But I fucking told you so. Lucky to heave a draw (thanks to some ridiculous refereeing, it has to be said) with the Potters; and Vieira (rightly) banned for 3 games after spitefully kicking Whelan in the nuts. That, at least, will be a liability (why THE FUCK did we ever sign him? Will someone PLEASE tell me?) lost for a while. Sadly, there are too many other liabilities in the team to think about. Now Bellamy is reminding everyone what an obnoxious little Welsh git he is, though he can occasionally play some decent football. And of course, the filthy Rags scraped a jammy win against the has-beens of Milan.
Incredibly, we are still in 4th place, which says as much about the paucity of the English Premier League this season as it does about Mr Cook's 'journey' or the ludicrous amounts already spent on players who have demonstrated such a poor return on investment. To back up that last statement, I will simply say: Roque Santa Cruz, which roughly translates from the Colombian as 'Totally Shit'.
Some dick on the radio was blabbing on about the lack of creative talent in the game the other day, saying that Rooney and, er, no-one else - oh, all right then, Stevie G as well - was carrying the torch for creative play since Ronaldo joined Real, and that only Adam Johnson - out of all the players in the Premier League - could even dream of approaching the sublime standards set by the ginger Scouse. That's as may be, and watching yet another dour performance at Anfield the other evening, it would be hard to propose any cogent argument against. I tend to fall in the Clough camp when it comes to the reasoning that professional footballers should really know what they are doing, and it is sometimes hard to fathom why so many well paid stars fail to produce the goods so often, though I don't deny that a good motivator can make all the difference in the world.
As for Mancini. Well, I was never that impressed (though for purely partisan reasons, anything has to be an improvement on Sparky) and never took to that ludicrous scarf/suit combo. It could in fact be seen as a symbol of the way he is trying to make the lads play, in that it sits uncomfortably and does not look right. He will learn that catenaccio is not City's way, or indeed any way to play in the Premier League. The fans don't like it, and the players can't deal with it. I read today that Mancini's previous roles called only for him to be the players' coach, and that the other stuff around management was left to an army of others to deal with. Now that he has had to take on the psychology/media relations/people management elements of the job, he is struggling to cope. I know precious little about the set-up in Italian football, but it seems odd to say the least that someone with such limited experience would be thought suitable to boss a club like City.
So - what are my considered views of this weekend's fixture? Will I be able to reproduce the form I have showed to raise me to the top of a very small league? Only time will tell, as I predict yet another 1-1 draw. Prove me wrong City. Prove me wrong.