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Fergie: Manchester City Are "A Small Club With a Small Mentality" But...

Mr XSenior Writer IJuly 26, 2009

ROME - MAY 26:  Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Manchester United attends the Manchester United press conference prior to UEFA Champions League Final versus Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico on May 26, 2009 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The build up to next season has well and truly kicked off in Manchester. With just over three weeks to go to this year's EPL curtain raiser, the two halves of Manchester have become embroiled in a tit for tat affair while their two teams are separated by half the planet.

This whole new round of jibes between the clubs was initiated when Carlos Tevez left United after two successful seasons to join city rivals Manchester City. He turned down moves to Liverpool and Chelsea because he didn't want to join a rival of United, and that he was joining City out of respect to their fans.

Makes some sense I suppose.

Manchester City's heavy spending over the last year has seen them move up the Premiership ladder from mid-table mediocrity to genuine Champions League qualification contenders.

And with that added pressure of expectancy to being one of the movers and shakers in the league, they have come under the watchful eye of Fergie.

Of course, that's not too difficult. Especially when Manchester City seem hell bent on trying to gain his attention.

Last week, some bright spark in the brain trust of Manchester City's PR section commissioned some billboards around Manchester cty centre.

The advertisements, on a sky blue background, welcomed Carlos Tevez to the city of Manchester.

Tongue in cheek you might say.

Yes, and no.

If the billboard had been originated on say, the Internet, made by a fan, it would be exactly that. A tongue in cheek jibe at their rivals. But when someone in a professional capacity does it, it takes on a whole new meaning.

This is the domain of fans, and when it is done so, it is taken exactly as it is meant.

But when a professional does the same, it takes on a whole new meaning. Basically Manchester City's PR machine have indirectly insulted the red half of Manchester.

It smacks of small mindedness, and the person who commissioned it really should know better.

But let's face it. It's a non-event to everyone outside Manchester, myself included, but it does show the inferiority complex that City suffer under United.

In reply to the billboard, Fergie said last night.

"It's City isn't it? They're a small club with a small mentality. All they can talk about is Manchester United; they can't get away from it,"

"They think taking Carlos Tevez away from Manchester United is a triumph. It is poor stuff."

After seemingly answering City back, with a somewhat dignified response...Fergie then couldn't help himself and hit back with a jibe of his own.

"When someone offers you that kind of money, it is a big attraction," said Ferguson.

"That is the reason they have gone there.

"At the last minute, from what I can gather, either Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after they had agreed a deal with City and then did the same with Chelsea. He was desperate to get to either Chelsea or us."

So what have we learned?

Other than the fact that most people should know better, very little.

Manchester City won a moral victory over United by snatching Tevez. But as they will learn next season, moral victories mean nothing.

The signings they have made have catapulted them for 10th place nobodies to 4th place challengers.

They will not win the league this year, or even challenge for it.

But they will push Arsenal. The Gunners have struggled to fend off the likes of Spurs, Everton, and Aston Villa over the last couple of seasons, and they have a fraction of the resources that are available to Mark Hughes' team.

Eventually they will drop out of the top four positions. Whether it will be this year is anyone's guess, but it will happen eventually. City have too much money for it not to.

And just when everyone is thinking that Fergie is closer to retirement than ever, a new challenger has rode over the horizon. Could it be that Manchester City's revival will bring renewed strength to the most driven manager in English football?

Could be.

Manchester City's rise through the ranks of the EPL has already caught the attention of such luminaries as Rafael Benitez, Arsene Wenger, Fergie, and new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Like I said earlier, City won't even challenge for the league, this year, but the very fact that four managers from the top four clubs in the league have all spoken out about City is a sure indication that they are a serious threat to breaking their dominance of the league.

And the eventual title clash between the two teams from Manchester could be the final act Alex Ferguson's long career.

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