Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New Territory

This is my third attempt at a blog since City won the FA Cup and I doubt it will be much more successful than my first two attempts but I'll just go with it anyway. It's not that I'm struggling for words, it's just that the words don't seem to fit with how the whole experience of the last few weeks, culminating in our win on Saturday have caused me to feel.

Even in the dark days of the mid to late 90's I always felt I would one day see my team successful. Never at any point no matter how bad things got did I ever lose my grip on the feeling that one day the tide would eventually turn and City would return once more to being a winning club. To me it was simply a matter of time, until we lost the 'typical City' tag that has firmly attached itself to us over the last 35 years.

I'm not even going to go into the day, better written reports of the game, the atmosphere and the joyous outpouring at the final whistle can be found elsewhere. Suffice to say I lost my voice for two days, hurt my knees doing the 'Poznan' and my bouncing up and down muscles had seized up completely by the time we retired to bed on Saturday night. Whilst I managed my pre-match alcohol intake much more carefully this time round compared to the semi-final, I made up for it after the game and the hangover on Sunday was the biggest and frankly most enjoyable hangover I have ever had.

The constant stream of e-mails, texts and voice mail messages on my phone have made my permanent smile even bigger and best of all I shared the whole experience with some of my favourite people in the world, people I have grown up with and suffered the trials of misfortune with. We didn't say that much after that game, everything that needed to be said could be said with the eyes. Knowing looks between families and friends who knew they had witnessed something really special.

The overriding feeling since Saturday though is one of shock. I just cannot get used to the idea that I have seen my team win a trophy, that our ascent to the peak of football is now under way. There are those that say we have bought the trophy, as though football has hitherto been run frugally on a shoestring. One of the 6,458 articles I have read even had the audacity to suggest that the soul of Manchester City has been sold to our Abu Dhabi owners for petrodollars. Anyone who was there on Saturday and again at Eastlands last night will tell you that is utter nonsense.

The spirit of my club has been galvanised, we are no longer the comedy sidekicks to football's main attractions. Instead the noisy neighbours are having a party and on Saturday we ratcheted up the volume.

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