Sunday, April 17, 2011

City win the derby semi

"There is no scientific measure of boisterousness, but surely City's followers broke the noise record for a semi-final, keeping up a din that suggested no resentment at the choice of venue: 200 miles south of Manchester"

But there they were, defending strategic positions outside key transport hubs, baiting, hurling objects, chanting their war songs, like the hired thugs of a Gaddafi militia. Why was there so much leering hate in their eyes? These guys hadn’t been paid to act in this aggressive and arrogant way – they just merely believe it’s their right to make up the rules and do what they want because they follow Manchester United.

After the game, their goons see the chance to truly spoil the day out for Blues in colours unwise enough to want to get to Euston in time for their train. I hear one tries to hurl a lad over the elevated section of Wembley Way while the Blue’s kid sister looks on in absolute terror – what’s that code scrotes have about not starting on the innocents in colours? Some guy batters a 50-year-old because he had the temerity to use the ‘M’ word – you’d cry double standards if you thought it would make any sense at all to this bunch whose ethical code works on considerably higher multiples. Just ask Rio Ferdinand, Nani or Anderson after Balo thrust his shirt at the red section, most of whom had disappeared, from a considerably provocative position round the halfway line. This is much worse than unused substitute Gary Neville running down the line to gesticulate at our lot, apparently. On the train back, while we air songs of celebration the group next to us roll out their considerable array of hate-verse – Keane's assault on Alfy is still acceptable fayre and there’ll be stuff about Leeds and Liverpool too delivered with a snarl and a snigger though the crowd are 30-40 y/o, old enough to know better. We get to a Baker Street hotel bar and receive ridiculous, off-topic abuse from a bunch of coked-up twats. Win with indignity, lose with indignity as my mate says about them.

No doubt at all many of our guvnor aspirants gave as good as they got in many of the day’s many incidents (I heard, for example, a few Red coaches got pelted with objects as they rounded into the car park) so to paint the two tribes in binary oppositional innocent/guilty terms would be deluded. But on big occasions like this you take in all of what you see and hear, and many of my perceptions were brutally reinforced on Saturday. Of course we all claim workmates, social network connections, real friends, etc that are ‘decent’ reds – some might have even wished us luck for the final – but there just needs to be much, much more of these among the disproportionately large mix of their fanbase. 'Seperated (sic) by success' their banner claimed at Chelsea. Separated from reality, certainly.

You know the football by know, making detailed reports unnecessary. I had been confident at the start after a groundswell of noise leading up to the game and early on, not to mention the Poznan as their team was being read out (qualifies as banter to most but in United eyes would probably be an ‘intolerable outrage’) but then City started decided dodgily and Berbatov should have had Utd ahead. We had a half-time row about it in the dressing room and came out fighting, got the goal and kept up the pressure and to be honest they gave us little to fear for the remainder. The job’s not done yet though, but I’m sure we will not make the tactical howlers Coyle made against Stoke and we should have enough to lift that pot.

Here's some Blue music to bring you down nicely:

Doves' Words. In many ways these Blues' tunes have that hollow hope and irrational optimism that have characterised City's wilderness years, but no doubting the quality of this stadium anorak indie.

They went with C'mon Feel the Noise at Wembley. I'm going for Bring it On Down

Ecstasy-era New Order. Yesterday deranged a few senses or two.

One from Pickering and co in 1983.

And the move to the dancefloor justifies the diversion to this - Blue Six's Sweeter Love. Deep house as warm as Blues still feel inside now.
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