IN SVEN WE TRUST
The big breaking news across the media world in sport today isn't previews of the Barca/United game tonight, but how City manager Sven Goran Eriksson has already been informed by Thaksin Shinawatra that he will be dismissed at the end of the current season.
City fans are absolutely speechless- and rightly so. It is an absolute DISGRACE that Shinawatra should even be contemplating sacking Sven after only his first season in charge. He has two years remaining on his contract and has already secured City their highest-ever points tally in the Premier League. We have enjoyed home and away victories over our neighbourly rivals Manchester United and the best start to a season EVER.
Yes we have had a huge slump post Christmas, and the defeat on Saturday against Fulham was completely gut-wrenching, but as I keep saying Rome wasn't built in a day. Sven has built the foundations there to build on next season; if he makes a couple of signings in the summer, say a right-sided midfielder, creative midfielder and a striker, and managed to fend off the advances of the Premier League big boys for Richards, Johnson and Sturridge, then I truly believe we would be competing for Europe in season 2008/09.
Sven has remained as dignified as ever, saying he refuses to resign and will not be pushed out of a job that he was happy in and enjoying hugely. Why is he not good enough? City fans on the whole have reacted angrily to the current situation and rightly so. A few fans who jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning of the season due to our impromptu success are saying he deserves to go, but the vast majority of loyal, devout blues are gutted about the situation and do not want him to leave whatsoever. A 'Sven day' has been planned for the Middlesboro away game, with fans buying Swedish flags, making Sven masks and investing in big blow-up bananas to show their support for the Swede.
I am fully aware that without Shinawatra's funds the team wouldn't be what it is now. We wouldn't have the Elanos, the Petrovs, the Corlukas. But, like the majority of foreign ownerships, it seems that Shinawatra is only interested in making money for himself without thinking or caring what is best for the club and what the fans want. Don't get me wrong, he got Sven involved in the first place, but he should have advisors telling him how unhappy the fans are with his outspoken comments and with him contemplating axing Sven. If Sven left the club would be thrown into chaos, and many players would be following Sven throught the door. The rumour mill has already started churning out names for replacements, like Scolari and Mourinho.
But I have an unhappy feeling that Sven will be gone by the weekend. Think back to the days of the Ball/ Hartford/ Clark/ Coppell/ Royle days. The City managerial merry-go-round of the 1990's. The dark days. If you are a City fan try and show your support for Sven in any way that you can. Remember- in Sven We Trust.
Keep the blue faith,