Why would a bunch of Arabs buy a toilet, albeit a brand spanking (?) new one ? I always used to think Citeh fans were a bit better than their Manc brethren, but after Saturday, when we happened to be a few seats away from the refugees and squatters from Wythenshawe and Mosside, I can’t see much difference (except the Manc excrement doesn’t come just from Manchester). “Always the Victims”, ”Steve Gerrard, Gerrard” seem to be the only 2 chants they have, apart from the dirge that is Blue Moon. I know why they stand alone. Don’t they have any heroes to sing about? perhaps Denis Law, but only since he sent the Mancs down, not because Citeh were any good.
The Arabs have assembled a formidable squad, with more depth than ours, a management full of Barca old boys, including the most successful manager ever, and our own Rodolfo Borrell, sacked by Rodgers, and at a cost which defies belief, but for 37 minutes there was nothing in it in what was a great advert for attacking football. I have little doubt that with our attacking formation intact (instead of toothless without Mane, then Salah, then Firmino), we would have won 3-5. And then John Moss decides to ruin it all by sending Mane off for an unintentional foul that messrs Shearer, Lineker and Wright all said on MOTD that they would have committed in going for the ball, that even the Scouse hating Gary Neville claimed was not a sending off offence. Where does intent come into it? if a hand ball has to be intentional, why does a reckless challenge not have to be? MOTD’s coverage was poor however. The only attack of ours which was shown was the Salah pass back into their goalie’s arms. They missed both the Citeh bookings, both for intentional cynical (and reckless?) fouls, an inch or two outside the box, so avoiding penalties. Was Mane’s offence worse? of course not. Was the referee on the take? Funny what Arab money can buy (but certainly not love)
It doesn’t buy fans either. For a top of the table clash, they can’t fill their stadium. They have blue seats so that on TV the viewer might think someone with a replica shirt is sitting in them. Be in no doubt, this is a small club with a small fanbase which is benefitting from non football money for the time being. UEFA needs to get a grip on Citeh (and PSG etc) and start docking points, not fining them, for cheating on the financial side. Can our own FA do something to level the playing field? they didn’t bother with Chelski when they bought the title. Would they be brave enough to do what the Scottish FA did to Glasgow Rangers even though it was against the short term interests of Scottish football? of course not. No balls, or rather continue the tradition of incompetence or of taking the bungs in true football fashion.
However, the most disappointing thing about yesterday was the number of our fans who left early. I hope they got soaked in the tropical rainstorm as they trudged back to Piccadilly. And I don’t mean 5 minutes early. More like 20 or 25. OK, our team put up no fight in the second half but they are still OUR team. Leaving is what other teams’ fans do. The droves who left should be ashamed of themselves ( but probably won’t be ).
End of rant