Saturday 15 March 2008

My Column (5th ed. March 2008)

Emz And The City
‘Without a Dream in My Heart, Without a Love of My Own’


Can you believe that it's March already? It doesn't seem five minutes since City won at Upton Park- the season has gone past in a blur and I am delighted that, with ten games to go and the finishing line in sight, we are in contention for a European spot.

Our start to the season was phenomenal and seemed to surprise everybody, especially me. Perhaps it was just me being pessimistic but I thought that it would take a few games for the new players to gel, but it's full credit to Sven. The vast majority of his buys have been a success and his tactics have been unquestionable. The Swede hasn't shied away from introducing academy graduates in among the more established names and it's certainly paid off.

But Everton, Villa, Portsmouth, Liverpool and Blackburn are all very strong outfits and it will prove a stern test to see just how far City have progressed as a club if we remain in the running come May. It's great to see that we almost have a full strength squad and I remain hopeful that City fans will get to see more of the promising Bojinov, who has unfortunately missed the majority of this season with his injury.


Can you believe that I am still smiling after the result against the rags? It was a day of remembrance for them that turned into a day to remember for City. I was astounded and over the blue moon with the result- we really surprised them with our confidence and possession and we were good value for the win. Every player put in an outstanding performance, with Captain Fantastic Richard Dunne perhaps just edging it for me as Man of the Match.

The media really had created an almighty fuss over the minute's silence in the days leading up to the game and I had become completely pissed off to be honest. It was always going to be only a vast minority of people who would contemplate spoiling the silence and risking the reputation of City fans as a whole, yet the media was tarring all City fans with the same brush which I find unacceptable. We are impeccable- enough said.

Obviously, in the aftermath of the celebrations, rag fans claimed that we were celebrating like we had won a cup final. The fact is that beating the neighbours home and away is something that I personally have never experienced in my lifetime- it had been 34 years since we had done the double over them so of course we are entitled to celebrate more than we would for a normal game. Bitter, perhaps?

But the result was superb and against all odds we came away with all three points. It was impressive to see Benjani net his first goal (and what a baptism of fire), even if it was off his shoulder, endearing himself to the blue army straight away. I am happy that Vassell got on the scoresheet too; he is very much a confidence player and what a match to grab a goal in too.


I made the journey down from Preston to watch what I thought was a crunch match in the race for Europe. Everton have been playing some quality football of late and they were coming into the game on the back of a huge UEFA Cup win- we had enjoyed a weekend off after our euphoric derby victory.

To be honest, the break did us no favours and I did feel that Everton were deserved winners. We struggled to created opportunities and were punished with two quite tame goals. But they brought the game to us, worked hard and showed tenacity and drive. These are the kind of qualities that City need to adopt to stay in the hunt for Europe.

But the game had been an ideal chance to prove to any doubters that City really should be taken seriously as an least UEFA Cup contenders, and yet again we failed to capitalise on that. During the game the weather had been awful, and it was still pouring down as I drove back to Preston. Instead of going out, I stayed in with some hot chocolate and my pj's and I actually felt quite angry.

We beat the rags at Old Trafford yet we looked like we were never really looked to be in contention with Everton. It is this kind of inconsistency that City need to iron out. All my life all I have ever known is unpredictability with the blues and, earlier this season, it looked like we had stamped out our bad habit. But now it's crept back in, first Everton and now Wigan (fair enough, they are our bogey team but it's no excuse). For many teams in the Premier League there is such a thing as a sure three points- for City this doesn't exist.


It's been a while since I actually wrote about my university goings on and my course so I thought I would update you all. I'm rapidly approaching the end of my second year and to be honest it's flown by. It has been a step up from what was quite a basic first year, but I am coping well and really enjoying it. We have had numerous different assignments to do, and I have so far interviewed ex Manchester City player Gary Owen pitch-side at Eastlands, and I have lined up an interview with Gabby Logan at BBC Television Centre later this month which I am very excited about. The course is superb for giving me these opportunities that give me a taste of what life would be like if I actually did make it in the world of sport journalism, and for that I am very grateful.

I think I've been really lucky to meet a good crowd of mates, who I go out with all the time and am going to live with next year: Frankie, Laura, Sarah and Caz. There was a point where we were all going out almost every night, but I have realised that I can't do this anymore if I want to come out of uni with a decent degree. We all stress at uni about work, life troubles and boy problems (which I have completely given up on), but I love spending time with them and we are all getting really excited now for our final year and the prospect of what lies ahead for us all career-wise.


Things to look forward to...Gabby Logan...the game at St. Andrews, Birmingham is one of my favourite away days for some reason...Sunderland away because I get to see my friend Amie and stay there for the weekend...City's return to form...Valeri Bojinov's comeback...

Keep the Blue faith,

Emily Brobyn xx

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