Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Badges, scarfs and…


10 days ago I mentioned making comment, soon, on the clubs’ announcement that they were tinkering with the idea of changing the badge. Following on from this there was an interesting and somewhat passionate debate on Radio 5 live about footy scarfs, which gave me a ‘nudge’ to sit in front of the PC this morning.

First the badge...


Firstly, I was a bit surprised that they club had announced that they were thinking of changing the clubs emblem soon – as I said to a mate / fellow Blue in a text; I was convinced that we’d only had our current one for about 12 years. Turns out it was 18

Still, though, 18 years doesn’t seem THAT long for a club that’s only ever had 3 badges in its entire time under the name of Manchester City Football Club (excluding any one-off / tinkered-with ‘Cup Final’ badges that it). The previous one we’d kept for 25 years, meaning that, by my calculation at least, we’d had the original M.C.F.C. badge for a whopping 78 years!

I’m sure there’s nothing to do with increased marketing / sales there; in that we’ve gone from 78 to 25 to just 18 years with a particular badge. And that this rate, our FIFTH badge should be out in about 10 years; the sixth about 3 years later and then from that point onwards we should have a new badge on every new, three-kits that we bring out each season…unless we’re going to start bringing out 3 kits for every half-season by then; changing them around Christmas time...

But I digress…and cynically exaggerate of course.

For those who don’t know this, M.C.F.C. e-mailed all members one day about a week ago to say that we would be getting a SECOND e-mail the following day, giving us the opportunity to have some input as to the design of any possible 4th–club badge.

That was nice of ‘em - shame they don’t do this to some degree with the kits I also thought / lamented…

By then it was all over the press; the local press within mere minutes of the first e-mail arriving in MY in-box anyway. But sure enough the second e-mail came through the next day and it was a series of pages & symbols that both represented the football club and Manchester itself, such as ‘the ship’, ‘the rose’, ‘a lion’, ‘a griffin’ and ‘the [Manchester] bees of industry’ etc.

There was a section on the preferred ‘shield shape’ and preferred colours (including what you felt was LEAST “Manchester City”) and, yeah, it was all you could expect from a consultation. Well-done City!

We were then invited to make comments at the end and, well, here’s what I wrote…

At first I was surprised, after just 18 years, that a change again was being considered. However...

I think a lot was lost in translation in the current badge and, for that reason, I CAN understand the change consideration. I think a move back to one of our previous badges would be a very good thing.

I've always liked the Latin for “Pride in Battle” but how about the circulating suggestion about Latin for "We fight to the end" (Nos vero pugnabimus usque ad finem)? Too long?

Please, please use our traditional colours of Maroon, Blue & White. As much as it's important to have the City of Manchester symbols, it's even more important to stick to these colours AND away from golds & navy blues etc.

Finally..."Manchester City F.C. instead of M.C.F.C. would be good.

So that’s it – the consultation lasts until early November and so be prepared for a new Manchester City badge next season!

‘arf ‘n’ ‘arf?!

For the last 3 or 4 seasons now, perhaps longer, there’s been a noticeable increase in the sale outside of most clubs of split scarfs…or ’arf ‘n’ ‘arf’ as I call ‘em.

It’s something that’s evoked a few responses from me – puzzlement, slight amusement and considerable irritation at times; the latter no worse than that I have to add – I’m not SO sad…

And when passing a seller of such weird objects at a ‘standard league game’ or ‘early-round cup game’, I’ve often spoke of it to other Blues and have never met ONE who disagrees with me or understands themselves why these exists and who the ‘ell buys ‘em!

On Radio 5 live yesterday morning there was a debate on this very subject that was also slightly wrapped up in football ‘fan tribalism’ but, it seemed to me on the scarf issue itself, the more experienced footy fans also agreed at the puzzlement of these crazily-printed neck garments.

So, in my opinion, these are the ONLY reasons anyone should buy an ‘arf ‘n’ ‘arf (slightly more reasons than I thought, I must admit)

  1. You are a ‘neutral’ who rarely goes to games; you managed to get a ticket and just wanted a souvenir of the day.

  1. Similarly, you are someone who is doing the 92 and want to add to your impressive tally a memento of your various visits.

  1. You’re not a neutral; you are a fan of one the teams on the scarf but, due to costs or another very understandable reasons, you / your child / children just can’t go very often and, therefore, similarly want something to mark the event.

  1. It’s a notable game such as an important testimonial or, of course, a cup final of some description (although for me if you were playing in one of those games against your local rival then even this is a step too far in my opinion).

5.   You’re just…a weirdo!


No it’s not for me at all (apart from, perhaps, point 4) but I see an increasing number of them being worn – usually by kids I have to note.

But…huh…even then…WHY in, say, a normal league game would you WANT an ‘arf City / ‘arf Norwich City scarf? Why?! When, apart from when we play Norwich every 3 to 4 seasons, would you ever even CONSIDER wearing it…even on an occasion [to keep warm] like bonfire night?!

It's just…it’s-just-wrong. And how do the manufactures of these abominations even afford to produce them and make a profit?! The combinations are just too many for me to count…

A transfer section? In October?

Well I must admit that I didn’t think I’d be doing one until about December but, here it is…

Bruno to Boro

The 22-year old, box-to-box, Under-20 Argentine international has moved to Middlesbrough on loan for just one month. Not sure why for such a short space of time – I can only take from that, that the North East side have massive injuries in the middle of their midfield.

Perhaps they’re simply doing us a favour – giving him a flavour of simply being around a first team more than he’s getting [that opportunity] at City (although I understand that, where possible, players such as Bruno Zuculini are given as much 1st team training session as, where and when possible.

‘Good luck’ to the young fella who rarely looks out of place for us pre-season but who had two largely unsuccessful periods on loan in 2014 & 2015 for Valencia & Cordoba respectively; having played just 45 minutes for Los Che and having appeared in just 8 games for Los Califas.

That’s why ‘just one month’ is leaving me scratching my head a little…

Brattan in

Rumoured a few weeks back to be joining us; 25-year old, defensive midfielder Luke signed a 3 year and 8 month contract with City and was immediately loaned out to Bolton Wanderers for 3 months (that’s more like it).

Born in Hull but moving to Australia when very young, like Bruno he has 8 appearances also for his Under-20 international side but has yet to make his first, full international cap for The Socceroos. Has made 91 appearance for Brisbane Roar who released him due to a disagreement with regards to unpaid funds into a government-supported retirement scheme.

I know nothing about him otherwise and haven’t even ‘done the YouTube thing’ on him as yet. At 25 he’s in a good, ‘middle-section’ age bracket but I’d have to say…what quality are we buying when he’s REACHED that age and he has yet to make it into the Australian national first team? Perhaps it’s not down to his ability or any lack thereof – perhaps the Aussie midfield department is already strong / hard to break into…

Villa in November, March…AND January?

Well yes, we’re playing Aston Villa next month away and then again at home in March but there’s a rumour of a ‘Villa encounter’ in January too. David Villa that is (too cheesy?)

It’s been murmured on & off for quite a few weeks now and was even fired at Manuel Pellegrini in a pre-match ‘presser’ the other week which, of course, he brushed aside before the press officers had even finished his or her sentence.

I’ve already had a discussion with one Stockport County / Leeds United / Arsenal fan (I know…how weird is that combination?!) and he believes it to be a waste of time and, he said, an insult to the young strikers trying to break through at M.C.F.C. It was nice of him to be concerned and it did sound like a valid point. But I disagree and think it would be a brilliant move! Besides, which, he thought David was 39-years old…

At 34 in December this fella still OOZES class – yes, on this occasion I have been watching recent footage of him playing for NYCFC

Great finisher and quick-feet / skill; ‘in my humble’ he’d be perfect for us and our often-injured striking department! He’d fill that hole / slot into the squad so well and be SO useful for us from January to May that, again IF true, I’d even call it a masterstroke!

And finally…

I have, through association, an understanding of mental illness to some degree and so will never make light of the subject. And I might be ‘way off’ here but say it anyway ‘just in case’.

A few weeks ago we saw Jose Mourinho produce a 7-½ minute, emotional ramble after their 1-3 home, Premier League defeat to Southampton and then not long after that, agreed to (asked for?) an interview with at-least the BBC; where he declared that the English F.A. are after him and treat him differently to all other managers in terms of his punishments at least.

You’d have thought that would’ve signalled the end to a torrid start of the season for the man and his team and, since then, he / his team have managed a 2-0 home win in the league against Aston Villa and then a creditable 0-0’er away to Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

But the wheels have come off again big time for the increasingly stressed-looking one…

After appearing to push a kid in the back who appeared to be keeping his distance whilst trying to take a ‘selfie’ with the Chelsea manager in the background…

…he, one of his coaches and a player all got sent off / sent to the stands as they lost 2-1 at Upton Park to West Ham United. Not only that but, of course, he’s going to get in trouble (AGAIN!) for that AND is also to answer to his friends, the F.A., why he didn’t do a post-match interview; something else you can get into trouble / fined for!

It’s not just that Chelsea lie 15th; just 5 points above the ‘drop zone’ on -4 goal difference with just 3 league wins from 10…the fella (I’ll stop WAY short of using the words “poor fella”) has looked for weeks like he’s not been sleeping very well and is currently in mental meltdown

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