Known as ‘the bitters’ in the red part of Manchester, Man City have a lot to be bitter about. As we will undoubtedly sing to remind the ‘massive’ club when we meet in the Carling Cup semi finals in January, City have not won a trophy since 1976. But it is not just the lack of trophies that puts City behind United.
When Man Ciy were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group(ADUG) from Thaksin Shinawatra it was thought that like Chelsea they could go on to dominate in England and they wasted no time in flexing their newly acquired financial clout beating Chelsea to the signing of Brazilian forward Robinho. But things did not go as expected and City finished 10th, outside of European contention whilst United again claimed another Premier League title.
It was claimed that Mark Hughes did not have enough time with his funds to create a City team capable of challenging last season as the ADUG only completed their take over on the final day of the transfer windown so this season City would be in contention as Hughes wasted no time in snapping up players left, right and centre. He added the likes of Adebayor, Toure, Tevez and Santa Cruz to City’s ranks but if you look at the players he missed out on it just goes to show that money does not bring prestige. In January Man City claimed they were close to signing Brazilian superstar Kaka for £100m, they reportedly offered a whopping £500,000 a week contract but not even that could lure the Kaka to Eastlands as he claimed:
“I want to get old here and my objective for the future is to become this team’s (AC Milan) captain.”
But just this summer he miraculously changed his mind and joined Real Madrid and thus starting a trend of players rejecting the Citizens including Samuel Eto’o and Ronaldinho.
City’s small club mentality really shone in their signing of Carlos Tevez from Manchester United when in their glee, the club paid for an advertising board that used an image of Tevez stating ‘Welcome to Manchester’, in an attempt to rub the signing in the face of United.
Yet when the two sides met in September despite a spirited effort from City it was United that had the last laugh as United snatched a last gasp winner to hand City their first and currently only league defeat of the season.
City were encouraged by their performance and felt it showed that the gap between the two sides had been dramatically reduced but since beating West Ham in September, they have won just 1 of 9 games drawing the other 8. This is hardly the form of Champions or even top 4 contenders but with Liverpool too underperforming, City’s chances of breaking the top 4 are improved. United on the other hand, having lost 4 times are still ahead of City in the league and are still in the Champions League.
For all Man City’s money they will continue to find themselves behind United as United have built and earned a reputation not only in England but also throughout the world. City on the other hand are in a such a rush to be able to catch up with United that they don’t care how.
Regardless, when we meet them next month in the Carling Cup semi finals we will have to change our song from 33 years to 34 to remind ‘Citeh’ when they last won a trophy.