Amazing as seats still available all around ground for Manchester City v Newcastle United
It is Manchester City v Newcastle United on Saturday.
The hosts have at last found the perfect manager, in my opinion.
With almost limitless money to spend on players, in Pep Guardiola they have somebody who can now oversee almost certain success.
He really is a quality manager and when he can spend over £220m in the summer transfer window, including £50m on a right-back (Kyle Walker), then you know the rest of the clubs are up against it.
As a neutral, you are constantly impressed with the quality of the football Manchester City are showing under Pep Guardiola. Exciting and winning, what more could you ask for.
However, whenever you are watching on TV, neutrals are also regularly amazed at just how many empty seats there are at the Etihad.
Is it failure to sell all the tickets, or is it season ticket holders just not bothering to turn up for many games, a bit like a smaller version of Arsenal’s problem, or maybe a bit of both?
It is bizarre that this is the case as Manchester City are threatening to dominate and at the same time play the very best football.
They might have lost and drawn games recently but with 62 points from a possible 69, they are now unbackable to be Premier League champions.
They have cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League and are hot favourites to win that.
They stuffed Burnley 4-1 to walk into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Whilst they are also set to shortly win their first trophy of the season, as they have the second leg at Bristol City of their semi final to negotiate, before they no doubt win the League Cup next month.
Amazingly that first leg of the League Cup semi-final saw thousands and thousands of empty seats at the Etihad. Bristol City sold their full allocation of almost eight thousand tickets but there were only thirty five thousand Man City supporters who bothered to turn up.
I went onto the official Manchester City site ahead of Saturday’s match, just to see if there were any interesting angles.
I saw mention of tickets on sale for the Newcastle match and thought it was obviously an article from a few weeks ago…
As you can see from the above (screenshot taken at 1pm Thursday 18 January 2018), I went onto the ticket part of the Man City website and this is the plan of which areas there are still tickets on sale for.
Newcastle fans sold their full allocation some time ago but two days before the game you have the choice of tickets in pretty much every home section (the ones in red are where tickets are available).
There aren’t loads of tickets available but you do have to wonder why Manchester City fans aren’t clamouring to but every single ticket to watch this brilliant team that has been assembled.
It has been claimed that Sheikh Mansour looked at buying Newcastle United before deciding on Manchester City, what a sliding doors moment…
He must be amazed at what he needs to do to ever fill the Etihad week in week out.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]