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Posted By thesportingmouth On Oct 22 2011 @ 3:45 am In Champions League | No Comments
Manchester City beware. The European signs are that complacency on the pitch has already drifted into the stands and Wednesday night’s Champions league fixture against Villarreal was a case in point.
Take other teams enjoying their first foray into the CL & and their fans are at bursting point with excitement, Blackburn
in the nineties, Tottenham last season and especially Newcastle and the 2 seasons they had amongst Europe’s elite.
But Wednesday night at the poorly named Etihad stadium was not even a sell out – a sure sign of fan complacency in only their second ever champions league home game, and a must win game at that.
I went to the game excited to sample what I presumed was going to be an electric atmosphere generated by passionate City fans watching their expensively assembled fantasy team. What I got was a dreary experience from a stadium only 80% full and, with a couple of notable exceptions, a City performance more akin to a pre season kick around than a critical CL game.
My point is this. I think the City players & fans are more interested in the Premier League than the Champions league and perhaps that’s no bad thing. The chances of winning the CL are negligible at the first attempt but their played 8, won 7 drawn 1 start to the PL gives them a real platform to challenge for the title, especially in a season where Arsenal are anaemic, Chelsea are ageing and Liverpool are re-building thus leaving United as their only serious rivals which makes the derby game on Sunday a big one.
But despite all this surely they’ve still got to give it a good go in the CL?
Are City more interested in the PL than the CL? I think so. Is that acceptable from such a highly paid squad? Not really. Do the fans seem to care? Apparently not. Would Fergie allow that to happen at Old Trafford? Not as long as the blood was still running through his veins.
And therein lies the difference, United are steeped in more than 50 years of European tradition whereas City are virgins at the European top table – and unless they show a bit more leg they’re going to remain European virgins for a while.
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