Is Manchester really that grim?

Is the city of Manchester as dull and dislikeable as Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, Manchester City’s most prolific back page headline generators, have recently made out?

With his usual penetrating insight and wit, Matthew Syed in his Times column today notes that many “have been struck by the crassness of the comment[s], the willingness to take a swipe at the place that thousands of the men and women who support [them] call home. But perhaps the more revelatory point is that nobody is surprised. We all perceive this as a logical consequence of the journey football has taken. Once a sport that fostered community, it is now a sport that takes a razor blade to community.”

“Notwithstanding that the city is, to most observers, a thriving metropolis, the players have seen fit to put the boot in, despite the huge pay cheques that enable them to live in luxury.”

Is Manchester really that grim?

Matthew Syed is a popular public speaker and regular sports columnist for the Times.

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