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Manchester City; Sven and the Blue Moon on a stick
"Claudio opted for the Old Lady of Juventus rather than the withered hag of City."
Manchester City fans permanently reside on the edge of their seats, yet if I were one right now I would be particularly uneasy about events at the City of Manchester Stadium.
The two-pronged search for new investment and a new manager has thrown up all sorts of possibilities since Stuart Pearce’s sacking at the end of the recent season, many of which have failed to convince City fans that their side are finally heading in the right direction.
Initial suggestions regarding the appointment of either Claudio Ranieri or Gerard Houllier as the new boss were a worry, even if the former talked up his chances of guiding the side to the heights currently occupied by rivals United. Yet Claudio Cuckoolandio opted for the Old Lady of Juventus rather than the withered hag of City, while Houllier’s resignation from Lyon remains shrouded in mystery amid rumours of more poor health.
The likes of Louis Van Gaal tried not to laugh too loudly when linked with the Eastlands gig, but there never seemed any real possibility of the former Barcelona and Holland tactician filling Pearce’s shoes. All of which has led us to today’s announcement that uber-charmer and England flop Sven Goran Eriksson is on the verge of getting his hands on another under-achieving rabble. The Swede looks set to sign a three-year deal before the weekend, assuming that the buy-out cash of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is not exposed as Monopoly money.
This is where it starts to get really worrying for City fans. If Eriksson failed to get the best out of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney during his time with the FA, the notion that he will turn Bernardo Corradi or Paul Dickov into Premiership hotshots is somewhat flawed. Sven might just aswell request the (blue) moon on a stick, or else quit football altogether to oversee Tim Henman’s endless bid to become Wimbledon champion.
The only plus side for either party appears to be that Sven will be just across the city from his pal Owen Hargreaves, that after the Bayern Munich midfielder signed a Michael Carrick-sized deal at Old Trafford. For all the talk of £50million war chests (Sven likes a big chest), it is difficult to imagine any amount of money being truly persuasive enough to attract the game’s top stars to Eastlands. Names like Michael Owen have been linked by an optimistic press, but a more realistic rumour is that Eriksson will make West Ham’s tunnel-visioned goal-getter Marlon Harewood his main man in attack.
If that doesn’t feel like replacing Lewis Hamilton with David ‘diddy’ Hamilton, then consider that this is a City squad now shorn of its best midfielder, nuisance-in-chief Joey Barton. His move to Newcastle has left a gaping hole in the City engine room, and those who would trust Eriksson to fill it would trust Colin Montgomerie to fill the 18th hole at a major in less shots than it took Ollie Reed to feel tipsy. More comment on Sven filling holes seems entirely superfluous at this point.
That edge of my seat feels just that little bit slippier.
By Stephen Orford
June 26 2007
Latest article feedbacksvenalike.co.uk:
Well.., err., It seems that the xenophobic media myth of unpopularity and underachievement flourishes with you although the recent well run polls indicate 70-80% support and appreciation of Sven's un-matched record in club football AND as England manager? Only five competitive games lost and cruising to top qualifying position in all tournaments is an un-equaled record and TheFA only rank Sven as number 2 most successful coach after Sir Alf because of the "fluke" W-Cup of '66. His consistant record of failure to qualify is otherwise no competition.
I have been Sven's professional double for many years and (being indistinguishable from "the real thing") can confirm the true measure of public and fan sentiments from many 1000 (ongoing) assignment interactions when engaged by TheFA and 100's of other prestige TV/Film, printed media, corporate and private clients.
[Ed: That's svenalike.co.uk to anyone who missed the name, svenalike.co.uk. Guaranteed to turn up for your engagement, and see you through the difficult soup starter - but then will slip up on the main course and disappear before the pudding.]
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