Monday, May 14, 2012

City win it, United lose it - a personal post



It feels like a bad hangover. A nightmare. Waking up this morning and realizing that it’s actually happened. Manchester City are the Premier League champions.  I’m struggling to conjure up the words to sum up what happened during those final moments of the final day of the Premiership season, but I’ll try. As many people who follow this blog know, I’m a Manchester United supporter. A pretty mad one at times. On this blog I rarely give myself the chance to write posts about the club I love for the simple reason that it would lack some credibility to the blog itself. I also give the opportunity to other supporters to write posts about their clubs to make sure there’s some sort of balance if it’s needed. But today, I’m doing a piece about the club I love and the events that occurred yesterday.

Prior to the game, most United supporters had already somewhat given up on the title. Blowing an 8-point lead during the final month of the campaign is the sort of thing United have always watched others do, while the title fell right into our hands. But this time, we’ve been the ones who've shot ourselves in the foot. “Mind games”, “squeaky bum time”, call it what you want, the point is we blew it. And not just on the final day of the season, but throughout the season, games and performances have been mediocre by Manchester United’s standards. This isn’t to say that we should bash the players and call for Fergie’s head. Far from that. We’ve been so blessed by the success that we’ve had that we should learn to accept defeat with dignity. And when both teams kicked off yesterday, we somewhat already did accept beforehand that City would go on to win the title. An 8 goal cushion meant that if both teams won their respective games, City would be crowned Champions. We knew that. But never could we have imagined that it would happen this way.

Forget the poor performances against Everton, Wigan, Newcastle, Blackburn - not to mention the City defeats. We’ve all come to accept that the team needs some adjustments in certain areas. We finished level on points with one of the most expensive assembled teams in the league’s history and lost it on goal difference. Somehow I feel proud. Not because I believe we should have won or anything like that. But because with this group of players we have which, on paper, doesn’t have the stellar names required to win championships, we gave City a bloody fight until the end. The only reason we were even in with a shout to win the thing is thanks to Fergie pulling the strings. We should recognize that.

It is a cruel way for us to lose the title, but we’ve won so many other titles in the same manner down the years, that getting a taste of our medicine (for once) was always going to be a bitter pill to swallow; particularly in this manner and particularly losing it to Manchester City.

United were comfortably winning 1-0 vs Sunderland and playing down the clock with a few minutes remaining, while City were 2-1 down at home to QPR. As things stood, United would be Champions, City would finish second and QPR would avoid relegation (they needed a win or a draw to avoid relegation and could afford to lose and stay up - only if Bolton lost or drew against Stoke). The news broke through that Stoke had now equalized against Bolton making it 2-2 over there. Knowing that result, QPR could now lose the game against City and stay up. One could be forgiven for believing that QPR had taken their foot off the peddle for the last few minutes. But within the 5 minutes of injury time that were added at the end of the game (mainly thanks to Joey Barton, a former City boy, being a complete tool), City found it within themselves to score two goals and with that, beating QPR 3-2 and winning the league title. Two minutes. That’s all it took.

Up until the 90th minute, we thought we’d won it. Before the game kicked-off, I’d mentioned to many friends that if United are to lose this title on the final day and on goal difference, my only hope was that it’s lost right at the beginning of both matches - making it a foregone conclusion and not to go through 90 minutes of anxiety and hope only to be shattered in the end. So much for hoping that! The worst way to lose it in such a scenario is what happened. The only thing left to do as a United fan is congratulate Manchester City on winning the title. We have no one else to blame but ourselves. This isn’t about their money. This is about sloppiness, complacency and inexperience on the behalf of many players in the United squad at various points during the season. Looking at the season as a whole, City were the superior side and the points tally at the end would normally have been enough to win it for United but the bar has now been raised and it's up to the whole league to react to it. As opposed to when Abramovich’s Chelsea came to the fore, this is a whole different monster we’re dealing with. It’s the neighbors. They’ve gotten very loud and they’ve just taken away our title. We’ve got to bounce back, because that’s what we do. That’s why we have to accept this defeat. We’ve won it too many times to lose ungraciously. We should put our hands up and accept that, over the course of 9 months, the better side won...only just though. We need to make sure we get our trophy back soon and make our next success a sweet one!

To end this post, allow me to just say that yesterday was evidence about just how entertaining the Premier League is in comparison to other leagues. Has there ever been a better advert for a league? Nobody could have written such a script...


4 comments:

  1. Am super f@cking pissed with this damn team. Out of Fa Cup, out of Champions League, blow an 8-point lead, lose 6-1 to Man City, lose to Wigan. This god damn team brought it on themselves, and they f@cking deserved it. Worst season ever. They better damn well pull their finger out and make 2012-13 a better season. Stupid dicks.

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  2. Let's not be fooled here, United have expensively assembled their squad too. They spent roughly 50million pounds last summer. And this is not including some of the players they have spent a lot on in the past. Also the title is not a divine right for Manchester United, it does not 'belong' to them.

    And another thing: to Mr.Anonymous above me...chill out dude. Your team performed admirably this season, I don't see how you can call your team Stupid and call your self a supporter.

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  3. John Terry's ma'May 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    United have bought the second place, City have bought the title.
    Simple.

    And for the spoiled, glory-hunting United brats moaning about losing the league, thank God you're still involved in days like yesterday.
    Actually, United have over-performed this season. Who would have thought they would lose the title on goal difference with the most terrible squad they've got for years.

    Still, gotta give credits to United for mounting a strong title challenge, but City deserve it more. Their 18 signings (out of 20 squad players) have been mainly spot on.
    Well done.

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  4. And if he had judged her harshly? If her life were a simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a bird's life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired at sundown? Her heart simple and willful as a bird's heart?

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