Why Manchester City Are Still ‘Typical City’


The most endearing yet critical pet name associated with Manchester City is the nickname of ‘Typical City’ – a term that illustrates Man City’s age old ability to do everything the hard way. In fact, there was an even a post from 1996 regarding this unfortunate tradition, which lists a fair few occasions that Manchester City exhibited their knack for inconsistency.

Come 2009 – and Sheikh Mansour – and it seemed to Manchester City that the years of heartache were showing signs of ending, with a takeover by the now revered Mansour set to funnel millions into a club that just years before were scraping the barrel for funding in order to survive. City fans were, however, wary of their previous affair with jailbird Thaksin Shinawatra, whose spending still left City 8th in the table, despite an influx of foreign talent.

Soon City’s new source of spending began to somewhat ‘pay’ off, and they found themselves with a League Cup, FA Cup and two Barclays Premier League trophies (as well as a Community Shield, if you’re counting) within five years. Not bad at all for a side deemed for far too long ‘noisy neighbours’.

However, despite the staggering depth of European talent within Manchester City’s squad, and the appearance of the side as a complete contrast to the old, ‘Typical’ City, there’s still some remnants of this former City that cause the team – and their fans – some frustration.

For City fans, Nicky Weaver is a symbol of City’s struggles – and their successes – in years past.

In the past, City’s tendency to falter whenever they most need to perform could be blamed on a lack of talent. Although City fans are immediately instilled with a mixture of awe and nostalgia at the utterance of names of Giorgi Kinkladze and Shaun Goater, it’s an obvious yet frowned upon idea to suggest that the squad they played in is nowwhere near as good as the team City can boast now. When City were relegated in 2001, their team can be read as a list of forgotten stars and small-time pundits (bar the Lord Saviour Shaun Goater, and a few others).

So, in a way, their relatively consistent string of disappointment can be forgiven. But today, with the of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero lining up at the Etihad, surely there’s no sign of underachieving, right?


In the era of Sheikh Mansour, City’s tendency go about things the hard way comes from a darker root: complacency. There’s no denying City have one of the best squads in the world, so why is it that they perform below-par in the Champions League and fail to score against the likes of Stoke City and Norwich, and can’t get a result over Cardiff and (groan) Wigan? They’ve become slightly too complacent for their own good, hence why ‘Typical City’ could endure for years to come.

I’m saying that City are doing badly; I just think, with a better attitude, they could do so much better.

I’m not saying that City lose every game  like they could have been prone to before – but there seems be something in the Blue Side of Manchester that just stops them from getting the job done efficiently. Should you require evidence, I’ll happily provide it.

They’ve become slightly too complacent for their own good, hence why ‘Typical City’ will endure for years to come.

When City won their first trophy in 35 years against Stoke in 2011 (FA Cup), it took them until the 74th minute to score the only goal of the game, and just about scrape themselves through to the finish. True, Cup Finals do prove a tougher beast to slay than normal games. But it simply proves City’s love of navigating important fixtures in the most awkward way possible.

There’s not much to say when it comes City’s first Premier League trophy – let’s just say it was the best ending to a game I’d ever seen, and I don’t think I’ll ever see something better as a City fan. I’m glad that I was able experience such an ending; yet if it wasn’t for their slight penchant for complacency, I’d dare say that QPR wouldn’t have scored two goals if Manchester City didn’t go into the game on top of a sub-conscious pedestal. The same can be argued for last season’s dramatic finale.

Even this season City have proven their complacency a few times. Toure and Co. failed to score against Stoke City earlier this year, despite the extreme contrast in ability between the two sides…and no offense, but Stoke aren’t known for tactical innovation…so the only other factor that could caused City’s eventual loss left? Complacency, once again.

A 2 goal win against Hull is all fine and dandy, but when it comes as a fight the end, characterised by poor defending and sub-par attacking for long periods, I cannot help but see that, in this side of world class players and League winners, there’s still some ‘old City’ lurking in there.

Dzeko holds his head in his hands as Manchester City struggle a win against Hull.

Whether this is due the modern trend of paying obscene amounts to world superstars (such as a sometimes lacklustre, lazy Yaya Toure) or a long-standing curse in the Manchester City name that makes everything it touches turn into a challenge, no matter how easy it appears. As a City fan, I hope something will change with City that will make them a truly world-beating force. I’m going complain that City aren’t doing well – that would be crazy, given last two trophy haul – but they could do better, and they should give everything possible to do it now, while we can. On the other hand, City’s awkward nature does make them an exciting team to support.

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In the days of Goater and Weaver, there was something there that money couldn’t finance – a never say die attitude, characterised by their nail-biting shootout Playoff Final win against Gillingham in 1999. Today, when I cheer on my beloved side, there are only a few players, namely the likes of Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and James Milner, who really epitomise the spirit of the City of old. If they don’t have this tenacity and win-at-all-costs attitude, Manchester City will not win everything – not when they sometimes look like they think they’re too good to knuckle down and get the points in any way possible.

They have the potential win everything, but it’s this slight complacency- this hint of  ‘Typical City’- that is often City’s downfall, and could stop them from achieving true greatness.