Date: 29th July 2012 at 1:14pm
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Veteran Stretford player Paul Scholes is the first of the fading rag old guard to talk about Manchester City to the hacks ahead of the new season…

The 50 year old midfield general who has been gasping and wheezing around China in the rags horrible tartan tea towel All Over Now shirt has The Champions on his mind as Team Glazer’s medical staff work overtime in trying to keep him moving:

‘City definitely raised the bar and the football they played for most of the season was fantastic.’ he mumbled.

‘As much as I don’t want to admit it, they were good to watch and probably played the best football, so from that aspect, they were the best team and deserved to win the league…I have just seen little bits of them celebrating when they scored and then when Ag├╝ero scored at the very end. I haven’t seen them lifting the trophy, but I am sure if I am watching the TV over the next few weeks it will be on and I will see it.’

Pull the other one. Scholes goes on to follow Taggart’s increasingly tired line of referring to The New York Floaters history of winning titles back. But beyond that he declares that the rags should certainly have profited from their kinder fixture list in the last campaign:

‘…we failed at the end of last season. We should have won the league and didn’t. You would take being eight points clear with 6 games to go every year, but we have to look to next year and, if we are in the same position, finish the job.’

This correspondent doubts absolutely that they have it in them. Admittedly ‘nited struggled to cope with a Champions League er, group of death, but let’s see how they go on with 6 away league fixtures following each European commitment this time around. There’s even been a power shift in the FA’s fixture computer…


UPCOMING GAMES:
all times East Manchester

Mon 30 Jul 13h45 Malaysia Select XI, Kuala Lumpur, Friendly (ESPN TV)
Tue 31 Jul 19h45 Oldham Athletic, Boundary Park, Friendly
Sat 04 Aug 20h30 Wolfsburg, Volkswagen Arena, Friendly (ESPN TV)
Sun 05 Aug 19h00 Limerick, Jackman Park, Friendly
Sun 12 Aug 13h30 Chelsea, Villa Park, Community Shield
Sa 18 Aug 15h00 Southampton, The Etihad PL
Sa 25 Aug 15h00 Liverpool, Anfield PL

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES:

The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take place in Monaco on Thursday, 30th August. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.