One for All the Marbles

Spurs travel to Manchester tomorrow to take on City in a game with maximum implications for both clubs, at stake nothing less than the final Champion$ League place currently occupied by Tottenham. With City travelling to West Ham United and Spurs to already relegated Burnley on the last day of the season, it appears that while Tottenham would be satisfied with a draw, nothing but three points will do for City.

4 Tottenham Hotspur 36 20 7 9 67
5 Manchester City 36 18 12 6 66

Manager Harry Redknapp has his players dreaming of Champions League play, a tremendous accomplishment for the North London club that was struggling to fend off relegation not too long ago. It is truly impressive what Redknapp has accomplished, particularly since he has assembled good and very good players, but in contrast to City, no over-payed stars. On the other side, money has elevated greatly Man City’s standing in the Premiership, but has not generated harmony amidst some Sky Blue players.

Mancinis future with Man City is on the line.

Mancini's future with Man City is on the line.

There is still a great deal of frustration with some very high profile signings – Roque Santa Cruz, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Adebayor to name a few. But above all, there is still palpable discomfort with the leadership of Manager Roberto Mancini for some players. He is appreciated by some, but has failed to win the hearts of others since his arrival at Eastlands. This is largely attributed to the manner and timing of Mark Hughes’ dismissal, who had a lot to do with the build-up of Man City only to be then replaced most unceremoniously.

On Saturday Man City passed the first big test in its quest to reach the lucrative and prestigious Champions League place, an achievement estimated to be worth 50 million pounds, by soundly beating Aston Villa and ending the Villans’ contention for the same spot. It is now a two-team, head on, full pressure clash that should reveal the winner of the big Premiership prize.