Published on May 4th, 2014 | by Ian Cheeseman0
“A tense match at Everton, and now ten more days, to set the pulses racing” – Ian Cheeseman
Yaya Toure talked about his different perspective on City when I interviewed him after the 3-2 win at Everton. He’d been substituted, not because he was injured, as some “experts” concluded, but because he was returning from injury and had been playing up front (ie running around more) due to Sergio Aguero going off. At the moment of Yaya’s substitution I was puzzled that a more attacking player had not replaced him, I was thinking, “what if Everton draw level and City need to score another one?”
It all worked out well in the end, but Yaya’s insight was spot on. “What was it like watching the remaining part of the game from the sidelines, were you nervous?”, was the question.
“I don’t know how the manager watches every game from the bench without having a heart attack!”, was his response. Isn’t that how most fans feel every week?
I can certainly relate to it! I’ve been watching City games all my life and during the last year I’ve started taking pills to control high blood pressure. That might be due to several factors, stress at work, getting older, genetic, interrupted or irregular sleep patterns etc etc but MAYBE it’s due to the excitement that watching games like the one at Goodison Park too; not that I’d ever want that to change!
When I got back from Merseyside my wife’s first words were, “that wasn’t a great game was it?”, and she was probably right, but at this stage of the season, when every point matters, maybe that doesn’t matter anymore.
Throughout this season City have played some wonderful stuff and I applaud the manager/club’s attacking, entertaining philosophy, but frankly, I don’t care how they played at Everton or how they might play against Aston Villa and West Ham, as long as they win.
I’ve long said that winning isn’t everything, and I haven’t changed that opinion. Sometimes though, your opinions are stretched to the limits, and I certainly I believe attack is the best form of defence, which usually leads to more entertainment. Surely the way to go in the last two games is to be on the offensive and it “sort of” worked at Goodison Park.
There were moments when my heart was in my mouth, because the game felt very open, and it was littered with mistakes. City gave possession away too cheaply, which almost invited Everton to try to get an equaliser, but then again if City hadn’t attacked as much as they’d done, they wouldn’t have scored the three that ultimately won the game.
Edin Dzeko is such an enigma. He scored two more vital goals, the header, in particular, was top quality, so powerful and accurate; and yet he’s such a frustrating player to watch in open play, and he’s more guilty than anyone of giving the ball away cheaply.
What was that “lying face down on the pitch moment” all about? He’d obviously fallen awkwardly on his shoulder, but any fair minded supporter would admit he milked it to the extreme after that. He didn’t move for four minutes, and the referee, for his part, was equally stubborn, and wouldn’t let the physio on. Let’s call it the Goodison Park stand off.
Six minutes of stoppage time were added on as a result of that incident, thank goodness no late, late equaliser came during that added time, or we might have been analysing that incident more seriously.
As I sit writing these words in my sun drenched garden, I will take time to relax and unwind, ready for the week to come, a huge week for Manchester City and me. I’m sure I’ll be popping up on BBC Radio Manchester’s breakfast show quite frequently, and in drive time, as the station, quite rightly, goes into “title frenzy”.
Blue Tuesday will be on air as usual with Peter Barnes joining me in the studio, along with two City fans and Lee Kenny, who you may have seen being named as the winner of “Mission Cityzen”. Lee’s role is to be the new voice of the fans within the club.
The next ten days promise to be exciting, tiring, nerve racking, worrying etc and I for one can’t wait. It could also end in heartbreak, because the title race is not yet over, but one way or another it will definitely set the pulses racing, so I’d better not forget to take my blood pressure tablets!
– Ian Cheeseman