Dull. Deadly dull.

Published: Friday, 28 April 2017

That has to be the worst Manchester derby in living memory. There could be one I've missed but I don't think so. And I've been watching them a long time now - all the way back to City's famous 5-1 on the ice. It was just awful wasn't it?

So who or what was the blame? Well, I don't entirely blame Mourinho, but if he's still setting his team up to get results like that this same time next year then I do think some serious questions will be asked about the direction he's taking the Manchester United in. I'm holding back on any judgement because he might yet deliver a fantastic season for United fans. There's already one trophy in the cabinet - a great chance of another - and 4th or better is a really good possibility now.

I'm not making excuses for him because I hate to see a game played as it was last night - especially by Manchester United. Parking the bus like that goes against every natural instinct of United fans, but if the outcome this season is as I've suggested above - everything will be forgiven.

I can't make any excuses for Fellaini though. What sort of fool is he? I light heatedly suggested on Twitter, as he walked off, that United should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute every time they play him! Look - let's get this straight,  he's obviously a good player. He's an international footballer for goodness sake and I'm sure there are many teams he would do a competent job for - but United? Not for me. He is the embodiment of everything that's wrong with them on nights like that.

As for City, well - what can you say? At the beginning of the season I wrote that I believed that this was going to be Guardiola's first REAL test as a coach. It has been hasn't it? And he's failed the audition. For the first time, without a team to bully the opposition with the very best players in both Spain and Germany, he's come up short. It could yet get worse - what if they don't finish in the top 4?

I don't buy the excuse 'he needs time'. He's had time. He's had at least three transfer windows to get the personnel to the club that he wanted. How do I come to that conclusion? Well, do you remember me telling you half way through the season before last that he was going to City? I should add, to much derision. He was wasn't he? And there hasn't been a player brought in during that time that he hasn't had something to say about. 

Conte hasn't had any time. He's top of the league, with a squad nowhere near as good as Guardiola's. Let's not forget the job the Spaniard was brought in to do - win the Champions League. Win it? They might not even qualify for it.

I'm not doubting that Guardiola is a class act, but he sure underestimated our league. I've always had the impression that he arrived intending to teach us all how football should be played. I find him tetchy and 'superior' in tv interviews. When he's asked a question he turns his nose up and sniffily mutters a sarcastic reply. There really is no need.

I'm certain that he'll get all the time he wants at City. The 'project' HAS to succeed. So much time, energy and money has been invested in it. Just as he did in Germany, where he turned a deeply Bavarian football club into a Spanish outpost (and didn't make any friends by doing so) he's changing everything at City. So far there have been 60 - yes 60 - different appointments made around the club. It beggars belief - 60. I'm also told that Spanish is the primary choice of language now. Really? I hope not, but I'm told that's the case.

If the 'project' fails there's an awful lot of 'undoing' to be done - and it's going to be a very costly exercise to do it.

I genuinely hope he succeeds, but if he's going to then Guardiola will have to adapt to 'us'. The Premier League sure isn't going to adapt to him.