Not a lot to report today, with Stevie G’s press conference focusing on very little and offering about the same in terms of hard information. Honestly, is this what the world has come to? Has everything just been reduced to a series of soundbites and slogans – the next time I hear the phrase strong and stable government I’ll, well, I’ll, well that tub of paperclips on the desk will get it! And get it good!
I suppose what we really want to know is whether he’ll let Chief Mugwump Gaston Ramirez anywhere near his first team again. Christ, I hope not; think about the message that sends out to everyone else… All this ahead of Manchester City’s visit, and almost certainly a return to our regular form of winning nothing and looking slipshod in doing so. That front line of City’s – Aguero or Jesus, supported by the likes of De Bruyne, Sterling, Silva and Sane – is completely terrifying. You’d need to have a defence of Italian veterans, or be Manchester United, to prevail against it, and we can call on nothing of the sort. Worse still, defensive woes continue with Valdes and Ayala both considered doubtful. I think it might be best to follow this one from the bottom of a bottle. Please, no Barrabolix. No one deserves that.
This makes for interesting reading, and if nothing better illustrates the gulf between Boro and City then this will. The visitors’ squad cost £497 million. Ours came in at £57.7 million, or 11.6% of the sum lavished on Manchester City. For the entire amount we paid for our Lions, you could afford perhaps De Bruyne and Bacary Sagna, or at least Sagna minus his dreads. Remember when we regularly beat this lot, when we were a genuine bogey side for Manchester’s blue half? Well, all that’s done with. At least we spent less than the £82.1 million lavished on Sunderland’s excuses for players, though the fact we paid more than Burnley and Hull, and both have shown us how to survive a Premiership campaign, points once again at coaching deficiencies.