Pretty soon, no matter where we are in the world, when someone asks us who we support, we'll just answer: "City".
And they'll know exactly who we mean.
Press round-upCouple of interesting pieces in yesterday's broadsheets. First is from the Guardian's Spanish football correspondent, Sid Lowe. Here's an extract about Soriano's time at Barcelona:
When Rijkaard was struggling in the first season, Sandro Rosell, then one of the vice-presidents, agitated to sack the Dutchman and sign Luiz Felipe Scolari, rejecting the style that now seems so entrenched. As Soriano told Graham Hunter for his exceptional book Barça: "[Rosell and his group's] idea was that this kind of football, the Barça style, was outdated. We lost [to Chelsea] and they said: 'You see? We should hire a Scolari-type manager and bigger, stronger players.' The magic we achieved was to say: 'No, that's not who we are. We play spectacular football and will not deviate.'"
Lowe also reveals that Soriano has a formula for success: (CxE)T. It means 'Commitment multiplied by balance to the power of talent'.
Maybe that was what Gullit meant when he talked about "CxE football"?
Over at the Telegraph, Oliver Brown offered a thoughtful account of City's transformation, which included this tit-bit:
There is a story at City of how, when former chief executive Garry Cook reported for his first day at the office, he asked where the human resources department was, only to be told: “We don’t have one.” Such duties rested, the incredulous Cook was informed, in the hands of “Pam from accounts”.
That chaos has given way, in just five years, to the slickest streamlining. Even the arrangement of Khaldoon Al-Mubarak’s ‘chairman’s lounge’, an über-deluxe set of suites inside the Colin Bell Stand, is meticulously configured by Natasha Mullany, City’s ‘head of protocol’.
'Head of protocol?' Blimey, we're getting posh, us. I now have an image of Ms Mullany patiently explaining to Negredo which one is the fish knife, before scurrying off to the next table to prevent Micah passing the port to his right.
Typical City.. Down to ten men for a team photo
After posting a picture gallery of historic team photos yesterday, an eagle-eyed chap named Tim Humphreys noticed that this picture from 1987 only contained ten men.
My first thought was that notorious cheap-skate Peter Swales had decided that paying for a photographer was an unnecessary expense and had ordered one of the team to take it.
However, all was explained by Simon Curtis, from the excellent Down The Kippax Steps, and general expert on these matters. "I think you'll find Mark Seagraves is just out of picture to the left, eating one of the goalposts", he tweeted.
The picture gallery has 113 images from 1884-85 to the present.
|Click on the image to view all 113 photos at Picassa Web Albums|
The first photo in the album, taken in January 1885, is one I've devoted a whole chapter to in my new book, A Man's Game: The Birth of Mancunian Football and the Origins of Manchester City FC.
The book names, for the first time, all the people on that photo, and reveals new evidence that explains why the players wore a Maltese Cross on their shirts.
A Man's Game has been the bestselling City book on Amazon.co.uk recently. You can read some of the reviews lower down the page.
Buy direct through the publisher for £9.75 + £2.75 P&P via the BuyNow button
(Amazon.co.uk price £9.96 + £2.75 P&P)