There’s only one way to approach any game against Manchester City and that’s with pity. Taking the mickey out of the Blue Half of Manchester would be the equivalent of battering a baby fur seal to death. It’s just not worth it.
The club has one huge, red chip on its shoulder. In living memory, City have never been anything other than crap. 100% pure, vintage crap. The last thing that the club did that was of any worth at all was Denis Law’s goal which sent United down into the Second Division. And Denis Law was so embarrassed by that, he gave up football afterwards. They are, without doubt, the bitterest fans on the planet. ‘Well, at least our ground’s in Manchester and not Salford.’ Big bloody deal. How big’s your trophy cabinet? ‘At least our fans don’t come from Surrey.’ Quite true. But I’m guessing that somewhere in the 70k+ crowd at Old Trafford there are more Mancunians than attend the Municipal Stadium in Eastlands. So much bile and so little intelligence.
Now look what they’ve done to Stuart Pearce. One of my heroes. A true heart-on-his-sleeve defender of the old school. A hard-tackling defender who scared every forward that ever faced him. And what have they done to him? Made him resort to keeping soft toys on the touchline for luck. Psycho Pearce!!!!! It’s surely as good a sign of a man losing the plot as shoving two pencils up your nose and shouting ‘wibble.’ Micah Richards! What a star! Yet, he’s not really a product of their academy but of Simon Clifford’s Brazilian Soccer Schools. No wonder he looks so assured on the ball.
Now we come to Didi Hamann. His transfer to the Wanderers and then onto City in the summer was laughable. Yet it was he and his agent who approached Bolton about the transfer and not the other way around. And the reasons he gave for not coming to Bolton were laughable. What do you think the real reason was? Answers on a postcard please!
Old boy Nicolas Anelka stifled a few giggles and tried to keep his face straight when he said:
‘Their stadium is fantastic and has a good atmosphere and they will be hard to beat at home, because of the fans and the fact they play very tight.
‘They are difficult to break down and make it tough for the opposition.
‘They have some excellent players. The biggest threat will be Joey Barton, he is one of the best midfielders in the country.’
Stuart Little (me, sir?) said:
‘The players know that if I think they’re not playing well enough they will be taken off the pitch.
‘On top of that, other players realise there are places up for grabs in the team, everybody has to perform to get in this side.’
‘Bolton’s system works and you have to give Sam Allardyce credit for that.’
Manchester City Team News:
Defender Micah Richards is expected to shake off a dead leg, Claudio Reyna could play and Ben Thatcher is back from a ban.
But midfielder Dietmar Hamann is out with a back complaint and striker Bernardo Corradi is suspended.
Player to watch: Nicky Weaver
Should be busy.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Super Kev is out, Dioufy’s back in.
Player to watch: Nicolas Anelka
Old boy returning home – worth a couple of goals, methinks.
Match Facts & Stats
It even stevens in the overall match stats:
League: Man City 39 wins, Bolton 39, Draws 22
Prem: Man City 5 wins, Bolton 4, Draws 1
League: Man City 28 wins, Bolton 12, Draws 10
Prem: Man City 3 wins, Bolton 2, Draws 0
We’ve beaten them at their place for the last two seasons.
Mike Riley – I hate that man. He’s shown more cards this season than anyone else. He’s not refereed either side this season.
0-2 easy win.
Bolton: Newcastle – home
Man City: Sheff Utd – away