There's Only 2 Teams In Manchester

Martin MullaneContributor IJuly 30, 2009

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 25:  Manchester City players line up during the final of the 2009 Vodacom Challenge match between Kaizer Chiefs and Manchester City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on July 25, 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

"City are a small, petty club": I'm paraphrasing the 'great one' Sir Alex Ferguson a little there, but that's pretty much what came out of his mouth hole regarding the whole Carlos Tevez 'postergate' affair.

Now far be it from me to point out the obvious but didn't Fergie tear Rafa Benitez a new one for saying the same about Everton last January?

Fergie being two-faced and hypocricital? Surely not I hear you yell. Not Sir Alex 'made of gold' Ferguson, aka King Midas? The same man that "wouldn't sell a virus to that mob in Madrid"—Well he did and it's called Chris 'fall head over me hole' Ronaldoitis.

Sorry, lost my trail of thought for a second!

This article wasn't meant to be an abusive piece about United and their noble, fearless and ageless leader. I just got a little off track. I'd like to avoid the obvious inference in the article title that United are based in sunny Salford and not rainy Manchester. I'd like to avoid all slurs on the Red army actually as I've a serious point to make.

Mark Hughes is aiming at building what Shankley built in Liverpool. What Stein built in Celtic. Two teams. Both the best in the land.

Now I said aiming: There's no guarantees he'll be left at the helm or that he'll be successful. It'll take time. 5/6 years to reach their potential, if at all. The aim is to have two players for every position. Fergie's squad last season had the best example of that strategy and it meant that while others wilted United were able to bring in fresh legs.

Fergie's spent more than any other club in the last 7/8 years building that. Little hypocritical then that he'd criticise City's spending. But this is Sir Alex and normal morality laws need not apply to him. 

I'd be angry too if my team became a selling club over the summer!!! 

Lets look at what's already on the books at Middle Eastlands.

Given, Hart, Taylor—I don't think anyone has that depth at keeper.

Richards, Zabaleta, Dunne, Onouha, Bridge, Toure and Kompany—A solid set, possibly lacking 1 more left sided defender (hence the Lescott links).

De Jong, Barry, Johnson, Ireland, Wright Phillips, Petrov, Elano and Kompany if you want to call him a midfielder too—Again, a nice solid set.

Finally Tevez, Robinho, Santa Cruz and Adebayor—As much and more attacking talent that anyone has in their squad. And I haven't even mentioned 'reserves' like Castillo, Etuhu, Logan, Benjani and Bojinov, to name a few, that'd walk on most Premier League teams. 

That squad is one capable of immediately competing with Everton, Villa and Spurs for 5th/6th place, maybe even sneaking into the top four next season as both Villa and Everton have threatened to do.

Contrary to popular opinion I feel that if one of the big four is to be squeezed out it'll be Chelsea, not Arsenal as they're an ageing team with a managerial turnover rate comparable to that of City in the Division one and two years of the early noughtys.

Two more 'top class' players will have to be bought next year for City to progress further. And every year thereafter. That's the Shankley and Fergie model: Progress every year.

I've been a City supporter for a long long time so I know never to count my chickens. We could be relegated after all!—Stuart Pearce or Sven could take the reigns again. Maybe Franny Lee will come back as chairman. Someone get Nicky Summerbee his #7 jersey back. Anyone seen the Goat lately. Get him, he's needed. NO. 

I'm going to be realistic and say we won't win the league by more than ten points. This season anyway. Maybe next....