View from the away end – Manchester City

Howey the lad. Former Newcastle and City defender.
In today’s edition of view I speak to Manchester City fan Richard. I met Richard many years ago through my Dad. I’ve played football with him once or twice which is always nice way to meet someone.

Richard is a lifelong City fan and was there supporting his team during the club’s dark days. He certainly isn’t a glory hunter who saw Man City’s big money takeover as an opportunity to support a club that’s bound for glory. It must be said that exciting times are inevitably ahead for Richard and his team of choice.

Manchester City have started this season wonderfully. They are certainly looking like a team capable of winning the League in my opinion. I must be honest, I wasn’t convinced that City were quite ready to be branded Premier League winner contenders, but judging by recent performances I may be forced to eat my words. The club have been labelled as ‘noisy neighbours’ by arch-rivals Manchester United, but after living in the shadow of the Red Devils for so long could this be Man City’s season?

Richard is a top guy and was a close friend of my Dad’s. When I see him up town he likes to remind me that we’re not of City’s calibre. All good banter and Rich is actually married to a Newcastle fan, so his judgement must be pretty decent. Here’s what Rich had to say:

What do you think of Newcastle fans?

Fanatical and loyal. They, like us, have stood behind their team in all adversity – and also like us, until very recently, have had very little success to shout about.

If you could have any Newcastle player at City who would it be and why?

None. This is no disrespect to Newcastle in particular as you could ask the question in regards to most teams in the world and the answer would be the same.

OK I’ll rephrase the question, who is our most valuable player in your opinion?

Probably Steven Taylor. Local lad for whom playing for the Toon means everything. The sort of commitment that money can’t buy.

Who is your favourite Newcastle player of all time and why?

Phillipe Albert. A gifted and very clever player. That chipped goal over Schmeichel will live long in the memory.

What do you think of St James’ Park from an away fan’s point of view?

Up in the gods, atmospheric. Have fond memories of my visits there.

Roberto Mancini is certainly getting it right at City now, but what do you think of our manager Alan Pardew?

A genuine guy who will always try his best, but will not take you on very far. Never understood removing a man of similar talents Chris Hughton as they did they both would probably have done what is required – keep you premiership with no real investment.

What are your opinions of our owner Mike Ashley?

This man is a complete dickhead – self-publicist, always wore the black & white around town – likes to be seen drinking with the lads and, as I write, is in the papers photographed stripping off in a London restaurant. His only interest is in money and he will offload the team to the first person who meets his price irrespective of who they are so he can get back to his beloved Tottenham Hotspur. You will only move forward when he is gone.

How do you think we have done in the transfer market? The sales of Nolan and Enrique and release of Barton. Are they mistakes?

Your transfer dealing meet Ashley’s requirements perfectly. Sell whoever you can for best price – with the exception of Barton – to get the debt and wagebill down replace with whatever dross is available on a free. Again, to make the club appear financially sound to any would be investor but absolutely bankrupt it on the pitch in the process.

Silly question, but I have to ask everyone. Who will finish higher out the two of us this season?

If, after the investments we have recently made compared with what Newcastle have done, we do not finish above you something will have gone horribly wrong at City and yes the same answer applies to most of the Premier League teams.

Score predictions?

I do not want to get carried away here, as supporting City for as long as I have you still have memories of them snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. However this new regime is building confidence in even the most pessimistic City fans that they are real deal so I will only say I expect us to win both fixtures.

St James’ Park – 1-3
Etihad Stadium – 3-0.

Joey Barton is a player you had on your books. He caused a bit of bother at City. What’s your opinion of Joey Barton now? How would you of felt if he ended up back at City?

Joey Barton is his own worst enemy as nearly all his newsworthy exploits have happened off the pitch where there is no-one around to control him. On the pitch where there are rules and regulations as to what you can and cannot do he has proved to be a good player. Never England quality, but has never been sought out by the better teams because of the baggage attached to him hence ending up in a relegation dog fight at QPR. He will never be back at City we have moved on from needing players of his standard.

How do you think we did in our first season back in the Premier League last year?

You did what was expected of you ie, stay up and on the gravy train that is the Premier League. Normally after that you invest to be more than a team that makes the numbers up the following season. However as stated that does not appear to be on your current owners agenda.

Last season, De Jong’s ‘challenge’ Ben Arfa at City Of Manchester Stadium. Do you remember the incident and what are your thoughts?

I was right in line with the event and although the tackle in real time looked clumsy it did not appear malicious. De Jong is a tough committed player and is there to win the ball and unfortunately his reputation has suffered from that incident and the so called Kung Fu tackle at the World Cup.

Football as I remember it is a contact sport and there was a time all teams had an enforcer who was famous for it “Chopper Harris” – “Bite your legs Hunter” – do not forget City’s most famous son King Colin had his career cut short by an assassin whose name is not fit to appear on the same page as his. The problem today is any contact causes players to roll around as if shot so referees have to decide whether they are being conned or not. That said, I take no pleasure seeing any player carried off the field. I hope he makes a full recovery & plays to his full potential again. With TV cameras today there is no escape. For anyone who breaks the rules as they can be retrospectively dealt with so the real cloggers have nowhere to hide.

Man City and Newcastle have a few links in terms of people that have represented both clubs. In a sentence can you sum up the following?

Stuart Pearce – Gave 100% for the team never shirked a tackle. Great player – so so manager.

Dietmarr Hamann – Best days behind him. Complete waste of space at City.

Andy Cole – Scored some notable goals. Came for the money – moved to Portsmouth for the money.

Sylvain Distan – Great defender. Moved on to better things he thought – if only he’d known.

Shay Given – Great shot stopper. Would probably be No. 1 but for Joe Hart.

Antoine Sibierski – On his best day was never more than truly awful.

Craig Bellamy – Great player and totally committed on the pitch. Joey Barton’s role model off it!

James Milner – Hard working, covers all areas of the pitch.

Steve Howey – Good, solid goalscoring defender. ( 11 goals in 94 appearances for City)

Kevin Keegan – Passionate.

I would like to thank Richard for his time and agreeing to take part in the interview. I think he raised some very interesting points and although some of his points were blunt I find it hard to disagree with a lot of his views. I’m also chuffed that finally someone has mentioned Albert. What do you guys think?

59 thoughts on “View from the away end – Manchester City

  1. Good read, and he’s got his head in the right place, to be fair they will probably do us for 5 at their place


  2. Good article mark I actually found that read to make the chap sound like a very shallow Man city supporter; just because they are a force now he forgets that they have no history at all.


  3. Yes, City have had no history since 1880.

    Ironic that a Newcastle fan can make the same mistake as many post-1992 supporters, by confusing history and success.


  4. I have to say your friend Richard sounds like a pompous goon, I am sure he wouldn’t have answered with such delusions of grandeur if a rich Arab had not bought his club – at least our owner is English, we may be a selling club these days but still a proud one all the same.
    It really would worry me if Newcastle ever ended up with foreign owners, after all we are an English team with an English owner, a massive positive in my book!


  5. Mike don’t get touchy we are happy with our history! 😉

    We would love an Arab owner like you lot but we wouldn’t want to ruin football either.

    The wages you lot pay are ridiculous and one day when the Arabs lose interest it will be a hard fall surely?


  6. Liam, there is nothing I would hate more than an Arab owner (OK an American owner would be worse). English team + English owner = perfection.
    OK MA comes across as a bit of an idiot, but there is no denying that we are much better off now than we were 4 years ago before he took over.
    Biggest mistake MA made was not keeping hold of Chris Mort, 10x better spokesman that the agitating imbecile Llambias.


  7. Another good read Mark.

    Really looks like City and ManU will run away with the league with Chelsea 3rd and a mad dash for 4th. Nice to see a bit of new blood in there, though don’t like the way City have gone about it


  8. @17. I thought that strange as well. I think it’s because he got off to such a poor start, then relegation, so I think other clubs’ supporters made up their minds on him and haven’t seen enough of him to change it.

    Collo could play for any club in England…


  9. Think most Newcastle fans would agree Tiote would challenge for a place (i.e De Jong’s position) in the City team, maybe that’s bias?, other than that I agree none of our squad would get into your team/squad. On a different note the reason De Jong has a reputation is because in the space of 4 months he broke Stuart Holden’s leg and HBA’s aswell as that tackle in the final without any apology. The Holland coach dropped him after the HBA challenge, he’s a disgrace. It would make my day if someone broke his legs!


  10. Foggy, got to say I would enjoy that a little too. The guy’s a dangerous thug. Can’t wait til they play sunlund with phil bardsley and lee cattermole throwing in some stomps


  11. Gotta say, I’m not sure how much of a connection I would feel with the club if it accelerated like Citeh has. From when they first took over, there are what, 2 players who are still part of the first team? Only Italian manager too. Just thought I’d throw that one out there.

    I’m still frightened for how ourgame at their place in November is going to turn out


  12. Andrew T – one of the amazing things about the Arab owners of city an what they have done for the club is how much they have considered and involved the fans. The supporters experience is now far better, communications with them is the beat around using social media, the facilities and ticket prices are among the beat and much improved on before their day and everything is done with a blue mindset, not just a standard providing a service kind of approach. So the connection with our history and all that we know, remember and love about our club is still there! We are still the same club and it still feels like city (especially when we lose).


  13. Bon soir mon petit pois.

    How goes it? Another week of nights in the shi* tip.

    Cant wait for tonights game, which probably means there will be a great deal of dissapointment and we lose 2-0 or something in a damp squib of a game. I am really looking forward to seeing Santooon play and see who plays at RB with the rumours of Simmo not signing a deal. Not sure if I am too bothered at the prospect of him going, if we manage to pull our fingers out and get Pieters in Jan, move Santooon to RB we could be well sorted anyway.

    I would like to see Pards go with a 4-2-3-1 formation again tonight.







  14. AndrewT… much connection do we have with the club now apart from the obvious emotional one? Ashley involves the fans in no aspect of Newcastle United other than taking our cash via the turnstiles, at least Citeh’s owners seem to involve them more. Most fans would have been more than happy if fatman had dipped into his own pockets and spent £50m on players and us to qualify for the Europa league, but some of those fans would then slag City for spending £200m and winning the title. There’s no difference between the 2 other than the amount, the success would still be bought.
    Blackburn bought the title, Chelsea bought the title, Man Utd buy the title every year when they spend to strengthen, Liverpool are trying to buy the title, City will buy the title. Now some of there fans might think the amount of money being spend is disgusting and obscene but I bet they don’t love their clubs any the less and would I swap places with them to see the club I love win something after my near 40 barren years? fecking right I would 😀


  15. Yeah agree with Rich. Never got why there is such a downer on the Arabs to be honest. I’d love it if they were here and wouldn’t give a toss about it. It may end up messy, but my god it would be fun along the way 😀

    Alas it’s not to be. I’ve penned a thread about it which will be up later. It’s a bit depressing but it essentially looks at what we can realistically hope to achieve under Ashley, or anyone that is not a multi-billionaire really.


  16. Aye Toonsy, if we had been bougth out my mega rich owners and won something after spending obscene money, there’s not one of us who wouldn’t be p!ssed, singing and dancing in the streets. Good luck to them, they’ve been through the mill like us and regardless it’s good to see another club giving the usual suspects someone else to worry about regardless of how they got there. A couple of seasons ago the top four were nailed on, now they’re not which surely at the very least, adds a bit more interest.


  17. Right, off to work again 🙁

    Catch yous tomorrow. Don’t finish til 10:30pm 🙁

    That reminds me. Best tape the footie. Hopefully we win so everyone will still be up 🙂


  18. Agree with Toonsy and Richie

    It would be fantastic if the world was like it used to be, and we had a local team, local manager, local owners, but unfortunately the world has changed, and those days are gone for good.

    The world is a tiny place, because of short overseas flights, social media, families and friends spread around the world, multicultural residents.

    So that sense of tradition is fading, and that is clear to see when you look at even our squad.

    The only “Geordie” and even he was born in London I think worthy of a place in the first team right now is Steven Taylor. So who cares if the money invested in creating a quality squad comes from rich arabs or rich locals.

    All we want now is entertaining football and something good to support.

    Ideally what you’d want from rich owners is to buy all the best Geordie players in the world. Put them together in a team. Pay them well and top it up with three or four top exports.


  19. Question for anyone who fancies asking:

    Everything I’ve seen of Obertan so far has implied talent on the ball but laziness off it. We’re talking Strolla laziness here.

    I heard he was a bit more up for it at Fulham, but only caught the MotD highlights as I was on holiday – any truth in this? Or was he still competing with Shola for ‘slowest approach to the ball’?


  20. Blip

    Obertan was a lazy shite against the Scum, but he definately put in a much improved shift against Fulham.
    Whether he can keep it up or not is another story. I’d like to see him try take on his defender more. But his defensive work and tracking back was much improved against Fulham.


  21. When Keegan was here spending John Hall’s money and we were at the top of the table (or thereabouts) we reacted badly to those who suggested we were trying to buy the title. I don’t feel comfortable criticising the likes of City for doing likewise just because they have a foreign owner.


  22. Richie @ 40,

    Yet the last chairman to splash out record fees on players and take us into the Champions League has a name like mud :S


  23. NEIL WARNOCK says he trusts Joey Barton not to do anything stupid tonight.

    “If he runs out on the pitch and thumps someone I will probably say ‘Yes he was probably a little too fired up!’

    “I thought with Joey’s situation, London would be best for him. He’s very articulate with his tweets.

    “I know he likes museums and oil paintings. I thought London would tempt him and his wife.


  24. Moreno @41

    No, I’m not mate… I perhaps should have said ‘starting place’ instead of said players derserving of a ‘first team place’…

    Don’t think either Shola or Sammy deserve to be in the starting eleven.


  25. Cheers JJ. I watched the scum game and thought much the same about Obertan. Wonder if he realised he’s a lazy shite, or if Pardew got stuck in?


  26. Moreno – Are you saying that spending vast amounts of money on named players regrdless of ability is the way to go?

    Granted Shepherd spent, but how many of his signings actually worked out.

    There is such a thing as careful spending. If you put Shepherd’s spending with the current scouting/approach to transfers we’d not have dropped so dar imo.


  27. Moreno…..thats the fickle world of football mate, if we’d won something then maybe it would have been different, of course that chairman had plenty of other faults too, also spending money is all well and good but if you have the wrong manager in charge buying the wrong players then the money means nowt, just ask the filthy inbreds down the road 😉


  28. JJ – Of course Barton is cultured. He used a cigar and not a cigarette remember.

    I also expect him to glass someone using a bottle of Pimm’s 😀


  29. @ 49

    Na Toonsy, I think when Joey cuts someone in London, he’ll use a bottle of Chivas Regal – it is the gentleman’s choice after all.

    In all honesty, I was one of Joey’s biggest fans – until he started his ‘articulate tweets’, then just wished he’d leave.


  30. Biggest midtake Shepard ever made was signing Michael Owen for 17mil on wages of 110k/week.

    For that we have got Cabaye (4.5), Santon (5.5), Ben Arfa (6.5), Cheik Tiote (3.5), and Dan Gosling (free). and we cover at least three of those players wages.

    Its ridiculous how bad that signing was really. I wanted to cry the day we signed Owen and I hated him ever since.

    Completely agree with Toonsy, if we spent half as much as we did under Shepherd with this scouting approach, it would be the perfect mix.


  31. I was actually pretty chuffed when we got Owen (even if he did come for the money). The mistakes involved with St Mick were a) his wages and b) making him captain.

    I admit he’s a mercenary, but we couldn’t really have foreseen his injury problems. When he played, he tended to play quite well and got a decent enough return. Plus he was a bit of a revelation playing almost an AM role under KK.


  32. “Pardew – Ashley makes things harder”

    Read the article and everything Pardew says is just and unbias towards either the board or the fans.

    Yet Sky take use a headline that tries to stir the pot and make it look like Pardew is going to war with the owners in support of the fans. Typical.


  33. The board don’t really know which direction their going and are a little bit muddled in their thoughts. Lambias said that Ashley is passionate and committed to NUFC then in the next breath says the supporters don’t make him feel welcome so he won’t be putting his hand in his pocket. Come on Derek, which one is it?


  34. Stuart79

    I agree, he also said the club would not survive without the money Ashley is PUTTING (not has put) into the club to keep it a float.
    Yet, he then goes on to say Ashley won’t put his hands in his pockets anymore.

    Lets get things straight, the only reason Ashley put his hands in his pockets were:
    1) He failed to do due dilligence and thus had to fork out to save himself massive interest on debt payments.
    2) He made some shocking decisions which led to our relegation, thus he has to put in money to save his investment.

    So he is hardly the saviour Lambias makes him out to be.


  35. I’m a City fan and I found his comments rather smug and arrogant and derisory to your fine club.
    Just because we have money it’s no guarantee of success (the Malcolm Allison era of the late 70s where he spent money wildly nearly bankrupted the club – remember Steve Daley anyone ? – and brought no success at all.
    So far we’ve won the FA Cup. That’s it. We’ve won 4 games so far this season and played really well but I’m not getting carried away with it. I never underestimate any opponent and would expect a very tough game at SJP. I’d gladly take a 1-0 or a 2-1 win now if you offered it to me.
    i was hoping we would buy Enrique but we went for Clichy and Liverpool got him and i think he will do well there.
    I don’t rate Pardew I am afraid (never have) but think you will end up about midway this season.


  36. I’d take Tiote in exchange for Hargreaves and that’s for sure 🙂

    As for the Arab bashers amongst you, if Col Gadafi turned up on Tyneside with a loory load of gold you’d bite his hands off and kiss his butt.

    The scousers bought the titles for a decade with Moores Littlewood money, Blackburn bought it once with Walkers money, well spent on Saint Alan as I recall, the Rags at Swampland have outspent the rest put together for half a century and Roman Abramovic bougt it with dirty Sibneft money and despite everything they have spent Spurs haven’t got close 😉

    Sooooooooooooooo, why all the grief for City.

    Oh, and I have earned the right to enjoy our moments in the sun. I went to Lincoln, Macclesfield (our derby that year!), Wycombe, Bournemouth, Port Vale (horrible) and several other places that I never expected to vist and have to say that in the main, their supporters were diamond (exclude Burslem from that!) and my previous finest moment was the Wembley 2nd Div play off final against Gillingham!

    I hope you get an investor worthy of your club’s supporters and the passion that the North East has for the game. It’s a sad reflection that before Saint Alan, all you have had to boast about in my lifetime (and I’m 70) are Malcolm MacDonald and Jackie Milburn (who was a Sunderland fan)! They only managed 27 England caps between them and neither of them could hold down the Engurland shirt for long!


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