Published on April 13th, 2014 | by Ian Cheeseman4
Take a deep breath, don’t join the blame game, and just enjoy being a Blue
The result at Liverpool didn’t go City’s way, so naturally emotions will run high. That sort of defeat will split the fans into different groups, those who remain eternal optimists and support the club and players unwaveringly and those that react with negativity and looking for someone to blame. That blame can be someone at City, the match officials or the opposition.
On that basis, whatever opinions I share will be criticised by one faction or the other, because, as I said, emotions are running high, but here goes.
There were several talking points, and there might be some I don’t even talk about here, but for what it’s worth, I’ll go through mine, one by one.
1) Vincent Kompany
He suffered a bang to the knee in training on Saturday. Many modern footballers, especially those with ambitions of playing in the World Cup Finals in Brazil (and Belgium have a great team, and therefore a great chance this summer) would have encased their knee in ice and pulled out of the game, mindful of their bigger picture.
Kompany is not one of those players. Already upset by his injury troubles earlier in the season, and being a leader, a winner and a strong character, he wanted to play.
I suspect that he begged to play and he may well have had painful injections and/or suffered pain during the game, and by the way, forget that you know the outcome, what chances would you have given City at Anfield, if Kompany had been ruled out?
He made sure he played. He didn’t duck out of any challenges, he played wholeheartedly, as he always does.
For Liverpool’s first goal, for those wanting to assign blame, Hart’s position was questionable, as was Kompany’s, but then again blame must be assigned to someone for every goal. Maybe the real blame was collective. City didn’t seem to anticipate Liverpool’s quick start.
Kompany was one of the players challenging Skrtel, as he headed Liverpool’s second goal, maybe he should have done better, but why was no-one on the line?
The third goal was a sliced clearance, which can happen, Coutinho was lucky but finished well.
I don’t blame Kompany, I merely add my observations. Vincent Kompany would be the first name on my team sheet every week.
2) The booing by Liverpool fans
There’s nothing wrong with booing, I’ve done it myself at Pantomimes. It’s not offensive but it felt disrespectful to me. I’m not being a prude, and I’d have understood it more if City fans had disrespected the minutes silence for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster or if a City player had made a dangerous tackle (as Henderson later did) or had been diving around looking to get a penalty or an opponent sent off (as Suarez did repeatedly), but the City fans were impeccable.
Right from the kickoff the Liverpool booing was incessant. It didn’t feel sporting to me. Support your team by all means, but booing a club who’d shown such great respect for your emotions on a difficult anniversary, left a sour taste in the mouth, as did cheering when Yaya Toure picked up his injury.
There are of course a couple of other points sewn into that section too!
3) Bad decisions
Suarez should have been sent off for persistent diving, Skrtel should have been sent off for deliberate hand ball, and a penalty awarded.
I went to Anfield hoping that if City didn’t win the title, it would be Liverpool. I know it might not be popular to say this, because a tide of media headlines and stories suggest the whole nation want Steven Gerrard and Liverpool to win the Premier League this season, but I’m not sure I do, after that Anfield experience.
4) Is the title race over?
Of course it’s not, but Liverpool are now the favourites, and I believe they will win it, but City need to hold their nerve and win their remaining games, as they did in 2012, and hope for a helping hand. It seems less likely than in 2012, but it’s not impossible.
What is certain is that City must now win every remaining game, but let’s not be too negative. This squad went further in the Champions League than ever before, won the League Cup and is in a three way race for the Premier League title. There are some magnificent footballers at Manchester City, a club expanding their stadium and in the process of building a training ground that will be the envy of the sporting world.
The goals have been flying in left right and centre, and the one touch passing of the first team, and recently the EDS squad, has at times been breathtaking.
Being a Manchester City fan has never been better, breath it in, savour every moment, because being a Blue, if that’s what you are, is not JUST about winning, even though that’s always the ultimate goal, it’s about feeling proud and enjoying every twist and turn, all the ups and downs, and always smiling.
That’s what I think, for what it’s worth, but as we know, not everyone will agree!
Naturally this weeks Blue Tuesday (BBC Radio Manchester Tuesday at 6pm on 95.1FM) asks “Is the title race over?” We’d love to hear your view, so why not post your thoughts on the Blue Tuesday Facebook page.
– Ian Cheeseman