Vital Manchester City member, mcfcirish sent us the following.
Friday 27th November 2009: My departure day. My brother and I were due to fly out at half past two. We arrive at Cork airport at 1pm, we walk to the desk only to be told, your late you can’t board.Tturns out the departure time was half past one and the arrival time in Manchester was half two – DISASTER. Should we cancel? Ryan Air offered us a flight to Liverpool, fine grand…at a price of ?217 a head. Air Lingus offered us a flight at 6:10pm to Birmingham at a more reasonable ?75 a head.
We arrived in the city of Villans and Saint…Andrews round 7:30pm, dodging the Villa fans who no doubt would have clattered us for supporting Gareth Barry, I mean City. We hopped on the 7:45pm train. Stopped in Wolverhampton…we could feel the negativity of Mick McCarthy in the air, Stoke…the loudest fans in the league must have all been tucked up in bed and our last stop before Manchester, Stockport, home to who else but the mighty Stockport County!
Finally, we arrived at Jury’s on Greatbridge, Water Street round 10:30pm too tired even for a pint. The ‘match will make us feel better’ we thought…oh how wrong we were!
Saturday 28th: Match day was here and after an extremely stressful detour to Birmingham me and the brother were very much looking forward to kick off. We headed for the stadium nice and early and immediately felt the mood around Eastlands was confident, although you couldn’t walk far without hearing, ‘if we don’t beat Hull we’re **cked’.
As kick-off neared the warm-ups winded down and SWP, Superman et all left the pitch looking confident…maybe a bit too much so.
Before the game kicked off ex-City great Uwe Rossler was paraded on the pitch – fantastic moment for City fans who are old enough to remember his dazzling runs and tricks against many a confused defender.
The game kicked off and straight away there was a show of ambition, force and hunger however, not from MCFC but our opposition, the mighty Hull City.
City’s defence looked as shaky as ever when challenging for simply balls. Sitting on the sidelines in the East Stand we could clearly hear Shay screaming in frustration at his defenders to do tasks that surely schoolboys would know. ‘Mark up, keep tight’ and in one case at Lescott, when the ball was going out for a goal kick, ‘just let the **cking thing go out’!
City’s midfield, with the exception on De Jong looked disinterested, ‘Superman’ looked like he wanted to be somewhere else with lazy passes back to both Micah and Kolo. The two lads in turn looked pretty flimsy loosing simple passes and putting the City goal under pressure.
Robhino looked eager and even put in a tackle or two but he didn’t get much of a service. Same for Tevez who ran all day but got little to show for it.
It was a massive surprise to see City take the lead. Sweep made a run from midfield and taking a fairly speculative shot which thankfully went in.
Half time and MCFC went one up…did we deserve it? Me and several other City fans failed to find much evidence to support that.
The second half kicked off and surely City would kick on and improve? But yet again the ‘job is done’ syndrome kicked in. We seemed to play the wings a lot, more in the second half but this gave us very little joy. Paul McShane, a player who I consider utterly woeful in every sense kept Robhino very quite. He was winning headers and clearing his lines…something I have rarely seen him do in a green shirt.
Their wingers seemed up for it, spraying the ball into Shays box and while causing little trouble, we sensed that city needed another goal at least to make the game safe.
It about 60 or so minutes the changes were made, Bellamy for Ade and Robi for Santa Cruz. And we all know what happened next – Hull responded. A penalty decision which was on the opposite side of the pitch to us, so I wasn’t in much of a position to call it. Jimmy Bullard scored and led a comical ‘Phil Brown’ team-talk celebration, making light of the Tigers boss antics of last season.
City needed drive, we needed focus and most of all we needed a goal. Did we get drive…not a chance. The midfield again were the main culprits for not bothering to look around before they passed the ball. We had the odd corner of two in the last few minutes but we wasted them. If anything, Hull looked the more likely to get the winner. The two subs had a torrid time – Santa Cruz, while holding the ball up well at times found it difficult to do anything with it and Bellamy, while a typical hard work ethic was as evident as always, was unable to make any impact. Hull pushed and pushed for a winner that, in truth they deserved. Thankfully it never came.
Full time came and some boos could be heard as frustration was evident, especially from both SWP and Shay. The general consensus was that we were simply not good enough. And its true, we weren’t.
If we play like this against Arsenals kids on Wednesday we’ll find it hard to progress, let alone what Chelsea will do to us next weekend.
So that was pretty much it, another draw for City. A depressed Eastlands and two slightly broke and bewildered Irish brothers. If we knew the cost prior to leaving our front door, in addition to that, and having missed our flights, arriving late, having to pay for an extra train and overall stress we endured would we have gone through with it? To sample the ups and downs, the crack and the banter of Eastlands and the warmth of our English friends, you bet your arse we’d do it all again.