Manchester City coach has bent or broken £460,000 worth of cars since taking over the team in 2016

Illustrating the financial might of the Premier League, it’s unusual to see a player rock up to work in anything other than a Lamborghini, Bentley, Mercedes or the like.

Managers also pocket an eye-watering wage of their own, the largest of which is the staggering £385,000 taken home by Pep Guardiola each and every week…

In their book Pep’s City: The Making Of A Superteam, Lu Martin and Pol Ballus write: “Today he’s behind the wheel of his black Mercedes…”He has a reputation from his Barcelona days of being a hapless driver and this is his fourth car he has owned since coming to Manchester…“His wing mirrors don’t survive for long and he’s also managed to fill a diesel Range Rover with petrol and mangle a silver Bentley.”

To be fair, the United Kingdom is the first country in which Guardiola has played or managed that drives on the left side of the road…It would take some time to adjust, but surely four years is long enough…But really, there’s no excuse for filling up a £150,000 Range Rover with the wrong type of fuel.

Say, Amen!

FA Cup final: Manchester City 0-1 Wigan Athletic

Ben Watson and Roberto Martinez

Wigan Athletic claimed the first major trophy in their 81-year history when Ben Watson’s last-minute goal won the FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.

Roberto Martinez’s side produced a performance full of attacking intent and verve to fully deserve this historic win against firm pre-match favourites City, who had Pablo Zabaleta sent off six minutes from time.

Substitute Watson, who has missed much of the season after breaking his leg in November, sent Wigan’s fans into ecstasy with a near-post header from Shaun Maloney’s corner at the very moment the board went up to signal three minutes of stoppage time.

The goal was just reward for Wigan, whose drive and intensity was in sharp contrast to the desperately lacklustre display served up by City as last season’s Premier League champions end this campaign empty-handed.

It completed a miserable day for manager Roberto Mancini, which began with reports that was about to be sacked and replaced by Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini and ended with a defeat that left City’s hierarchy looking on stone-faced from the Royal Box as Wigan celebrated.

Opposite number Martinez is also at the centre of speculation about his future as he has been linked with the forthcoming managerial vacancy at Everton – and his stock will have risen markedly now he has the FA Cup against his name.

And when this final is remembered, the performance of Wigan’s Callum McManaman will be recalled alongside Watson’s goal after a magnificent, and close to unplayable, display of wing play which gave City defender Gael Clichy a harrowing afternoon.

It was also a moment of sheer joy for Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who broke his leg playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final against Wolves at Wembley. He led the team out, then watched in delight as they lifted the treasured trophy…

City, who had struggled for rhythm all afternoon, were reduced to 10 men with six minutes remaining when Zabaleta was dismissed. It was a simple decision for referee Andre Marriner when the Argentine, played into trouble by Barry’s careless pass, hauled down McManaman having earlier received a yellow card.

Then came the moment that will be recalled in Wigan forever. Watson escaped from Rodwell at the near post to meet Maloney’s corner and history was made.

I cannot muster sufficient praise for everyone associated with this stunning and well-deserved victory. From the geezer himself, Dave Whelan, down through Roberto Martinez and all the Wigan players – they outworked the posh opposition. The giant-killers got what they deserved, what they fought so very hard for.

Manchester United 1 – 6 Manchester City…WTF?

The worst defeat for Manchester United since the founding of the English Premier League in 1992. Listless, mediocre defending, few shots taken at goal much less into the goal – while Manchester City played a professional, workmanlike match throughout.

There will be plenty of professional coverage of the match by those writers paid to do so. I recommend the GUARDIAN UNLIMITED for that task. The result was just so stunning I had to make mention, had to record this at my personal blog.

Sir Alex’ strategy can’t sufficiently motivate a team that doesn’t reach its own standard. Roberto Mancini can take credit for bringing together an international aggregation into a real team.

Mario Balotelli [center] celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal of the match
Daylife/Reuters Picture used by permission

Blue moon to light the sky this New Year’s Eve

If you have anything ridiculously ambitious or wondrously farfetched you’d like to achieve in life, then we’d strongly suggest aiming to achieve such goals this coming New Year’s Eve – a date on the calendar expected to be marked by a distinct ‘blue moon’.

Beyond the obvious ‘once in a lifetime’ adage, stargazing astronomers have revealed that 2010 will be ushered in alongside a genuine blue moon, which, while not nearly as rare as you may think (usually about once every 30 months), will be the first to illuminate the night sky on New Year’s Eve since 1990.

According to astronomer David Reneke of Australasian Science magazine, the next New Year’s Eve blue moon isn’t likely to happen until 2028.

To historians enjoying astronomy, the last century cast a “blue moon” into existence whenever there were two full moons in a single month.

For me, as I have through the happiest years of my life – I celebrate my wife’s birthday every New Year’s Eve.

Oil Royalty buys Manchester City

Change stadium name from Eastlands – to Middle Eastlands

The butt of many a joke only a matter of weeks ago as the full extent of Thaksin Shinawatra’s personal and financial problems emerged, Manchester City’s world has been turned on its head in the space of 24 mind-boggling hours as the former Prime Minister of Thailand sells the club to Arab royalty with wealth that dwarfs even that of Roman Abramovich. The arrival of Abramovich at Chelsea five years ago changed the landscape of English football, but the involvement of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi at City threatens to transcend even the enormity of the Russian’s achievements in West London.

Bankrolled by Abramovich’s millions, Chelsea won the league in the Russian’s second season at the club. Al-Fahim hopes for the same at City. “We are looking to make the same kind of impact at Manchester City that has happened at Chelsea in recent years,” Al-Fahim said. “That is what we want and we think it is achievable. The Premier League is a huge attraction for us. We looked at the likes of Arsenal and Newcastle United but we are very excited about becoming the new owners of Manchester City and have great ambitions.

“The target is to finish in the top four this season and then challenge for the Premier League title next year. We know that will require serious investment, but the bids we have already made for several players demonstrate how serious we are. We want to turn City into one of the biggest football clubs there is.”

Asked if the investors would be prepared to spend £200 million or more next summer to turn City into title challengers, Al-Fahim said: “Yes, if that is what it takes, we will do it.
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