Well well well. Wellity wellity wellity!
Sunday lunchtime saw the first Manchester derby of the season, a welcome chance to extend our lead at the top of the table to six points and go some way to erase the memories of the last time we went to the Etihad. “Derby day” has always been a big deal, but the hype surrounding the fixture is insane nowadays. Naturally City’s newly acquired wealth and success plays a part in this, but also the fact that the Premier League is becoming La Liga-esque in that it’s solely two teams battling it out for the title has added a frisson to the derby that perhaps wasn’t there a decade ago.
The hype meant that this fixture was the perfect opportunity for two Hollywood legends – Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall – to turn up, feign interest in the game and use it solely to plug their new film. The pair went out onto the pitch before the game, found themselves being interviewed by Geoff Shreeves, and beamed with delight as the advert for their movie found itself plastered all round the pitch on the electronic hoardings. I cringed at all of that, but that’s the way it is nowadays, innit? We’ll just have to get used to it. Out of the whole shebang, my favourite moment was the interview with Shreeves, where Cruise announced that he’d been following the game since the 80s with all the sincerity of me telling my girlfriend that no, her bum doesn’t look big in that. At least Cruise made an effort, though. Duvall couldn’t be bothered, clearly displaying his ignorance by asking if there was a shoot-out if the match finished in a tie. Quite what “shoot-out” the veteran actor had in mind remains unclear, but let us just take a moment to enjoy the thought of Patrice Evra and Carlos Tevez as Wild West gunslingers engaging in a duel to determine the outcome of the match.
On the pitch there were no guns, but plenty of coins. One City fan clearly didn’t want to wait till Christmas Day for a Rio Ferdinand #5 cap, so resorted to quite literally chucking his money at our Cockney centre half right there and then. An interesting tactic, alas one which didn’t quite pay off. Before that, several other City fans decided to fling their coppers at Wayne Rooney whilst Wazza was taking a corner in front of them. What the hell is wrong with them? Don’t they know that there’s a worldwide recession going on? I dunno about anyone else, but my parents always taught me to “look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”, and I can’t help feeling that the coin chuckers need to think about their financial management a bit more. Perhaps that could be in their New Year’s Resolutions List:
• Lose weight
• Stop weeping every time I hear “Blue Moon”
• Stop being so bitter
• Perhaps think about not throwing 2p coins at famous footballers
The most disappointing thing about the coin hitting Rio was, for me, that he had to go off and get treatment. I love the guy, but I’m disappointed in Rio there. I wanted to see him stay on, marshalling the troops with blood streaming down his face, proper Terry Butcher style. I wanted to see him fly into tackles before tucking his shirt back in and wiping the blood out of his eye, telling the world that he wasn’t going anywhere without needing to say a word. Remember when men were men? Nowadays they have to get cleaned up by a medic when sporting a blood injury – something about “HIV” or some other fictional nonsense. It’s political correctness gone mad, quite frankly.
At full-time there were some ugly scenes, and that was just Carlos Tevez (Wahey! Honk!) but the be all and end all was that it was three points, and a six point lead. The “Joy of Six”, if you will. You don’t win anything in December – except the Mosconi Cup, tbf – but I’d rather be six points ahead than six points behind. Onwards!
Ed – It’s Patrick’s birthday tomorrow and we at 7Cantonas would like to wish him Happy Birthday!