And now they’re gonna believe us? City’s finest top flight start since 1961 has got Planet Blue considering that this could be a season to realise a few dreams…
Our pals in ‘The Street of Shame*’ have been absolutely wrong footed by City’s so called mercenaries failing to cave in or give them any humiliating defeats to drool over. Even though they’ve been left scratching their laptops at Mark Hughes’ squad’s battling and skill laden never say die approach, they haven’t been totally dumbstruck with the odd hack still scrabbling around for anti-City stories as we saw with pisspoor jibes at Michael Johnson this week.
However, the absence of European football at SportCity this campaign means that a resurgent City can focus on domestic competition and the bonus of 6 clear days between the convincing dismissal of West Ham and a mouth watering trip to Aston Villa gives us some time to pause for thought and reflect upon whether we’re really here or not.
Many Blues, despite revelling in our new found siege mentality have remained with feet firmly on the ground but even the most rational City fan will have been blown away when waves of City attacks have tore some defences apart.
In life, if you’ve been pilloried enough, there’s sometimes nothing like proving certain people wrong and if City continue to ram so much criticism back down a fair few expert pundits throats whilst continuing to play some scintillating football, then the vast majority of Blues will be beyond chuffed.
Okay, we’ve won nothing yet and there’s a hell of a lot of football to be played but to date, the omens are very, very good.
Many of us have justifiably pointed to certain pivotal moments out on the park that have shown we’re going places. Consider the away wins at Blackburn, Pompey and Crystal Palace, all games we’d have lost last season for starters.
But for this correspondent, off the field planning has been the key which has given Mark Hughes and his management team the platform from which to proceed with confidence. The transformation behind the scenes has been breathtaking and we’ve now got a club and hierarchy that we can be proud of. City’s groundsman recently remarked at how every single aspect of the club has been reviewed and revamped as neccessary. The work continues.
Bringing Manchester City back to life hasn’t been all about money. The calm, professional and respected approach of Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has gone a long way to reassuring City fans that the club is in good hands.
Furthermore, a willingness to engage with the fans and the Manchester community has won much admiration and efforts to promote and encourage City’s independant fan websites, blogs and forums has been widely appreciated.
Getting that grass roots basis right won’t see City’s dynamic new set up go far wrong.
Before moving on, this seems as good a time as any to recall the mountain of hard work, love and commitment that went into City over a decade that gave the club the chance to be in the established top flight position that helped us begin to realise a new dawn.
The efforts of David Bernstein, Joe Royle, Kevin Keegan, Stuart Pearce, John Wardle to name but a few and above all else City’s stunning support, through the good times and the bad, all helped to keep the ship on our badge afloat when it was so close to sinking out of existence.
Fast forward to today and we can’t wait for the next game to come along.
Whatever happens next, as a number of managers will already testify, City are back and aren’t going to go away silently into the night anymore.
The Street of Shame* copyright Private Eye
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