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Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

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Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

Post by blueboy on Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:38 pm

Stephen Tudor:

After a month when Manchester City has answered so many of them, let’s begin with a question.
How much do we as fans, and the clubs that we support, define our glory by silverware?

On the surface, the response is obvious, because the quest for success obsesses the back-pages and dominates our conversations but the implication then attached is that supporters of sides who don’t challenge for honours endure largely unrewarding lives. This is quite patently untrue. 
Rochdale have never completed a campaign as league champions, nor won a trophy, besides the Lancashire Senior Cup. Does that mean that Dale fans are bereft of golden eras that they cherish dearly? Does that imply that they are without players and managers who are icons or are entirely lacking in memories that are enshrined in the same mind-safe that replays births of their offspring? Have they never experienced immense pride and joy because they haven’t seen their club captain lift aloft a trinket?

While every single one of us, from boardrooms down, dream of titles, promotions and Wembley wonder days, reality goes on, and within that reality our footballing identities are forged and we are occasionally enriched enough through the suffering to make it all worthwhile.
City fans know this as much as anyone because they remember, back to the pre-takeover days when the notion of winning the league was utterly farcical but meaningful and nourishing fulfilment was sourced from the Goat scoring, or when Asa was ace or when a bunch of their home-grown kids were selected for the England Under 21s.

There is the winning of trophies and then there’s the rest of it and while the former is unimaginably dreamy the latter is everything. It’s what defines us.

Throughout every interview and press conference undertaken these past couple of weeks Pep Guardiola has been lavished with upbeat enquiries trying to determine just what this potentially extraordinary Manchester City side is capable of. Can they beat Manchester United and the others to the title? Can they surpass the Premier League’s scoring record of 103 goals? What about the Champions League? In this form, surely they are contenders?
Guardiola has smiled benignly to each leading line, knowing they are being offered up half in sincerity and half seeking arrogance to throw back in his face come May. “It’s only September,” he has demurred. “We’ve achieved nothing yet”.
This is quite patently untrue.

These past four weeks, City have got close enough to perfection to see its nose hairs, scoring a goal for nearly every day of the month and conceding just twice. They have petrified Liverpool five times over; blitzed Palace and Watford 11-0; thoroughly outclassed the Dutch champions in their own back yard; and scored an opener away at West Brom that was the accumulation of 52 passes, with all 11 players getting at least one touch. On Saturday they travelled to Chelsea and scrambled the hosts’ deeply entrenched self-belief into bamboozled insecurity.

This has all been accomplished with a bold and beautiful adherence to the bold and beautiful; a maelstrom of stylish creation, bewitching fluidity of movement, and a relentlessly rabid high-press that has resulted in a level and type of football never before been witnessed on these shores. I don’t write that lightly and I’m acutely aware of what that claim is up against.
It simply isn’t possible to put a value on how all this makes Manchester City fans feel. It would be exhilarating enough watching it from another side in appreciation. But this is their team, their club, doing this, pushing the boundaries of exceptional. Surreal doesn’t cover it but comes mighty close and should it eventually culminate in a title or a cup, the electric buzz of pride and fulfilment that is coursing through every Blue right now will be exceeded in celebration only. This September has been everything and meant even more.

Yet for all the goal gluts and domination this past month, it was their overpowering of Chelsea that truly amazed. It led to uncharacteristic media acclaim that contained words such as ‘magical’, ‘outstanding’ and ‘stunning’ and that was just the headlines as we all sat agape at the most complete and comprehensive execution yet of Guardiola’s masterplan. Ahead of the international break this was Michelangelo finishing off the Creation of Adam before stopping for a brew and a Hobnob.

Against a team that was, on paper, entirely their equal, City bossed 62% of the possession and subsequently had 17 shots to 4. They suffocated their opponents of expression and hemmed them back to a five-man rear-guard that still found itself repeatedly exposed by quick-fire patterns of movement and passing that always presented two different options. De Bruyne was everywhere. Silva was everywhere. This was total football had Neeskens and Cruyff not enjoyed a pre-match tab but snorted a line of amphetamines. It was frenetic but precise, convoluted but structured and all without three of their most important cogs in Kompany, Mendy and Aguero.
It was brilliance at full-throttle, a performance of such aplomb that no doubt it will prompt others to discuss where it leads to, the destination currently unknown. A title? A Champion’s League? Not City fans though because like supporters of Rochdale or Norwich or Falkirk or Liverpool, for them what matters most is the journey. Right now the view is stunning and memories are being made. They will be cherished dearly.

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blueboy
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Re: Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

Post by leopold on Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:46 pm

It's only plastic glory hunting fans who cherish trophies. Any real football fan enjoys the whole thing and silverware is just the cherry on top. And there's a lot of us; there has to be, otherwise there'd only be about five clubs left.
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Re: Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

Post by ManCityMan on Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:59 pm

We all know which clubs fans can be regarded as the main glory hunters, they seek silver like golum yearns for 'my pretty', their arrogance and disregard for other clubs and their fans that they deem unworthy of sharing the same league is jaw dropping. These fans need a relegation or even 2 before they can be brought back to the real world where those that have experienced less than just continued success year after year dwell.
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Re: Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

Post by blueboy on Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:39 pm

I can't believe how much time and money I invested in following City home and away from 87-99...I didn't even get to go to Wembley as I was flying....so I've seen us win fuck all 'live' as I can't get a season ticket now due to work commitments....so I've missed out on everything we've won in the last 6 years and saw utter shite for decades, since 1977 when I went to my first match.
Was there for the 5-1 though!!!

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Re: Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

Post by ManCityMan on Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:55 pm

i was fortunate to have watched the lads during our short lived but glorious time in the late sixties to the late seventies until i relocated to Scotland. I still try and catch games when i am down visiting my family but time and expense makes this not as frequent as i would like. However, the lean years make later success all the more enjoyable, something most scousers and rags will never appreciate unfortunately.
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Re: Why the joy is in the journey, not just the titles for Manchester City and their supporters

Post by blueboy on Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:33 pm

So true....MCM.

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