Is Manchester Red Or Blue

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Published by Chris Jenkins
28th Dec 2021
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Manchester is one of the biggest footballing cities on the planet. You can’t walk the streets of this fine city without seeing something related to the two proud clubs of the North West, and everyone has an opinion on which team is better.

The sport is so deeply interwoven with the culture of Manchester that you find huge bands like Oasis professing their love for Manchester City.

But which club has the bragging rights to say that the city belongs to them? This is actually a tough question to answer in the modern-day. The debate has raged for many years, with City fans having an underdog edge whilst Manchester United dominated.

Nowadays, with both teams doing well financially and boasting immensely talented squads, the question is much harder to answer.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the history of both of these amazing clubs. As well as this, we’re going to review their current status and see how this plays into the situation. On derby day, there can be only one winner, but is Manchester red or blue? Let’s weigh it up.

 

United

Manchester United’s former manager Alex Ferguson was once asked if United would ever go into a Manchester derby as the underdogs. His reply? “Not in my lifetime”.

Unfortunately, this proved to be untrue. These days, Manchester United is firmly set in the underdog category when it comes to the derby, whilst still being a hugely talented football team that can perform at the highest level. It’s an interesting situation, but why was Ferguson so confident that this would never happen?

Well, there are quite a few reasons for this. When Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United they weren’t doing particularly well. He had previously had a hugely successful career in Scotland, as both a player and a manager. For a few years, Ferguson struggled to get the results that the fans wanted; but he had a plan.

During his tenure, United became arguably the best team in the world and started an era of dominance that hasn’t been seen in English football before or since. The financial benefits of this were massive, and Manchester United was already a fairly well-off club.

Whilst they dominated, City struggled to fight relegation. They were always in United’s shadow, and often not even in the same league. A few years before Ferguson's United career came to an end, City’s dominance was just about to begin as they were taken over by hugely wealthy owners.

 

City

Manchester City has spent well over a billion pounds since their take over in 2008 and this has resulted in massive success on and off the pitch. The major switch in fortunes happened in 2012 when Man City won the Premier League due to a last-minute goal. If Sergio Aguero hadn’t scored that particular goal at The Etihad, Manchester United would have won the league.

This made the victory all the sweeter and is now perhaps the most iconic moment in the Premier League since its creation in the early 1990s.

Since then, City has gone from strength to strength. The appointment of Pep Guardiola, as well as purchasing some of the greatest players in the world, has put them in a prime position to keep winning Premier League titles for years to come.

One area in which Pep hasn’t delivered in the Champions League, and this is something that Manchester United can still brag about. But if things keep going the way they have been, that may be about to change in the next few seasons.

 

The Money

Money is undoubtedly an important factor in achieving success in football, but you can’t just recklessly throw money at a problem and hope that things start to work out. The major difference between Manchester City and Manchester United over the past decade has been the spending habits.

City identified talented players from various leagues and assembled an all-star squad. If you look at the Man City bench on match day, you are likely to see a selection of players who walk into almost any other team in the league.

It’s extremely important to find a balance in the kind of players you purchase and identify what you need. It’s also important to adapt to big changes.

Gabriel Jesus was signed by City a few years ago and didn’t turn out to be a like-for-like replacement for Sergio Aguero. Despite this, he fits the new City system very well and Pep Guardiola often employs a false 9.

When you look at the scoresheet after a Manchester City game, you will probably see a variety of names from all sorts of positions. This is because the ways in which City play allow constant opportunities for a variety of players, as opposed to focusing on a central target man. They have a slow, methodical, precise style of build-up play. None of this is an accident.

On the other hand, Manchester United buys big-name players and fails to get the best out of them or adapt the system to fit them. Paul Pogba is widely considered to be one of the most talented players in the world, but it simply never worked out for him at Man United.

Is this a failing of the recruitment team? Whether it comes to the managers who have worked with him or their failure to offload him for profit, there is clearly a big problem with how they have dealt with their midfield over the past few seasons.

 

Is The City Red Or Blue?

United still has a bigger fan base than Manchester City, and that simply can’t be denied. At this moment in time, in terms of success alone, Manchester is blue. But it feels as though it’s never far from being red again.

If United can restore their success under Ralf Rangnick, then they will undoubtedly become the biggest club in the city again, but this could slowly change if things don’t start to work out.

Results are the most important thing in football, and Manchester City knows how to get a result.