Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sheikh Mansour went to Spain in a Lamborghini, brought us back a manager Manuel Pellegrini!

At around 6pm local time, a table-full of City shirt clad fans broke into a stirring rendition of a now famous Blues chant. "Sheikh Mansour went to Spain in a Lamborghini, brought us back a manager Manuel Pellegrini!" The song was a joyous outburst from a group of about 30 City fans who had come from all over America to watch the Blues take on Sporting Kansas City. The pre-match get together was masterminded by Phil Antilla, a Kansas local and founder of the MCFC Midwest supporters club. Fans had come up from Dallas, Denver and even as far away as Florida for their chance to watch the Premier League champions in the flesh. Antilla said: "When I was a kid it was hard to find anyone who wasn't a Real Madrid or Manchester United fan, so when I started playing, all my friends were United fans and I did not want to be like them, and I realised there was a better team in Manchester, and that was in 2004 and it's been a good 10 years." Two of City's goalscorers from the Sporting KC game are not fully fledged Blues yet. Bruno Zuculini is still to have his deal ratified by the Premier League, and he could well head out on loan when the paperwork is signed off. He was mightily impressive at Sporting Park and looks to have blended in really well with the squad, laughing and joking with them in the mixed zone. The fact that he is Spanish-speaking Argentinian helps - that is now the most common language in the Blues dressing room. Kelechi Ihaenacho, meanwhile, is with City from the Right to Dream academy based in Ghana. City have close ties with it and are hoping to sort Iheanacho's future after the tour. The 17-year-old Nigerian heads back home now as he's not eligible for the International Champions Cup. :: The atmosphere in Sporting Park was really good and a near sell-out crowd of over 18,000 turned up to watch. The stadium announce makes a really big deal of announcing the players and there were rousing pre-match fireworks and anthems. Something for the Etihad Stadium hierarchy to consider...