“Leave Our Sven Alone!”

Heroics from keeper Joe Hart were not enough to save a somewhat overmatched Manchester City from succumbing to Liverpool Sunday, 1-0. The real story was in the stands where the traveling blues support filled Anfield with songs and kind words for Sven Goran Eriksson. The most direct was a take off of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” with these lyrics: “We don’t need no Phil Scolari; We don’t need no Mourinho. Hey, Thaksin! Leave Our Sven Alone!”

It’s too late for that, the manager himself acknowledged in a dignified post-match interview.

Check out reports from Anfield from The Times and The Guardian.

Did any of this make an impact back in Thailand? Reports today in the Bangkok media regarding Thaksin are focusing not on City’s protests but Thaksin’s reported consultations with the governing PPP regime, the controversy over the apperance of Thaksin’s name on a Thai flag at the Fulham match last week (which Thaksin attributes to over-exubuerant City fans). However, a report about City’s players’ threat to boycott the end-of-season Thailand tour were not was the most popular story at The Nation, however, so it’s fair to say that folks in Thailand are aware of the Sven controversy.

An interesting wrinkle in this story is the fact that the club’s official website has been posting not just links but some original content supportive of Sven since last week, including this column from former Blue Andy Hinchcliffe describing the decision to sack Sven as “barmy.” City’s webmaster, like that of the club employees more generally it seems, appear to be backing the manager, not the owner. I wonder how long such displays of independence will be tolerated.

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