Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan Manchester City overpower Manchester United? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can Manchester City overpower Manchester United? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can Manchester City overpower Manchester United?

Manchester United, many words spring to mind when they are mentioned, however, 4 league cups, 11 FA cups, 3 European Cups and possibly breaking the record for 19 league titles is something to be admirable of, with Liverpool’s recent decline in winning no major honours many may accept United will stay the dominant force in English football. But not everyone, who would think such loud noise was coming from the noisy neighbours?

Enter, the Arab Messiah, a sort of God if you will Sheikh Mansour, a wealthy politician and member of the Abu Dhabi family purchasing Manchester City in 2008 with a bottomless pit of money and the aim to make City the biggest club in England again and then the world to begin the resurgence of the sleeping giant.

Manchester City, once a powerhouse in the league with the likes of the mesmeric Bell, Lee and Summerbee winning the FA Cup, European Cup Winners Cup and the League Cup in the late 1960’s early 1970’s including pipping Manchester United to the league title and relegating them in 1974. A final League Cup triumph in 1976 vs Newcastle was City’s last.

Since then, city’s fans have endured something close to hell, highs and lows, up and down the leagues like a yoyo, City were at their lowest in 1998-99 when they were summated to the once known Division 2. City’s rollercoaster didn’t end there going up, up, down and then up again and have since secured Premier League status and have moved from Maine Road into the City of Manchester Stadium.

Fast forward…………2008, City appoint manager Sven Goran Eriksson and add a number of faces to the squad such as Vedran Corluka, Elano and Geovanni who became an immediate hero in Manchester as he scored in the 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Eastlands and an impeccable performance at Old Trafford later in February secured a Manchester derby double for what was then 34 years, securing a 2-1 win.

City didn’t stop the chop and change with Sven being sacked and replaced with Mark Hughes despite a 9th place finish, the Sheikh then took over and felt as though Sven wasn’t the right man. He appointed Mark Hughes but he was also sacked following a year and a half in charge after finishing 10th place and the following year drawing a Premier League record 7 consecutive draws on the trot, however he was able to sign a number of players that have become the heart of City’s defence and midfield, names that come to mind the consistent, talented Vincent Kompany for a snip at £6m and the “Patrick Vieira type” the feisty Nigel De-Jong.

But it was the former British transfer record for superstar Robinho for £32.5m on deadline day that made other clubs sit up and take notice. Manchester City proved they were able to compete with the best and attract even the players of a world-class calibre. The sleeping giant was starting to wake…..

Even though Robinho’s career at City was only temporary with 14 goals in his first season but then a dip in form in his second, it was City’s intent that became apparent.   

Other audacious bids for superstars Ronaldinho and Kaka were not pulled off but both becoming very close. City mean business.

Later acquisitions included Emmanual Adebayor from Arsenal and the controversial forward formerly of United, Carlos Tevez, who decided that he would be happier playing in Manchester.

Many United fans claimed Carlos would not be a vital player for Manchester City as he wouldn’t score enough however his recent notch of 50 goals in just 2 seasons has seemed to quiet the United faithful. His unbelievable effort and talismatic scoring record instantly turned Tevez from villain to hero.

But would all this ever take Manchester City to the heights of the Premier League and leave bitter rivals United behind?

In 2008 City finished a miserable 40 points behind Manchester United and in the last 2 seasons have cut the deficit drastically, the next year Hughes had a close call in the derby when Manchester United won 4-3 in a controversial winner from Michael Owen coming in an ungodly time in league football of 97 minutes.

New manager after Christmas Roberto Mancini, despite losing a Carling Cup semi final on aggregate against Manchester United again in the last minute and another de-ja-vu moment, yep you guessed it, United for the 3rd time in a season beat City in the last minute in the league at Eastlands, city cut the deficit to less than half in one year by cutting the difference to 18 points and leading to City to 5th place also moving half the league positions just missing out on Champions League football.

This year has seen Mancini’s first full year in charge has Manchester City currently in 3rd place regularly in the top 4 for the majority of the season as well as the last 16 in the FA Cup and the last 32 of the Europa Cup with further class additions to the squad with a more noticeably attacking approach with the signatures of Yaya Toure, David Silva, Edin Dzeko and the potential of mercurial striker Mario Balotelli put to paper.

This season has seen Manchester City draw a cagey 0-0 at Eastlands with Manchester United and more recently a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford where City were undone by what can only be described as a wonder goal with an unbelievable overhead kick from Wayne Rooney to still give United an edge. Spectators saw City dominate large periods of the game with United fans seeming edgy as they blew their fingers to urge the referee to blow the final whistle.

So what are pros and cons for both clubs? Well Manchester United have the right mentality, they have been there, done it all and got the t-shirt, they have so much experience and have been in the situation of major honours every year for so long, they have bags of experience in the manager and veteran players such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

However, they are veterans for a reason, they have been around for so long and everyone knows their engines cannot go forever. With Gary Neville having already announced retirement and Edwin Van Der Sar retiring at the end of the current campaign it is inevitable that Giggs, Scholes and more will not be too long in following.

United also have produced younger players that on current view people are unsure of having produced an unconvincing 1-0 win against Crawley Town FC of the Conference in the FA Cup. It has also been reported United are in around £800m in debt which doesn’t give much money for United to spend on squad additions. United do still brag the most globalised English club though through merchandise sales and more being the 3rd richest club in the world although the money generated has also decreased from last year.

What can Manchester City offer? They can offer unlimited money to ensure the squad is good but must give time to the team they have to gel, there is no point just putting a load of individuals into the club, they need to be a team as well as giving the manager time to implement his style of play and add the players he wishes. City also have one of the best youth systems having over 70 players making it professional in the past 5-10 years but would the additions of players allow the youth to break through? With that and them being the biggest climber in the rich list climbing 9 places without even getting into the Champions League things are falling into place for the Blues.

Will experience remain at the top, or do all good things really come to an end? With the deficit cut so much in such a short space of time, could the same be said in 5 years time? Manchester United may have the edge for now, but the neighbours are knocking.

Rachel Gee       

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