Blue Moo’s Musings – A female fans view of Manchester City FC

Well what can I say! If you’re going to read on I will quote the late great Bette Davis in All About Eve – ‘hang on to your hats it’s going to be a bumpy ride’
Like many other blues this morning I am not a happy bunny. However my anger may be for different reasons than others.

  1. Yes the referee Anthony Taylor was pants and the two red cards at the end were disappointing but my main anger is because we seem to be going backwards under Pep! Football’s a simple game – you put the ball in the net at one end and stop it going in at the other! We seem to be able to do neither this season. What is going on! Pep came with the reputation of being a tactical genius but in my opinion you can experiment with all the formations you like and try and out fox your oppositions but of you cannot score or keep a clean sheet the rest is a waste of time!
  2. Some of our individual players are lacking in ability and skill but I thought Pep had the ability to make the team greater than the sum of its parts. This is not the case and some of our best players seem to be suffering badly. Sergio is the best example. I know I’ve talked about him before in an earlier post. But I’m going to talk about him again. He is not a happy boy at the moment – I still feel something has unsettled him which is affecting his form. I am not angry with him for his tackle – I think it shows passion. If the team lost and the players just slunk off the pitch without showing any emotions we’d say they didn’t care. I am however sad that he will miss games and be punished heavily, which will not help his current situation nor do anything to improve his happiness. There are some man management issues at the club in my humble opinion. I may not be a football manager but I’ve seen enough poor management over my care in the NHS to spot the signs. I hope something seriously changes to improve this worrying situation.
  3.  I hate to criticise an individual player in any depth but unfortunately I fell the acquisition of Claudio Bravo has been an absolute disaster. I cannot see any positives in his play and I feel overall that the way Joe Hart was discarded and pushed aside has brought bad Karma to the club. I fail to see why he has been preferred to Joe, unless as I say there are other issues at play in the background e.g. discrediting big players by the manager. When an opposing player runs at Claudio for a one on one, you know there’s only going to be one outcome – Yes! a goal for the opposing team. Joe Hart would have stopped at least one of the goals yesterday. He wasn’t Golden Glove for winning a raffle prize. he was awarded the accolade for stopping goals going in! In criticising Claudio Bravo I also have to say I actually feel sorry for him as well. It must be soul destroying to be criticised every game. He’s almost been hung out to dry.
  4. I’ve been following City since 1976 and seen some low points in the clubs history but I’ve always enjoyed going to games, at the moment though I’m not enjoying this season at all – maybe its because expectations from the media and others were so high at the beginning. If I hadn’t paid to watch the Celtic game on Tuesday I’m ashamed to say that I wouldn’t go and I say that with a heavy heart. But I will bounce back and be enthusiastic again next week! Oh and I will be there on Tuesday barring extremes in weather conditions. What makes me feel even more sad is that I’m not alone. Walking back to the car on Saturday listening to fellow blues it’s clear the majority are unhappy and disillusioned with Pep too. Blues of all ages too -those of us who are more mature are prepared for disappointment and are prepared to give things time to work, but there’s a new younger breed of blue out there who are not of the same mindset. having said that it was all ages who were complaining on my long 1.5 mile walk back to the car. I hope things improve soon.
  5. On a positive side after looking out of the game initially there were signs of what Leroy Sane can do to defences. A couple of really good runs, just a shame that just as he was getting started he was bizarrely substituted for Gail Clichy.

Anyway I think I’ve ranted written enough. I’m not yet ready to iron my creased Bring back Mancini banner! Please feel free to comment – even if you think I’m a crazy old bag!

See you next week

Elaine

Keeping the Faith since 1976

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Solving a storage dilemma for shoes – a must have for any shoeaholic

My name is Elaine and I’m a shoeaholic – I can own between 50 and 60 pairs at any one time! Probably 70% of them are black too!

In recent years I have tried to control this lust for shoes – I now try to live by the mantra -one pair in, one pair out! I don’t know why I have the desire to keep buying shoes. After watching the film In Her Shoes I think I gained an insight into myself. If you’re not familiar with the film , it’s about 2 sisters one thin and one carrying a few extra pounds. The heavier one has a huge collection of shoes, when asked why she replied that even if clothes don’t fit – shoes always look good. After gaining more weight over recent years than I would have liked to – I think this could be why I buy so many.

In recent years and increasing age – comfort has become important and I am now increasing the number of flat and comfy footwear – trainers (see my previous post ), boots and casual flats. So with having so many pairs storage has become a problem. Even though this house has no shortage of wardrobe space – they still all end up in a jumble at the bottom of each wardrobe and finding 2 that match is a challenge, involving me grovelling away in the dark pulling out shoe after shoe until I find the pair I want.

I searched for storage solutions and found some interlocking cubes on Amazon.  I would highly recommend these, they were so easy to put together, no tools involved, can be adjusted and altered easily if necessary. They look neat and tidy and my shoes are much easier to find. I bought one box and I will be purchasing another set, they are so good.

Is anyone else like me – jumbled heaps of shoes, or do you have an alternative shoe storage solution. I would love to hear from you – either comment below or email me

Speak again soon

Elaine

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Blue Moo’s Musings -a female fans view of Manchester City FC

Well another week is over -or should I say another EVENTFUL week!

I’ve thought quite a bit since Wednesday evenings about what I think and what I want to post. To be fair I am loyal to the extreme where my club is concerned. My husband says they are the 3rd person in our marriage. People who know me know that I never get carried away with my support I will never make wild winning predictions etc. I am ‘old’ City expecting a banana skin at every turn. But that said I believe you don’t publicly criticise your team – in the same way you wouldn’t publicly criticise your partner. A loyal facade is maintained at all times.

Having said that I know I am bordering on criticism and disloyalty by some of the content of today’s post. It could be retitled Blue Moo’s Moaning’s!

  1. Barcelona – what more can I say than has been said already – far from the result and performance we would have liked. Bringing Sergio on so late was futile. However, the most frusrating thing is the big ‘What if!’ – What if we’d competed the full game with a full team.
  2. Now this is where the critical comments start. I was so excited when Pep Guardiola was announced as our manager – part of that was that we had got ‘one over’ on our cross town rivals! Ecstatic wasn’t the word. However, I’m probably one of many who area little bemused by what’s happening. I will have to cling on to the faith that he truly is a Messiah and he can achieve the same greatness here that her has overseas. However, I do not want that greatness to come at the cost of a total rethink of the ethos and heart of my glorious football club. I support this club for the humour, warmth and loyalty to fans and ex players alike. I am becoming very uncomfortable at the ruthlessness shown by Pep. I could understand the transfer of Joe Hart – there were flaws in his play, poor distribution and not catching balls – punching them out to the opposition. But the rumours of rifts and a plan to transfer out Sergio at this time is incomprehensible to me. He is the best striker in the premiership and probably the best striker to ever wear a City shirt. Yes, he does take a dip in performance sometimes, but when he’s hot he’s awesome. There’s not a pundit, journalist or opposing fan around who would not have him in there team. To think Pep is thinking differently is unbelievable. I know that he can’t stay at City forever on sentiment alone – for the famous Aguerooooo moment! (Still brings goosebumps by the way!). And I also appreciate that some of the press reports could be malicious and out to cause trouble. However, I am beginning to feel uncomfortable that Pep is managing by divide and conquer! Get rid of the bigger names and fans favourites to become the sole big name. At this stage I also want to point out that it hasn’t gone unnoticed amongst the fans ranks that Brian Kidd is being shuffled gradually into the background – from sitting on the front row of the bench and arranging substitutions with the 4th official he’s now a lot more difficult to spot.  It’s very early days and I may be speaking totally out of turn and the wrong orrifice but we are Manchester City FC not Pep Guardiola FC! I believe Pep has been given total permission to do things his way but I fear that the lunatic could be taking over the asylum – harsh I know. Also my husband always quotes the saying- ‘Be Careful what you wish for!’ I’m now fearful that wishing for great success and this great manager may change everything I knew to something I don’t like anymore. I have been loyal through thick and thin since 1977 – I have seen joy even in the darker moments – but I do not want to support a team that is so far removed from where we came from. I do also appreciate that there is a new breed of fans who would be happy to do so – maybe then it will be time to hand the supporters reins solely over to them.
  3. I am writing this point after returning from The Etihad for the game today. Another frustrating afternoon! It truly was a game of two halves  and that wasn’t just the crowd! The stadium was eerily quiet and flat after we had conceded after another mistake in defence. The way we started the season I think we expected to be flying by now but instead we’re now a nervous crowd waiting for the mistake to happen. We almost seem to be going backwards from the hard work instilled to the title winning team of 2012 – make your self hard to be beaten and build from that. Taking that season statistics in mind – it proves that goal difference can make all the difference at the end. I think the fans find all these leaked goals hard to stomach. As well as the crowd being nervous the players also look nervous. One of the guys who sits behind me regularly in the stadium spoke the thoughts that had gone through my mind only minutes before. The players look to be scared of Pep – constantly looking across to the touchline for instructions. They are constantly being instructed where to stand and run – is there a fear factor evolving?? The quality of play in the second half was far better – more pace instead of the slow sedentary build up of the first half. The goals didn’t come though and we were all left nervous again- clinging on the the result of the draw.
  4. Now I’m going to end on what I think is a lighter note and an alternative explanation for 3 of the 4 previous results! I am such a superstitious fan – I need the same routines and rituals before games – I can almost have a meltdown if something changes – here are some of the things I do or actions I think are important and what happened match by match!
    • I have to see the team come out of the tunnel I feel it’s a bad omen if I don’t- even if watching on TV. For the Spurs game my OH was in control of the remote and by the time he switched to the game the team were on the pitch! Serious unhappiness from me- we lost!
    • I attend with 3 other family members – we are seated in pairs in neighbouring blocks – I sit with my sister in law – she always passes through the turnstile first – against Everton I got distracted and entered the ground first! We struggled and missed 2 penalties – last time this happened we were beaten by Liverpool 4-1 in November 2015.
    • After the toss City always kick towards the South Stand in the first half – It is very rare we start differently – I’m certain we lost the last time this happened but I cannot remember the opponents. Today I was horrified to see we were kicking towards the North Stand in the first half – OK we didn’t lose but it wasn’t pretty! Therefore my alternative suggestion for the drop in form is that my superstitions and outer forces were to blame!!
  5. Anyway Onwards & upwards I’m sure all will come good in the end! City til I Die 

Manchester Restaurant Review – Piccolino Manchester #FreedomFriday

I have discussed before that I am retired and my husband now only works part – time. That means we have every Friday free – our weekend starts early! Yippee!

I refer to these days as #FreedomFriday

We try to spend quality time together. I like to share some of the activities we do and places we visit. Last Friday was a day into Manchester for drinks and food. We visited a couple of bars – which I will discuss in later posts about favourite bars in Manchester.

We chose to eat in Piccolino’s – Clarence Street just off AlbertSquare.

  • Name of venue visited

Piccolino’s

  • Reason for visit

Early dinner with husband

  • Time and day of visit

Friday 5pm -no prior booking

  • First impression
  • Greeted and seated immediately. Has been updated since our last visit. Lovely  vibe straight away, lively hum of chatter and activity. Love the cool blue leather, oak fittings and chandeliers. It looks much more than your average pizzeria.
    Sorry its a bit blurred!
  • Time to get servers attention/service

Met at the door by friendly staff – immediate attention.

  • Food quality

 

The food was delicious -We had garlic bread and olives for starters. For mains John chose the Linguine al gamberetti  – King Prawns, courgettes and chilli, he tends to chose a shellfish linguine. He thought this was one of the better ones he’s eaten.

I chose one of the seasonal specials – Pumpkin Risotto – I’d never eaten pumpkin before so wasn’t sure what to expect. It was lovely – the risotto was fabulous – creamy and perfect consistency. Again I eat a lot of risotto’s and this was one of the better ones.


We rarely eat desserts but we did on this occasions Afogata for John – a favourite for both of us – I ate a pear in chocolate sauce – Mmmmm- divine.

For drinks John had Moretti and a glass of Red Wine (house) for me.

  • Quality of Service

Service was prompt and business like. Not too many pleasantries exchanged. When the bill was presented it was £83 -on closer inspection there was 3 rounds of drinks on the bill that weren’t ours – a Negroni, a glass of Prosecco and an Aperol Spritz. I pointed this out and it was amended – did need two attempts though – the Aperol Spritz was still showing the second time. Again this was amended with no quibble. The new total was just a little over £54. Reasonable for the quality of food and surroundings.

  • Evaluation

Really pleasing visit. In fact I think this our new favourite Italian Restaurant.                   Would be suitable just to visit for a drink or cocktail

  • Would I visit again?

Yes, definitely.

Sample menu http://www.individualrestaurants.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Manchester-PICC-With-Fish-Platter-AW-2016-1.pdf

If you’ve visited one of the Piccolino Restaurants – was your experience as good?

What’s your favourite choice in an Italian Restaurant.

 

Please comment or contact me via earlyretirementrocks@gmail.com

Mummy in a Tutu

Blue Moo’s Monday Musings – what I’ve learned about Manchester City this week -a female fans view

1) The Pep revolution rolls on – I am ‘old City’ when there was a banana skin at every corner. With that in mind I naturally approached this new era with trepidation – what if Pep comes to us & it all goes horribly wrong? Well what can I say – no-one is more shocked and surprised than me at how well it has all gone! I’m living in dreamland! The guy truly is a genius – and with a sense of humour that all Could fans can relate too! Long may it last!

2) This new start and era truly means that every player has the freedom and confidence to get forward at every opportunity – this is emphasised by the fact that Girl Clichy scored this week. Great to see. Clichy is a player who performs week in and week out without any real glory.

3) In the early days of the great Sheikh Mansour’s takeover City have been accused of ruining football by ‘buying’ success. With this in mind I am so proud to see Manchester City Women win the Women’s Super League today with games to spare. The Abu Dhabi Group are reinvesting in the glorious game. We have 3 other affiliate teams around the world and have invested in the emerging Women’s Football movement. Plus an ever growing academy with top class facilities. This is fabulous to see – giving something back to the future of the game. To all my friends who support Manchester United my question is – you’ve boasted about being the richest club in the world for years – what has your club done for the game in terms of reinvestment?????

4) Injuries are the downside of the game – we wait with baited breath for news about Vincent Company and Kevin de Bruyne – indications are that Ginger Kev, as he is affectionately known by the fans,  may be missing for a few weeks, maybe four. The news about Vincent is so quiet that I’m beginning to fear the worse for our Captain Fantastic.

Blue Moo’s musings 3 things I’ve learned about Manchester City this week


Well we’re 1 week into the season and it’s very early days but here are 3 things I’ve learned this past week:

  1. There is already a big change in the set up and approach to games under Pep Guardiola. The play is positive, always looking to move forward. An awful lot less of last seasons slow, sedentary, backward passing play. The team are still settling into this and I am certain there is plenty more to come!
  2. Joe Hart looks a certainty to leave the club. I have very mixed feelings about this, he’s been a loyal servant to the club and has expressed and voiced his love for the club time and time again. There is often no reward for loyalty, I have experienced that on a personal level during my career so I can empathise with some of the emotions he is feeling right now. However, I can see where his limitations lie and I myself have criticised his distribution on many occasions. Without any stats I’ve always said that at least 50% of his goal kicks end up with a player from the opposing team. There is no doubt though that he has benefited greatly from playing for the club both financially and as a player. I wish him very well wherever the next phase takes him, he will always have a special place in the hearts of the fans.
  3. There is an irritating part of the pre-match security process that remains from previous seasons. Now this is something that grates with me intensely! I fully appreciate all the searching of bags and supporters that takes place. What I find crazy is that any supporters who have a drink of juice, bring water or juice in their bag have it confiscated. There are bottles all lying on the security benches at the entrance of each turnstile. I fail to see the logic behind this – if people are bringing children, or they have coughs, or even are diabetics and need a supply of sugar why can they not be taken into the stadium. The cost of buying inside is extortionate and fans pay enough particularly parents. The answer will probably be given that it is a security and safety issue – they can be used as a missile to throw – hence why when you do purchase a bottle inside you are treated like a child and the cap is taken off and confiscated. My counter argument to this is that if a supporter brings a thermos flask with hot contents , tea, coffee, soup that can gladly be taken in. So my question is which is the greater danger a plastic bottle with a cold content or a heavy flask with boiling hot contents??? I cannot fathom this out – anyone knows the answer or reasoning please let me know.

My first visit to Manchester Fringe Festival – The Minge on the Fringe

 

Well as a proud Mancunian I’m ashamed to say that I did not know that my fabulous City held a fringe festival – redfaced!

I was invited to accompany a friend to a production at this years festival. My friend has been interested recently to try new entertainment experiences.

I think I am a regular theatre goer but I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure what to expect with this unusually titled play! Although as I think I have a playful sense of humour I was expecting the same from it. I wasn’t wrong. The play was held in the lower ground floor of a Manchester Bar – Bandit, Mugger and Thief. It was a full house and the audience was probably around 30. An intimate gathering.

We were the last to arrive, got in by the skin of our teeth and the play started straight away.

It was a play about holding a play at The Manchester Fringe, the theatre  company was The Lipstick Thespians, and contained a cast of 4.

The story follows these four fabulous females on a journey of friendship, self discovery and a little bit of Acting! – cheesy and a send up of themselves. It was an hour long and past quickly in laughter and delightful enjoyment. Without a Minge in sight!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be sure to visit the Manchester Fringe Festival again.

As afootnote I must add that the only negative was that I encountered a member of the current Coronation Street cast in the loo’s afterwards – before I could stop myself I commented how different she looked out of character – she was not impressed and scowled – apologies, I know how irritating these types of comments can be – after 36 years as a nurse I wish I had a pound for every time one of my patients family members made the comment “oh I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on!” when meeting me out of uniform .