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Dabo vs Barton / Manchester City vs Manchester United

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For most of the week I’ve resisted the urge to write about the Barton-Dabo spat. Mostly because everyone was talking about it, but also because there wasn’t much to say.

Barton and Dabo exchanged a couple of rough tackles. Dabo squared up to him and probably cussed at him and called Barton’s mum a whore. Barton couldn’t take it, so when Dabo was turning away Barton hit him in the head and then landed several more punches for good measure before he was pulled off / before he came to his senses.

Dabo now wants to sue Barton – or he is, at the very least, considering that option. No words yet on whether Barton has called Dabo up to apologise, but you think that if it had to happen it should have happened by now.

It’s seems that like Ben Thatcher, Joey Barton will now be moved on – his value to the team is greatly undermined by internal conflict and the negative image he’s giving the club.

Since no one seems to have asked this, I have two questions on the matter:

One, do Manchester City realise that they have a cultural divide in the squad? Like Newcastle’s injury problems, Manchester City’s inability to gel together as a squad is like a big ugly sore on a bare ass – it’s impossible to avoid it even if you don’t want to look at it.

Distin has talked about it, Barton’s comments reflect it and we’ve heard a lot about this during the course of the season. City need to get their shit together and it won’t start with just selling Barton or sacking Pearce.

Two, why is Manchester City allowing Dabo to talk to the press and let them take his pictures? You’ve got a United derby coming up and a chance to beat your city rivals. You’ve had a tough season, you’re being seranaded by Shinawatra and you’re already in the muck thanks to news of the brawl.

Barton is understandably quiet, but Dabo should have had a press ban on him.

The most important thing here is Manchester City FC, and if talking about the incident harms the club, then they should be avoiding it.

And to be honest – this whole ‘Elephant Man’ thing has more to do with Dabo’s ears than it has to do with Barton’s assault. Seriously now…

Manchester City vs Manchester United preview

The game looked to be balanced in City’s favor, what with their recent history at home against Manchester United and the fact that Manchester United were going to be coming off a grueling away leg in Europe.

However, internal strife may even things up a little. Manchester United, if they win this game, will virtually guarantee themselves the title, and depending on Chelsea’s result at the Emirates they could easily be celebrating winning the trophy at Eastlands.

I’d rather have Manchester United celebrate at Stamford Bridge (considering that Chelsea have ‘won’ the 2005 title at Old Trafford), but at this stage and after the semifinal loss any sort of win will do.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.