Published on January 31st, 2014 | by Ian Cheeseman


Don’t you just love opinions?

It’s all about opinions, some you agree with others you don’t, but that’s all they are, opinions. Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood described City as,”the best team on the planet, certainly the best team in the Premier League. We’ve played the champions today,”

Former Liverpool defender and Match of the Day pundit, Alan Hansen, added, “In the first half-hour they could have had five – their fluency, passing and movement was just mesmeric.”

Guillem Balague, a respected European football analyst, put City second in his ranking of Europe’s best teams, behind only Bayern Munich. You may agree with those views, you might not.

I don’t normally get to hear the words of fellow commentators and their summarisers on City games, because I’m at the game, watching, talking and being part of that opinion forming process myself. Today was a rare exception. I’ve just sat and watched a re-run of the 5-1 win at Spurs, courtesy of BT Sport with the commentary of Ian Darke and Michael Owen.

I particularly wanted to watch the first 30 minutes of the game again for two reasons. Firstly because we’d had a few technical issues during our broadcast from White Hart Lane, due to a malfunction of the equipment we use, which meant I was constantly trying to reconnect to BBC Radio Manchester, while you listened to our sister station in London.

Having had a distraction to deal with for that first thirty minutes, I simply wanted to watch it again, but there was a second reason. Several people expressed their opinion to me that that opening half hour was the best football they’d ever seen. Quite a statement!

I have watched it again, and it was excellent, as I’d thought at the time, but as good as it was, and remembering how awesome City have been in most games this season, I wouldn’t describe it as the best thirty minutes I’ve seen, but then that’s not a criticism, and it’s only my opinion!

There were several incidents in that game where my opinions differ, to some others. I felt Edin Dzeko’s shot was handled in the Spurs box and that should have been a City penalty, Michael Owen had the opposite view.

I thought the foul on the magnificent David Silva, when his foot was stamped on, deserved at least a yellow card, and I believe Michael Dawson WAS offside. In my opinion, Danny Rose brought down Edin Dzeko for a penalty. The linesman and then the referee agreed, Michael Owen did not.

I didn’t really enjoy the commentary on BT Sport, perhaps because of those differing opinions, though perhaps the whole tone was different to the way I would do it. That doesn’t mean I’m right of course, it’s just my opinion, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who prefer to listen to Michael Owen than me.

In the office on Thursday afternoon, before watching the whole game again, I had a heated discussion with one of my colleagues, who insisted that Danny Rose had won the ball fairly and it wasn’t a red card or penalty. We watched a clip on the office TV and in the end we agreed to disagree.

What can’t be argued is that Manchester City’s 5-1 win took them to the top of the Premier League and they’re the bookies favourites to win the title.

In my opinion, David Silva was the man-of-the-match.

I don’t much like the press box position at Spurs, low down behind the subs benches, not the best angle to commentate from, but seeing Silva’s slick touches, as he surfed through Spurs with ease (a comment I unashamedly have nicked from my son Daniel’s blog!) from close range, emphasised the instant control, speed and exquisite touch he possesses.

City played brilliantly again at Spurs and could have been 3-0 up in the first half hour, and if Dzeko had put the right boots on the right feet, he could have had half a dozen over the course of ninety minutes. The Blues are playing the best football I’ve ever seen a City team play, I can’t believe how lucky I am to see it and describe it every week; but of course that’s only my opinion!

– Ian Cheeseman

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One Response to Don’t you just love opinions?

  1. barneytheblue says:

    Ian it maybe your opinion but I’m sure all would agree it truly reflects the way our wonderful team played it was a delight to behold.I can assure you nobody I know would ever prefer to listen to Michael Owen’s commentary and thoughts over yours. We all know you pin your colours firmly to the City flag and that’s why we enjoy your oratory. Michael Owen et al could do with some of your passion and just occasionally they could comment on what has happened rather than what they believe should be said

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