Friday, 28 February 2014

Friday and 2 days to go

Friday – 2 days to go!
Apparently Sunderland are our bogey team as they’ve won 4 of the last seven v us! Actually it’s 4 from the last 18, including 8 wins out of 8 from 03 to 09 for City, which throws a slightly different light on it.
Dante Friend advises that as there was no applause respecting Mike Doyle’s death, there will be a minutes applause 4 minutes into the game. Doyley wore the number 4 shirt and was City’s captain the last time we won the League Cup in 1976.
Also there’s Poznan glasses for sale, check out twitter.com/capitaloneuk
However I rather think that Sunderland fans’ll be doing the Poznan if the unthinkable happens. It mustn’t.
Also look out for a Sunderland 73 publication  on sale at Wembley for the game but only check it out AFTER you’ve bought your KK!
So here we go with the It’s A Fix extract from KK213 :

27A) SUNDAY MARCH 2ND CAPITAL ONE CUP FINAL SUNDERLAND at WEMBLEY KO 2PM

We should’ve been playing united at the swamp today, but they can look on enviously as we take the field at no less a place than Wembley Stadium.

Sunderland were formed in 1879, joined the Football League in 1890/91, have won 6 titles from 1892 to 1936, runners up 5 times from 1894 to 1935, have won the FA Cup twice in 1937 and 1973, runners up in 1913, and 1992 plus were League Cup runners up in 1985 losing 1-0 to Norwich City.  
This is their 6th season in the Prem this time and we’ve played each other 125 times in the League.
Recent connection : Adam Johnson

Some celeb fans to be wheeled out for the big day : Steve Cram, Kate Adie, Bryan Ferry, Brian Marwood, Sugar Ray Leonard, James Bolam, Heather Mills, Tasmin Archer, Paul Collingwood

This season so far : They’re in 18th place with  24 points from 26 games and 6 wins 6 draws and 14 losses.
In the Capital One Cup they beat MK Dons 4-2 in the 2nd rd, Peterborugh 2-0 in the 3rd rd, Saints 2-1 in the 4th rd , and Chelsea 2-1 in the 5th rd, all at home, plus united 3-3 on aggregate  in the semi, winning through hilariously on pens!
In the FA Cup they beat Carlisle 3-1 in the 3rd rd, and Kidderminster 1-0 in the 4th rd, and Saints 1-0 in the 5th round, all at home. In the 6th round they play Hull at home.
At the SOL in November we contrived to lose 1-0 for the 4th time in a row!
Bad boy and ex rag shithouse Bardsley got the goal after Milner was fouled in the 21st minute. Crowd was 40,137 with 2,501 Blues tucked away in the top tier behind the goal.

City, Sunderland, League & FA Cup connections and reflections:

We managed our first League Cup success in 1970, beating West Brom 2-1 aet on the Saturday, after returning from a European Cup Winners’ Cup  0-0 draw with Academica Coimbra in Portugal. We also went on to lift that Cup at the end of the year.

So to 1973,  5th round cup tie at Maine Road, City red hot favourites to beat Second Division Sunderland, drew 2-2 (and I had my car nicked!) then lost the replay 3-1.  54,478 at Maine Road, crowd boosted by rags whose home game was postponed and 51,782 at Roker. I lived in Yorkshire and watched the Final in a room full of Leeds fans, trying to control myself as Ian, Dennis, Dave, Jim, Bob and co did the biz 1-0 over mighty (dirty) Leeds United. Wonderful! We later took Tueart, Watson and Horswill off their hands.

Our next Final appearance was in 1974 when we contrived to lose 1-2 to Wolves. “Supporting City is going to Wembley with a forward line of  Bell, Lee, Law, Summerbee and Marsh , and losing”, is the oft lament of Blues.

That was put to rights a couple of years later, when we beat a supposedly flu hit Newcastle United 2-1, Peter Barnes and Dennis Tueart with that overhead kick voted the best ever goal in the competition. It didn’t get him into our Hall of Fame though, even club secretary Bernard Halford is ahead of him there! Bern must’ve booked us into some good hotels! (as Big Mal once said of Walter Griffiths!)

Season 1979/80 saw the one and only League Cup game between the two sides, a 1-1 draw at Maine Road and a 1-0 Sunderland win at Roker. City fans, I’m told, were escorted through the main stand exit at the end of the game, by the Police “for our own protection”, Sunderland fans, were apparently waiting mob-handed outside the gates where the City fans should’ve exited.
Then, at last, in 1982/83 we gained some sort of revenge for ten years earlier when, after a 0-0 draw at Roker,  a 2-1 win put us through to the 4th round in the replay. (lost 0-4 at Brighton, causing John Bond’s resignation)    We were later relegated!

On to 1985, Sunderland’s one and only League Cup Final, so far, a 0-1 loss to Norwich, who were relegated along with the Mackems whilst City were promoted.

1985/86 is a bit vague but if I recall correctly we won 4-3 on pens in the Full Members Cup, at Maine Road after 0-0. That sparked a jubilant pitch invasion, as we went on to beat Hull in the semi-final but lost the final 5-4 to Chelsea!, after being 1 up then 5-1 down!

And that was pretty much that until 1991 after Sunderland had  a stint in division 3 (1988), which we also managed in 1999 . Their fans in fancy dress entertained us in our 3-2 win as Sunderland  were relegated to Division Two. They did manage a Cup Final in 1992 losing 2-0 to Liverpool, in their yo-yo years though. We managed a 5th place finish, as we did the season after, before hitting the skids.

City were the first visitors to the Stadium of Light in August 1997, managing a 1-3 loss, and were relegated at the end of the season. Sunderland missed out on promotion in the play offs to Charlton, but went up the year after to the Prem and City went up to the First Division, after winning the Play off Final against  Gillingham (1999).

Next up was the 2009 game at the Etihad when Mark Hughes was sacked at half time, as City went on to win 4-3.

Eventually we set off in 2011 on the first of our 5 ‘New Wembley’ visits, winning 3 and losing 2, culminating in losing 1-0 to (about to be relegated Wigan) in the Final.


We also lost the League Cup semi of 2010 to the rags, (a game which should have been replayed owing to the rags missile throwing changing the course of the game) and in 2012, 2-3 on aggregate,  to Liverpool but we went on to lift the title, on the last day, Mackems making fun of the rags (who conveniently forgot how they denied us 5 points that year!) doing the City adopted Poznan. We loved it!

And that pretty well brings us up to date. In this year’s competition City have had a fairly comfortable passage to the Final. We beat Wigan 5-0 (It’ll always be 1-0 the 546 fans sang) at home, Newcastle away 2-0, Leicester away 3-1(when we listened to Sunderland beating Chelsea on the radio on the way home), then West Ham 9-0 on aggregate in the semi-final. This put behind us the defeats to Liverpool 80/81, 2012 and united 2009/10.
We waited with baited breath as Sunderland beat the rags 2-1 then won through at O/T after extra time, on penalties which was the funniest thing most soccer fans worldwide had seen in a long time.

Some City fans had mixed feelings though, wanting to give the rags a good tonking at Wembley, but most were happy we weren’t playing them. Their fans’ behaviour at the two previous games there v us were a disgrace and it will be a much pleasanter fans experience v Sunderland, whose fans like their North Eastern neighbours are top drawer.

Comment : So where does that leave us? We’ve won the biggest  games, 1937 Charity Shield 2-0, but were relegated at the end of the season as Champions,  and the 1955 FA Cup semi 1-0.
We always used to beat Sunderland  when we were shit, but on Wearside they’ve  recently had the edge with four  spawny 1-0 wins and a draw. At Eastlands though, we have, with 8 wins and 1 draw in the last nine. So anything can happen.
They’ve got a few ex rags – Brown, O’Shea, Bardsley plus ex Blue Johno who’ll spark things up plus Gus Poyet’s a decent manager. (What happened at Brighton  we’re still waiting to hear) but you would expect us to take control.
Underdogs have done well in recent Finals, Birmingham beating Arsenal, Cardiff giving Liverpool a fright, and last year…….!
Of course, the last team to beat us at Wembley in a Final were relegated, so Mackems should be careful what they wish for. This time, hopefully, our players won’t be playing to get the manager sacked, which was the suspicion, in that Final.

WTWTWShite : Avd 13,601 in 86/87, and this season their average home att. is 40,438.

Groundwise: 31,000 tickets for each club and we’re in the West end again, three times lucky, twice unlucky.
Wembley stadium : Capacity 90,000 (31,000 for City)
Sat Nav : HA9 0WS.

CONCLUSION
Well some Sunderland fans might prefer to stay up than to win a Cup, but there’s no choice, as their next game is this Final. Anyway, you can always get promoted whilst Finals don’t come around that often. Hopefully they peaked in the semis (hope we didn't!)
They’ve had two chances (’85, and ’92) to repeat 1973 and have failed. As for us, we bounced back in ‘34, ‘56, ‘70 (tho we also won in ’69) and ’76, and 2011so history shows we CAN do it. Just bring back that Cup lads and fire up the rest of the season. As always the KOTK team, as per all Blues, will be giving it 100% at the game. Bring it on……..

Dave

15 comments:

  1. It could have been a different result had Kompany not made that match winning tackle at 0-1, making ammends for his earlier error. It needed a couple of special strikes as I couldn't see us scoring otherwise. Aguero wasn't match fit and Dzeko anonymous as usual

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    1. Pretty well summed up, Tony. Must say MDM's deciding not to carry on running back in case Borini got past Vincent was very poor and Peller's continued blind spot over this duffer becomes ever more baffling. !st half only Zab, Kompers and Kolarov earned their corn. Better second half, obviously, as Nasri got the game by the scruff. Dzeko has had 2 dreadful games on the bounce and there was no point to his being on the pitch.
      Still, a trophy is a trophy and we need to be more ruthless against an in form Wigan on Sunday to set up another 2 Wembley visits. Nice to see Vincent high fiveing all on the way up the steps, a little different to Tevez in 2011. Also, I note that the City site already has the winners range available for pre-order.
      Finally, what was the commentary confirming City has Carling League cup champions all about?

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    2. I do mean Capitol One winners of course, Carling Cup winners comes later on hopefully.

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    3. It's nearly time Tony, to take off your blue and white scarf, hang it up the corner and exit the room. I know you've done the years, following City through thin and thin. We have to be more positive than you. I think you crave Division One in your heart of hearts. I see you on Joe Mercer Way selling your KOTKs smiling defiantly when we've won. I hate your acceptance of defeat, and City are much better than that now. Watch your telly. We've won the Cup. I feel like a sad parent putting down a pet. But ffs Tony, this needed to be said.

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    4. Bollox!! Most teams would have torn us apart today. I'm not being negative, just sayig it as it is, not as I'd like it to be. We won thanks to two great goals that turned the game around. The only good thing about your comment is that I'm arguing with a fellow blue about how we won and not about how we lost.

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  2. ffs Tony. Are you ever satisfied?

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  3. Surely it's possible to celebrate but be objective about our win, it's what distinguishes us from other clubs in the area. The manner in which we went behind is worrying, surely so many supporters and commentators can't be wrong when they query why MDM seems first choice alongside Vinnie. His position play and lack of pace will and, arguably, has cost us already this season. Fortunately, we have the quality going forward to compensate but we shouldn't rely on that with better teams than Sunderland and we have one or two of those coming up!
    The dick on Sky, (was it Tyler?) inferred that Sunderland were the better team overall and 2 moments of 'individual brilliance' won us the game; my nomination for Twat in the Hat!

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    1. Their game was easier to play - keep ten men behind the ball and hoof it over the top when winning back possession - than our game - trying to break down a massed defence.
      I think we pissed on the media's chips yesterday, they were already penning their pieces about glory for the underdogs and how our season was imploding and how we'd end up winning nowt like Arsenal after defeat by Birmingham City.

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  4. City win at Wembley and Terry Christian is reduced to guest appearances on Pointless.
    That’s the beauty of Karma

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  5. Of course I am Lobby. A few years ago, I would have settled for winning the game the way Birmingham won it against Arsenal with a last minute gift. But these days, I think we should be better than that. Yes, we won and I'm as delighted as you re that we have another trophy under our belt, but surely you can see that apart from two top notch goals we were out of sorts yesterday. For the sky guy to claim that Sunderland were the better team is nonsense, but a better team would have punished us. They had two good chances toward the end that they cocked up and questions must be asked as to why it looked like it as going to be a repeat of last year’s FA Cup final at one stge. Pellegrini's insistence on playing MDM will be his downfall and Dzeko did sweet FA. I have run out of patience with him now. For God’s sake though let’s not fall out and enjoy our win.

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  6. p.s Everyone seems to be praising Atkinson for refreeing the game well, when in fact we should have ben awarded two nailed on penalties. The second of which was when I think Kolarov was clearly brought down just after oursecond goa. That would pobabl have mde it 3-1 and finished the ti and I think he bottled it by not giving it

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    1. He also allowed some "industrial" challenges on our players not even be seen as free kicks. Remember the one on Silva after about 2 minutes? That was bloody dangerous and Bardsley (I think) could have easily walked for it. Any slight brushes by us, of course, punished every time.
      One of the papers-Express or Mail- gave Dzeko a higher rating than Aguero?! Citing Dzeko's effort and Aguero's lack of fitness. Of course he was short of fitness, you bloody pillock, but still did more on the pitch than Dzeko by a country mile.

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  7. Totally agree with Dave about MDM, yet another inept performance and yet Pellegrini persists in picking him. He shared responsibility for both the Sunderland goal and the second Borini chance, rescued by Vinny's great tackle. The second chance did look offside at first glance, but the flag stayed down. Overall Sunderland played well, City were quite complacent, but a great atmosphere and some cracking goals made for an enjoyable day out.

    Alex

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    1. Demichelis gets my vote over Lescott everytime. Teams parking the bus are always going to look to hit balls into space vacated by the fullbacks, I sincerely doubt Lescott would have fared any better. Until City develop or purchase a CB who is fleet of foot,(or consider playing Richards at CB ad he is one of the fastest players after Navas) the natural tendency will be for the cb's to play a highline.

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  8. Can't agree pjdemers, I agree that neither are up to what we need, but MDM is a walking disaster and Lescott is more used to the Premiership. One things certain, wehave a problem between now and the end of the season if he continues to play MDM

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