Tag Archives: mancini

The Beautiful Weirdness of the Community Shield

Every August, one week before Premier League kickoff, the previous season’s FA Cup winner faces off against the reigning league champion in the FA Community Shield. Manchester United has won the annual curtain-raiser 19 times, more often than any other team, but Sir Alex Ferguson, who engineered half of those triumphs, doesn’t consider it a legitimate trophy. (Then again, Fergie can afford to dismiss ten victories; he’s the game’s most decorated coach.) The Community Shield is probably the most ambiguous thing football has ever produced, and, in a sport that still hasn’t settled the handball rule, that’s saying something.

Originally, the Community Shield wasn’t the Community Shield at all; it was the Sheriff of London Charity Shield, and instead of pitting two money-grubbing big-time teams against each other in a sponsored-by-McDonald’s spectacle, it served as a 90-minute diplomatic necessity, fought between a team from the Amateur Football Association and one of its professional counterparts. Scottish whiskey distiller Baron Dewar, an early promotional expert who also founded the Theatrical Sports Five Miles Cycling Championship Shield, is credited with conceiving the event. The first-ever Sheriff of London Charity Shield match finished in a tie: at the end of regulation, Sheffield United (the professional representative) and Corinthians (the amateur representative) had each scored a single goal. With United unwilling to play extra time, the two teams elected to “share” the six-foot trophy. It was all a far cry from Mickey D’s.

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The Beloved Autocrat: How Mancini Conquered The Fans

Since his arrival in the winter of 2009, Roberto Mancini has made quite an impression.

Maybe it was the cute Italian accent or the gradual improvement in City’s defense. Something about Inter’s handsome former boss appealed to a set of fans still acclimating to their club’s financial and footballing altitude.

Or maybe it was the scarf. Perhaps Mancini’s initial wardrobe choice had nothing to do with the weather. During a period of tumult, the simple yet luxurious attire of Mark Hughes’ successor provided a blast from the past in sharp contrast with City’s constant talk of the future. City needed that. More than any of their million-pound playing assets they needed an acceptance of what used to be as they embraced bullish expectations of what had yet to arrive.

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Balotelli Is Starting To Define The New City

While failed bathroom experimentation may have condemned his pyrotechnic career to the realms of lazy humor, Mario Balotelli’s footballing talent has finally found the greenery most conducive to its belated blossoming.

The frown so intrinsically linked with his controversial endeavor failed to disappear, but in this culmination of careful improvement Balotelli showed that he’s more than just a troublesome ornament.

After years of almost constant indignation, it was easy to sympathize with the forward’s celebratory message. “Why always me?” read his undershirt – revealed just after the first of six Manchester City goals.

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