What is it about the Manchester Derby? It has always been huge in my mind but today it seems to have captured the imagination. Even Fergie has got involved. He says Giggs won’t play. I’m fully expecting him to be on the pitch tonight. It is all part of what this game has become. I can’t wait. I remember my first derby match – at Maine Road...Manchester City reserves vs Manchester United reserves. Age 4. I was under strict instructions – every time the reds touch the ball you boo. It was quite a simple formula and one that 21 years later I will be sticking to rigidly tonight. Why has the derby become so big though? In my mind it is for the 2 following reasons -
1. Carlos Tevez isn’t the first player to move across the City (or more strictly in to the City from the suburbs) but the difference this time is that when they sold us Terry Cooke it had no impact on them. They light heartedly joked that the reason we had been promoted from Division Two was because they had sold us one of their reserves. Fair enough – Cooke was never good enough to play Premiership football. But Tevez is more than good enough and how they wish they had him in their side tonight instead of Chickytootoo or whatever his name his. I used to hate Tevez and the way he chased every lost cause. Now I love it and they hate it. And I love that even more!
2. Jealousy. My United loving mates laughed at me in the summer when I suggested that they were jealous of the situation at City. But they are...they actually are. There is no coincidence that as we rocked the boat (slowly admittedly) last season the anti-Glazer movement kicked in to first gear. They hate the fact we have so much money and they have none. They can sing 34 years and will probably sing 35 years but they know that this is happening – our time will come.
See you tomorrow. Or maybe not.