Tag: Manchester City

Hung, Drawn And Quartered

If you heard a clattering noise in the distance at about 4.50 on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t quite work out what it was, it was the sound of the wheels falling spectacularly off the Manchester City bandwagon. They held onto third place by dint of Liverpool and Arsenal cancelling each other out on Sunday afternoon, but it is now surely only a matter of time before they plummet down the Premier League table, leaving it with an altogether less interesting look. Meanwhile, Juande Ramos must be wondering what he has let himself in for as Spurs lost at home yet again, this time at home to Blackburn. If he can’t turn things around in the next two or three weeks or so, it officially becomes a “crisis”. Curiously, the BBC web site chose to list the results from the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup above the results from the Football League over the weekend. This may or may not be a reflection of the averageness of the weekend’s League matches. In the Championship, Watford stayed top of the table without kicking a ball, whilst Bristol City continued to cling onto their coat-tails by beating Stoke City at Ashton Gate. Considerably more interesting are the goings-on at the bottom of the table, where QPR and Sheffield Wednesday are breathing some life into the cadavers that their seasons have...

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A True German Hero

Germany’s relationship with England has been strained over the last hundred years or so, to say the least. There have, though, been a couple of people that have helped to bridge the gap between these two nations, and none have stuck in the mind for quite as long as Bert Trautmann. Born in 1923, Trautmann’s early life was as unremarkable as possible for somebody growing up in Nazi Germany. He was enlisted into the German Air Force at 17, and lasted nearly five years before being captured on the outskirts of Berlin. Jumping over a fence to escape American soldiers, he landed at the feet of two British soldiers. “Hello Fritz – fancy a cup of tea?”, was the first thing they said to him. Considering the house-to-house fighting that was going on in Berlin at the time, it was quite possibly something of a relief to be shipped off to Ashton, near Manchester, as a POW. His talents were first spotted when playing at the POW camp (initially as a midfielder, he moved in goal because there was a shortage of goalkeepers in the camp) and, having fallen in love with a girl from Manchester, he settled in Manchester after the war, and went into non-league football playing for St Helens, before joining Manchester City in 1949. The response was as predictable as it was depressing. City were...

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