Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feature on City in The Independent

However frequently that sheer gut instinct for what is going to happen next cuts a coruscating passage through the vagaries of life, and in this case football, it is probably fair to say that Manchester City, so resilient and measured in everything they did when holding the Pompey who tore big Sam Allardyce's Newcastle to pieces a week earlier, are running somewhat ahead of expectations.

The need for such an admission is quite pressing here because, as some rather mocking, if not sneering, e-mails have reminded me, I had them down for relegation.


The article was penned by James Lawton (incidentally one of the better writers around) and was no doubt in response to the slamming he has received for initially tipping us for relegation, and dismissing the impact Eriksson and the signings he brought to the club would have.

Lawson - surprisingly for a writer of his quality, I feel fell into the trap of trying to equate Eriksson's time in the England job with how he would fare in charg at City - something that pretty much every writer was guilty of and their surprise in the opening weeks of the season was something to witness.

To credit Lawson though, he does hold his hands up, providing some valid points in the contrasts of managing a club and national side:

How could anyone – OK, if you insist, how could I – get it so wrong?

Two basic reasons. One was to forget that running a club, something Eriksson did with conspicuous success over many years in his native Sweden, Portugal and Italy, and a national team present two quite separate challenges. The other was to imagine that the old Eriksson who presented the scudetto to Lazio as his parting gift before taking up the England job, had become a burned-out case, softened by his forgiving bosses at the Football Association and lulled into the belief that he could ride any storm, however haplessly he had provoked it, and still finish up counting his fortune.

Whilst Eriksson (and the team of course) have received many plaudits this season, there haven't been many in the media who have held their hands up and admitted they were wrong in the pre-season predictions or assumptions as to how he, and the club would perform.

Credit Lawson at least for that, and the article in full is definitely worth a read.

vote it up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned in the last post, a little bit of humble pie being eaten at the moment!

The main difference between the England and City jobs is that Sven can now pick (and buy) whoever he likes. For England he had to pick 11 prima-donnas, or he'd have had a thousand press hacks screaming "How could you leave XXXXX out?"

Imagine the press reaction today to Alf Ramsay dropping Jimmy Greaves for the harder working Roger Hunt? And yet who won us the World Cup? You need work horses as well as superstars, which is why we'll never see England win it again. Thanks to the press.