‘Typical City’ sits well on title day deciders

So much is made of the time honoured words ‘Typical City’ – the self deprecating tag that long suffering Manchester City fans have attached to their team over the decades. It’s a reference to their club’s innate ability to seemingly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Former playing legend and later City Chairman, Francis Lee once said: “If there was a cup for cock ups, City would be perennial winners.”

AGUEROOO – The most exciting climax to a Premier League season ever!

Such an unfortunate talent for inexplicably losing and shooting themselves in the foot has largely been banished since Sheikh Mansour’s 2008 takeover, but not completely eradicated.

It came crashing back into the City psyche when Pep Guardiola’s team suffered a devastating 90 seconds against Real Madrid – conceding two goals in added time – before eventually losing the Champions League semi final 6-5 on aggregate.

The spectre of ‘Typical City’ loomed large on May 13th, 2012 with Roberto Mancini cussing and cursing on the Etihad touchline, his team losing 2-1 to QPR as the match went into ‘Fergie’ time.

City were crowned Champions of England after a thrilling 4-3 encounter against Newcastle in 1968. It’s one of four – hopefully soon to be five – occasions when City have clinched a top flight title on the last day of the season.

A star studded City comprising Aguero, Silva, Kompany, Yaya Toure, Dzeko, Tevez, Balotelli, Zabaleta, De Jong et al, were blowing City’s 44 year quest to be Champions of England. It had seemed inconceivable that City could lose to a struggling QPR when the match kicked off, but 92 minutes later it was the mother of all ‘Typical City’s’ – one that would haunt the club for eternity like no other.

Of course as we all know goals from Edin and Sergio transformed almost certain catastrophe into delirious, unbridled ecstasy for the blue side of Manchester, with THE most extraordinary climax to any Premier League season, either before or since.

Historic achievement – Kompany and Mancini with the Premier League trophy on that wonderful day in May 2012.

Typical City is a term synonymous with failure, be it woeful performances, comically ‘criminal’ boardroom decisions or just being generally and fundamentally inadequate. Those two words are owned by the City supporters, reserved exclusively for a club which couldn’t help but keep getting things wrong.

However, one look at City’s history – yes, that thing which others would have you believe City don’t possess – and it reveals a very different interpretation of ‘Typical City’.

When top flight titles are on the line and City are in pole position on the last day of the season there’s a Typical City to which every man, woman and child who bears a sky blue hue can attest – their team doesn’t screw up when destiny rests in their own hands.

Joe Mercer & Malcolm Allison began a historical pattern spanning more than 50 years of City never surrendering title winning positions on the final game of the season.

It began 54 years ago when Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison’s team edged a 4-3 away win at Newcastle, to win the old First Division by two points from Manchester United.

Blue Blood City legend, Mike Doyle, reflecting on that day May 11th 1968, said: “For sheer drama, excitement and honest-to-goodness endeavour that match will take a lot of beating. What a way to win the title. We faced two consecutive away matches, won them both and scored seven goals in the process.

“What team would have the courage to go out and play in that manner today?”

Ooh la la – Samir Nasri celebrates City’s 101st league goal of the 2014 season as City beat West Ham to clinch the PL title under Pellegrini.

Tragically, Mike was no longer with us when the Aguerooo Moment came along and answered his question, with City once again beating United to the title, only this time on goal difference.

Two years later under Manuel Pellegrini, City sealed the Premier League with a comparatively comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham, courtesy of goals from Vincent Kompany and Sami Nasri in 2014. Pellegrini’s men had hauled themselves back into the title race after trailing Liverpool on the run-in, taking the crown by two points on the last Sunday of the season.

Aymeric Laporte celebrates his goal as City came from one down to beat Brighton 4-1 and win back-to-back Premier League titles in 2019.

The most recent example of City retaining their composure and staying cool in the blistering heat of  the final day fixtures came at Brighton, with a come from behind 4-1 win to crown their coronation in 2019.

City go into Sunday’s match with Aston Villa with a one point and six goal advantage over Liverpool. It will be the fifth time City have been top of the table on a final day and if Pep has his team firing on all cylinders, it’ll be his and City’s fourth Premier League title in five years.

That winning feeling – victory over Villa will deliver Pep’s fourth PL title in five years.

Yes, of course there’ll be some nervous tension, even in some quarters a degree of trepidation amongst those of the old school ‘Typical City’ teachings, but we’ve been here before and not been found wanting. We haven’t buckled under the pressure before and we won’t this time.

Together, Pep, his team and we as diehard Blues supporters, will once again taste victory and be proclaimed ‘Champions of England’. That’s who we are and that’s what we’ll remain come Sunday evening.

It’s Pep’s, City’s and ours – the City fans – as it stands, and we’d all like to keep it that way come Sunday evening.

That, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls is your modern day ‘Typical City’!

Dedicated to a true Mancunian City Blue, a man I am privileged to call my friend for the past 17 years, on this the day of his birth 70-years ago. Happy Birthday ‘Guvnor’ David Kelly – your best birthday present should be delivered early tomorrow evening.

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu


  1. May 21, 2022  5:19 pm by Malcolm Reply

    Great article as ever, David. I heard Vinnie saying the sweetest thing about our league victory at Brighton was that we went behind - and the thought of those Liverpool fans & players thinking they would win it! That would be perfect tomorrow - but if I'm honest I want a couple of goals in the first 15-20 minutes and a clean sheet for Ederson to get a hat-trick of Golden Gloves

    • May 21, 2022  5:38 pm by David Walker Reply

      Agreed on all aspects MG. Let's get this title retained.

  2. May 21, 2022  5:21 pm by peter lynch Reply

    Love this David, no narrow victory tomorrow please, I want the game won as soon as possible! Nerves cannot take it!

    • May 21, 2022  5:35 pm by David Walker Reply

      You and 52,000 others in the Etihad fella - no empty seats tomorrow - or most games is the reality never acknowledged by the anti-City brigade. Thanks.

  3. May 21, 2022  5:24 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Brilliant written once again Dave, typical City is always at the back of most City fan's minds and always will be. But this time I'm truly confident that come the final whistle we will be Champions once more. I know Liverpool are the media darlings but not with the average football fan most want them to fail. I've talked to a Wolves and a Hammer's fan this week and both of them wanted us to beat there team's if it stops Liverpool. Saying all that I more than likely will be nervous as hell tomorrow. So come on City a few early goals so typical City will not emerge one bit.

    • May 21, 2022  5:37 pm by David Walker Reply

      Which Typical City - the historic one of old, or the one that turns up when top flight English titles are on the line? Thanks as ever Doug.

  4. May 21, 2022  5:32 pm by Geoff Blake Reply

    I was 15 in May 68 and didn't really support any team at the time; lots of the boys at school supported that other team and were boasting about winning the league at the weekend; me, being awkward said no, City will win, just to annoy them really! Saturday comes around, listening on the radio, and amazingly City do win away at Newcastle, and of course on Monday morning back at school I'm Jack the Lad, cock-a-hoop and milking it for all its worth! Another two years, three more cups and I'm hooked for life! The intervening years were not always the best but now since 2008 its been a wild ride; I actually missed the last two goals against QPR, having walked out the room before the end, and my son phoned me to congratulate me, and I thought he was taking the mick! I turned around and raced back to watch the presentations...hope I shan't need to do the same tomorrow!

    • May 21, 2022  5:39 pm by David Walker Reply

      Love it! Thanks for your brilliant feedback and comments.

  5. May 21, 2022  5:37 pm by Geoff Blake Reply

    Oh and by the way...Huge congrats to Phil and Kevin overcoming the media bias to win the Players of the Year Awards for the second time for both of them - so, so proud of you guys!

  6. May 21, 2022  5:53 pm by Michael Parker Reply

    Great write up

  7. May 21, 2022  6:03 pm by Alan chappell Reply

    Was at Newcastle 68 David but like I tell people it wasn’t my favourite game that year, it was few week before when we played a rearranged derby at Trafford, city that day came of age, that was the game when I knew we would lift the title, a game that is never talked about, untelevised unspoken unwritten about, best scoring after just 30 odd seconds, the king that day was outstanding, scoring the equaliser, no one knew what was about to unfold that night as big Georgie heslop headed in a thunderbolt from a Tony Coleman cross, then franny putting a penalty away because of one of many vicious tackle on the king, has he was on the side of the pitch in a stretcher as franny swept it past Stepney, that game for me was the season final as I knew we would lift that season, the joy on the city fans faces the despair on the united fans said it all, we knew it they knew it has a mass of city fans marched up Warwick road, my all time favourite city side

    • May 21, 2022  6:06 pm by David Walker Reply

      Outstanding sentiments and comments - thanks for sharing.

  8. May 21, 2022  6:23 pm by Richard Leonard Cooper Reply

    So here we are again David, very good report of yours. Like others 1968 and a night drive and getting to Newcastle early ! More often than not City do it the hard way and this season is no exception. Putting aside the Champions League disappointment and the FA Cup semi final poor first half, we have dropped league points of late principally against West Ham in that again first half. So here we are again on a nerve jangling final day and in City style I am hoping for an early goal (guess everyone is !) Make it a day to remember City !!

    • May 21, 2022  7:12 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks RC. The thing about the rivalry between us and Liverpool is that Guardiola and Klopp have their teams setting incredible standards. We've only lost three times this season, Liverpool twice and then you have Chelsea with six defeats. After that you have the likes of Spurs, and United with 11 defeats and Arsenal and West Ham with 13 - and that's your top seven in the PL. If you look nowadays City and the Scousers have to have 90 points or more to win the PL. Back in the days of Fergie and Wenger United and Arsenal could be winning with 75pts (United in 1997), Arsenal 78pts (1998) United 79pts (1999) 80pts United (2001 & 2011) 81pts Leicester (2016) and 82pts United (1996). Let's just try and get the job done without the heart attacks and high blood pressure.

  9. May 21, 2022  6:57 pm by Tracie Wilson Reply

    As always a fab read 💙Thank you 🙏🏻

  10. May 21, 2022  6:59 pm by Paul keys Reply

    Brilliant article David, captivating and uplifting as ever, come on City make us proud 💙

    • May 21, 2022  7:39 pm by David Walker Reply

      Football can never replace the loved ones recently lost, but a title win for City can at least act as a more than welcome distraction in times of profound sadness. Let's hope that happens tomorrow fella. Thanks for your feedback.

  11. May 22, 2022  2:13 am by Susan Bookbinder Reply

    So many evocative pictures - Summerbee and Samir meaning the most to me... great writing as always David and I hope we can now say that "typical City" means something completely different now... CTWD

    • May 22, 2022  8:52 am by David Walker Reply

      So many wonderful final day wins in recent years - every season under Pep as well - so no reason to stop now. Thank you for your comments xx

  12. May 22, 2022  7:54 am by David clare Reply

    Another well informed article David thank you, saying that I’m still shitting myself over the game tonight at 11pm Perth time Australia, can see work being missed tomorrow.

    • May 22, 2022  8:51 am by David Walker Reply

      The anxiety is normal but hopefully it will be replaced with joy and a good day at work come Monday. Cheers DC.

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