It was an incredible sight looking at the Manchester City bench last night at Allianz Arena. The visitors were being torn to shreds by FC Bayern and their talented squad, and at 2-0 down they opted to bring on Carloz Tevez, paid £250,000 a week, PLUS image rights, to help out. WHAT AN IMAGE!!
Well, he wouldn't, and boss Roberto Mancini declared that he is finished at City, a view echoed by the press and the impatient fans. Not so long ago he was a hero who, when he was actually in England, played his heart out and lifted the F.A. Cup at Wembley Stadium for the Sky Blues, and until two weeks ago was the club captain.
For City fans the trip to Munich and a few hours enjoying the delights of Oktoberfest and the magnificent stadium were a welcome after such a long time out of Europe(43 years at the top table). I watched 7 matches in Allianz Arena in the last couple of months, and it's a thrill to be there. Bayern are playing some wonderful football and are a joy to watch. Franck Ribery and now Arjen Robbin, who has recovered from a lengthy injury spell, the strike power of Mario Gomez, the support from Bastion Schweinsteiger, Philip Lahm, Thomas Muller, Boateng(a former City player) and the solid Manuel Neuer in goal are awesome. A few weeks ago I watched them beat up on Freiburg with 7 unanswered goals in the Bundesliga. Ten wins and no goals against is quite a start
Ediin Dzeko started the rot when he acted like a sulking teenager after being substituted by De Jong in the 55th minute, sarcastic actions, words and throwing his tracksuit top onto the floor. It must be difficult to have so many stars in waiting on the bench, but that's the problem for the world's richest club and Sheikh Mansour's billions. Let Tevez rot in the reserves or go and play in the desert or Chechnya in the dangerous and darkest place in Russia. Ex Liverpool great Graham Souness blasted him on TV as a disgrace to football.
The Red Half of Manchester was having an uncomfortable night at home to FC Basel in The Theatre of Dreams. Unfortunately, I was offered a couple of free tickets from a Man Utd coaching buddy, but found myself watching both matches at home in bed with flu. It seemed so easy that the young and talented Danny Welbeck, scored twice in quick successionin the 16th and 17th minute, having been preferred by Sir Alex to the experienced Owen and Berbatov, who were on the bench.
It was a game of two halves, with the Swiss champions not only coming back to equalize, but taking a sensational lead from the penalty spot. All three goals by two guys called Frei, Alexander 2 and Fabian 1. The hugely impressive Phil Jones, who I enjoyed watching play for England in Denmark at The UEFA u 21 Tournament, was not really clicking in the middle of the back with Rio Ferdinand.
Ashley Young saved the day and the blushes with a 90 minute equaliser. Still, only two points from the first two group matches, after a draw at Benfica. However, the chances of getting out of their group is probably more probable for the Reds than the Sky Blues.