The lesser of two evils: Liverpool or Man City to finish 4th?

by Sam Rider

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Which self-important, deluded, foreign-funded club would you least like to see take the final Champions League spot at the end of the season?

For the Manchester United supporter this is one of life’s great conundrums. Arch nemesis or arch rivals? Sworn enemy or noisy neighbour?  For those who still believe in the beautiful game and the purities of football Manchester City will represent Beelzebub incarnate – driving ticket prices, agents’ wages and fan expectations through the roof. For those sick of the ‘four-trick pony’ that has been the Premier League, practically since its inception, the opportunity to break up the Big Four monopoly with the sacrificial lamb that is Liverpool FC would be a refreshing development.

On the one hand the Scoucers need reminding that last season was an anomaly. A freak event. One comparable to the magnitude of Yellowstone erupting in the film 2012, spiraling the world into chaos and fear, until Rafa made his famous speech that reminded everyone their resurgence was merely a storm in a teacup.

However, the alternative is almost too unbearable to imagine, isn’t it? That City, with their trillions and uninterested investors could flourish while the Crystal Palace’s and Portsmouth’s flounder in their wake. With princes and big wigs in it to make a name of Abu Dhabi rather than rejuvenate a once proud club. Happy to bank roll inept suits such as Garry Cook and make examples of football’s hardworking heroes like ‘Sparky’ Mark Hughes.

To allow Liverpool to remain in the top four after the shoddy campaign they’ve cobbled together would be criminal of the chasing pack. To allow City to break through into Europe’s esteemed premier competition would do a disservice to the traditions of the sport.

So, if you too enjoy stagnation and fear change, if you would reward those who value self-righteousness and can forgive Villa and Spurs for not making the grade then pick Liverpool for fourth. Alternatively, if you welcome change on the scale Obama was talking about following Bush’s reign of ineptitude and can accept the Fat Cats profiteering while your neighbour swallows forced redundancy then City with their blood money are for you.

For most the decision is between the lesser of two evils. Like Cameron or Brown. Swine Flu or Bird Flu. Jump or be pushed. I just hope there can be a third option: give us Nick Clegg, a common cold, throw us a parachute and have Martin O’Neill do us all a favour by leading Villa into the top four.

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  • James

    What utter drivel.

    “Driving ticket price” ? Where? Manchester City are one of the few clubs who DECREASED their prices. “uninterested investors” ? How do you know? Do you know Sheikh Mansour personally now or are you just pulling things out of your arse? “football’s hardworking heroes like ‘Sparky’ Mark Hughes” ? He was a tactically inept manager and was not even appointed by the owners, he was appointed by Shinawatra… but yes… how DARE the owners to put someone in charge that THEY actually chose? Especially after handing out hundres of millions to Hughes only get a string of 9 draws against teams from the bottom of the league.

  • Boris

    Aren’t City the club that has pumped £380 Million into the British economy in the last 18 months and have the cheapest season tickets?

  • trader

    Manure have been buying success for years and yet they now point the finger at City for doing the same!

    Rudd Van Horseface 20m
    Veron 30m
    Shrek 30m
    Berbatov 30m
    Nani 17m
    Anderson 17m
    Hargreaves 17m
    Carrick 18m
    Ferdinand 30m

    I could go on and on. So please remove this romantic notion you have in your brain that United havnt bought success because they have.

  • JP Hegarty

    However, the alternative is almost too unbearable to imagine, isn’t it? That City, with their trillions and uninterested investors

    I am sorry. Are you not a Manchester Utd fan………

    You have spent more money than city over the last 10 years and have debts close to 800m !!!!!!

    And your investors !!!!!! Hardly the biggest football fans !!!!!!!!!!!

    What a load of rubbish this whole article is……

    It seems to me that you are scared of city and jealous of Liverpool !!!!!!!!!!!

    Take a break !!!!!!!!!!

  • more Drivel

    Sorry but this is a seriously bad article. maybe you should look for a real job.

  • TSS

    “Which self-important, deluded, foreign-funded club woul you least like to see take the final Champions League spot at the end of the season?”

    Do you mean together with the three other self-important, deluded, foreign-funded clubs?

  • Pete (in Manchester)

    Hmmm suppose its better to be a club being ripped off by foriegn owners than one that is being invested in, what an utter load of drivel this is. Poorly researched (Season ticket prices being the example), and condescending to say the least.

    In case Manchester Untied fans forget, lets remind them which football team were the first to chase the big money, and Manchester Untied are responsible for the gravy train that is the Premiership.

  • S Worden

    Dexy – you’re a tw*t and a self important, big mouthed, noisy, gobshite – idiot of a tw*t at that; Do the world a favour – point a shotgun at your GOB – pull the trigger and PLEASE grant us silence from your whining!!! In short SHUT UP AND FCUK OFF!! (Oh and while you’re at it – LEARN to write proper -i.e balanced – articles as well or just DON’T BOTHER) Now get lost.

    That is all

  • Darren

    S Worden,

    if you actually bothered to read the whole article you will in fact find that Dexy didn’t write that article. It was written by a Man Utd fan.

    Obviously you’re a Liverfool fan as you lot seem to spend most of your time moaning about the good old days when you won cups and that you have a divine right to win more!

    On topic, lets pray that Villa finish 4th!

  • Russ

    I say let the United fans enjoy digging at City because they won’t be able to do it for much longer. ALL United fans know City are coming for them, it might not be this year or even next but its going to happen. City’s owners knew exactly what they were doing buying a club next door to the biggest club in England. They won’t stop until City are the biggest club in England, its about pride for them they have not bought City to fail

    As for United, they just happened to be the best club at the time the money from the Premiere league, Champions League and Sky came along allowing them to buy succcess ever since. It could have been any club.

    Liverpool are the real best club in England winning everything when football had a level playing field. City and Chelsea are going to be the new best clubs in England and one slip form United will see them outside that top four spirling out of control in a sea of debt. It’s going to happen we all know it

  • Sam R

    Wow…ok, I hoped for a reaction, I wrote it that way, but didn’t expect such an extreme one so thank you for your comments.

    I am a United fan, and I am readily aware of the problems that have beset United fans and the poor examples the owners have set but this article was specifically intended to be about Liverpool and City.

    I don’t claim to be the chief football correspondent for the Times or the Sun, I’ll leave that to the big hairy bearded man, I just wanted to stir up some response on the likelihood that either of those teams will take fourth this season.

    As for the ticket prices, I have to hold my hands up to that. The rest as they say, is fair comment.

  • SmokeyBlue

    ‘blood money’ is a fair comment is it? Who have our investors killed then? Lying rag scum, don’t give up the day job

  • Mike Somerville

    I don’t think City will get the Champions league- big money blow outs the low of em! Villa deserve it most of all, even though they spend a lot as well (but not as much as Liverpool, City & Tottenham)

  • mickey

    S Worden Says:
    February 15th, 2010 at 9:35 am
    Dexy – you’re a tw*t and a self important, big mouthed, noisy, gobshite – idiot of a tw*t at that; Do the world a favour – point a shotgun at your GOB – pull the trigger and PLEASE grant us silence from your whining!!! In short SHUT UP AND FCUK OFF!! (Oh and while you’re at it – LEARN to write proper -i.e balanced – articles as well or just DON’T BOTHER) Now get lost.
    That is all

    Look at the top of the article before you start mouthing of your ever so constructive comments.
    That is all.

  • pin

    Agree with so many of the comments above, this really is a ridiculously poor article.

    I for one like what is happening at Man City…(and no, i’m not a city fan – i don’t even support a premiership club) – everybody jumped all over chelsea when the same thing happened to them, but as with most crap you read it was there purely because a number of people were upset that either a) it wasn’t happening to their club, b) it posed a new threat to their club, or c) they just had nothing better to do. Now people talk about Chelsea as a team that belongs in the big 4, and as a neutral I enjoy watching them play.

    Take 2 – Man City: Crazy-rich investors – check, slightly eccentric yet stylish manager – check, good selection of talent at the club, including a number of english players (richards, bridge, barry, swp, onuoha, hart, lescott, a johnson and m johnson) supported by some high profile foreign talent (you know who i’m talking about) – it’s the perfect recipe for another team to enter the fray,

    Whilst it’s maybe not the golden ideal (every club with similar resources available, apply salary caps and transfer limits, introduce a 5+6 rule, or whatever else you think you need to make the premiership perfect), in reality another team entering the fray as a genuine contender for a champion’s league spot is brilliant for the premiership – for the first tiem in ages there are more clubs genuinely vying for the top prize than there are prizes available – this means an increase in competition and even more being at stake. It could even balance things out a bit as the bigger clubs cannot be guaranteed Champion’s league revenue and so must be more responsible – Leeds are a prime example of what happens when that responsbility is not taken (and i’m a Leeds fan, so i know the pain first-hand!) – although probably it would take a 6th realistic annual challenger to really scare them.

    It’s just annoying that some so-called ‘fans’ of the beautiful game are actually nothing more than mindless pack dogs, following their club so blindly that they faily to realise when something can actually be positive for both their club and the game in the long-term.

    and let us not forget, just becuase they are bank-rolled to the max does not mean they are automatically going to become amazing – it takes more than players to make a team, you need a solid foundation and a manager who knows what he is doing – say what you want about Chelsea’s millions, but Mourinho made that team the force it is today – Ranieri was good, but like Mr Houllier and Mr Benitez, he lacked that extra spark needed to really gel the team together. So in final response to your completely ‘unbiased’ (note the sarcasm) defense of Mark Hughes….are you that blinded by the club that you honestly can’t say that Hughes had time and resources to turn City into something special and he failed?

    Sorry for the rant guys, I just hate it when idiots with an agenda run their mouth and pretend to write ‘incisive journalism’…

  • Sam R

    I think Sparky was badly treated. I don’t think City’s spending will curtail and they will suddenly become noble frontrunners in youth development. I appreciate the new rivalry City have brought to the derby and welcome the competition. I don’t think any team in the league should expect to finish in the top four as this will only inspire complacency. I am well aware of United’s shortcomings and financial problems they have loaded the club and the league with debt. I never claimed they were the model of responsibility.

    THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT CITY AND LIVERPOOL, NOT UNITED. Write your own article about how terrible they and their supporters are if you’ve got so much to say.

    The blog is designed as a place for comment and opinion. isn’t it? You want bland impartiality, go to the BBC. We pay for that after all.

  • Russ the blue

    Sparky was not the new owners man, he did well to get 18 months and many millions to spend and the results were not good enough. He had his chance. City were and still are the noble front runners in youth development, surely I don’t need to list the dozens of players who came through our youth system?

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