Saturday, 14 August 2010

Sheikhing all over..................

As the more avid (or awake) of you will have noticed, there has been no blog. Work has been a full on whir and my feet have barely touched the ground and as that is not a very interesting topic for a blog so I thought I'd spare you.

Today is a very special day. Today is the start of the football season.

It feels like a little lightswitch has been flicked on, a switch that has not been working for three months (though it did flicker during the world cup). However, I always find it difficult to get overly animated about watching England.  I'm as patriotic as the next man, but Club football is what sets my pulse racing. It doesn't help that the national team are serially disappointing but in truth it's because I like to reserve my tribalism for Manchester City.

As the old joke would have it, I have stuck with Manchester City through thin and thin. I have suffered the highs and lows over 30+ years, the highs never quite scaling the summit and the lows delivering regular low blows on an almost annual basis.

I used to support a football club run by a TV & Hi Fi salesman and then subsequently a manufacturer of toilet paper. Boardroom unrest was a constant and bad decisions were habitual. We had a ground with four unmatched stands, each reflecting a period of optimism for future success that was never quite delivered. Calamity and Pathos was embedded into the fabric our club and I often wondered whether I supported them because of  that or despite it.

Now I know that is despite it, because the tragicomedy that was my football club has gone replaced by a new era. Owners with seemingly bottomless pockets, a professional well run club, a genuinely world class squad, proposed expansion plans that extend beyond football and a future that stretches out in front of us like a route to football greatness.

With Manchester City having spent over £100m for the second summer in a row everybody's expectations are high and the stage is set for a statement as to what's to come this season. These days it's different, we've gone from being everybody's second favourite team to being the genuine envy of every other football club expressed through resentment and hypocrisy. Our new team will need to bed in quickly and show a complete disregard and disrespect for the top four and the nonsense that surround them. City have the players to worry anyone in the premiership, the big question now is whether Mancini can get them to function as a successful team.

Being a Manchester City fan however, I already have my defence and story straight should we deliver a damp squib of a performance and Redknapps Tottenham lay the proverbial banana skin in front of the fledgling City team. It will take time, just not too much I hope.

Regardless, it's nice to have proper football back. Tonight we are at a family barbecue where somebody has made the mistake of hiring a karaoke machine. In sobriety, I claim to hate karaoke machines and show disdain for them generally. However, after just a few units of alcohol my sneering attitude is replaced by an attitude of please get off I think you'll find it's my turn again.

Tonight will either be a rousing chorus of 'Blue Moon' or a miserable rendition of "I guess that's why they call it the Blues". Stay tuned to find out.

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