It has been a pretty steady start to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign for manager Pep Guardiola and his Champion reigning Manchester City side
With top flight domestic football leagues paused across Europe, City trail an unexpected Arsenal by five points and sit in second place in the table with ten wins and two draws from the opening 14 games, and we have a league best plus 26 goal difference.
With the World Cup for 2022 now almost at an end, it means fans can look forward to the resumption of the domestic fixture calendar after the pause was necessary to let the first ever winter World Cup out in Qatar take place, and Guardiola will see his side back in action for the first time since early November as we host Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side next Thursday for the EFL Cup Fourth Round clash and you can bet on Man City taking the win if that is your fancy.
Games against Liverpool have been a little bit tasty in recent years, with a small section of fans clearly taking their attempts at ‘banter’ (the word is used loosely) way too far, but it has not just been them, there have been some notable incendiary incidents between players and members of the coaching staff as tempers became too frayed and the red mist descended.
In an effort to curb the bigger emergence of this type of behaviour in recent clashes, representatives from both sides have now met to hold peace talks and come up with plans and ideas that will, at the very least, improve the strained relationship that developed as both sides regularly battle away at the top of the Premier League table.
In October’s feisty clash at Anfield, City claimed that Guardiola was subjected to coins being thrown from the crowd, whilst Liverpool condemned ‘sick chants’ and graffiti that had been daubed on the away concourse which mocked the Hillsborough disaster. City also stated that the team bus was attacked by some fans as they left the ground in a similar incident as to what happened back in 2018 when we faced Liverpool in the Champions League Quarter Finals.
With the latest clash nearing, both clubs met last month and invited representatives from elected fan network, City Matters, and the Liverpool’s Supporters’ Board and quite what the believed agreed commitment to improve the future atmosphere’s will actually mean is open to debate. Season ticket holders from both sides will soon be contacted about plans though, and various activities are likely to be held ahead of the game taking place to try and reinforce a change of atmosphere.
City Matters and the Liverpool Supporters’ Board said in a joint statement release.
“Over the past five or six seasons, our matches have been some of the most entertaining in the world. However, we can’t ignore the recent poor behaviour from a small number of fans on both sides, which has often overshadowed the results and the quality of football on show. That’s why we were pleased to sit down with both clubs to improve relations and make commitments to working together to improve fan behaviour at future matches.”
Let us hope the game ahead is the spectacle it should be on the pitch and a small number on both sides do not hijack the headlines with behaviour that is unnecessary and should be frowned upon.