Monday, February 28, 2011


And so it came to pass. City's annual wash-out against Fulham, as unwholesome as City's annual washouts against Tottenham, the annual washouts v Everton and the annual cup quarter final cave-in, ended in acrimony, hoots of derision and a happy slappy between the managers. As wash-outs go, this one was pretty painless, anaemic even. Anyone managing to sit still long enough to take in the full 90+ minutes, would not be capable of feeling pain, numb from the elbows out by the time Yaya Touré stumbled deliberately into an indelicate attempt at an 89th minute back-heeled flick through ball (slightly maladroit in its purchase, more or less completely inappropriate given the urgency and precision required at that particular moment). If you had stuck a toothpick in my calf, I might not have noticed, a knitting needle in the thigh, not a flinch.

Kolarov: boxer short fashionista
But, then, what had shuffled before Yaya's buffalo pirouette had also been the last word in clumsiness and disinterest. Where Chelsea have the unerring fullback accuracy of Ashley Cole (ping...oof), City rejoice in the lumbering boxer short brothers, Boateng and Kolarov. Boateng runs like an old lady falling down a flight of stairs, whilst Kolarov's inadequate take on how to defend is matched only by his undoubted wish to score a goal like Maradona before he passes from this mortal coil.

Ah well, the clean Manchester air seemed at least to be to Mark Hughes' liking. He was frisky and stern and, when finally presented with an opportunity very late on to drop the Sparky for Spiky, he took it with a flamboyant upward gesture of dismissal to Mancini that would have looked great in a spaghetti western. Evidently Roberto had given him the old Sampdoria Fake Shake and we don't take kindly to a lack of respect in the Sparky Household.

With head throbbing, heart pounding and legs aching, City face Villa, Wigan, Dynamo Kiev, maybe Everton, certainly Liverpool. If we are to survive this little lot, it will not be with the team put out today. So get out your prayer mats, I'll get out mine, let's pray to the West for David and Vincent, Nigel too, for a City without its spine is truly a spineless City.

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