Spyin' Kop Man City

Posted by Hinesy on November 23, 2006, 07:39:32 PM

2-0 v PSV and the European Bandwagon rolls on to Turkey for Christmas. Meanwhile, back at the base, its the Premiership and the visit of Manchester City. Or Citehhhh to us.

There are many clubs who think themselves to be a 'big' club: Newcastle, Aston Villa, Spurs to mention a few;but often the problem is that they have all too often ended up acting small. Witness the Geordies' current predicament.

Well the biggest club that have acted the smallest have to be Manchester City. A ball hair away from losing a  Division 2 play off, they still pulled in crowd's of 20,000+. I like the club, well, at least I have a soft spot for them. They had Keegan as a manager, they had Dennis Tueart (ask your dad), they consigned the other team in that city to a lower division with a back heel by one of their own - can't be all bad eh...

But they are from Manchester and we want 3 points so any nostalgic glow can be shoved in the canal. So without any other nonsense, here's the Man City Spyin' Kop.

Alonso injured, Gonzalez with a torn hamstring, who knows about Pennant, and the possible return of Didi Hamann, its a big game again for the tricky Reds.

Liverpool v Manchester City
Saturday, 25th November, 2006
Anfield, Liverpool
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Referee: Rob Styles (Waterlooville)

MCFC Club Honours.
European Cup Winners' Cup: 1970

Premier League Best Season: 2004-05 finished 8th

Football League Champions: 1936-37, 1967-68
Football League Runners-up: 1903-04, 1920-21, 1976-77

Division One Champions: 2001-02
Division One Runners-up: 1999-2000

Division Two Champions (original): 1898-99, 1902-03, 1909-10, 1927-28, 1946-47, 1965-66
Division Two Runners-up (original): 1895-96, 1950-51, 1988-89
Division Two Play Off Winners: 1998-99

FA Cup Winners: 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969
FA Cup Runners-up: 1926, 1933, 1955, 1981

League Cup Winners: 1970, 1976
League Cup Runners-up: 1974

FA Charity Shield Winners: 1937-38, 1968-69, 1972-73

Full Members Cup Runners-up: 1986

FA Youth Cup Winners: 1986

Central League Champions: 1977-78, 1986-87, 1999-2000
Only team in Manchester Award 1792- present day.

I have to give a massive thanks to Ric from www.bluemoon-mcfc.co.uk who also pulled in Matty, Dan and TINY from Blue Moon and Steve at www.mcfcstats.com for their honest, swift and often humourous answers. Cheers lads.

1.How do you feel the season has gone so far for you?

Ric: It's been a mixed bag to be honest. Our home form has been suprisingly good (incredibly, we're the only Premiership team yet to concede at home) but our away form is dire, to say the least. 13 defeats in our last 15 away games is a major cause for concern, and needs to be resolved if we're to challenge for the top half.

Steve: Disastrous. Our away form beggars belief. It’s a pure fluke that we are unbeaten at home without conceding a goal. If we get sucked into the relegation zone, we might struggle to get out.

Matt: Pretty poorly. It's been a season of ups and downs, we've picked up 1 point away from home in 6 games but we're unbeaten at home, and haven't even conceded a goal at the City of Manchester Stadium yet. The current home form is a bit of a red herring though I'm afraid, we've never looked convincing and scoring goals has constantly been a problem.

Dan: Good in parts, terrible in others. The high point was our glorious win against Arsenal but the embarassing 4-0 defeat at Wigan quickly disposed of any memory of it. We need to start scoring and drastically need to improve our away form or we could end up in serious trouble.

TINY: As expected really. With the team we have at present and bearing in mind that we have bought a lot of players over the last 12 months and they all need time to bed in, I think were doing OK. A couple of results that were a bit of a shock, but we wouldnt be Manchester City if we didnt beat Arsenal at home and then lose to Chesterfield.

2.What are your personal hopes regarding your manager and his teddy bear?(actually I've been corrected - it's a toy horse)*

Ric: Beanie has been put out to pasture after our 4-0 drubbing at Wigan and rightly so, to use the Brian Marwood vernacular.

Steve: Mmm, the beanie toy (he says making circular motions with the index finger on the temple area). A very likeable man, somebody you’d want as a mate. Most fans are still tolerant, but we should have brought in an older head to help him, not bloody Steve Wigley!

Matt: My personal hopes for his cuddly horse (it's not a bear, THAT would be embarrassing!) are that, like a clumsy nag at Aintree, it gets blasted with a high calbre rifle. As for Pearce the same could be said......Seriously though, Pearce has shaped the team in his own image. Hard working, 100% commitment, limited flair. We'll always be hard to break down, but we couldn't score against a Stephen Hawking select XI. I hope he gets a fair crack at it, stays until the Summer at least, but if things don't improve I think his days are numbered.

Dan: I'm still a big fan of Stuart Pearce. I have a lot of respect for the man and can see what he's trying to do for us. However, the wheels have fallen off in recent time and if things carry on as they are then his days can only be numbered.

As for Beanie (the horse), I think it's about time he was put out to graze. Since the win at home to West Ham he's given us nothing but bad luck.

TINY: I think Pearce could be a top manager given time, but as a club we aren't renowned for giving managers the time when the going gets tough. I hope we stick with Pearce and everyone gives him the backing. As for Beanie...he's had his time in the limelight but its the glue factory for him.

3.Who do you think has been your most important player(s) this season?

Ric: Richard Dunne and Micah Richards have been excellent at the back, whilst Joey Barton has played consistently well in midfield.

Steve: Pass… that is what we need, somebody who can pass! Richard Zidunne gives 100%, as does Weaver, Richards and Distin.

Matt: I would have said Richard Dunne as since taking on the captaincy he's been in fine form, however the debacle at Wigan has lost him the accolade. Nicky Weaver is another possibility, I thought he'd never make it at City following his injuries but, with James sold and Isaakson injured before he even got to play for us, he's been in fine form too. But my vote would go to Micah Richards, he's the future of the club at only 18 (if we can prevent him doing a Wright-Phillips) and he's been playing really well so far.
Dan: I'd have to say Sylvain Distin. I really hope we dont end up losing him any time soon as is looking likely. He's been a rock at the back and (in my opinion) often makes fan favourite Richard Dunne look a lot better than he actually is.

TINY: For me our most important player is Sylvain Distin. At Manchester City at the moment Richard Dunne is the golden boy, he can do no wrong, but for me Distin is the man that makes us a unit at the back. He has got everything, aerial ability to challenge even Hyypia and Carragher, and the pace of Bellamy. For me Distin is a class act. The other important player for me would have to be Weaver, he's come back after a lot of adversity and shown us that he still has what we saw back in the dark old days of Division 2.

4.And your worst player(s)?

Ric: Take your pick from any of our strikers. Corradi, Samaras and Dickov have all been disappointing so far (a measly 2 goals between them at the time of writing)

Steve:  A dead-heat photo-finish for all the players not mentioned in the previous question. All successful teams need a strong “spine”, and we are spineless. Reyna, Sinclair, Thatcher, Mills and now Hamann should be moved on… along with Barton.

Matt: So many to chose from, so little time to do so.....I would say Ben Thatcher, but he's helped the team by getting banned and limiting the negative affect his woeful play would have had on us. Having said that his replacement Jordan has been as useless as his namesake would have been at left back. For shear terrible performances I'd have to go for Bernardo Corradi, he still hasn't scored and Christmas is just around the corner. Plus I've lost count the number of headers he's hit straight at the keeper (apart from last Saturday against Charlton, bleedin' Scott Carson....)

Dan:  Where do I start? We've definitely got too many players putting in below par performances at the moment. Claudio Reyna is one that stands out the most. He's done some good things for the club in previous seasons but far too many injuries and the fact that his legs seem to have gone for good makes him the weakest link in the team at the moment.

TINY: Where to start? Our worst player in my opinion would have to be Stephen Jordan, he is a very average player and that has shown on more than one occasion this season. More recent at the Blue Noses of Liverpool.

5.Didi Hamann - right to buy or wish you'd kept the receipt ?

Ric: At the time I was delighted to have secured Hamann's services, and to gazump Big Sam made it even sweeter. He seemed like the type of composed presence we needed in the centre of the park, but he's been poor so far. Very poor in fact. Not sure if he's carrying an injury, or if he's just here for a final pay cheque, but he's a been a big disappointment.

Steve: Said all the right things as he “signed” from Bolton, but has been a complete waste of time. Nothing to prove, and only motivated by money.

Matt: He's been injured so it might be too soon to judge, but on his showing so far I think he left his zimmer frame at Anfield (either that or Allardyce confiscated it on his short vacation at the Reebok).

Dan:  Didi is yet to live up to his reputation here. I'm hoping that we havent seen the best of him yet and although many of us can appreciate what a good player he is, the fans are growing increasingly frustrated with his poor performances. At City we're usually very good at giving players time but like the aforementioned Claudio Reyna, it's looking like his best days are behind him.

TINY: I was buzzing when it was announced that we had signed Didi Hamann, the guy oozed class in the Liverpool team. However I think thats where the problem lies, he was class in a class team, but now he is getting showed up every game he plays. Although his passing is excellent his pace is a real factor that lets him down, in the Liverpool team that was ok because he had class players all around him that could mop up any mistakes. But in this City team...I'm afraid he's looking his age.

6.Any youngsters/hot prospects coming through ?

Ric: Micah Richards is an exceptional talent, and it's only a matter of time before he becomes a full England international. Depressingly I doubt he'll be at City much longer, despite having recently signed a four year deal, as Chelsea and Arsenal are sniffing around. Hopefully he'll look at what happened to SWP and decide that he's better off playing regularly for City for the time being.

Steve: Apart from Micah Richards (an England cert), Ishmael Miller and Michael Johnson, there is Sturridge and Kelvin Etuhu. I’d flirt off all the timewasters and go down fighting with the kids.

Matt: How long have you got?! I've already mentioned Richards, an ever present at right back, despite centre half being his favoured position. Add to that a newly fit Nedum Onouha (after nearly a year out with knee ligament trouble), Stephen Ireland (already an international for, unsurprisingly, Ireland), Ishmail Miller, Michael Johnson and Joe Hart (who made his debut in the shockingly dull 0-0 draw with Sheffield United, I mean who can't beat Sheffield United, oh.......) and our academy system is one of the few bright spots.

Dan:  Micah Richards is improving as a player every day and goes from strength to strength. It seems only a matter of time however before he goes on to bigger and better things away from the club. Ishmael Miller could also be a good prospect although contrary to the beliefs of Mr Pearce, he isn't a left winger. Another name worth mentioning is Daniel Sturridge who, although is yet to feature in the first team, is a name that is being bandied around as 'the next big thing'. Watch this space.

TINY: Nearly everyone has heard of Micah Richards now, and he is a real prospect at only 18 years old. In terms of younger players, then Daniel Sturridge is probably one that most City fans will talk about. You may remember him from the Youth Cup final last season, he has a real eye for goal and doesn't seem to be affraid of anything. Another name is Michael Johnson who got his first start against Wigan away. Although that game didnt quite go to plan, Johnson remains our Youth captain and looks a very good prospect. We tend to keep pulling youngster out of the hat...so watch this space.

7.What's been the most frustrating thing with your play this season ?

Ric: A complete lack of creativity. We're one of the dullest teams in the Premiership to watch and, in a division comprising the likes of Middlesbrough, Watford and Newcastle, that's saying something.

Steve: No plan, no strike force, no hope.

Matt: A complete, total, all encompassing inability to score a feckin' goal. Our top scorer is Samaras whose scored 3, 2 against West Ham and 1 in another abject away defeat at the mighty Chesterfield in the Carling Cup. We don't even look like scoring (apart from last Saturday against Charlton, bleedin' Scott Carson....again)

Dan:  Our inability to create chances and score goals. We seem to be seriously lacking a midfielder who has the ability to create opportunities and a striker capable of putting them away on a regular basis. Our main problem is that we are carrying to many players who need time such as Georgios Samaras and Bernardo Corradi. Unfortunately, time isn't on our side so these players need to get their act together sooner rather than later.

TINY: GOALS! Since Andy Cole left us there is no-one in the side that you can say has a real eye for goal, that give him a chance and he'll bury it. Samaras has talent, he just needs to be polished a little. Dickov will never score you lots of goals but his workrate is needed at the moment. Vassell has never been prolific but probably remains our best striker, which says a lot. The sooner we bring someone proven in the better.

8.What sort of line-up do you expect Pearce will set up against us?

Ric: Wouldn't surprise me if Pearce employs a cautious approach at Anfield to try and halt the rot on the road. We may go 4-5-1 in the slim hope of nicking a point. Injuries permitting, we'll probably have the following starting line-up:

Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Thatcher, Trabelsi, Barton, Hammann, Reyna, Sinclair, Samaras.

Steve: Nothing for you to worry about, though we do battle against the top teams.

Matt: If he's got any sense then it'll be a 10 man defence. What's the point in playing strikers when they can't score anyway?! I actually think he'll go 4-5-1 with Corradi upfront to utilise his height. I'd hope he'll drop Sinclair soon and play Trabelsi (who's about as likely to pick up n injury as Kieran Dyer but when he plays looks a good player) on the right, but that might be wishful thinking....

Dan:  I'd say a defensive line up as we did against Chelsea on the opening day. I'd prefer to see us attack and get at your throats but i'd expect us to go into this game looking for a draw.

TINY: Pearce will field a similar lineup to that, that played against Arsenal. We'll look to pack the midfield as most teams do at Anfield, and hit you on the break. I expect to see Samaras alone upfront, with Vassell and Beasley providing the pace to try and get inbehind you. Everything else will be pretty self explanatory. Weaver in goal, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Thatcher at the back. With a little luck and Gerrard playing on the right wing, and the same effort we've been showing recently we might keep you down to just the 3-0.

9. Sometimes you play really well and then you lose 4-0 to Wigan. What's the deal ?

Ric: That's the City way, unfortunately. It's been that way for as long as I can remember. From the sublime to the ridiculous, all in the space of two games. We'll beat the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and United from time to time, but get a hiding from Wigan and Chesterfield. Still, it keeps it interesting.

Steve: The only time we appear to play well is against inferior teams. There is some dross in this league.

Matt: We're Manchester City. It's been this way for my entire life (seeing as I was born in 1977, the year AFTER we last won anything, I speak from miserable experience!). If I had a solution to that problem I'd be City's manager. No actually I'd be the manager of a top side, City would somehow STILL manage to lose despite my tactical expertise. NB - This isn't actually true, I'd be City's manager, we leave the glory hunting to that insignificant corporation just outside Manchester.

Dan:  For a long time we've been known as the Kings of Inconsistency and the Great Unpredictables. It's very hard to know what to expect from City on most occasions. The most frustrating thing is that we have played some good stuff at times this season but we just aren't getting the results. However it doesn't take very long for this to turn into the usual hard luck story. Stuart Pearce was known as 'the nearly man' during his playing career and it seems that this ethos has now spread to his team.

TINY: Whats the deal? Manchester City is the deal. Its in the book when you sign up as a young supporter "Thou Shalt not be able to predict Thy Score" Basically anything could happen. Which is why I wouldnt be at all surprised if we turn you over and then get mullered at home to Watford a fortnight later.

10..What do you expect in the way of singing/banter etc from our  support? Do we compare well and how do you rate the atmosphere at Anfield ?

Ric: The atmosphere at Anfield is always pretty good, not the same as it used to be but you could say that about any team these days. The  relationship between City and Liverpool has always been alright, probably due to a mutual loathing of United, although there's always the underlying antipathy between Mancs and Scousers.

Steve: Don’t take this personally because all Premiership stadia are the same now, but your home fans only sing when you are winning. It is sad how the atmosphere has gone. 

Matt: I've never actually been to Anfield (although I have been to Goodison) so I haven't experienced first hand the singing. I'd imagine it'll be pretty loud, especially when you (inevitably) take the lead.

Dan:  I was at the Liverpool vs City game at Anfield last season and was surprised at how quiet the home fans were. This could perhaps be attributed to the fact that the game was a bit of a dull affair so i'm hoping for better this time (although hopefully you wont be too vocal). As a resident of Liverpool myself I think our clubs have a fairly amiable relationship and are united in our hatred of the Stretford Swamp Dwellers. It should be a decent game this time of year as we both need points.

TINY: The times I've been to Anfield its been quite good. There has been lots of banter (Mancs vs Scouse) but nothing malicious as somewhere in your mind you just cant hate someone that shares your detest of the Salford Buccaneers. As for the atmosphere, I think when the Liverpool faithful are really up for it then its an intimidating place to go with all the flags, scarves and banners about but then some games you can hear a pin drop. But thats the way football is at the moment.

11.Do you have any favourite chants and perhaps any that require an explanation?

Ric: Blue Moon will always be our anthem, but "We're not really here" is popular also. Some debate about the origins of this song, but the general consensus is that it started on a pre-season tour of Ireland about ten years ago. A hotel bar was trashed, and when the local constabulary turned up the City fans started singing "We are not, we're not really here, just like the fans of the invisble man, we're not really here". It then took off when we went down to the old Division Three, I think it was the sheer disbelief that we were going to places like Mansfield and Bournemouth every week.

Steve: All the original chants seem to come from the North West, especially City and Liverpool. Everton literally have only got one song, and the Rags “Build a Bonfire” scares the life out of me. Our version is “Build a bonfire, build a bonfire is United’s favourite song, why don’t we have one as scary, where the f*ck did we go wrong”. I like the one we sing to them “F*ck off home, f*ck off home, to the place you belong, down the M6, Kent and Essex, f*ck off home, f*ck off home”. The one that’s unique to us is “Just like the fans of the Invisible Man, we’re not really here”… which apparently goes back to some pre-season tour of Ireland when there was a bit of trouble with the police, and the City fans denied being associated with the club, and started this chant.

Matt: There's one about the Invisible Man, but even I'm not sure of the origins of that one (there are rumours and 'potential' explanations but that's about it). You may well get a rendition of "If you can't talk proper shut your mouth" at some point, and the obligatory "If you all hate United clap your hands" which, surprisingly, always gets a warm reception!

Dan:  Our signature chants are often much better on our travels so expect to hear many. My current favourite is for our striker Georgios Samaras which goes 'He's Greek, He's great, He smashes dinner plates!' Dynamite Manc wit!

TINY: "This is the song of the invisible man because were not really here" is probably one that most fans think "What the hell?" too. Its a very personal song to City and one the came about back in Division 2, there are a few explanations floating about where the song came from. But I'm led to believe our old chairmen Bernstein had something to do with it...to be honest, I quite like the fact that noone knows why? And of course theres the old "we all live in a Robbie Fowler house", which is pretty self explanatory if you know what Fowler gets up to with his out of office hours...

12.Where do you expect yourselves and Liverpool to finish come the end of the season?

Ric: Liverpool will finish fourth, we'll finish 14th.

Steve: Anywhere above the relegation zone will be success for us; Liverpool are so unpredictable, but you’d expect top four still.

Matt: I expect we'll stay up, despite our best efforts not to, somewhere in the bottom half, say 14th or 15th. Liverpool I think have left too big a gap already to challenge the top two, but I still think You'll comfortably gain a Champion's League spot. I'd go for 4th.

Dan:  The way things are at the moment for us, anywhere around mid table would be a decent finish. I'd like to be overly optimistic and say we can aim for Europe but I think it's highly unlikely.

As for Liverpool, you haven't made a fantastic start to the season by your standards but come the end of the season I still expect you to be around 3rd or 4th. I think the title will have to wait at least a few more years before coming to Anfield.

TINY: Us, we'll finish mid table and have a mediocre season, no more, no less. Liverpool...well I had thought and hoped you'd be in contention for the title but you started dreadfully and your away form rivals ours. However you seem to have picked yourselves up a little and Kuyt looks a very good player, so I expect you to be thereabouts come the end of the season. The thing that stands you in good favour is that Chelsea and Scum will drop points this season.

13.Which Liverpool player(s) do you fear the most?

Ric: Gerrard, undoubtedly. The best midfielder in the division by a country mile, and one of the best players in the world. The thinking man's Frank Lampard.

Steve: We fear all players wearing red kits, but not Middlesbrough.

Matt: I fear no-one! Fear is for wimps! Alternatively perm 1 from 11! Is there anyone struggling for a goal at the moment, as the charity that is Manchester City is in town so he's guaranteed to get one. I remember when Owen was in a barren spell, you came to Maine Road, and beat us 3-0 with an Owen hattrick! That Dirk Kuyt guy looks a good player so I'll say him, he's like a less Shergar looking Van Nistelrooy.

Dan:  Steven Gerrard is the finest midfielder in the Premiership so he's the obvious candidate. Dirk Kuyt also looks to be an excellent player in front of goal so our defence will have their work cut out to keep him quiet on the day.

TINY: Can I not answer which Liverpool I dont fear? I would be much easier! Well Gerrard obviously although when he's played on the right wing it does give you a little lift because he just cannot dictate the play from out there. Alonso is one of, if not the best passer of a ball in the Premiership so your defence always has to be on guard against him. Kuyt looks a very decent player and gets in good posistions. And good old super spider Crouch...well his goals to games ratio is excellent and hes a major threat to any defence.

14. Fowler ? Wished he'd stayed or glad he went back to us ?

Ric: No one was particularly disappointed to lose Fowler. He was on big wages and his heart never really seemed in it at City. Once Liverpool came calling he was always going to leave. Despite his indifferent form for City, it's quite pleasing that his last touch in a City shirt was to blast the ball for van der Sar in last season's 3-1 derby win. He left on a high.

Steve: I have gone on record many times as saying that the signing of Robbie Fowler was the lowest point in our recent history. We lost our Chairman, and he disrupted a decent team spirit we had. Sorry, but he should have retired gracefully whilst still at the top.

Matt: Neither of the above. He was never 100% fit or 100% commited to City (unless we played United in which case he was well up for it!). He was going to leave last Summer anyway as his contract was up and neither party wanted to renew it. I don't wish him any ill will, but he's gone now so thats the end of it.

Dan:  I always found Fowler quite a depressing player to watch at City. Although at times he showed flashes of his former brilliance he never quite had it. I don't really know what your opinion of him is but surely even the most avid Red can see that he isn't what he once was.

TINY: At the time I was glad to see him gone but in hindsight given our current strike rate I'd love to see him back. Fowler never wanted to play for us, he never wanted to play for Leeds either. His love has always been Liverpool and I think without them, Fowler just wasnt going to be the same player. He never put in that same effort or looked the same player unless he wore all red. Good luck too him though, its nice to see him back home and enjoying his football.

15.And your feelings on Liverpool this season? How well do you think Rafa has done?

Ric: I thought Liverpool would challenge for the title this year, but your away form has let you down. Overall you can't argue with Benitez, an FA Cup and Champions League in two seasons is a pretty impressive achievement. That league title seems as elusive as ever though.

Steve: I’d be happier if you were 10 points ahead of the Sh*te, but doesn’t winning the Champions League guarantee him a job for life.

Matt: I'd say, by your standards, you've been mediocre so far. Too many dropped points already have, realistically, put you out of the title race. Europe has been fine, very efficient (at least you didn't lose to some Danish farmers anyway....) but your league form has let you down. Benitez seems a good manager, but I personally aren't a fan of the squad rotation thing (maybe because we can't do it due to only have 11 half decent players!).

Dan:  As I said earlier, it hasn't exactly been a great start to the season for you. Benitez (or the Tinker Man as he's now been labelled) doesn't seem to know what his best eleven is and he needs to find out fast or face falling behind the likes of the Mancs and Chelsea. You don't seem to be consistent enough at the moment and this is what separates the wheat from the chaff in this division. Good luck to you however. I'd much rather see you win the title than any of the other contenders.

TINY: I read an interview with Steven Gerrard recently that pointed out that the players had let Rafa down, and I agree with him. Benitez has brought some quality players into your club and I think everyone was surprised that you haven't taken the league by storm. Liverpool always look capable of going on a similar run as last season, was it not losing in 14 or something? And 22 clean sheets? Correct me if I'm wrong. If Liverpool can go on that sort of run again this season then I can see you being propelled back to the top of the league as I'm sure Salford and Chelsea will be dropping points this season. I think any football purist would like Liverpool to win the league again in the not to distant future.

16.Who do you hate more ? Ferguson or Gary Neville ? At least we have one thing in common...

Ric: Tricky question, as I loathe them both. It's akin to asking who do you prefer, Idi Amin or Pol Pot. At a push I'd probably reserve marginally more bile for Ferguson; Neville is more of a tragic comedy figure in our eyes, whereas Ferguson is intrinsically evil. An agent of Satan, if you like.

Steve: Definitely Gary Neville. The more the poor lad tries to show how focused his is on the job in hand, the greater our joy when he cocks up. I can’t even bring myself to cheer him on in an England shirt.. “If the Nevilles can play for England, so can I”

Matt: Ferguson. He's ridden the coat-tails of having a lot of top players come through the youth team all at the same time. Give any half decent manager (or even Fergie!) Beckham, Butt, Giggs, Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville etc for absolutely nothing and see what they can do. They'd win the title too. Once other teams got half decent (Arsenal and now Chelsea) and he doesn't come close to the title. As for Neville, a mate of mine is the Commercial Director of a company he owns and classes him as a friend. He's (by association) a source of inside info for me. I heard about the Van Nistelrooy falling out and inevitable departure before most other people and I was given insider info on the Rooney/Ronaldo World Cup spat whilst the squad we're still out in Germany. For that reason alone I can 'tolerate' the weasel faced, pre-pubescent tached little scrote (that and the way Goater robbed him of the ball to score in our 3-1 win over the Scum in the last ever Derby at Maine Road, first victory over United since the late 80's).

Dan:  I'd like to say I hate anyone who pulls on the red shirt equally but that would be a lie as these two are by far the worst. Gary Chuckle just edges it for me. It was one of my proudest moments as a City fan to see him embarassed in a Derby game a few years ago. Long may it continue.

TINY: (didn't answer)

17.And to finish, what's the score? Care to hazard a guess?

Ric: 2-0 to Liverpool

Steve: We’ll be lucky to score nil.

Matt: We'll lose. We're absolute gash away from home. I'll guarantee now we won't score either. I'll say 2-0 to Liverpool, with us being extremely lucky to score 0. Our only chance is if your squad come down with Spurs style food poisoning before the game. Don't let them have the Spag Bol, that's all I'm saying.......

Dan:  At best I can see us getting a draw from this one. Anfield is a tough place to go for anyone but seeing as we cant win for Toffee on our travels then it doesn't look good. Optimistically I'd say 1-1. Realistically, 2-0 Liverpool.

TINY: If we score first 2-2. If you score first 3-1 to Liverpool. It will be an interesting game and one we'll have to be well up for. City til I die.

Thanks to all the  lads. As ever City are the original rollercoaster club and the answers above show 2 sides to their fans feelings. Its a measure of their undying love for the club that the question about the songs elicited the biggest answer, always keen to give a good atmosphere, and their gallows humour is something that comes with the frustration of watching a big club act small. Its nice to see fans who are also knowledgeable about football in general. For me, my favourite bit is Steve's answer
“Build a bonfire, build a bonfire is United’s favourite song, why don’t we have one as scary, where the f*ck did we go wrong”. I like the one we sing to them “F*ck off home, f*ck off home, to the place you belong, down the M6, Kent and Essex, f*ck off home, f*ck off home”.
Who says the Kop only have the comedians.

* For those who don't know, Pearce placed his daughter's toy horse in the technical area for the West Ham game which they won. Reports that fans thought they'd signed Van Nistlerooy are cruel and unfounded.

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