Friday 8 February 2008

My column (4th ed, Feb 2008)

‘Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own’


Hello fellow blues! Well, hasn’t it been a shite month of football. After the promising away victory at St James Park, results have been hard to find. In the league, we have had a poor 1-0 loss at Goodison Park, not to mention the dire 1-1 home draw against West Ham and the appalling 1-1 draw at Pride Park. The 3-1 loss to Arsenal for me was expected, but it still exposed the gulf in class between City and the top.

I really do hate moaning, but City have lost their sparkle, their momentum and their form. I am bitterly disappointed that we didn’t sign a prolific striker during the transfer window although I am delighted that Samaras is semi-offloaded (you just KNEW he would score on his Celtic debut). I think Benjani is an unexpected signing- he is certainly an in-form player but it remains to be seen if he can continue that form at Eastlands.

So now we have to make do with what we have got. I am glad that Sven has given Sturridge a chance; his goal at Bramall Lane was superbly taken and he looks to be a star in the making. I know I am not alone when I say that I cannot wait for Bojinov and Castillo to return from their injuries. Bianchi was a good player, but there is nothing anybody can do if a footballer is unhappy with the country he is playing in.


Much ado has been made about our disastrous and unceremonious F.A. Cup exit. Last month I correctly predicted the Bramall Lane banana skin, I just wasn’t aware that balloons would play a pivotal role in our demise. The media laid the blame on the balloons and hinted that it was us, the fans, who had shot ourselves in the foot. That is ridiculous. Only the players had themselves to blame. The balloons were the pitiful excuse for our incapability to beat a Championship side whose dogged determination out-matched our pass and move tactics.

Sven should have known what to expect and known that Sheffield United would treat us as their Cup final. It is yet another opportunity for silverware wasted and quite frankly I am getting bored of writing about City’s lack of passion and fight in Cup competitions. Every player likes adulation and accolades; the joy and ego-boosting presence at a cup final, not to mention the further financial benefits accompanied with such an event. So why the lack of 100% effort? (Yes, you Martin Petrov. You might have pace and killer crosses but your tracking back and defending is non-existent). The Carling and F.A. Cups are just the type of competitions we should be taking seriously, treating with respect and sweating blood and tears to progress in.


Right, here we go. The Manchester derby. Possibly one of the fiercest rivalries in football and the fixture is upon us- and is more significant than ever. Everybody is aware of the controversy circling this fixture and questioning why the F.A. have let both this fixture and the date co-inside the way they have done. I agree that it should be a silence because it is a mourning, but by scheduling City as their nearest opponents to the date the F.A. must have been aware of their recipe for disaster.

I personally will be respecting the silence. I did some filming at Old Trafford of the Munich tributes and flowers that had been left as part of a university assignment and there were many City shirts and scarves there. It was touching and quite emotional. But I also know many people who won’t be respecting the silence. The point is that we shouldn’t be put in that situation where we have to choose. I really don’t want to come across as being insensitive to what actually happened in Munich, but I believe that City fans should not have a silence forced upon them, particularly when it is to do with such a sore and tragic subject.

I predict sadly for all hell to break loose and for City fans to be completely slated throughout the press. How is it that at the England versus Switzerland friendly the referee had to cut the minute's silence short after only 23 seconds because of jeering, but if City fans make a sound we get banned for life? Please prove me wrong, even if it is just for a minute. It is not just your reputation at stake, it is ours collectively. Put your personal beliefs, feelings and emotions aside and just be silent. It is not worth getting humiliated over- we wouldn’t want to give the Stretford lot that satisfaction now, would we?


Things to look forward to…the derby game…interviewing Gabby Logan at BBC Television Centre…Benjani in action…watching Sturridge progress…
Keep the blue faith,
Emily Brobyn

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