Date: 26th February 2017 at 1:16pm
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It sure is a dead rubber weekend if you`re fans of the mighty Manchester City and the Ashburton Grove Bottling Factory known to other as Arsenal.

With Stretford`s finest chickening their way to the National Stadium to face Southampton, City and Arsenal have been left kicking their heels this weekend, albeit in the case of City in one of the finest hotels in the world, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

As City still have to go Arsenal in a few weeks time, it might have been a good idea for the powers that aren`t to have ordered the playing of this match this weekend, leaving the original date free for Southampton and Stretford to catch up the unplayed fixture. But no this is beyond the comprehension of those than operate the Premier League.

Is it me or are we all fed up with the broadcasters pontifications about Moaning Maureen. He who could become the first Stretford manager to win a trophy in his first season. Today I have turned off all broadcasting media in my house because it is like listening to Radio Stretford (I call it something else off-line, City fans will know what) and Stretford TV.

Well guess what. A cup final is a match between two teams. And guess what else, it is Claude Puel`s first season in charge at Saints and he too could win a trophy in his first season. Of course Claude and his charges are not regarded as news in terms of the one-legged, one sighted individuals that adorn the broadcasting world, but fair play to them. They have kept their heads below the parapet and simply prepared for their match, more or less saying nothing. All we get on TV are endless interviews with Moaning Maureen who is as interesting as a pea, even to the extent of wearing an old Cristiano Ronaldo shirt to somehow come out in sympathy with the departed Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri.

On that subject, we are supposed to feel sorry for the plight of the Champions of England. Well I`m not. I was not impressed one bit with them last season. Yes they produced a brand of incomprehensible football and it propelled them to the title as the usual suspects shot themselves in the foot week-in, week-out, but in among this was clearly some of the darker arts of the game. They took no prisoners, were happy to “take one for the team” especially if it meant reducing the effectiveness of the other team. We`ve even seen it this season when a certain star forward, who would struggle to score in a whorehouse, “did” Virgil Van Dijk, not only putting him out of the game for weeks but sentencing him to be unavailable for his clubs first Cup Final in a long time. So – Love Leicester, hate Football. I did smile yesterday when Palace`s victory over Middlesbrough meant that Leicester headed for dropzone one.

It is obvious that Ranieri was already on the greasy pole ahead of the visit to Sevilla and they have looked at their forthcoming fixture against Liverpool and fired him in the hope that the genius known as Shakespeare, no not that one, will generate an effective rebound of form. You might recall that in the 2013/2014 reason when our beloved Blues won the title under Pellegrini something like 4 clubs changed their manager hoping for similar. Tomorrow, despite Liverpool being fellow challengers for the Champions League and while Sue hides under the bed, I will declare myself a surrogate Scouser and hope Liverpool give Leicester a whacking. I only hope that appoint someone like Pardew who will probably sink them into League One or beyond.

The Premier League has been littered with sackings of this nature. City themselves find themselves in the dock on this one, allegedly firing Mancini ahead of an FA Cup Final which added to City`s list of ridicule and effecting telling Pellegrini four months before the end of the season that he was offski come the end of May.
The only thing about Leicester is that it is a source of Manchester City romance that we are the only Club who got relegated the season after winning the title and to see another club potentially emulate that is not good.

I then, watching Skysports News yesterday had to have a chuckle at Brendan Rodgers, the serial underachiever who now finds himself at Celtic, leading the one-horse donkey derby that calls itself the Scottish Premier League.

It is still a source of major irritation to me that Pellegrini, who won 2 trophies in his first season as City manager was somehow not seen as Manager of the Year that season. Oh no he was beaten to it by a manager who masterminded one of the biggest surrenders in Premier League history. A manager whose team managed to let go the kind of led that Chelsea have now in around 6 matches. You got it. One Brendan Rogers. And there his current team sits, a hundred points clear of the field and yesterday he said that he had taken on an interesting challenge. I don`t know what the challenge is when their only decent performance was against City in the 3-3 draw at Parkhead. My dog could pick and coach a Celtic team to go out and play in that league. Still, as they say, it`s good for his CV when his next “challenge” will be someone like Aston Villa.

The absence of meaningful football this weekend has been an unwelcome interlude for the Pedmachine, but at least the positives are that after a tough match in midweek, the Blues can rest themselves off and get ready for the onset of difficult fixtures waiting in the wings. No doubt the Premier League will try to ensure that we play the Stretfords before Gabriel Jesus becomes available again, but by then they will have course won the EFL Cup, the FA Cup and the Stretford Thursday Cup and be top of the Premier League, ten points clear with two matches to play. You would think listening to the radio and watching TV that all of that was already in place.

Like all Blues I want to City adhere to the old adage of taking one match at a time and seeing what happens. It has worked before for City. This time it may not work again, but in the end I don`t think we`ll be too far away and then we will kick ourselves for the ridiculous points dropped at home and for the appointment of Bravo who has consistently been at the forefront of the trials and tribulations. I really hope that Sergio continues to put himself about like he did on Tuesday. If he does and with the pace and power all around him he will get himself scoring every week and that spells danger to all-comers

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