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Stephen Tudor article...

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Stephen Tudor article...

Post by blueboy on Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:07 am

Why Manchester City’s attraction to controversy makes them a huge plus for the Premier League

The 2017/18 season hasn’t yet brushed its teeth and already Manchester City have been involved in three jaw-dropping incidents, moments of controversy that have ignited pubs nationwide into fierce debate and reduced punditry panels to open squabbling.
Against Everton a mere week into the campaign Kyle Walker’s shoulder connected with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s face and the defender who had so recently come to represent the lavishness of this summer’s transfer window was sent off on his home debut. 
“I cannot understand what Bobby Madley was doing. He got it wrong,” retired referee Graham Poll wrote of his former colleague in the Mail. This was a view evidently not shared across offices and building sites the following day as a multitude of Joe Publics referenced the replays that showed the 27-year-old clearly looking for the young winger’s whereabouts before contact was made. If Madley didn’t know what he was doing then Walker apparently did.
On Sky Gary Neville pre-empted this by calling on his two decades of experience as a Premier League right-back. “He’s backing into him, the amount of times I did this as a full-back. You try and use your body to establish your position”. He then went on to say, “Calvert-Lewin‘s gone down. He’s been clever….and that’s what I think conned the referee”. Evertonians responded to this last remark by sharing around gifs online of the teenager’s distorted face at the moment of impact. 
It was an incident that sent us all scurrying down a rabbit hole, bickering and checking the rule-book as we went. It pitched pundits with empirical knowledge against fans with gut instinct. It divided the refereeing fraternity and split social media in two. 
If that woke us from a slumberous summer then five days later a surreal and dramatic injury time at Bournemouth sent the country into utter carnage. Raheem Sterling’s 97th minute winner would have been sensational enough but an impassioned celebration by the ecstatic City players prompted a second yellow card for the winger and uproar ensued from Cornwall to Carlisle.
Opinions were shouted over one another in bars and living rooms all accompanied by a heady mixture of astonishment, laughter and fury; stewarding was hauled into the national conversation; while on social media it resembled the closing scenes of Trading Places when frozen concentrated orange juice futures are sold then bought.
Once again the rulebook was brought into question, this time its very logic, as referee Mike Dean’s decision to punish Sterling for his joy provoked outright ire from an array of former pros. Garth Crooks called it a ‘complete travesty’. Alan Shearer meanwhile resorted to sarcasm before unleashing more emotion than he typically used to display thumping home hat-tricks.
Which brings us to the here and now and the nuclear fall-out from Sadio Mane’s red card for connecting with Ederson’s face with a high boot last Saturday lunchtime. There is nothing new to say on this. It’s all been said, from every conceivable angle and bias, divvying up whole tracts of media and fans – regardless of their allegiance – into polarised camps. There are the rule-book spouters and game’s-gone pundits; the hystericals (on both sides) and hypocrites; the middle-grounders and weirdo extremists who apportion blame to the City goalkeeper. We’re all out in full force, shouting and writing and tweeting and arguing; bringing up the rules and calling the rules an ass; furious and invigorated. Hard done by, each and every one of us. 
A football match has done this, this electric pulse that has throbbed through our days, causing such an eruption of national discussion that it’s a genuine surprise that the Prime Minister hasn’t yet appeared on This Morning to espouse the most popular consensus. Indeed not even a football match: a split-second challenge with two players honestly contesting for the ball.
There is a lot to be said for multi-goal thrillers and the opening weekend spoilt us rotten. Yet football cannot thrive on score-lines alone. They merely entertain and barely that when the goal-fests dry up and Chelsea and United start grinding out their inevitable 2-0 wins. For it to continue to dominate our lives and mean infinitely more than a great song or well-made film it has to thoroughly consume; to ignite our senses into heightened animation. It has to pit brother against brother and Gary Neville against Jamie Carragher. It has to scream indignation and condemnation. 
That’s where controversy comes in and seemingly – and entirely against their will – Manchester City.
Three weeks in and already Pep Guardiola’s side have been directly involved in three major talking points, moments that are often said to ‘over-shadow’ the football but in reality rouses us from its predictability. That they amount to a shoulder barge, routine goal celebration, and a goalie clearing his lines only begs the question as to how big the kerfuffle will be when they actually do something bad. 
Back in the day, before the money and the makeover, Manchester City were a sitcom to outsiders and a soap opera to Blues. Now they’re a gripping box-set drama starring a glittering cast of ballers with plot-twists and cliff-hangers galore. The latest featured a keeper getting studded across the face when standing, a sickening collision that required seven minutes of treatment before being carried off in a neck brace on a stretcher. A national debate sparked from this, vociferous and angry at the offender being duly punished. I repeat, a national debate sparked from this. 
Go on; admit it, those of you who decry City’s rise to prominence: football would be an awful lot duller without them.
Thrills Mod

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Re: Stephen Tudor article...

Post by TMG on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:23 pm

Here here  cheers

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