SkyDaz Man City Preview

Last updated : 15 December 2005 By Darren Porter


We won a game. At home. In the Premiership. Happy days are here again. Join in and singalongadaz.

The first half against Fulham failed to contain a worthwhile chance. And yet it was somehow breathtaking, exciting, frantic and gave hope that a home victory was imminent. If only because Fulham offered nothing!

Match of the Day refused to show any highlights, apart from a comatose fan, and The Times (Ooooo get you!) gave the lowest marks ever for a single game. I think the highest scorer was Butt with four out of ten. Or was it out of a hundred. That has to be simply because he scored the goal.

Brucie did say he was going to win ugly. He didn’t lie. Sullivan announced that the team would contain battlers and players who fought to earn their vastly inflated wages. It seems that the fan’s wishes are starting to be heeded. Fancy flicks and over paid ballerinas are all well and good at the Alexandra Theatre Christmas Panto but do nothing for us beer swilling, working class, tough talking, real men. Although I did enjoy Julian Cleary last year. Not personally.

I have claimed that this season before me on the hallowed turf is the finest collection of individual talent in memory. Now I know my senses have been dulled over time by such giddy heights as the Leyland Daf, the Autowindscreens Shield and of course the Atari six-a-side but still, I know an array of fine sportsmen when I see them. There are internationals galore, a smorgasbord of continental mercurial (ha!) ball jugglers. Unfortunately on a cold winter’s night in darkest Small Heath with the rain lashing down, short sleeve shirts and a dissatisfied mob singing sea shanties it takes a different breed of man to take the field. We need John McClane, John Wayne, even John Inman.

The signs of progress are there though. Zinedine Tebily went on his usual crazy runs, occasionally he skipped past defenders, sometimes he even had the ball. Marcus Painter was steady in defence although he was fairly untroubled. Dunny continues to sparkle and play with the innocence of youth, he genuinely seems to enjoy playing football, and so he should after the problems he has had. I still don’t agree with Heskey playing up front on his own, he contests every ball that heads his way but his aerial threat is wasted without colleagues around him.

Fortunately it worked once and once was enough. It was a fine cross from Clapham, a self confessed midfield maestro, Heskey climbed superbly and guided the ball into the path of the onrushing Butt who stooped to conquer. Simple but effective. The release of tension was incredible. All round the ground men hugged other men. Julian would have been so proud. Ain’t winning great?

I watched the match from the commentary booth. More of that later. It was great to see the crowd in fine voice and simultaneous clapping. I wanted to join in but for some bizarre reason I find myself on the outclap as everyone else is on the inclap. Some would call it a lack of rhythm, others an indicator of retardation.

The singing was inspirational and the delayed winning goal meant that even the early leavers had to stay to ensure they didn’t miss the goalden (sic) moment.

Manchester City are a strange bunch. Old Psycho has got some surprising tunes out of some old stringed instruments. Who would play badly with him as manager? The players must be terrified to give the ball away or make a mistake. Having said that they are still Jekyll and Hyde. Against Charlton they were majestic, scoring at will and striking like a cobra on speed. Against Albion they were like slugs on rohyphenol.

They possess some fine experienced players allied to a smattering of precocious youths. Much like ourselves though, no one is ever sure which team is going to turn up. Jekyll could arrive with his flowing silky talents or the malevolent Hyde could waltz in uninvited with his destructive tendencies.

We have won a game. Rejoice. Hark the herald angel sing tis the season to be jolly. We have a tough Christmas ahead of us. All that turkey and mince pies. Ask Santa if he can give you enough points to be safe for Christmas. That’s if you still believe in all that rubbish.

Keep right on blue noses. It’s like a jungle out there sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.