Yes, of course. In fact, they’ve been knocked out of the League Cup, FA Cup and European Champions League. It infuriates them because they thought they had bought the Quadruple!
On Saturday, 14th April, they were visiting my team, Tottenham Hotspur, at Wembley for what was a very important match for both teams.
If we won, we’d be keeping open a route to becoming second in the league. Currently Liverpool and Manchester United are above us.
I have watched this incredible Spurs team develop over the last five or six years and I can honestly say that they are better than the Super Spurs who won the double back in 1961 and who many think were the greatest team of the last century.
I certainly had high hopes on Saturday that we could scrape a win or draw. It wasn’t to be. Manchester City cut through us in the first half like a knife through butter. We recovered to go in 1-2 at half time, but in pushing for the equaliser we slipped up and lost 1-3.
I was bitterly disappointed.
I can’t actually see any weaknesses in our team. Trippier struggles a little, so does Davies and Lloris makes some very bad decisions too often, but apart from that, the team is magnificent and contains many low-cost players who have been brought on by the club from youth football. Yes we have bought a few players, but our total net spending on players over the last ten years is only £170 million. Manchester City have spent a billion pounds in the same period. Not gross – that is almost two billion. One billion is their net spend!
Is that the difference? Does it all now come down to who is prepared to buy the Premiership? A billion pounds. It is also a well-known joke that Manchester City has spent more on defence than some nations!
What is the point of the game if it is only how much you spend which matters. These are meant to be clubs, not financial institutions, but Chelsea and Manchester City have declared openly that they want to buy their way to the top. Between 1950 and 1980, sixteen teams won the top division. Since 2000 it has only been five. If you don’t have a billionaire owner you are doomed to failure. How sad is that? Club football is dying.
Of course each of the current top six are capable of beating the others on their day, but when you can buy the best players in the world for your team, it reduces the ability of others to compete.
Intolerance of the way of club football is also growing. I follow several Spurs websites and the Spurs Show podcast too and it disappoints me to see people who are supposed to be supporters of our team, calling for the directors to go, criticising the manager and making nasty comments about our players. That is not what supporting a club is all about. We are fourth in the league, have a chance of the FA Cup, took Real Madrid, supposedly the best club in the world, to pieces at Wembley and are about to have our third consecutive participation in the Champions’ League. That is incredible success. If you don’t think so, why not compare it with Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa.
I would not want the success Manchester City have achieved if it meant having their overpaid collection of players. They won’t be remembered in a decade’s time whereas we have incredible memories of the Hoddle years and other golden Tottenham periods and are entering a new one right now.
We currently sit fourth in the world’s most difficult league. This year we beat Real Madrid and Dortmund in huge matches. Only a moment’s loss of concentration stopped us from getting through to the semis of the Champions’ League.
We are in good company. Manchester United and Liverpool might spend more than us, but not excessively so. Even arch-rivals Arsenal are team-builders like us. But Manchester City – I would rather be an also-ran than support a club which sees money as more important than fans or players. Their dominance sickens me. I’d rather see Wenger’s Arsenal win than City or their huge spending buddies, Chelsea.
Well, that’s my view. Better out than in. I’ve just got my season ticket for the new stadium for 2018/9 and can dream of beating the very best teams. We’ll lose to some and beat others. If we’re beaten by better football, sobeit. If we’re beaten by deeper pockets, well, shame on them for spoiling the beautiful game.