“If there’s one thing worse than being told you’re not good enough,” mused The Guardian’s Rob Smyth and Paolo Bandini, “it’s being patronised.” Remarkably, they’re not talking about a former Mets utility man being dubbed “‘Super’ Joe McEwing”, but instead Manchester City’s referring to their reserve team as “The Elite Squad”.
Rebranding was only the start of the humiliation. “City’s [You're All Winners To Us XI] gave a battling performance against a Manchester United side packed with … almost £50m worth of talent,” tootles the club’s website this afternoon following last night’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester United’s Reserve Militia, yet a cursory look down the team-sheets showed the visitors hadn’t even bothered to field their most talked-about summer signing. BebÃ© set United back £7.4m over the summer and had been expected to get his first run out in front of Lord Ferg before the manager had a late change of heart.
Scurrilous rumours today suggest BebÃ© had simply not been playing well enough in training, but surely the truth is that Ferg was simply employing his infamous mind games, implying the Special In Their Own Way Selection put out by City were so poor that the midfielder was not even required. Or could it be that the one thing worse than telling someone they’re not good enough, is admitting that you were wrong to tell everyone that they were good in the first place?
Of the Elitist approach employed by City, Red Force Rising opines, “you™ll be happy to know that United™s reserves team is still known as ‘The Reserves’ and not œ’the Supreme Second String’ or ‘The Best Team After The First’”.