Manchester is, always has been and always will be RED. Despite the billions chucked at the club, cheaper tickets than Crawley and the plethora of superstar players and managers that they bring to the Etihad, they still can't get the fans to turn up and show their support.
United's foreign and southern element of fanbase, once derided by the blue 1/8th of this city, now actively being pursued by their desperate marketing teams, as they try in vain to not have their woefully empty stands come under scrutiny by the world's media. Too many studies to mention have proven beyond all doubt the ownership of this fine city belongs to those whose stadium does reside outside the boundaries of the actual 'city'. But enough about geography and days gone by, here's why Manchester will STILL be red come Sunday morning:
1. Flat-track bullies
This Manchester City side might be completing tons more passes around their defence compared to last season, but they've not evolved their play any more than that. Last season we saw City race into that early lead, which had every signle journalist queing up to crow over how spectacular they were and how they were about to 'walk' the league. Until they met some decent sides, completely bottled it and ended up coming level on points with one of the worst United sides in memory, yeh. They averaged 2.5 points-per-game against bottom 12 sides. - something we've seen replicated early this season. But they only took 0.8 points-per-game against the top 8 sides. The absolute definition of a flat track bully. I expect to see nothing different when they're sent packing tomorrow.
2. Strength in strength and in depth
United's appointment of Mourinho was greeted with a curious optimism compared to the orgasmic self-congratulatory parade we saw in Beswick, and what Mourinho has done in terms of addressing the specific areas we as fans wanted fixing has been very impressive. I don't think you can compare the leaps forward made by United to the relatively tame signings made by Pep. We've added strength in terms of pure strength to the side. Our starting XI dwarfs that of City in height and physicality. But we also retained every member of the first team squad. No one player missing is a catastrophe for us. City without Aguero means they're talking about playing a false nine against us. Good luck with that.
3. Plan B
Here's where it does fall apart for the blues. Jose may not be the most entertaining or fawned over manager, but he's an ultra-pragmatist. Even Sir Alex at times parked the bus. Cowardly? Maybe. It's not the prefered way to play. But winning comes first. Too often we see Guardiola come unstuck due to not having another way to play football. It's the reason Wenger hasn't managed to bring a title to Arsenal in over a decade. The Premier League is a different animal than most you'll find across the world. It might not be the most impressive tactically, or even the most dominant on the world stage, but to be successful in this division, you need to be tactically fluid and cannot be completely married to playing one style of football.
The bottom line is, no matter what they do, no matter who they get, no matter how much oil money they blow, they'll never be Manchester United and that is why they hate us.