Football Rivalries : Manchester derby

Manchester-City-Manchester-United-rivalryTo begin a short series of articles about the rivalries between football clubs, I start with one that has been somewhat tame over recent years.

“United & City, joined by Geography, separated by success” is the call from the United fans who take devilish pride in draping there banners of torment at the Stretford end.

One of which though, has had to be reconsidered as of the 14th May 2011. The one I am referring to of course is the one which has a ticker going from 34 to 35 years.  A clever punch line to the joke that had, until recently been that many years since Manchester City last won a major trophy.

It has been taken down because now, three years after their multi million pound take over from the Abu Dhabi United Group, Manchester City have laid down a marker, their first Major trophy in 34 years.

A lot has happened between these two clubs in the last 3 years, most sensationally Manchester United favourite Carlos Tevez turned his back on United fans to join the sky blues, sparking an amusing but incited media whirlwind with a “Welcome to Manchester” billboard with a large picture of Tevez celebrating a Manchester United goal, with a blue overlay.

At this point Manchester City had arrived.

In previous years where Andres Kanchelskis, Peter Schmeichel and Andy Cole had joined United’s bitterest of rivals, there would have been the odd murmur of abuse as United’s followers would have felt they were just passing on their cast-offs even if it wasn’t straight from the Old Trafford club.

What we have now, is a spectacle that Manchester deserves between these two clubs, a rivalry that could one day, between the two teams, dominate English football.

I feel that it will take a couple of more years for Manchester City to really establish themselves as a top team that can challenge for the two biggest prizes, Champions League and Premier League.    The same way as it did for Chelsea.

First, they need to break the enigma as Chelsea did. To do this though, City may indeed need to part company with Roberto Mancini, he is a good manager and steered them to that first major trophy which has eluded them for so long, the FA cup. But to win the league it takes more than that. Chelsea did it, with the most charismatic of managers in Jose Mourinho, a man that was more than willing to throw out the rule book, in order to achieve success.

While the Red Devils, the team that have now won the league more times than anyone else. Have the momentum of their recent winning season’s mentality behind them, some core players to see them through for at least the next few years with younger bright prospects coming through but will this be enough once Sir Alex Ferguson has left his managerial post?


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