Manchester City Gain Their First Prize: Respect

True BlueCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Manchester City Chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak and Chief Executive Garry Cook during the pre season friendly match between Manchester City and Celtic at the City of Manchester Stadium on August 8, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A fellow BR contributor has informed me that the banner at Old Trafford "celebrating" the 33-year lack of trophies for City has been taken down.

This could simply be because it is being cleaned or updated, ready for the 34th year.

It could also be because after Alex Ferguson's rant at City's "petty" poster campaign it seemed disingenuous to leave it in place, after all you can't make SAF look silly can you?

The suggestion is that taking it down now will save the embarrassment of taking it down when City do win something, interesting thought that.

Ferguson's rant alone also shows that the challenge from across town is more serious this year than for many, many years.

Now I am not here to say that City are going to win the League, but they do pose more of a threat to all teams.

Arsene Wenger is less prone to ranting at opponents but he has found City worthy of comment, and in his way has made it clear that City are in the minds of other managers.

Snr Benitez has been mulling things over and has said that 'it will be interesting to see what happens."

Ancelloti is celebrating the fact that John Terry did't move to City—and of course it was never going to happen was it Carlo?

It all seems to be add up to City having gained the respect of other clubs in the EPL, not something that has been acheived for many years.

In previous posts here on Bleacher I was told that the top four don't fear City (although I disagree) and that City are not going to break up the top four, certainly not this year (again I have my doubts about that).

The two men in the picture are Khaldoon al Mubarrak, chairman, and Garry Cook, chief executive of Man City. They have stated that a top six finish would be considered progression.

I think that the way City are thought of is proof positive that City are now contenders.

But a trophy would definitely be nice as well.