First he said they would beat Manchester United in the League Cup and therefore take away our ticker banner which commemorates just how many years it’s been since they last won silverware.
“When we go to Old Trafford, we will take that banner down,” Mancini said. “This is the last year [it will be displayed] because we will win.”
City fans believed him and prepared for the League Cup final at the end of February. However, the League Cup tie ended the same way the league home and away fixtures did, with United scoring the winning goal in injury time, and then going on to lift the trophy.
Mancini then put City fans’ hopes in to the FA Cup, but that too ended in disappointed for the blues, with them losing 3-1 to 11th placed Stoke away in a replay after drawing with 10-man Stoke at home. The travelling support that day turned on their manager whilst blue message boards called for his head.
‘Bobby Manc’, as he is affectionately known by City fans, is prattling on with more rubbish today, trying to compare United’s spending of the past with City’s current spending, in light of Ferguson’s kamikaze comment.
“It’s not important, this for me,” Mancini said. “I respect his [Ferguson’s] opinion. Manchester United are like Manchester City, they have spent a lot of money in the past.”
Now, we’re not trying to claim that United haven’t spent big money in the past, because of course we have. Most recently, Dimitar Berbatov cost us £30m (2008), Wayne Rooney cost £27m (2004), Rio Ferdinand cost £29m (2002) and Juan Sebastian Veron cost £28m (2001) and these are the players that are throw at us. It is extremely rare that United would go out in one summer and spend a fortune though, as City have done. The summer ahead of the 2007-2008 season probably stands out, when Nani, Anderson and Hargreaves all joined, but it’s not a habit of United’s.
In Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at the club, we’ve always had a share of academ products, bargains and expensive players. That has always been the model. The likes of Darren Fletcher, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all appear in the top 100 appearances for our club in its entire history. In contrast, Mancini booted out one of City’s few remaining former academy players, Stephen Ireland, forcing City’s player of the year 2009 to train with the Reserves before he left. Classy joint.
Regardless, City have been the highest spending club for the past three consecutive summers. In contrast, United have been the highest spending club for a total of four summers and never three summers in a row. City have totally blitzed the market in a way that United never have in Ferguson’s reign. In 2007, our highest ever spending season, we spent £52m, half of what City have spent in just one of their three high spending summers. For Mancini to then compare our spending is as ridiculous as he looked on derby day last year in the baking sunshine wearing that scarf.