The other day I published an article on here bemoaning the decision by the league to allow Manchester City to bring Marton Fulop in on loan, which prompted a heated response from City fans.
Many stated sentiments along the line of “you’d do the same under the same circumstances” which has now pretty much been proven wrong considering that although Gomes could well be injured for tomorrow’s match, we’ve not started ringing around the Premier League to see if anyone has a keeper spare.
Quite quickly the debate descended into the normal hostility that you’d expect between rival sides. This hostility just didn’t seem to sit right with me and it’s all because of one simple fact. I’ve always quite liked City.
Traditionally there have been many similarities between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. They’ve always seemed like an amplified version of us. If we didn’t things could get worse, we only had to look at City to know that they could.
Although have lived in the shadow of our biggest rivals for the last 20-odd years, that shadow hasn’t been as large as the one cast over City by United. Arsenal never became quite so big and dominant and we never managed to drop to quite such depths.
As much as we have been mismanaged, both on and off the pitch, events at City always seemed to be more chaotic. Yet despite the woes of their club, City’s supporters always turned up in great numbers, even when they were relegated to football’s third tier. I’d like to think that we’d do the same, although I’d rather that we don’t ever have to find out.
When it was announced that City were being taken over by the Arabs, I wasn’t envious, but pleased for them. City’s fans were long-suffering and deserved some success, while the ‘Sky four’ needed shaking up.
Now we go head to head with City tomorrow for a place in next season’s Champions League. Obviously I deeply want us to do it, but I won’t begrudge City their chance should they pip us.
Some people have said that this will be our last opportunity to break into the Champions League, whilst City cannot fail to achieve this success eventually, even if they do miss out this season. I don’t agree. If City finish fourth, then their purchasing power will be such that they will be a threat at the very top of the league.
There’s only so many world class players to go round and City will be able to outbid everyone. All of the traditional top four will be weakened and there’s no reason why we can’t continue to close the gap next season.
The Premier League needs six to seven teams challenging each other, rather than the same old four. City and Spurs are the clubs that can make this a reality. Hopefully we’ll become more used to seeing each other as rivals over passing seasons, rather than mere fellow also-rans.