In amongst the banter that accompanied Hince's article was the thoroughly scurrilous suggestion that City should go after Wayne Rooney. Now after you wipe away the tea from your monitor let me expand why this was wonderfully insidious. The remark was made that by offering not only to buy Rooney, but say to offer to double his wages, City would at the very least manage to unsettle the England striker.
No, I don't want Rooney playing for City. He's a marvelous talent who works very hard but has caught the United disease of falling down if anyone gets within 2 yards of him. Perfected over the past few years by first Ruud van Falldowninthebox and then Ronaldo this is for me the singular reason why I despise the current United regime.
It was James Bond creator Ian Fleming who said "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action." So it is with United and the constant inner ear infections suffered by their superstars. To paraphrase, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is an institutional culture of cheating.
Even if Rooney would join City, and he wouldn't, I don't want the player. But offering enough money that United might have to at the very least renegotiate his contract and upset their pay scale. Now that, is evil genius at its very best.
Up tonight City visit Spurs. Always a fixture I look forward to as I have relayed in the past how I'd go to White Hart Lane just to watch Hoddle and co play. Hughes has some selection issues. Bridge, SWP and Johnson are unavailable through injury and Bellamy misses the game after Clattenburg's strange red card. de Jong is apparently back from a bout of the flu and it is reasonable to expect the Dutchman to play no more than 60 minutes.
As such I'd start the game with Barry at left back and de Jong as a defensive midfielder. Ireland to partner de Jong, Weiss on one wing, Petrov on the other and Robinho tucked in behind Adebayor. This means Tevez, after a string of excellent games, sits on the bench. Plan specifically to sub de Jong at 60 minutes with Sylvinho coming on and Barry moving into de Jong's role.
That's what I'd prefer. Instead I suspect that Sylvinho will start. de Jong and Barry will man the middle, Robinho on the left Ireland on the right and Adebayor and Tevez up front. In such a scenario the danger area will be down City's left and will require a lot of tracking back by Robinho. An under appreciated part of the Brazilian's game and not beyond him.
In all honesty I anticipate a loss to Spurs. Not sure the club matches up well with Redknapp's squad. A draw would create all kinds of amusing press, but I'd certainly take it as a positive result. Logic says 3-1 Spurs, hope says 2-2 and pure blind faith says 2-3 City. We shall see.