Why United should welcome the City challenge

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd is a former United player and coach but that has not stopped him from sending out a warning to his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson that “We’re coming to get you”. The former Old Trafford legend is also the first to admit however that until City win some sort of trophy which they have failed to do since lifting the League Cup way back in 1976, there is still a long way to go before they have United running scared. From the perspective of committed Manchester United fans, that challenge should be welcomed with open arms.

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd is a former United player and coach but that has not stopped him from sending out a warning to his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson that “We’re coming to get you”. The former Old Trafford legend is also the first to admit however that until City win some sort of trophy which they have failed to do since lifting the League Cup way back in 1976, there is still a long way to go before they have United running scared. From the perspective of committed Manchester United fans, that challenge should be welcomed with open arms.

It’s a fair bet that if you ask them what their biggest highlights from last season were, most will immediately nominate the six points gained from the two Premier League clashes with City and the defeat of their neighbours in the two leg Carling Cup semi final. As crucial as beating the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea may be in the overall scheme of things, the same ecstatic feeling one gets when the cross city wannabes are turned over is just not there.

“I have had a foot in both camps, red and blue” said Kidd, who was Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford when United won their first Premier League title in 1993. “When I was a kid there wasn’t the nonsense that goes on now in football. You went to school with Blues and Reds and you went to games together. It has gone too far the other way but the rivalry lends itself to a great future for both clubs.”

“This isn’t really like it was back in the 1960s because the Blues were winning trophies back then” said Kidd who scored for United in the European Cup final just two weeks after City won the league title in 1968. “City won the league, that’s the crux of it. That made it a genuine rivalry. Here at City we haven’t won anything yet this time. At the moment we have a monkey on our back. You can’t wrap it up any other way. We need the first trophy. Once we win one the mentality will grow. The demands are huge, but once something happens, then it sparks other things. Could this be the end of the long wait? Yes, it’s similar to how it was at United.”

“When we won the League Cup in 1992, everybody was doing cartwheels because we had qualified for Europe” he remembers “that’s what it meant, but it went on from there. That is the way it could go here. Manager Roberto Mancini has won league, cups and everything in Italy and that is fantastic. He is a winner and he will win things here. He just needs the first one. We need the first trophy at City and once we win one, the mentality will grow. I honestly believe there are a lot of talented players here. We have a great squad now.” For his part Mancini has not hesitated to spend big in his attempt to bring that elusive trophy to Eastlands, it doesn’t matter which one as long as it’s silver.

Kidd was heavily criticised in Ferguson’s autobiography a decade ago but has since mended the relationship with him. “All of the time, I speak to the gaffer” he smiled “it was fantastic, the experience and the apprenticeship he gave me. I don’t want to get into the book but I appreciate everything he’s done for me. I can totally believe that he is still doing it at United, definitely. It’s because it is in him. The thing that drives him is that he loves it.”

Referring to that famous banner that hangs at the Stretford End mocking the 34 years City have gone without a trophy Kidd simply said “The banner is fair, it is a fact. It is no good talking about ifs, buts and maybes. That is it, it’s staring every one of us in the face. We have got to face it up and deal with it. So what if they have got the banner up? They’ve got the banner up. No big deal.”

Having strong rivals like Manchester City and Liverpool pushing United to the limit is good for the club especially with someone as notoriously competitive as Ferguson at the helm. It will bring the very best out of the team and fans should relish the competition. Who knows, City and ‘Pool may even be joined by another old rival in the next few years if a certain team in all white can get their act together.

Does Manchester City have a realistic chance of matching United next season?

Written by
Frank Scicluna
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  • They have a chance but so do the Spuds and Chelsea.
    The aspect of all of this I personally find fascinating is how Mancini is going to organize his 25 man squad of which as we know 8 have to be home grown.lol
    The key to this of course how quickly he can gel them together and find the correct chemistry.
    Like the advertisment on the Blog 50% Summer sale.If any Club wants old tosh and mercinaries.
    Lets wait and see the Comedy is just about to start.

  • I’d be disappointed if we don’t finish above United this year. We’re not good enough to win the title yet but i think we could be the best of the rest after the side who are clearly the best in the land – Chelsea.

    I’ve been supporting City since 1982 and this is the first time that you look at the two sides on paper, or the two squads and there’s absolutely no doubt which one is stronger. Vidic might still get into our side, Rooney when he can be bothered, but that’s about it. The difference is United have experience and a manager who knows how to get that bit extra when it’s most needed.

  • City fan here. Good to read some sense on a United blog, rather than the same old same old. Early doors yet, whatever the media might say, but I’m very happy with the way things are going, and very happy with Mancini’s approach. As an old timer who witnessed our long ago glory glory days, and who used to go to Old Trafford expecting to win and usually doing so, it’s all the better for Manchester to have two clubs at the top again.

    Let “battle” begin!

  • To the guy talking about the homegrown rule above, you clearly haven’t done any reasearch at all.

    Just off the top of my head – Barry, Bellamy, Bridge, Hart, Given, Johnson, Richards, Taylor, Onuoha, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Boyata, Weiss – all classed as homegrown.

  • Man city will start scaring the teams with initial performances like they did for last 3 seasons. It is mainly due to the total anonymity of the players in their first eleven. Every year they virtually had entirely different players,so other teams needed a bit of time to understand the playing style. During the second half of the season Man-city was kept at their feet even by small teams. This year too, it will be no different. No matter how much star players come, it takes a while for a team to mingle. Successful teams of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal had a consistent core. Thats what Man city lack just as Didi Hamann mentioned. Many teams spent millions , trying to catch up the top, but failed and doomed. Well cash cows wont last forever, example is Blackburn rovers.

  • @Jeremy. Evening Old timer, lol jokin.Tell me please as someone who can clearly write sense, who do you see as being the 8 home grown players Mancini keeps mate? And who do you envisage leaving.
    Just to let you understand I am a youngster, well eighteen but nobodys fool.

  • From a Villa site

    “Quick recap of the rules for the purpose of this analysis: clubs can use as many players under the age of 21 on January 1st 2010 as they like, regardless of nationality. Clubs must name a squad of up to 25 players who are aged 21 or over on January 1st and within that squad, no more than 17 are allowed to be not “Home Grown”. Logically, that means that a squad of 25 will contain at least 8 home grown players, but it’s frequently misunderstood that clubs have to name 8 home grown players. They do not.”


    You will see from this that we don’t really have to sell; loaning players out will do. I suspect Ireland will go – sadly; he was fantastic the season before last, but hasn’t really cut it since then. Micah Richards – Mancini says he wants him to stay but he will need to buck up his ideas and concentrate harder. Etuhu will go I would think, doesn’t make the grade. SWP may go if he carries on demanding the silly salary I gather he is after. Michael Johnson has this season to prove he can stay fit. Logan will probably go, or at least go on loan. Bellers. Hope we keep him but he may get more games elsewhere. Think he is a superb asset in the dressing room, as he will bawl anyone out if they don’t pull their weight – no wonder Robinho doesn’t want to come back!

    PS. I was 18 once too, and nobody’s fool as well!


  • @ Jeremy Cheers mate I got all that. therefore when you loan out all your players that are being paid over the top.Manchester city are going to have to pay a substantial portion of there wages.Just as I thought.
    In a Chess game Jeremy I think thats called Mate. lol
    You were being set up.

    Not that the Sheik wants to make money right!
    what was your above average season ticket increase for again.lol
    Let the battle begin. Tick Tock

  • “Why United should welcome the City challenge”

    Yeah, like a turkey welcomes christmas.

  • As my final Gambit on this topic and just to prove the Red side of Manchester will always be stronger.
    If I was a trainee at Eastlands I would truely be asking myself what the fcuk am I doing here!
    United will always do it the way as revoloutionised bye Sir Matt and reinforced bye Sir Alex through internal growth.
    Believe 19TH IS OURS.

  • Decent article, I’m a utd fan, I think city will be a top 4 club for years to come! I think it will rotate between city united n Chelsea for the top spot! Will make the prem so much better having 4-5 clubs able to win the champs league!!!!! Long live English football! Imagine how crap la liga must be with 2 good teams keeping the title forever! Craaaaaaaap! Our derby was always the best in England! And now it’s gonna be so much better! Best in the world as of now

  • My question for you is what happens after Sir Alex goes? Given how long Sir Matt stalked the corridors of Old Trafford after he went? And how well do you think you will handle it, especially as it seems that his last crop of homegrown “kids” will be gone by then?

    The poster above who mentions Blackburn fails to mention Chelsea, who bought success. No club today can succeed without money. Way back when, when the season started any of 10 or 11 clubs were realistic contenders. That is not the case any more, and indeed, the Prem, which was initially intended to “assist the national team” ha ha, was hijacked by the likes of yourselves. Do read David Conn’s “The Football Business” on this, it is fascinating.

    In effect, what we are doing is the logical conclusion of what you started off in the early 90s. The only difference is that we are rolling in it, and it is this which has sent that total prat Platini into a spin.

    As for the financial rules coming in; two things – firstly our owners are already investing in massive redevelopment around the stadium, intended to generate vast sums of money for the club; secondly, if we are short of income, then Sheikh Mansour gets a mate to buy a suite of boxes for the next season for the amount we are short. Easy eh? 🙂

    I would also remind you that everything passes. Who would have believed that Liverpool could be so shite for two decades after a similar length of time lording it over all the rest of us?

    And to that, I would add that we are owned by very astute businessmen indeed, as opposed to the shysters who now own you, and who are using you as a cash cow. Whilst it may take three or four seasons to truly bed in what is happening for us, well, when you have been shite or thereabouts for 3 decades, 3 or 4 years more is no big deal.

  • screw all this if city start winning trophies ,the better for football in Manchester as a whole

    P.S. Our derby was always the best no comparison

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