Cooney and Black

Now that Manchester City have got their act together, Chelsea may have to settle for the League Cup instead of the four trophies they hoped to win.

Man City

Steve Bott byline

CHELSEA to win all four competitions in which they are currently involved? I think not.

They may well have to settle for the League Cup out of those four now that Manchester City have got their act together a little bit more.

In my humble opinion, the pairing with Barcelona in the Champions League puts City in a win-win situation.

It took Matt Busby ten years after Munich and the decimation of the Busby Babes to win the European Cup with Manchester United. Victory for City against Barca would help silence the people who are continually demanding that City progress and win the trophy now.

Meanwhile, defeat would leave them free to concentrate entirely on their bid to retain their Premier League crown.

As soon as people start saying that a team are looking good to win the treble, double or quadruple, the opposite generally happens – and I don’t see it being any different with Chelsea.

They may well have an extremely strong squad and a very capable manager – but so do two or three other outfits – City, Manchester United and Arsenal to name but three.

Maybe United and Arsenal will not win any trophies this season barring the FA Cup, but they are always a threat and United will be a massive one in the Premier League and Europe next season.

The Glazers are finally giving the manager really big bucks to spend; they have a good squad that can only get better with a new signing or two and a few less injuries. But, most importantly they have a manager in Louis van Gaal who fits the bill perfectly.

Fergie was always going to be a hard act to follow, and just one failed attempt (David Moyes) ain’t bad when you look back to United’s really bad years in the 70s and 80s and the number of disastrous managerial appointments they made then.

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli has accepted a one-match ban for his social media misdemeanours. A £25,000 fine as well will hurt a little more but not much.

Mind you, I don’t like the way he and his advisors just meekly accepted the FA branch of the PC brigade’s “punishment” for something I did not see as a “crime” social, racial, facial or whatever!

Finally, footballers and football people generally go on about respect, showing it and giving it. Well, Gary Neville did precious little of either with those Dog and Duck and Red Lion pub team comments about Liverpool and Manchester United.

Both clubs have had their troubles in recent times, but belittling them, particularly the club that made him what he was and is – Manchester United and England’s finest right back since 1966 – showed absolutely none of that respect footballers appear to crave so much.


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