, but the progress we make is being ignored.' How true. Never hear a mention of City these days, do you? It is like Carlos Tevez has fallen off the map since he left Old Trafford. Is he even getting a game? Anyone know?  Crawley Town enchanted romantics in the  FA Cup by almost earning a replay at Manchester United. Yet, in the environment of the Blue Square Bet Premier, they are the big fish and leaders AFC Wimbledon the long shots. If Wimbledon could return to the Football League, nine years after their parent club was stolen and reinvented as Milton Keynes Dons, it would be the true fairytale of this season.     More from Martin Samuel... Martin Samuel: Ancelotti should not entertain rule by Abramovich 21/02/11 Martin Samuel: Emperor Bernie's now in a race against freedom20/02/11 MARTIN SAMUEL: Making a right royal fuss over nothing17/02/11 Martin Samuel: A night to remember... now Arsenal must go and do it all again16/02/11 Martin Samuel: Spineless UEFA will let off Flamini, the real San Siro villain16/02/11 Martin Samuel: A sorry storm for Rastamouse and Glenn Hoddle15/02/11 Martin Samuel: Ashton has to keep it real or his credibility will take a dive13/02/11 EXCLUSIVE: FA plays hardball with dodgy cry-offs from England duty11/02/11 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE  Following Monday's piece about the eastern freedom movement and its inconvenient impact on the sports calendar, we heard the usual dribble from ex-pats talking through their wallets about how wonderful it was to live, work and pay very little tax under the benign rule of potentates. Qatar has a lovely Emir, apparently, while the Sultan of Oman is a smashing fellow. No doubt this is true; yet what of the next generation? That is the problem with hereditary rulers. Suppose junior is a wrong 'un? Take that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi fellow in Libya, for instance. He does not seem half as nice as his father who, the odd act of extreme terrorism, torture or murder aside, was a man the British Government could really do business with. Like father, like son does not always follow. Alois and Klara Hitler were charming people, it was said. Never once invaded Poland or tried to exterminate the Jews. Alois was an Austrian customs official and a bit of a stickler for rules, but Klara had a very gentle nature. Then along comes little Adolf and the next thing you know, Europe's in flames and the family's good name is up the creek. So you see the problem when relying on lineage. At the very least have democracy and voting as a fall-back option. You never know when they might come in handy.  Plymouth Argyle will almost certainly be relegated to League Two this season, after receiving a  10-point penalty for issuing a notice of intent to appoint administrators. The players have been in talks with the Professional Footballers' Association over a salary shortfall in January, there is an embargo on transfer activity and funds received for recent sales went to wipe off an outstanding ?760,000 tax debt that was the subject of a winding up petition. Another ?2m is needed to save the club. Funnily enough, very little is now heard of departed chairman Sir Roy Gardner, who, less than 10 months ago, presumed to lecture the Glazer family on installing an 'unsustainable business model' at his former club, Manchester United. At Plymouth, Gardner put all his eggs in the basket of a successful England World Cup bid, enabling the pointless expansion of Home Park, and when that fell through had nothing to offer and left. He arrived with a five-year plan to get the club out of the Championship, though, so you cannot say that didn't succeed. No doubt he's busy coming up with his next winning strategy for football club ownership. Hurry back, Sir Roy.  City slicker: Manchester City's Abdul Razak faces deportation from UK What a waste of a young boy's talentAbdul Razak is a young midfield player at Manchester City who came to Great Britain from Ghana three years ago to play in a football tournament in Aberdeen. Abandoned by his chaperone and separated from his parents, who are from the Ivory Coast, Razak was taken in by social services as he was under 16. He clearly had talent, though,because he was tracked by Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace whileplaying amateur football in south London before joining City in July.He signed professional terms in January and made his Premier Leaguedebut near the end of the 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. He has made an incredible and inspiring journey. NowRazak faces deportation because he was given temporary leave to remainhere on the grounds he was under 18. His case is before the Home Officeand, if it fails, he will be returned to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, acity he left in his early teens. Considering what he has already madeof his life in Britain, and the obstacles he has overcome, it seemsunthinkable that we should reject him now; of course he should stay.  Who ate all the pies? Probably not David Beckham Without wishing to deride what was clearly a heartfelt and generous gesture, David Beckham's decision to treat the staff at Tottenham Hotspur's training ground to pie and mash as a parting gift warrants further inspection. Not the choice itself, which was entirely appropriate. No doubt Benoit Assou-Ekotto was absolutely delighted by it. More, it was Beckham's choice of supplier that caused eyebrows to be raised. Tony's Pie and Mash in Waltham Abbey was described as his favourite. No doubt it is a fine establishment, but really? There are many things that might necessitate a trip to Waltham Abbey. If you were looking for an abbey in the Waltham area, for instance, then fine. But pie and mash? I'm not having it. It pains me to admit this but the best pie and mash in London is Manze's and is found south of the river, in Bermondsey. You may wish to be swayed by shallow celebrity endorsement but take one look at Beckham and one look at the photograph at the very top of this page and ask yourself who looks to have most experience in this area. If you want to know where to get a tailored Tautz country-look suit, Goldenballs is probably your man. When it comes to pie and mash, stick with the experts.  The war of words before France's visit to Twickenham on Saturday is warming up nicely. Dave Ellis, the France defence coach, began with a snipe at England's player of the moment. 'Chris Ashton can be stopped,' he said. 'We used to stop Jason Robinson from scoring, too.' Oh, really? At the Rugby World Cup in 2003, France were leading 7-3 when Robinson wrong-footed Christophe Dominici, who stuck out a leg for an illegal trip. Dominici was sin-binned and with France down to 14 men, England took the lead. Worse, Dominici injured his left leg in the incident and missed the rest of the game. France did not score another point and lost 24-7 as England reached the final. Then, at the 2007 World Cup in France, with the hosts leading 9-8, Dimitri Szarzewski stopped Robinson with a high tackle. Jonny Wilkinson gave England the lead from the resulting penalty and the score ended up 14-9 as England progressed to the final. Plenty for Ashton to consider there. Indeed, if France stop him as successfully as they stopped Robinson when it mattered, he should perhaps start celebrating now.  Caroline Wozniacki regained her world  No 1 spot in women's tennis by winning in Dubai at the weekend. Wozniacki says she rarely glances at the rankings, though. Neither should anyone else. In two sports, tennis and golf, there should be a glass ceiling between the top two places barring those without a victory in one of the four major championships. Whatever occurred in Dubai, the top player in women's tennis is Kim Clijsters, behind Wozniacki again, but with an Australian Open and three US Open titles to her name.  Sean O'Driscoll, manager of Doncaster Rovers, marched into the Press room after a recent 6-0 defeat at home to Ipswich Town. 'First stupid question, then. Come on,' he announced. Asked how disappointed he was, he gave a facetious reply. 'Give me something I can answer,' he challenged and, having stunned the room into silence, walked out. Question time: Sean O'Driscoll angered journalists with his arrogant reaction to his team's 6-0 thumping So here's one. Question: Sean, are you so  arrogant that having lost 6-0 at home to a team that drew 1-1 with Barnsley three days earlier, you belittle professional journalists as if they are the ones who didn't do their job right? (By the way, Doncaster's record after the weekend: Played 4, Lost 4, Goals for 0, Goals against 12. In your own time, mate.  Not only did UEFA wimp out over Mathieu Flamini's tackle on Vedran Corluka, they even went soft on Gennaro Gattuso. The AC Milan vice-captain will miss four games for head-butting Tottenham Hotspur coach Joe Jordan and acting like the worst kind of spoilt child when his team lost last week, but he will be free to play in the Champions League final at Wembley if his team gets there. The good news is they are going to get knocked out in the last 16 anyway.  A ?600 hockey mockeryReading will host East Grinstead on March 6 in what the club is touting as the match of the season in the England National Hockey League. Tickets are ?5, with children admitted free. Reading are the biggest club in English hockey, East Grinstead the best. Had the fixture been reversed, nobody would have paid a penny, though. East Grinstead, like many Premier Division clubs, do not charge admission for their matches, although this is under review. Meanwhile, the price of the best ticket for the gold medal hockey match at the London Olympics is ?150, the cheapest seat on that day will be ?45 and the cheapest seat on any day for preliminary games will be ?20. So here is the issue. A sport that people watch for nothing suddenly retails at ?600 for a family of four. Who will pack the Olympic Park Hockey Centre? Not grass-roots hockey lovers at those prices. And how will diving enthusiasts feel about a ticket at ?450, or water polo at ?185? Football supporters are sadly familiar with being fleeced, but these are sports that depend, week in and week out, on people who participate, help and watch for little more than love. There is scant glamour to be found at Sonning Lane, Reading, on a wet Sunday, yet those who support the sport when the Olympic show has left town will be the first ones priced out of it. The stadium will be full for the finals and the medal ceremonies, but of VIPs and wealthy gawpers, not true fans. Much like the Champions League showpiece, much like every marquee sports event these days.  All is not lost. After Kenny Jackett, the Millwall manager, as good as saluted the idiots who  bombarded the pitch during Saturday's defeat against Middlesbrough, chairman John Berylson has acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and issued a statement condemning hooliganism. Trouble brewing: Stewards stand between the fans and the linesman after an incident at The New Den It may not be enough to prevent action by the FA, but it is more indicative of the hard work that has been put in by successive administrations to break free of extreme elements from the club's past.  Sports scientists at the University of Portsmouth claim that coaches who wear suits on match days are more likely to inspire winning performances. To which, two words: Brian Clough.  Not a minute should be wasted worrying about fixture congestion for the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City. If you want breathing space, beat Leyton Orient and Notts County the first time.  Nicky Henderson, the trainer banned for three months in 2009 because one of his horses tested positive for tranexamic acid, appeared at a hearing of the Royal College of Veterinary  Surgeons last week. He told them plenty of trainers were using illegal blood-clotting agents at the time. And that was it. Off his evidence went into the ether, barely reported, let alone followed up. Can you imagine if a footballer announced colleagues were on steroids? The clamour to name names would not cease until every last cheat had been flushed from the woodwork. Rightly so.  Media favour Manchester United over us, complains City legend SummerbeeManchester City 3 West Brom 0: Tevez puts Baggies in a spot of botherThrown out of The Den! Millwall vow life bans for fans caught throwing bottlesJust the ticket... and you don't have to be rich to watch the Games live  Explore more:People: Brian Clough, David Beckham, Mario Balotelli, Nicky Henderson, Kim Clijsters, Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Roman Abramovich, Jonny Wilkinson Places: Manchester, Aberdeen, Dubai, London, France, Libya, Qatar, Oman, Ghana, Poland, United Kingdom, Europe Organisations: Football League, British Government


Daily_Mail

Sponsored links

advertisement

Related Manchester City News

advertisement

advertisment