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Tracing Manchester City’s rise from bumbler to contender

Apr 30, 2012, 11:20 AM EDT

Manchester City's Argentinian Sergio Agu

Manchester United has long been a Euro heavyweight, tracing back to the highly successful “Busby years” of post-war England. It’s the kind of club that needs several trophy cases to properly house all the glorious decoration – and probably multiple Wiki entries to better cover the gold-dipped history of Old Trafford.

Manchester City? Not so much.

This fun read from the Guardian reminds us that tiny Macclesfield, not Manchester United, used to be the local derby for Manchester City, which not long ago languished in England’s third tier, reduced to near-perennial struggler status.

A telling sample of the piece:

The club of Pollock, Dibble and Brannan has become the stable of Silva, Agüero and Tevez. Roberto Mancini’s press conference on Saturday was so packed he suggested they should have sold tickets. There were questions from Italy, Sweden and Canada and, afterwards, a bottleneck of cars trying to get back on to the M60. A decade ago it was two or three of us sitting in Joe Royle’s office in Platt Lane while a regular group of drunks used to congregate on the corner and shout abuse at the players through the fencing. Royle had a drinks coaster in the design of a panic button. “Press here,” it said.

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