Everyone knows that the League Cup is at least a tertiary competition these days, and of course we do face the mighty Chelsea Saturday lunchtime, so there had to be some changes. But – all eleven positions rotated from the previous game? You’re having a laugh, as they say in the post room.
Here are the squad profiles for some of the – ahem – less well known players in last night’s team:
Javan Vidal. Manchester born player, who’s served time at Grimsby and Aberdeen (lucky boy! Told you the footballer’s life was a glamorous one) and most recently brought back from the dead, sorry, I meant Derby County, where he played just one game last season. Has made 2 appearances for England Under 19s. I’m not alone in not having seen him play I guess, so can’t really comment.
Ben Mee. Before last night’s game, there was a 0 against all stats for this 20 year old. I can’t even find out if he’s anything to do with Bertie.
Greg Cunningham. All the way from Cregmore FC in the Republic. Has made 2 appearances for the national side, and came on for AJ against the Brummies.
John Guidetti. Swedish. Played for Brommapojkarna, which in itself should have been sufficient warning to leave him out against West Brom.
Surrounding this motley crew was Ibrahim (slightly more recognisable), Boyata, AJ, Vieira, Santa fucking Cruz, Jo and the ever-wonderful Shay.
Nowhere on earth deemed it worthwhile to put the match on the internet (and who can blame them?) so I saw none of the action. The City website went down (again) and so I made do with Twitter and 5 Live updates, trying vainly to tune in to GMR, but blocked by ‘contractual issues’ said the BBC (I can’t understand that. I realise that there may be national broadcast arrangements in place, but why couldn’t I listen to a radio station being broadcast in bloody Manchester? The last time I checked, Manchester was part of England. But I don’t know anything anymore. The farcical 5 Live situation at the weekend, where we had to listen to a fireside chat among Lawro, Alan Green and the rest because fucking Talk Sport had the radio rights to the Rag/Liverpool match says it all. Doesn’t it?)
Many of the fans I saw tweeting last night seemed to think that we should have invested a bit more in this match as a means of attaining some silverware and getting rid of the infamous banner at the Sty. I can see some sense in that, but also think that we couldn’t really risk injuring our first choice players ahead of the Chelsea match. The argument which will always be thrown at us now is that we cannot cry injury as an excuse because of all the money we have spent, so I think we have put ourselves in a difficult position.
Another oft-echoed sentiment, with which I do agree, is that – based on his tactical decisions so far this season – the ‘journey’ looks like it will take Signor Mancini to the Italian equivalent of the dole office very soon.