A scene from the classic TV Comedy Blackadder comes to mind:
Blackadder: “Isn’t it common maritime practice for a ship to have a crew?”
Captain Redbeard: “Opinions are divided on that, Sir.”
Captain Redbeard: “Yes. All the other captains think it is. I think it isn’t.”
It’s been pretty clear for at least 12 months now that there has been a considerable difference of opinion between Pep Guardiola and Leroy Sané on what Leroy should be doing off the ball. Pep and Leroy just weren’t that into each other and we all knew it. From the touchline strops, shoulder shrugs and hands waving in the air by both men, the fleet-footed young German was clearly never a Pep Player.
The reactions of Manchester City fans to the departure of Sané to Bayern Munich are remarkable in their consistency, with so many of them being a variation on the old adage: if he doesn’t want to play for the shirt then he is better off on his bike. However, the fact that this bike was more of an 1100cc Honda Blackbird than a dodgy 50cc moped is still going to hurt.
To add insult to injury, it is Germany’s FC Hollywood who are going to benefit. From the bargain basement fee received (49m plus add-ons) together with the stunningly shameless year-long tapping up of the player by Bayern Munich’s current players, former players and elder statesmen, the bully boys have sneaked a dig in once again whilst the teachers weren’t looking. In this case, the teachers turning a blind eye have been UEFA. No surprise there then.
It’s also not much of a surprise that Sané wanted to flee the coop, Pep-problems aside. Another showbiz quote is apt here, this time from the dear departed Caroline Aherne in her comic turn as Mrs. Merton when interviewing Debbie Magee, magician Paul Daniels’ stage assistant-turned-wife:
“So what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”
In Germany, there will not be too many safer bets than that Leroy’s domestic medal cabinet will need a substantial extension. Kai Havertz is next on their wish list and the tapping up of the young Leverkusen star has been almost as cloying as that of Leroy’s. Sané is also reported to have been offered a staggering 385,000 GBP per week and will flank the world’s top number 9 Robert Lewandowski with hotshot Serge Gnabry on the right. Not too shabby.
Nonetheless, City fans will recover from this. The double sale of Peter Barnes and Gary Owen to West Bromwich Albion, anyone?
Anyone? No? Ok, then.
A good dusting of the Bavarians in the Champions League Final will just have to suffice.