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The Manchester derby doesn't matter anymore

Thursday 27th April 2017
The Manchester derby no longer carries anywhere near as much gravitas as it did even five years ago - why you might be asking? Well, let me explain.....

The managers

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho aren't exactly lifelong fans of their current clubs meaning they probably imagine the rivalry is purely geographical. Sharing a city isn't easy but Jose's been at it for years: Madrid, Chelsea, Inter - all of these clubs have rival teams incredibly close by and Inter even share a stadium with their closest enemies.

Guardiola, not so much, as Barcelona's nearest rivals are Espanyol and Bayern share their city with a few clubs that don't quite measure up to their level - 1860 Munich are probably the only real competition for the city.

So, if you don't understand the nature of a derby game or the history of such a major event as the Manchester derby; you can't quite appreciate how hard it will be to appease the fans.

The players

Forget what you read on Twitter or in the newspapers; the players these days don't really understand what a Manchester derby is. The likes of Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney were privileged enough to play with members of the Class of '92 and will have received an in-depth history and guide to how derby day works - the rest haven't been so fortunate.

A video popped up on Social Media yesterday showing Sergio Aguero with his derby day Puma boots and the Argentine could barely muster enough English to answer the journalist's questions - none of which actually directly mentioned the derby as far as anyone can tell! This lot haven't got a clue; bring back Scholesy!

The fans

Whichever stadium the game is played at; you'd be unwise to wear the away side's colours. It's as simple as that. It is truly deplorable that we are inundated with stories of violence after Manchester derbies and it really isn't in the spirit of the game - only one side can win, if it isn't your side that triumphs then take your disappointment home; not to the streets!

The tactics

Watching both of the Manchester clubs this season has indicated one clear shortcoming in tactics - conversion of chances. A single lead striker must be clinical as they are the focal point of most of the attacking moves; neither side has put away enough of their chances this season despite Zlatan on one side and Aguero on the other.

The Manchester derby was once a masterclass in fast, breaking football but now it'll be sideways passing and with the odd ball lobbed forwards in the vague hope of a forward latching on to an optimistic punt - yawn.

The lack of fulfilment

We expect bookings, bad challenges, superb goals and a real fight for three points from the Manchester derby but it's no longer the case. Now it's carefully thought out set pieces generated by ridiculous diving and goalkeeping errors being the direct cause of goals at either end.

Do we even want to watch the derby anymore? You probably did and most of these things came to fruition, didn't they?
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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