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Many theories abound as to why our beloved team has performed so abysmally in all competitions this season.
Regular readers of this column (and those who caught my 'Have We All Gone Mad?' discussion threads in pre-season) will know that I place the blame firmly in the hands of the club's hierarchy, specifically 'Marvelous Marvin' Marwood - an evil henchman whose evil empire was only rivalled by The Hooded Claw and Ming The Merciless.
For it was Marvelous who stood in the way of Bobby's attempts to strengthen the squad (as all regular trophy-winning teams know). It was Marvelous who sucked up to the FFP apologists (whilst Chelsea, PSG, Anzhi spent megabucks). It was Marvelous who denied us De Rossi, Hazard and Martinez and took us instead to LIDL to buy Garcia, Sinclair and Nasty.
Let's look again in more detail at our purchases in the Summer: Garcia - a total lightweight who is scared of a tackle and tries to look busy when he actually hardly touches the ball at all. Sinclair - The Invisible Man, benchwarmer to the stars. Maicon - an absolute car crash, past it and should be playing third division football not vying for a place here; second only to Toure in the League Of Defensive Uselessness. Rodders - OK in bits and pieces but with a rickett in him in every game. Richard Wright - WHO??? WHY??? Nasty is the only one who even remotely looks the part - better than Savic, but really good enough to be keeping Lescott out of the side?
Don't agree? - Ok let's try another theory: it's the formation.
We looked incredible playing 5-3-2 in pre-season, then got scared and changed it all again. And again. And again. Oh, and add in changing the players as well as the system at the same time. Result: Ajax away, a performance of such comedy the Keystone Cops asked for a copy of the video. Does anyone - at all - remember the last 10 or so performances of last season, when we turned things round by playing the same team in the same formation for a run of games. Does it take a rocket scientist to work out that this is what we need to do now???
Don't buy that one?
OK. Well, for the first time, this column can exclusively reveal the REAL reason for the slump in form: Roberto Mancini is not actually in charge of the team. Yes, the all-conquering maestro who brought us the league title has in fact been captured by aliens and is at this very moment imprisoned on a small moon somewhere to the left of Alpha Centaurii.
Whaddya mean you don't believe me??? This is my reasoning: this Summer brought the most biblically poor weather in aeons, right? Hailstones the size of rugby balls, torrential storms that flooded rural areas.
Think about it: those of you who have seen the 1950's sci-fi classic Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers will know that something similar happened at the start of that film... and when those giant hailstones landed, what came out of them...? Yes, EXACT clones of the people in the immediate vicinity of the storm. These clones then kidnapped their human counterparts and took their place in society. Their aim was to slowly take over the world. The whole thing was later viewed by film theorists as a giant metaphor for the advance of Communism - they look just like us, don't they, but they are somehow evil. Look it up if you don't believe me.
Because they looked exactly like the originals, no-one noticed. Except, if you looked really closely, small behavioural nuances could be spotted that enabled the trained observer to pick them out.
And this is where Mancini comes in. A giant hailstorm in the south Manchester area begat a Mancini-clone, who emerged from his giant hailstone to imprison the real Roberto and take his place. At first no-one noticed - we won the Charity Shield. But at some point between then and the start of the season, Mancini's doppelganger took his place.
What happened next is worse.
We think this guy knows about football, but he doesn't. He picks a stupid 4-4-2 against Southampton and we nearly lose. Then he messes around again against Liverpool and we nearly do the same. Still, no-one notices. The City faithful are too blinded by last season's success to want to think about it - 'It'll come right".
Then he does the same against Villa in the Cup. Surely, now someone will see? And again in Europe against Ajax away. By this time, the team (see well-publicised comments by Hart, Richards) are openly beginning to wonder if the man who talks to them in the dressing room - but who has dead eyes - is really the same man who brought them the Championship.
Then, the 0-0 against West Ham brings unrelenting media pressure against Mancini-Clone, who starts to come unhinged. First, he begins to spout rubbish about 7 teams wanting him to be their manager. Then agianst Ajax at home, he tells the team to come out, run around for 10 minutes to look busy, then stick their heads collectively up their arses.
By this time, I'm sure you will agree, even your suspicions about whether is this indeed the real Roberto must have been raised.
So how do they sort it out in the film? Well, one true believer manages to convince the remaining members of the community to rise up and drive out the aliens. They do this by finding where all the giant hailstones are buried, then destroying them. But just as they think they have finished the job and alert the authorities, another batch of giant hailstones falls from the skies...
And this, my friends is Cityitis. Dare we get rid of the Mancini-Clone? And if we do, can we be sure that what he will be replaced with will not be a monstrosity more evil than before???
TO BE CONTINUED...