Sunday, September 22, 2013. Eastlands. The first Manchester Derby of the season. Sunday has been a date circled on all Rag calendars since the schedules were released. Although this derby comes a bit earlier than we are used to, the weight of this match remains. Over the past few seasons this match has become about more than just bragging rights, it now has a great effect on the title picture. We may only be a few weeks into the season, but come May, the outcome of this match will be looked at as a catalyst for the rest of the season.
The last derby took place on April 8 at the swamp. It was a 2-1 victory for the Blues, with Sergio Agüero dragging the entire Rag defense across their penalty area to score the winner in the 78th minute. Phil Jones remembers.
United would go on to win their 20th title at the end of the season, but a lot has changed since then. Gum-chewing whiskeynose Alex Ferguson is no longer at the helm at Old Trafford. Mancini was forced to say arrivederci to the blue half of Manchester. A slew of new players have joined the Citizens, while United struggled to bring in one. On top of this, both clubs are facing a relatively quick turnaround from playing Champions League matches earlier in the week.
Googly-eyed Gollum lookalike, David Moyes is now at the helm on the other side of town, and the jury is definitely still out on him. After a summer of struggling to hang on to Shrek Baldy Fat, Grannyshagger Wayne Rooney, he was only able to bring one player to the club. United signed former Everton shithouse Marouane Fellaini on deadline day. Gollum also failed in a bid for his first choice left back at Everton, Leighton Baines. This wasn’t the first time in history that United has missed out on targeted players in the transfer window, but it was one of the few times where everybody knew about their failure. Moyes had been very vocal about his targets, and continued to send bid after bid, even once he’d had a bid rejected. There is a feeling that without Fergie in charge, United simply won’t be the team they’ve been for the better part of two decades.
The story at Eastlands has been much different. New manager Manuel Pellegrini has been brought in and he is hoping to bring a more holistic approach and more attractive football with him. City have also started construction on their new, state of the art training facility. In terms of transfer dealings, Manchester City have seemingly got the men that they wanted. Early in the summer, the signings of Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk, and Jesus Navas from Sevilla were finalized, bringing the new boys to the Etihad. Not long after that, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic were brought in from Sevilla and Fiorentina, respectively. At the end of the window, Pellegrini brought in his former charge Martin Demichelis as cover in defense. The new gaffer has made it a goal to change how City play football, and early in the season we have seen glimpses of what is to come.
Both clubs have been off to a stuttering start in the Premier League, and are looking for the sort of headline grabbing win that can get them rolling into the winter.
Sunday’s match is that match. The eyes of the footballing world will be turning to the northwest of England to see the mighty Manchester City take on reigning champs Manchester United. Blue Moon Dallas will be out in force at the Londoner Frisco as usual, but the atmosphere for this one will be even more raucous! Get there early for a good seat and warm those voices up before the match! Brandon and the Londoner crew will be there to take care of your food and drink needs, and hell, the kitchen staff might even start singing with you! Sunday is a huge match. So come on Blue Moon Dallas, let’s get out to the Londoner and give this match the attention it deserves! COME ON YOU FOOKIN BLUES!
Here’s to 3 points,
A Citizen Abroad
(WTFI) Joey McCune