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The painful lessons Manchester United can learn from City – The Athletic

The painful lessons Manchester United can learn from City – The Athletic
Written by publisher team

Take a walk around Old Trafford on a match day. Head to the Bishop Blaize pub, the Tollgate or the old Stretford Ex-Servicemen’s Club, with its No Prawn Sandwiches sign on the wall, and tell the fans in these establishments that Manchester United — the mighty Manchester United — need to “aspire” to be more like Manchester City. What do you think the reaction would be?

David Moyes used that word after one Manchester derby and it was held against him by many supporters as the hard evidence he did not understand there was a certain way in which a Manchester United manager ought to speak.

In his time at Everton, Moyes described one game against City as football’s equivalent of “going into a gunfight armed with a knife”. But that, with respect, was Everton. The expectations are different at Old Trafford, where all those years of greedily accumulating trophies with Sir Alex Ferguson, season after season, bred a mentality probably best summed up by the “Not Arrogant, Just Better” banner that used to be seen at games.

United’s supporters were acccustomed to happier times. They have found it galling to see City having all the fun, particularly when they remember the gulf that existed between the two clubs before September 1, 2008, the date the Abu Dhabi United Group took control on the other side of the Mancunian Way.

But football moves quickly. The modern-day City are, once again, enjoying the view from the top of the Premier League. Pep Guardiola is their manager. The last decade, in particular, has seen a full, peacock-like spreading of City’s feathers. They have finished, on average, 20.75 points clear of United in every season since Ferguson’s retirement. City are the champions of England.

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