The Groundsman’s Shed

Manchester City: A Shining Example of Sporting Romanticism by groundsman

Sporting Fandom is a truly wonderous thing.

Before, during, and after World Cup 2006- Sven Goran Eriksson was burned in effigy ’round England because he was too “foreign” to manage the team, he didn’t “inspire the Golden Generation”, and despite a record as a good club manager and his ability to make something from a medicore group of overhyped pretty boys, he said to be the cause for the poor yet lucky showing by the England team during the World Cup competition

Let’s fast forward to 2008, where Eriksson is currently being held up as a martyr in the mold of Mourinho’s forced(?) exit from Chelsea, albeit even a bit more elegant and far more subdued.  It’s already gotten incredibly out of control.  The Manchester Evening News says 97% of Manchester City fans oppose Thaksin Shinawatra’s treatment of Eriksson, and the players are said to have planned a walk out in protest of the club owner’s decision to sack the Swede- but Sven calmly told them not to jeopardise their own careers.  

As a neutral in nearly every sense (I’m sorry, but it’s difficult to overlook Shinawatra’s appalling record as a person, much less a football club owner) I do feel bad for Eriksson getting the boot- but I felt far worse for Big Sam, or Lawrie Sanchez, who are blokes who may not see the Premiership (or the EPL’s level of money) for a long, long time.  Sven will be back, just as Mourinho will be back.  The fact that Noel Gallagher of Oasis was on the BBC, plaintively calling for Eriksson to remain, shows just how quickly things can go from the standard irrational backroom firing, to the hysterical black armband wearing frenzy that may be brewing.  The team captain could even pack his bags over this- though the fact that his contract is ending soon kind of takes the spice out of that statement- but believe me Joe Rudd, the press really enjoys your statement of support- if only because it adds to the air of impending doom.

[Photo: AP/Jon Super]



With reference to the MEN poll. Its online. Thats where they got their figures from. What a strange question.

Also, no one is really interested in your views of individuals, stick to the facts.

Comment by Adz K

Take a look at this e petition, 10,000 City fans already signed in support of Sven.
Shinawatra has made a complete idiot of himself by getting rid of the best coach we have had in 40 years…How many teams do you know of where the players offer to withdraw from a tour in support of their coach?….
Burning of effigy?..No, news to me!…And before he became England manager, we weren’t even qualifying for major tournaments…2 Qtr finals and a semi final later, he’s been the most successful manager we’ve had,then he leaves and we aint qualifying again.
Do a bit of journalistic research mate..look around the net and report on what’s going on here in Manchester instead of giving an ill thought throught out and frankly lazy opinion from someone who knows jack about it.

Comment by Brian Jenkins

Wow, purely reactionary comments from club fans! Good job. If you didn’t notice- I’m on your side, if anyone’s in this case.

As for the first commenter– clearly you care, mate- or you wouldn’t have had anything to say!

Comment by groundsman

I’m sure Man City fans could stomach Sven’s Mourinho treatment by their own billionaire oligarch (or worse) if it came AFTER winning two league titles. I think fans are rightly concerned that the young talent and steady approach that’s shown such improvement this year is going to be scrapped in favor of an aging Galacticos approach with more of an eye on Asian marketing opportunities than English football success. The record is solidly improved this year and the quality of the football is greatly improved under Sven. I think Man City set the all-time record for fewest home goals last year. They were dreadfully boring and now they are not. Sven brought fans a lot of joy this year, at least relative to last year.

What’s missing from your story arc is Steve McClaren. It’s his failure to qualify for Euro ’08 with England that did the most to rehabilitate Sven with fans. Sven’s tenure as England coach may have had all the appeal of smashing your thumb in a car door but McClaren’s tenure was like losing your arm in thresher. When you have no arm memories of a throbbing swollen thumb are sweet.

Comment by joejoejoe

Joe, that last paragraph and final analogy was so, so, graphically true.

I also didn’t mention the irony of the possibility of Phil Scolari being in Sven’s place and the fact that yet again those two managers will be compared with eachother.

Like I said, it’s unfortunate to see Eriksson go, but at least people appreciate him now.

Comment by groundsman

You appear to take your “facts” from the red top press and not the record book?
Sven filled Lazio’s trophy cabinet with an all time record breaking run.
England were dragged out of the wilderness to FIFA No.4 rank, loosing only five competitive matches along the way and in spite of the minority media hacks hype, the England fans howled at the stupidity of TheFA in a decision to let Sven go with such suicidal results for the very same “golden generation” (he was accused of miss-managing)for Euro2008.
With a hastely assembled “Scratch” young team, Sven has produced the best season for Man City in 30 years and his plan to replicate the Lazio story was looking on target when another “suicidal” decision looks like depriving the Eastlands trophy cabinet of it’s future share of silverware….
88%+ of fans express total appreciation and support for what many in the international soccer world consider “the greatest living football coach/manager” and the current howls of protest, City fan season ticket cancellations, protests and petitions would appear to indicate that the armchair “experts” and xenophobes in the media have no contact with real fan and public opinion?
Sven turned down countless offers from national and club teams before picking up the challenge of “doing a Lazio” for City and there will no doubt be a delighted queue forming to repeat their offers with other clubs joining all the time so IF Thaksin carries out his “death wish” for City, their loss will be another club’s gain!

Comment by

a) Why did you put facts in quotation marks when I didn’t even use that word at any time in this piece?
b) Who exactly are you arguing with here? Read beyond the headline- I agree that Sven is, and has been a quality manager, the problem is with the romantic hysteria and the fickle media.

Good Lord, I’m going to just stop replying to these. I normally enjoy replying to comments because I like discussions, so this sucks.

If you’re not going to bother to read my bit, I won’t bother to read yours.

Comment by groundsman

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