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  1. And so on to what has become quite a heated rivalry over the past few years. Their club and fans have had a real sense of entitlement over this time, believing the rules and regulations simply do not apply to them because they're rich. Well, their owners are rich. City are nothing more than a sport-washing exercise aimed at getting any sort of spotlight away from the human rights abuses and dependency on oil continuing to be a valuable global commodity. FFP? Fuck that! Tenacity. Wilyness. Incision. Impudence. Ingenuity. Intelligence. Imagination. Courage. Energy! I don't ask for much. Last season's corresponding fixture came at just the right time for the visitors. We were in the midst of a real slump in home form, decimated in defence, incapacitated in midfield and impotent up front. Even the more reliable players were suffering from a downturn in form as we had to select both Hendo and Fab in the centre of defence. With no fans present, it suited City as they thrive in conditions that resemble a training exercise. Anyway, it was a much happier outcome in August 1969 when Joe Mercer's side visited Anfield. They'd won the FA Cup the previous season, and the league title on goal difference the season before that. They had the likes of Lee, Bell and Summerbee so were clearly a very good side. The Anfield Iron scored an own goal and Ian Bowyer netted another for the visitors, but thanks to a pair of fellas now having a kickabout behind the Pearly Gates, we came away with the 2 points. Saint got two goals and Sir Roger got the other. A fine result but Shanks' team were in need of some new blood, and stalwarts like the two legendary strikers, goalkeeper The Flying Pig and centre half Big Ron would soon be on their way. The guys that took their place did pretty well though! I can't find a clip of that game but here's a newspaper cutting. Not just on the pitch at Anfield, but also in everyday life there was a changing of the tide. The short-back-and-sides stuffy conservatism of the early 60s had slowly been giving way to freedom of speech, anti-war protests, hallucinogenic drugs, a harder edged rock music, free love and the catch-all term 'counter culture'. If ever a movie captured the zeitgeist, it was the August 1969 box office top spot holder directed by and starring Dennis Hopper, written by and co-starring his friend Peter Fonda, and effectively bringing to the mainstream conscience a young upstart and budding acting legend by the name of Jack Nicholson. Cali to The Big Easy. Harleys. Copious drugs. Steppenwolf's counter culture anthem 'Born To Be Wild'. Easy Rider is one of the films that ushered in America's version of France's cinematic New Wave. Directors, writers, producers and actors who actively shunned the old Hollywood studio system and used their independent spirit to secure the finance needed to tell stories that were begging to be told. A bona fide classic. This will be our toughest test of the season to date. I'd imagine the City lot will be thinking the same thing. Unlike in recent fixtures where they've thrashed us because half our players were drunk (post title-win 2019/20) or incapacitated (last season), and when no fans have been in the ground, this is more like what they'd have come up against when Anfield was packed to the rafters, our team were well up for it, and Pep the oddball had his meltdown. We just need to know that we can do that again, and that they know we can do that again, and then actually do that again. As ever, the right focus and the right attitude will see that we stand a great chance of getting it done. In an era where it's become normal for money to put paid to ethics and where the perpetrators never get their comeuppance, Jurgen and the team are almost like the counter culture to that mentality. Get your motor running...
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