Watching Spurs throw the kitchen sink at Man City, I found myself wanting them to score every time they went forward.
It made me realise that City – a team many of us used to like – are now a club that I want to fail. And fail spectacularly.
It’s like when Michael “Lotto Chav” Carroll won £10 million. For a while it was amusing and we all had a laugh when he started buying ridiculous things to amuse himself.
After a while though, all of the expensive toys simply looked vulgar.
It used to be easy to like City – forever in the shadow of their illustrious city sibling, a succession of passionate but flawed managers like Keegan and Pearce, and players that thrilled but never really achieved like Wanchope and Kinkaldze.
Now though they are the richest club in the world and are determined to buy their way to success.
Since they were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, they have spent a staggering £455m and counting.
The £28 million theys pent on Yaya Toure is probably more than the total spending of any other club in the league this season.
Consequently, player for player they have probably now got the best squad in the Premier League.
The reason I wan’t them to fail though is that their clout is not as a result of sustained success, wise investment or even good business decisions to make them an attractive proposition for investors.
They simply won the lottery by being available as a very rich man’s plaything at the right time.
It probably sounds like sour grapes but I don’t begrudge the other wealthy teams their success.
Manchester United gave us a golden generation of English players – Scholes, Beckham, Butt, the Nevilles – by putting faith in youth when they could have just splashed the cash.
Chelsea’s best players are still Lampard and Terry and new young players like Sturridge are still taken on.
With City though, if you’re not a name that looks good in the owner’s treasure chest, forget it.
The best players at Eastlands for the last few years have been Bellamy, Ireland and before them Dunne.
The unfashionable defender was shipped off to Villa where he has been outstanding while Bellamy is outside of the match squad and Ireland is being offered cash to leave the club to make way for Milner – someone they simply don’t need.
Jez Moxey was amongst the leading voices pouring scorn on City at the weekend.
Here’s what the Wolves chief executive told the Express & Star:
“The Manchester City situation is not good for football in the Premier League.
“Not only are they contributing in a big way towards spiralling wages and unrealistic demands elsewhere, but there is a risk that they could garner all of the talent.
“It’s becoming so difficult for anyone else to compete both on a competitive and talent level but also on a financial level.
“And they’re only able to do it because they’ve got sovereign wealth behind them.
“I’m not sure that’s what I would want to see if I could control it. But I can’t so all I can control is what we do.
“Manchester City are trying to win the Premier League and dominate Europe — if they can — for certain reasons.
“Their owners want to promote themselves and the club, and they see that as a good way of doing it.
“They’ve got more money than they know what to do with and they’re investing with it.”
And about Stephen Ireland refusing to leave over reports that he wants a £2m ‘pay-off’ . . .
“It’s reported that he’s going to continue negotiating until he gets more and more money to leave.
“We run the risk of losing what the game is really about.
“It gets too distorted too easily when you have such wealth to buy the best players wherever they are in the world.
“But as we saw last season, sometimes buying the best talent doesn’t always means you’re going to be the most successful.”
Spot on Jez. I’m glad I’m not the only one hoping to see them fail.
If not for Joe Hart they would have at the weekend too. It could have been 5-0 to Tottenham on Saturday if not for the outstanding goalkeeper.
The young star – signed from League Two Shrewsbury! – was the best player in the Premier League in its opening weekend.
He’s the only player at the club that I want to see succeed.
Sadly though, in football as in life, money talks and it won’t be long before his team-mates get up to speed.
As for Wolves’ magnificent performance against Stoke on Saturday, here are my thoughts:
• Fletcher looked like a great acquisition and his link-up play with Ebanks-Blake was magical
• Craddock’s tackle on Jones was fair – not even a foul. He got the ball and the striker unfortunately fell awkwardly.
• Jelle Van Damme looked composed and was involved at both ends of the field.
• Dave Jones’ goal was the best of the weekend.
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