City Lose to Thai XI

The “Super Match” featuring Manchester City against a Thai All-Star XI wasn’t so super from a City point of view, with the Blues squandering a 1-0 lead to lose 3-1. City featured Kasper Schmeichel in goal and five other players who saw significant time in the starting lineup this year (Garrido, Petrov, Sun, Hamann and Vassell), as well as derby day hero Geovanni. In the second half Eriksson played three Thai trainees.

The result wasn’t great, nor was the attendance, reported to be 25,000 in the 65,000 seat Rajamangala National Stadium. The somewhat lukewarm reception City seem to be receiving in Thailand may cast doubt on the ease with which Thaksin can carry out his plan of turning the club into a commercial powerhouse in Thailand and the rest of Asia. Some City fans who were at the game in Bangkok however have been painting the evening in a much more positive light; apparently numerous fans wore fake replica City shirts to the game. The Nation sports page however reports that “The presence of City owner Thaksin Shinawatra seemed to be the only attraction of the evening as the spectators seemed more interested in watching him rather than the match.”

Closer to Manchester, two ex-Blues had an altogether better day at Wembley: former stalwarts David James and Sylvain Distin led Portsmouth to triumph in the FA Cup final. James didn’t have much shot-stopping to do (apart from a fine 13th minute kick save), but Distin was a rock at the back and also made a memorable run into the box in the second half that brought back memories of his fantastic goal for City against Middlesbrough in November 2006. Another ex-Blue, Trevor Sinclair come on in the final minutes for Cardiff City; Robbie Fowler had to settle for a place in the stands.

The most interesting item on the day, however, may be the Daily Mail’s claim that Thaksin will seek, after all this, to persuade Sven to stay, apparently realizing that upgrading on Sven would be a very difficult task. It’s not considered likely Sven would accept such an offer, but stranger things have happened. The Daily Mail suggests however that Sven is fed up and wants to go; so does Richard Dunne.

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