Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We Want Sven.

As a Manchester City fan I was delighted when Thai billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra bought into the club before the start of the current English Premier League season. Obviously the money he brought to the table was one thing but the appointment of Sven Goran Eriksson to most City fans was a sign of hope after a couple of particularly mediocre seasons. It was also a relief as Sven took the reins only three weeks before the start of the season. "How will he possibly get a competitive side together in time?" was a question many of us were asking but stunningly he assembled a squad that sat in the top four for most of the first half of the season. He introduced the EPL to the likes of Martin Petrov, Elano and Vedran Corluka who have been standouts this season, in particular Petrov. The team's performance has deteriorated since that fine start and Thaksin has voiced his displeasure with the manager, mostly not to the manager himself. This is where Thaksin shows a complete lack of understanding of the game and illustrates that he has no concept of the word 'team'.

The form slump began with City struggling to find the back of the net. They had lost Valeri Bojinov to a serious knee injury in the Manchester Derby earlier in the season and had released Rolando Bianchi after he was not quite able to fit in. Elano was then injured. This left City with very few striking options and worse was to come. Petrov was suspended and down went the back four one by one. No doubt Thaksin was upset at the weekend when the side let a two goal lead slip to lose against Fulham but things like that can happen when you have a striker/midfielder (Elano) playing right back. The man simply has no troops to choose from at the moment.

Sven has done a very good job with City. Any fan wearing sky blue will tell you this. He also did a fine job with England although no-one from England will admit as much. How the English thought they were going to win it all without the technical ability and skills of the likes of Italy, France and Brazil and lacking creativity through the midfield was a tad bemusing. A World Cup quarter final? Is that all we can come up with? Well, quite frankly, yes, that was a good result for that particular squad.

Manchester City fans everywhere are outraged by this decision. After being lucky enough to attend City's home win over Aston Villa I could sense just how much the blue half of Manchester revered and admired the man. We are waving goodbye to a well-spoken, quotable, successful and enormously popular manager who was given only one year to prove his worth after building a team from scratch. And Thaksin has been hopelessy outnumbered on this one, not just by the fans, but the media, and more importantly the players as well. The players love playing for him and are reported to be shattered by his impending departure.

Just hope your club is not next to be taken over by an irrational and naive fool from a country that knows nothing about football and who has far too much money and time on his hands.

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