Like a stag do on a trolley dash at Sergio Georgini’s

first_imgCITY SLICKERS (PART XXXVIII)It’s been two seasons since Pep Guardiola arrived in Manchester with a penchant for dressing his entire squad and staff in exactly the same clothes as him, thus making their arrival at grounds look like a stag do on a trolley dash at Sergio Georgini’s. In fact, he’s got so far under David Silva’s skin that the midfielder has taken a razor to his head and had a bit of a go at a beard, in what appears to be an attempt at getting himself work as a Pep lookalike at Fake Faces, “the UK’s leading lookalikes agency” (instant quotes available, though it may have been a while since ‘David Beckham’ or ‘Juan Seba Verón’ had many enquiries).But we digress. On his arrival, Guardiola set about trying to build the perfect Premier League squad, signing Claudio Bravo as a deliberate error so as not to anger the footballing gods. It seems to be working. During the 7-2 dismantling of Stoke, Kevin De Bruyne carved out enough time and space to attach a Groucho Marx-esque ‘tache, eyebrows and cigar to the ball so as to more effectively disguise his pass to Leroy Sané. Meanwhile, Kyle Walker, a £53m wing-back who can’t cross, has found the perfect striker to work with, what with Jesus’s aversion to them. In fact, City are ticking along so nicely that their Big Cup opponents on Tuesday night, the unbeaten Serie A-topping Napoli, have seemingly thrown in the towel. Share on WhatsApp QUOTE OF THE DAY“For the love of me, I couldn’t work Roberto Mancini out. We heard that when he was sacked by Inter in 2008, the entire squad had a massive night out to celebrate. By the time I left Manchester City in July 2011, I was ready to throw a party myself. Roberto Mancini saw the world differently to Shay Given, that’s for sure. He fell out with everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. The players, the back-up staff, the physios, the kitman, the press officers, the canteen workers, the car park lads, the lot. He probably even swung a punch or two at his own reflection for looking at him funny” – Shay Given goes full third-person in his autobiography, Any Given Saturday, while detailing his love for his former boss.SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.FIVER LETTERS“This video from Chelsea on everything you need to know about Crystal Palace looks so much better in hindsight. What is it that comes before a fall again? Smugness and complacency, presumably” – Noble Francis.“How did The Fiver miss this? According to NBC Sports in the USA! USA!! USA!!!, Swansea have a new defender. I can’t quite place him but he looks somewhat familiar” – Gareth Rogers. Coming soon. Photograph: James Drew Turner Share on Messenger Read more Pinterest “In Europe, we should only worry about getting to the next stage, not about winning every match,” parped their owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, calling Guardiola a “wily old fox”, then telling his manager to rest Napoli’s best players because they’ve got Inter at the weekend. “For us,” he added of the City match, “it could also be a game that’s almost impossible to win, but we’ll wait for them in Naples …” That’s the spirit Aurelio!So for Pep, it appears to be going rather well: his side are on fire, and the opposition have given up. There’s just one thing that he appears not to have factored in. This is Manchester City, a club perpetually aiming a gun at their own foot, to which they’ve attached a banana skin and left hovering over an upturned rake, which they’ve lain across an open manhole cover. He might be able to get Brian Kidd to dress up like a dad at a disco, but it remains to be seen whether he’s got the chops for that kind of voodoo.LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Tom Bryant for hot MBM coverage of Leicester City 0-0 West Brom from 8pm BST, which follows coverage of the FA Cup first-round draw at 7.15pm.FOOTBALL WEEKLY LIVEIt’s back, baby. Get your tickets now for our show on 14 December in London. And in the meantime, you can listen to the latest pod too. Share on Facebook Twitter Football Ten talking points from the Premier League weekend, including Ailsa from Home and Away heaping praise on a Belgian.Serie A was gripping this week – and Napoli kept their 100% record intact, cheers Paolo Bandini. Yeah, but Bundesliga had its best match of the season, hands down, so stick Dortmund 2-3 Leipzig in your pipe and smoke it, whoops Andy Brassell.But hang on, Real Betis 3-6 Valencia was “blessed madness”, reports Sid Lowe, inviting you to read his hot take on the wildest La Liga game in some time.Meanwhile, in Ligue Urrrrnnn, Claudio Ranieri is tinkering his way towards Big Vase with Nantes, write Adam White and Eric Devin. Nick Ames tracked Tammy Abraham’s every move during Swansea’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield and came to the conclusion that his ageless quality showed Chelsea what they are missing.The Nuge’s needle helped Derby skewer Nottingham Forest, writes Nick Miller. Good interview with MK Dons’ George Williams, this.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!‘I JUST WANTED TO TELL THE TRUTH AND BE LISTENED TO’ The Fiver Share on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Onwards to Hampden. Oh. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images Raheem Sterling: I didn’t think for one minute about joining Arsenal PO’JT. Photograph: Public domain Topics Reuse this content Pinterest Send your letters to [email protected] And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Gareth Rogers.NOTIFICATIONS AND QUERIESBig Web App has launched its new and improved Premier League notifications. Get more details and sign up here.NEWS, BITS AND BOBSFA chairman Greg Clarke’s position is likely to come under severe scrutiny after new revelations about his handling of the alleged-racism scandal and cover-up that has led to his organisation being summoned to a parliamentary inquiry to explain the Mark Sampson affair.In what was a definite coincidence, just a day after José Mourinho was quoted praising PSG to the high heavens, the word is the Manchester United manager wants a big whopping rise for winning Milk Cup and Big Vase last season. Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane admits he used to think Harry Kane was a bit bobbins but not any more. “He is a complete player. He did not seem to be one, but in the end, he is!” he shrieked. France and Poland will be among the top seeds when the World Cup draw takes place next month but 2010 world champions, Spain, will be in pot two alongside hopeless footballing outposts like England. And third-tier German team Carl Zeiss Jena have released a statement in support of Hansa Rostock fans, who may be penalised by authorities for hurling fish at their supporters (a gift, apparently) after making the 450km journey to play their landlocked rivals. “Nobody got hurt, and that surely wasn’t the intention after all. Let’s not get carried away even though throwing dead animals isn’t all that tasty.” THE RECAPSign up and receive the best of Big Website’s coverage, every Friday, it says here. Seems to be a curious lack of mentions for The Fiver …STILL WANT MORE?Holland are doomed by their total obsession with the past, reckons Priya Ramesh. Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Pinterest Facebook Share via Email features Facebook Twitter last_img read more