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Money can’t buy you love or every game

OPINION: As they win nearly every match, the angry young men of Man City appear to be as bored as the rest of us

22 February, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Man City striker Sergio Aguero became embroiled in a playground scrap at Wigan. Photo: Oleg Bkhambri 

WHICH is the more miserable pursuit: diving to win a penalty to try to squeeze past lowly Rochdale in the FA Cup, or losing to lowly Wigan and then reacting by smashing up the advertising hoardings?

Both are so desperately unbecoming, it’s such a hard one to call.

Members of the jury, there is a case, of course, that Tottenham’s waving wonderkid Dele Alli was genuinely fouled in the penalty box at Spotland, but it’s hard to forget that, at the youthful age of 21, he has already been booked three times for simulation.

Most players are never shown a yellow card in their whole careers for such a crummy offence. The strangest thing about this rap sheet is that Alli clearly has the talent to win without flopping but, instead of dribbling around the whole Rochdale defence, as he could no doubt do, he finds himself helpfully floored at such occasions.

It was a wondrous comeuppence to see Rochdale avenge the penalty with a last-minute goal of their own, even if we all know what’s coming in the replay.

Stranger still is how Tottenham seem determined to make the easiest route to the FA Cup final you may ever see, Wimbledon, Newport, Rochdale and maybe Sheffield Wednesday, look hard and heroic.

In the end, it’s City who win the sad stakes for their shift on Monday evening.

Let’s not forget that they bought Kyle Walker, the dope of their farce, from Spurs for a casual flick of £55million. You could probably have found a defender for £5 capable of trapping the hopeful ball which ended up as the perfect through-ball to Will Grigg to score for Wigan.

Again the comeuppence was a delight, that City’s attempt to win a quadruple with a chequebook was undone by the loss of concentration from someone who was so ludicrously expensive to recruit.

At the final whistle came even more pathetic scenes with Sergio Aguero somehow getting embroiled in a playground scrap and City’s fans chucking things in the air and shouting things which they probably would not have shouted had they not been penned in by police. Everybody is harder behind police lines.

The only possible explanation is that these angry young men – for it is always men – are bored; bored with winning nearly every match before this one; bored with a double-digit lead in the Premier League; bored with a success moulded artificially with money.

That’s the problem with buying everything. It’s boring for them, and it’s boring for us.

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