On the 29th of May 1968, Manchester United became the first English team to win the European Cup exactly ten years after an air disaster would have destroyed lesser clubs. Cross town rivals Manchester City had just won the First Division Championship for only the second – and so far the last time in their history, just eighteen days earlier. Does anyone remember that? Of course not, by becoming Champions of Europe United took all the media limelight while City had to be content with nothing more than a domestic title. You almost had to feel sorry for City fans who had waited since 1937 to have a sniff of such success!
That young kid at the bottom of the photo will be nearly on his old age pension by now, manager Joe Mercer, his assistant Malcolm Allison and some of those players are sadly no longer with us, man had not yet landed on the moon and the Vietnam war was still raging. Television was mainly watched in black and white by most of the world, the internet could not even be imagined and not only mobile phones were still years into the future, most homes did not even have a landline.
So why is this history lesson being raised on a Manchester United fans blog? For one reason. Since a Sheik in the Middle East started pouring petro dollars into Manchester City, all the talk has been about the Blues becoming the biggest club in town leaving United to trail in their shadow. The reality of the above tells us otherwise. City manager Roberto Mancini proudly proclaimed after the scoreless derby last week that ‘we are now the equal of United’ – really signor?
Only a fool, or maybe a frustrated Blue, can possibly believe that ONE result, ONE title or even ONE trophy of some sort can wipe out decades of failure by one club and success by the other. Should City ever manage to win a Premier League title nothing will change. They managed to do it 42 years ago yet the status quo was not only maintained, it was further enforced.
Irrespective of what the Sheik and signor Mancini say, they know as well as anyone that Manchester United will never, ever walk in the shadow of the Blues.
Will Manchester City finish the season ahead of United?