Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Last home game and Yaya farewell

Having little time to prepare this Blog-posting ahead of our final home game of the season and with some things that I just wanted to say; there won’t be time also for the usual pre-match write-up with predicted line-up etc. 


Just enough time for my waffle…


I couldn’t help feeling, as I made my way home from the Huddersfield game in the glaring sun & heat last Sunday, that our glorious trophy day felt more like a deflated & sad-looking balloon.

It wasn’t so much the hard fought, 0-0 draw our visitors earned themselves – a result that wasn’t a complete shock to me – but it was other stuff too.

It started off really well, for me and my mates at least, as I managed to first meet up right on time with one in a local bar and then after an hour met the other one just a few minutes late. From there, we went straight into the ground about 50 minutes before KO no probs at all. Lovely sunny day too!

The service at the bar was a LITTLE slow as we ‘doubled up’ before the game expecting the bar inside to get packed within 15 minutes or so and along with getting lost in conversation; the delay meant that we missed the ‘guard of honour’ as our players entered the field.

Other fans around us actually missed the first 10, 15 and, in some cases, 20-odd minutes of the start of the first half!

So, with 8 minutes of the first half remaining and needing the loo, I offered to go to the bar at half time for the two of us. Got down there and it was only 2-deep. Nipped to the loo and got back to find that there was “only” 4 in front of me and then…MY GOD! Utter carnage & disorganisation behind the stadium bar on a scale that - even considering all their many failings over the years and this season also on occasions - I’ve never seen before.

We had some people making jokes about it to try to keep the mood light; other were huffing and tutting whereas some resorted to vent their frustrations with various outbursts of, “COME ON FOR F…”. One young girl behind the bar disappeared twice; once to take a moment of “time out”, I think and on the second occasion was followed by a team leader-looking “fella” who looked about 14-years of age.

Over 20 minutes it took me to get 2 beers and as I wriggled myself free from the massed fans behind me, my mate said that he’d been looking for me for most of that time but just couldn’t spot me in the jam-packed area. Then, like a cork being released from a Champaign bottle, we popped outside for a breather and to begin our refreshments. Of course, by this time, it wasn’t long before the players came out and, this time, it was we who also missed the start of a half.

The game, as I say, was as frustrating as I suspected it might; with the Yorkshire side working very hard, defending like their lives depended on it (it did) and even carved out some chances themselves. For all the changes Pep made and for the huge pressure we mounted on them, we just couldn’t crack ‘em and it felt like it had taken the wind out of the sails of our party boat.

For the record, I thought the Huddersfield fans were excellent in their vocal and coordinated support!

Then came the real farce…

First came the morons in all shapes & sizes who ignored the club instructions and wishes of the majority to stay off the pitch (at least 2 didn’t even wait until the final whistle!). Feckin YouTube wannabees! After several minutes of having to stare at their antics, I decided to use the toilet facilities yet again in the hope, also, that they would have disappeared by then only to return and find them still arsing around for quite a few more minutes.

Well-done to the City fans with the well-wishing for Sir Alex, though; a banner I must admit I didn’t see but was told about later.

Have I ever ran onto a pitch in my time following the Blues? Yes, twice. It was in the late 80s & early 90s away at Bradford City and CrystalPalace. Was there an announcement asking us not to? To be honest I don’t recall and were we all 'fenced in' back then and, so, with the surge from so many fans wanting to encroach, a decision was made on both occasions to just open the gates and so I joined in (both with no presentations / cup & medals to hand out).

Trevor Morley scoring against Bradford City
Anyway…fans off the pitch, it then took for EVER for the players to come out and although I’ve since learnt that Fernandinho got ‘the curly finger’ for an immediate drugs test after the match, which took ages because he was dehydrated; it felt like the longest time. Over and over and over again we had to stand there listening to the same ol’ tunes being pumped out, while we stood there staring at equipment being tinkered with and fans batting around large balls & inflatable banana. And here’s another thing…

The forgotten Kippax.

Now, I might sound like a sulking child who wasn’t given the present he asked Father Christmas for and the chances of one of those over-sized inflatables reaching where we sit are very, very slim indeed.

And I KNOW that the trophy-receiving podium has to face one SIDE of the stadium for the camera crews and that-that should be the main, Colin Bell (West) Stand.


…not that I wanted to pat around a large inflatable but these things were handed out to the Colin Bell Stand and both the North (Family) & South Stand but NOT the East Stand side. And, when a ball & banana eventually reached our stand via the fans from the South Stand two sad officials came straight over, took the flippin’ things off the fans on our side and threw ‘em back into the South Stand! WTF?! Why?!

The main trophy podium was also facing the Colin Bell Stand (fair enough) but they also had a mini podium, which was largely ignored by most of the players anyway but, which, was ALSO facing the Colin Bell Stand!

Then we had the full catalogue of expected songs (some repeated or very much extended) and, I dunno…it just all felt a little “whatever” and underwhelming to me.

I parted company with my friend and began the long, dusty-hot walk home; not even bothering to call in my local and, instead, just flopped in the garden on my own listening to the radio (even all talk of City had finished by then to). Day over.


…I don’t want to sound all dour after such a terrific season and so will end this waffle on a positive note.

I began to think of other seasons that I fully enjoyed and, forgetting some I’m sure, there was a time in the late 80s / early 90s under a manager that I can’t recall without looking it up; where we seemed to win 4-something most games. Then there was at least one season under Kevin Keegan where we were hammering teams 3-0, 4-0 or 4-1 most games and playing such fast, attacking football.

We had one brilliant season at least under Roberto Mancini where we were so organised, efficient and lethal too and one fantastic season until Manuel Pellegrini where we were devastating also.

But this season has been by FAR the most breath-taking football I’ve ever seen week in, week out! Jaw-droppingly awesome in fact.

I’ll do another article post-season, I’m sure, about “records” but for now and despite dropping 2 points last Sunday, 100 points is ‘still on’ to go with already having scored over 100 league goals alone along with many other broken records.

We’ve got Yaya to thank and say goodbye to tonight also; a player who has been not only fantastic for us in many seasons but who has most certainly played a crucial part in us winning several trophies.

Great time to be a Manchester City fan – particularly for those who have seen some very barren times – and I’m already looking forward to more of the same in the future!

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