Sunday, September 7, 2008

A View From the Darkside

A few years ago, while chatting to MCFC Dubai's David Hammett on matters football, we cast a rosy-eyed glance back to the late 60s and early 70s when Manchester was the epicentre of the English game. Not having been there ourselves of course, we were basing our nostalgia on classic old footage we had seen and tales from our dads. Mine is a Red, Dave's is a Blue.

Mine told me about the great games between the City of Summerbee, Bell and Lee and the United of Best, Law and Charlton. He particularly rated Summerbee ; "quick and wirey" I think he said. The teams knew the strengths of each other and respected each other, they even socialised off the pitch. My dad would stand on the Kippax with the City fans, while Dave's dad earnt his pocket money renting out cushions at OT. It was a good time to be a match-going fan in Manchester. A lot went to Maine Road one week and Old Trafford the next. The silverware came in a flurry ; 1965 United Champions, 1966 City 2nd Division Champions 1967 United Champions, 1968 City Champions / United European Cup Winners, 1969 City FA Cup Winners, 1970 City European Cup Winners' Cup Winners / City League Cup Winners.

Sadly, this dominance by one footballing city came to an all too brief end but we said that night, as City had made a great start to that season too, how cool it would be to see that situation repeated (Dave in particular!).

So, here we are today and I read a letter in my local rag The Bangkok Post saying how hilarious it is to see United and Chelsea having their "feathers ruffled" by the new, Blue, kids on the block. I instantly thought back to that night and to what United fans are really feeling right now. I decided that my initial reaction to the news of City being billionaires and to City signing Robinho was still valid. I'm really excited and looking forward to the next, new challenger. I'm convinced SAF and the boys are also energised by it and will welcome a fresh rival at the top of the table. If nothing else, it means those uppity Gooners and the blinded-by-history, desperate Bin Dippers will be fretting no end that their mediocre displays of the last few seasons are finally going to be punished with being booted out of the top four !! Yes please ! Bring it on !

A return to the days of United and City battling it out for the game's top honours would be fantastic so, far from having our "feathers ruffled," let's invite you Blues into the nest, see if you've got what it takes and find out who ends up The Cock O' The North !

See you at Middle Eastlands in November,

Duncan,

Red Army, Bangkok Branch.