EPL's Manchester Derby: The Biggest Football Match on the Planet?

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IFebruary 8, 2011

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 19:   Wayne Rooney of Manchester United battles for the ball with Carlos Tevez of Manchester City during the Carling Cup Semi Final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the City of Manchester Stadium on January 19, 2010 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

This weekend sees Manchester City drag their gargantuan wallet across town to Old Trafford to try to become annoying neighbors rather than just noisy ones. Sir Alex Ferguson's quip about the Sky Blues being nothing more than "noisy neighbors" is in danger of becoming redundant as Manchester City's progress continues.

Essentially though, Manchester City has done nothing at all since they were cashed up, besides buying ridiculous amounts of overpriced players, strikers in particular, and with this wealth of striking talent, they have proceeded to try to defend their way to the title.

Manchester United has had a history of paying silly money for players, though in their favor they do have trophies to show for their acquisitions, and also thanks to rather questionable financial arrangements that were undertaken, a gigantic debt foisted on them by perhaps the ugliest club owners in world football, the troll-like Glazer family, who quite frankly, would not be out of place under a bridge somewhere, and could easily end up in such a place, were they to walk down the streets of Manchester in the near future.

There is even cause now to look upon the Manchester derby as perhaps the biggest game in world football, which of course will irk the supporters of any other clubs besides these two, because they will naturally think that their club is better and bigger than either of these two, or both of them put together; such is the nature of the supporter.

Realistically though, in terms of fanbase, this game has taken on almost inter-planetary proportions.

Manchester United is well known for having massive global support, and have even in the past done things like not wearing a remembrance day poppy on their shirt so as not to offend those who fought against the British in the world wars, which gives an idea of their diverse support.

Manchester City, who are now rich enough to buy Equatorial Guinea and perhaps a couple of other islands, maybe Australia and New Zealand, have had their profile increased substantially by the acquisition of every player that any other club has been interested in during the last few transfer windows, and even a few who other clubs weren't keen on.

This all makes for a game that is bigger than the 90 minutes of football it was about in the first place. The ball striking a mere divot in the turf and causing some incident in the match could start a civil war in some far off land, fought between blood red and sky blue warriors, intent on exacting revenge for the club that has given them so much in return for their support.

The players shown in this fixture are an assortment of the most highly paid people to ever kick a ball with intent. Superstars of the game from the elite footballing nations of the world. Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Aleksander Kolarov, the list goes on, and that is only Manchester City.

United has, of course, "Wayne 35,000 pounds a day Rooney" and other big names from countries around the world including Dimitar Berbatov, Ji-Sung Park, Nemanja Vidic and Luis Nani.

Could this be the biggest game in world football? What does it actually mean? Do you think the aliens that observe this planet from afar tune into match day coverage? Perhaps saying "What the hell are those people doing?"

Who will win? What will it mean in the aftermath? It is debatable really, as it could mean absolutely nothing, or if you are so inclined it could be the end of your world for a few days, months or the rest of the year.

Either way, whatever the result, this game is now a monster, bigger than the players, the managers and the clubs that are involved. It is like the schlock horror flick beast, "The Blob".

Growing by the second, swallowing all in its path, beware people, lest it swallow you and you become a part of its jelly-like mass. Shuddering disgustingly in the breeze, oozing through the cracks in the wall; oh the depravity, the terror, hide your children and turn out the lights, its on its way folks, and it is bigger and more debauched than it has ever been. The Manchester derby is coming to town.  


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