Is a curry the best idea?
Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be a coward. It’s kind of a coincidence, as some friends asked us out for a curry ages ago and I didn’t check my diary or reckon on the significance of this fixture. I could have said no. I could still cancel, but I reckon it could be better for my heart. I haven’t had cold extremities and a shortness of breath like this since the dying moments of City’s League two play off with Gillingham in 1998, on my birthday when I had a terrible hangover. I nearly passed out several times, and have since given up drinking.
How things have changed. I don’t think anyone really knows what will happen tonight. It has nerve-wracking end-to-end written all over it, and I don’t think either team will be cagey or cautious. Neither is particularly versed in scoring and shutting up shop, so maybe it’s best I just nod and say ‘this is great sag aloo’ every now and again to hide my excruciating nervousness. The only problem will be if the curry house owner likes football, or is a Spurs fan with a loud radio in the kitchen.
I’m a bit superstitious on occasions like this. I won’t talk to my father today, for example. He’s where I get this City affliction from, and he’ll just make me worse. I won’t put the scarf on and go to the pub, as I’ve trudged home from many Sky boozers in my time with the wind completely gone from my sails. Nor will I say things like, ‘we’re gonna ‘ave ‘em’ to anyone – because I don’t believe that firmly enough to say it with conviction, and because in my mind it tempts fate. Oh, and because I’m not Garry Cook.
Mancini is right. This is a huge fixture for both teams, and it will, whatever anyone says, make a big difference to what happens in the summer. Such is the Catch 22 of European places and attracting the players to make progress therein. Redknapp is also right. The pressure is on City, and history dictates nothing. It’s going to be a helluva night. In my own best interests, and my superstitious beliefs about City’s – I’m going to go and hide.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m super-excited and behind City 100%. This odd behaviour is actually the best way I can show it. I’m not used to games like this yet, and I’m not coming out again until they come thicker and faster. So come on, City. Do it for me while I stare absently at the lime pickle and rub my sweaty palms on my thighs.
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