Arsenal

‘Shaved, Heavily Drugged Pandas Are The Way Forward’

So it wasn’t to be. I have to admit, I’m pleased for Spurs. On the whole, they’ve earned that CL spot more than we have. They’ve ground it out with great professionalism, with resources far fewer than City’s, and with a shrewd, tactical man at the helm who looks more like a shaved, heavily-drugged panda every time I see him. Best of luck, THFC.

I didn’t expect there to be any knee-jerk reaction in the sandy, oily offices and corridors of power at Eastlands, but it was nice to hear faith in Mancini spill from the chairman’s lips. If only to put an end to the pathetic tabloid playground chatter that repeatedly grinds my gears. Of course, we’ve heard it before, but I’m confident Mancini will be given the freedom and resources to take City onwards and upwards. If anything, it’s a relief that we can now focus on a slightly less frantic pre-season.

I think transfer-wise, we’re probably on more of an A minus kind of plan, than a plan B. As a player, you’ve got to be pretty daft (whoops – most of them are) to think we’re not going places fast – CL or no CL – and I expect some big names will grin at the camera with their arms around Mancini in the coming months. Maybe not the biggest, but I don’t think that’s the best way to go about it anyway. Marquee names swanning in tends to upset players who’ve worked long and hard for the club only to be forgotten. Like Dunne. Needs must when the devil drives, as they say, but I sense sensitivity and sensibility has surely set in. So there. Read that out loud, Roy Hattersley.

Ireland will no doubt move on for the first-team regularity he deserves, and I still reckon Liverpool might be his next port of call. Or maybe Newcastle, where he can hook up with that twat Barton again. Yeah, maybe not then. I think SWP should stay. He can turn a game, so it’s worth watching him plough clumsily into a group of defenders and fall over every now and again, just for those intermittent flashes of vision and brilliance. And I hope Bellamy sticks around, too. There’s plenty left in the mad Welsh tattooed terrier yet, and I get the impression he keeps a few other egos in check simply by being a wildly unpredictable yet genuinely likeable individual.

As for Petrov – who knows? I rate him very highly, but he might not have the character Mancini’s looking for. As long as we’re careful who they go to, I’m all for a bit of a shuffle and shake.

Who knows? Not me, as you’ve probably figured out already. But I’m not downhearted or despondent, that’s for certain. Far from it in fact. Fifth could be the best thing for City in the long run. Well I would say that, wouldn’t I….

Good weekends, everyone. Chelsea, Stoke and Blackburn especially.

George Caveney

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