It’s Our Year!

‘It’s Our Year!’ For once the proclamations coming out of Anfield were right.

It is indeed ‘their year’, but such conversational murmurings applied solely to the Manchester City supporters spilling through the gates of the visitors section of the Anfield Road Stand.

The Equalizer – Leroy Sane celebrates his goal at Anfield, but City eventually lost out 4-3.

Beaten but not bowed, the vanquished City fans had seen their team lose a battle, but not the war.

2018 will undoubtedly be a good year, perhaps even a great year, to be a blue, as Pep Guardiola’s team evolves into something rather special.

The giddy Scousers have long since forgotten what it feels like to be the Champions of England. Yesterday’s delirium and lifting of the ‘We Beat Manchester City Cup’ will have to suffice.

Andre Marriner’s final whistle acted as a release mechanism as the all pervading anxiety gripping the Merseyside masses gave way to scenes of hysteria.

Ecstatic – Jurgen Klopp is in Wonderland as Liverpool celebrate winning the ‘We Beat Manchester City Cup’.

Only seconds beforehand, City had threatened one of the most remarkable and unlikely of comebacks in Premier League history. From 4-1 down they came within a whisker of snatching a 4-4 draw, but it wasn’t to be.

A calamitous eight minutes of Keystone Kop style defending, had seen City seemingly imploding much to the delight of the baying hordes in The Kop, The Centenary and Kenny Dalglish Stands, not to mention Martin Tyler in the Sky Sports commentary gantry.

Dejected but fighting till the very end – City tasted defeat for the first time in 31 Premier League games.

The Kleenex share price went through the roof as Tyler single handedly worked his way through box after box after box of the famous tissues, such was his lack of impartiality and Liverpool bias.

The Kleenex share price shot through the roof as Tyler worked his way through box after box of tissues.

If ever evidence was required to illustrate Sky Sports’ sheer unbridled joy at finally seeing City lose a Premier League game, here was Tyler the provider – shooting it out by the bucketload – not bad going for a 72-year old pensioner.

It was so different when City clawed their way back to 4-3 with late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundagon. The draw looked more than likely.

Sky Commentator Martin Tyler could not contain his delight as City lost to Liverpool.

It was time for Tyler & Co to put down the tissues and go online for an express delivery from TENA Men.

As it was, the only leakage problems stemmed from a City defence who hit the self destruct button, in a way not witnessed since they ventured onto the Blue half of Merseyside almost a year to the day, losing 4-0 at Everton.

Tyler was ecstatic when Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s third, conjuring up a wholly inappropriate comment, claiming it was ‘…payback for the red card at the Etihad.’

It beggared belief.

Justice – Sky Sports style – Tyler claimed it was ‘payback’ when Sadio Mane scored against Ederson – four months after kicking him in the face at the Etihad.

Here was Sky’s Commentator-In-Chief spewing out some warped sense of natural justice, that kicking City’s keeper in the face last September merited some sort of reward for the Senegalese striker.

Suffice to say Pep Guardiola exuded class and dignity when congratulating Liverpool on their victory, completely devoid of snide innuendos and Tyler-esque tackiness.

The City manager had been proven right.

He’d said all along that his team would not go through the domestic season undefeated. Sadly his assessment was correct.

Class Act – Pep congratulated Liverpool on their win on a day when Raheem Sterling was hounded by the bitter Scousers.

It’s a measure of City’s amazing achievements since last August that Manchester United fans were all over social media like Psoriasis – red, flaky and crusty – rejoicing in Liverpool’s ‘Cup Final’ glory.

That said, it would be churlish to deny Liverpool their spoils, albeit aided and abetted by a cluster of uncharacteristic City errors.

Mane Man – Martin Tyler seems to have a ‘thing’ for Liverpool’s Sadio.

The normally exceptional Ederson was a fraction too slow getting down to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s hopeful 20-yard drive, whereas he was just plain unlucky when his ‘sweeper keeper’ clearance went straight to Salah, who promptly sent the ball sailing into the City net from all of 40 yards.

Since returning from a hamstring injury and 12 match absence, the previously imperious John Stones has looked a bit rocky at times. He was at fault for the second goal, when Firmino outmuscled him to the ball.

John Stones is going through rocky times since a 12-match injury enforced absence.

It follows on from errors against Burnley and Bristol City which resulted in goals, so the sooner the young central defender is back to his best, the better.

Even Pep’s ‘Superman’ – The General – Nicolas Otamendi was at it, bungling a clearance leading up directly to Mane’s ‘payback’ strike.

City’s 30-match unbeaten Premier League run stretching back to April 5th was coming to an embarrassing, possibly humiliating, end until the Sky Blue’s ‘Fight Till The End’ mentality kicked in.

Respect – Fans and players alike paid tribute to Tommy Lawrence the ex-Liverpool keeper who died last week.

There was no hint of the pending defeat when Leroy Sane equalised at 1-1 in the 40th minute, followed by City’s subsequent dominance in the opening stages of the second half.

Prior to kick-off, any hope of a historic City win at a ground where they’d won just twice in 37 years, was tempered with pragmatism.

Many City supporters would have happily taken a draw and saved themselves the pain of the journey down the East Lancs Road.

Bernardo’s strike marked the beginning of an uncomfortable 10 minutes for the Liverpool fans as City so nearly snatched a 4-4 draw.

The fact City lost – yet again – but still maintained a 15 point lead at the top of the Premier League, is glowing testimony to the excellence of Guardiola’s team this season.

As English football marvelled that City could actually be beaten, one could only laugh as good old Sky Sports News went into overdrive on how Manchester United could cut the gap to City to ‘just’ 12 points – JUST 12 points – with a win over Stoke.

Shock, Horror, Panic – City’s lead at the top might be JUST the 12 points according to ‘Sky sources’.

Blimey, at this rate Jose and his soon-to-be new boy, Alexis Sanchez, will surely be top of the table themselves by the end of February!

City were beaten fair and square by Liverpool, but now, after a horrendously hectic schedule, have the novelty – the luxury – of five days without a competitive fixture.

Alexis Sanchez looks Etihad bound, but not until April and wearing a United shirt.

Over the past few months Pep has often been quoted saying he will learn more about his players by their reaction after a defeat.

It doesn’t bode well for Newcastle United when they roll up at the Etihad on Saturday evening. The Barcodes league record against City in recent years is even worse than City’s against Liverpool.

Sterling Strike – Raheem scores to give City their 18th consecutive Premier League victory back in December, this time at Newcastle.

City have won 19 and drawn 2 of the last 21 league meetings since the man City fans love to hate – Michael ‘Monotone Drone’ Owen – scored in a 1-0 Toon win in September 2005.

Hopefully City will see a lot more of David Silva as they strive to fire on four fronts with vital League Cup and FA Cup ties this month, plus the Champions League knockout stages just around the corner.

Anfield absentee – City missed Merlin’s magic at Liverpool. Great new graphic by Stiz from our BlueRoom sponsors.

Merlin’s emotional challenges and the health of his newborn baby boy are well documented. The life and well-being of tiny Mateo Silva transcend football, but as Mini Merlin gets stronger, it can only aid his Dad’s availability for the day job.

Understandably, City’s recent performances – either in part or in whole – have lacked some of the zip from earlier in the season. The rigors of a ridiculous schedule and injuries were bound to take a toll.

So what’s this called again – a Premier League defeat? It’s been nine months City lost in the league so you can understand they’d forgotten what it was like to lose.

The ongoing riddles of Vincent Kompany’s fitness continue to frustrate the City skipper, Pep and fans alike. Brilliant Benjamin Mendy – as entertaining off the field as he is electrifying on it – won’t be back for at least another two months. His loss down the left flank cannot be overstated.

More encouragingly, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden should be available later this month before the January transfer window closes.

Ilkay Gundagon hopes his injury woes are now behind him, while City wait for Mendy, Kompany, Jesus and Foden to return.

It’s a window that’s proven a pane for Pep, with the protracted Alexis Sanchez saga now succeeding in boring the backsides off most City fans.

Quality reinforcements are always welcome, especially when there’s a quadruple to be won, and the next 16 days will reveal whether Guardiola will do any wheeling and dealing.

Passionate Pep is a proven winner who aims to keep the winning habit going at City.

Either way, 2018 will be Manchester City’s year…and most likely so too will 2019, 2020, 2021…

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

18 Comments

  1. January 15, 2018  8:50 pm by Kieran Reply

    Great stuff! Glad I wasn’t the only one to note Tyler’s utterly biased over-reaction to Mane’s goal and his totally underwhelming response to Gundogan’s strike which threatened a crescendo of a finish.....but not in his world. No for him this was a narrative potentially crumbling before his very eyes. Matched only by Gary Rag Neville’s muttered “oh”.

    Shamefully unprofessional

    • January 15, 2018  10:16 pm by David Walker Reply

      Totally agree. The strange thing about Tyler is that he is intrinsic with the most glorious moment in City's history with his Aguero commentary. Quite bizarre that he's turned into such a big sh*t when it comes to covering City in recent years. Our success will be our revenge. Thanks again for the feedback.

  2. January 15, 2018  8:59 pm by Paul Glennon Reply

    Great read Dave thank you, it would be nice to see some reinforcements come in but not at stupid prices those days have gone but 35million for Sanchez in this day is cheap just his wages. Would love to see something different upfront

    • January 15, 2018  10:14 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks PG. Reading between the lines I think City now view Sanchez- the man, not the player - in a different light and it's not favourable. I'll trust Pep's judgement.

  3. January 15, 2018  9:46 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Great read Dave & spot on I agree with every word. The media have been dying for us to lose. You would of thought that Liverpool had one the world Cup, the ashes, & Wimbledon at one go. But we will make them eat every word. Hope we do recruit in this window a cb & a full back would be nice.

    • January 15, 2018  10:12 pm by David Walker Reply

      Top quality signings would be great, especially as Delph could be ruled out for a while and we might be getting a bit thin on the ground, certainly at LB. Danilo or Zinchenko aren't the answer in that role. January is always a difficult transfer window but let's see. I'm sure Pep wouldn't risk missing out on the big prizes if he can get the right players. Looks as if Sanchez wouldn't be the right fit in the dressing room, certainly with these money grabbing antics.

  4. January 16, 2018  5:58 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    Excellent, as usual. But..."Since returning from a hamstring injury and 12 match absence, the previously imperious John Stones has looked a bit rocky at times. He was at fault for the second goal, when Firmino simply outmuscled him to the ball." Outmuscled? He pushed him in the back. The last time I checked the rules, that's a foul. However, when the ref is over 20 yards away with his view obstructed by two other players, it's never going to be given.

    • January 16, 2018  8:48 am by David Walker Reply

      It could easily have been a foul. Nonetheless I would have still expected greater strength and resilience from Stones. He was aware of Firmino's presence and made a hash of it. If a City forward had scored a similar style goal I would have been disappointed to see it disallowed. Sometimes I think we just have to hold our hands up and say it wasn't our day.

      • January 16, 2018  10:28 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

        I agree it wasn't our day, but I think that Marriner also had a bad day at the office.

        • January 16, 2018  10:34 am by David Walker Reply

          Most Premier League referees seem to have off days when officiating City games, particularly MADLEY (he's most deserving of being in upper case) Marriner, Dean, Mason, Taylor, Jones, Friend, blimey the list goes on. The beauty of this season is that City have usually been so good even the referee's ineptitude or dodgy decision making hasn't been able to screw us.

  5. January 16, 2018  10:33 am by Pete lynch Reply

    Great read David as usual. Cant stand the scousers and that defeat hurt i must say. We hit self destruct but the character we showed in staying in the game bodes well.

    • January 16, 2018  10:38 am by David Walker Reply

      It was a curious defeat, a game in which we probably made more defensive errors inside eight minutes than we have all season long. No room for complacency but those mistakes are usually few and far between. Without sounding wishy-washy, I think there was an element of fatigue, plus the fact Anfield is a veritable graveyard for City and has been for decades. As ever, thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. January 16, 2018  10:39 am by Billious Reply

    You been sucking lemons you sour bastard.

    • January 16, 2018  1:55 pm by David Walker Reply

      No fella - just taking the pith. Thanks for reading and for your constructive comment :-)

  7. January 16, 2018  12:26 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Very good David.
    Firstly, it was a great game of attacking football by both teams and surely that is what it should be about - entertainment.
    As we all know we were let down by defensive errors (well documented), and hopefully City can "make a deal" in January for defensive cover especially with the maybe injury to Delph who has been superb but is injury prone.
    As you know I pay no attention to pundits and Media, and I will say that when we were walking back to the car park on Sunday we heard some scousers saying City are a superb team.
    Onwards and forwards, starting with Newcastle this weekend.

    • January 16, 2018  2:02 pm by David Walker Reply

      Gratifying that the Liverpool fans should view us in such a positive light, albeit on an occasion when we weren't at our brightest. It must've been great from a neutral's perspective to watch a game with flair, pace and goals aplenty and, as you say, it really should be about the entertainment factor.

      Totally agree on the defensive reinforcements at LB and maybe even CB, but January isn't the best market to get the quality of players required. On reflection, thank goodness we've dodged a certain Chilean bullet. It had seemed like a good idea last August, but Sanchez has shown his true colours and it could have been detrimental to City's team spirit.

      Here's hoping the Barcodes will be well and truly scanned come Saturday evening and that 12 point gap - perhaps even more - will be maintained. Thanks RC.

  8. January 18, 2018  9:50 pm by alan davies Reply

    Brill read david total agree about tyler total KNjOB snide comments and negative about city all match completely quite when we came back at Liverpool but good match not good result but Liverpool fans bricking it last 10 mins mr Mariner not clever but better than Mad BOB

    • January 19, 2018  1:09 pm by David Walker Reply

      It is ironic when you consider Tyler is forever intrinsic with our finest hour and the Aguerrrroooo Moment. His commentary is my mobile ringtone, and yet he clearly despises us. If we were to praise his professionalism back in 2012, we should equally condemn his total lack of professionalism in 2018, and a good few years in between. What the hell, City's actions speak louder than anybody's words so our detractors can choke on their bile as we pick up the big prizes.

      Reference Mad Bob, my dear old Nana is better than that pillock...and, bless her she's been dead since 1985!

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