Monday 19 January 2009

Football Spotlight article

Football FanCast columnist Emily Brobyn cannot understand why people continually feel the need to pass comment, or take a swipe, at her beloved Manchester City.
What a difference a decade makes in football. This time 10 years ago Manchester City had been held to a goal-less draw at Bloomfield Road to Blackpool in the Second Division and were getting beat by the likes of Oldham Athletic, Wycombe Wanderers, York City and Lincoln City. It is well-documented and discussed that City scraped back into the First Division with THAT last minute goal by Paul Dickov at Wembley in the Play-Off finals. Who knows where they would be now without his last-gasp strike.

Think back to this time last year. Which City fan would have ever thought that Sven wouldn't be in charge a year on? If somebody came up to you and suggested that City would be the richest club in the world, have Robinho in their midfield and have a £107 million offer for Kaka being considered, what would your response be? It would probably be littered with expletives and a loud, prolonged period of laughter. It's most football fans' dream come true, whether they would admit it or not.

City fans are pinching themselves at the current situation their club is in. It is an incredibly astounding time to be a blue, if not a little unbelievable. Long-suffering loyal fans who remember the dark, dismal days of being consistently mocked and jeered when City were getting beat at home by Oxford United or Stockport County. Manchester City, the club renowned for having a vast quantity of managers, an unlikely, unorthodox club legend (Shaun Goater) and a consistency for being inconsistent. The controversial team that Sky Sports, although they won't admit it, share a passionate and committed love affair with.

But with the money has come criticism, judgement and resentfulness from all directions. Everybody seems to have an opinion on the goings on at Eastlands; from Fernando Torres to Alex Ferguson, David Beckham to Alan Shearer. Why can't people be happy for City instead of encouraging the Grim Reaper to cynically sound his death bell for the supposed 'end of football'. Yes £107 million is a baffling amount of money, but I am in no doubt that if it would be Liverpool, Real Madrid or Chelsea there would not be the same outcry as there is for 'little' Manchester City putting such an audacious bid on AC Milan's table. Football is a business and it has been since Sky Sports came along in 1992, it was only a matter of time before the world transfer record was smashed.

Whether Kaka decides to come remains a question nobody is in a position to answer correctly yet. City are a project in the making: the club is in the early stages of establishing something special and Ferguson was right, signing Kaka would definitely prove to be a signal of their intent. Perhaps the arrival of the Brazilian would stop the critics, whether they be within the media or a former footballer-turned-pundit, a jealous rival fan or a manager fearing City's intimidating wealth. What Sheikh Mansour, Garry Cook and Mark Hughes are planning at City is something that will need patience and time from all parties involved, will that time be granted? Is Kaka moving for the right reasons? Who will be next, Sergio Aguero? John Terry?

One thing is certain; there is an infectious buzz around City at the moment and everybody wants to be a part of the most 'vogue' team in football at the moment. There is a lot of cynical articles around in the media at the moment- if you are a City fan take it as a compliment. City are commanding more column inches at the moment than Amy Winehouse ever has- whether it is to be slated or rated, surely it's time that people began to take the Eastlands outfit seriously. The City fans who have been there for better and for worse through the years are now nervous, excited and bewildered at the potential that lies ahead. Beckham couldn't have been more wrong- there's two teams in Manchester, and it's the blue half who are moving out of the shadows to claim the spotlight.

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