The #1 City blogger George Caveney on death, Dzeko and the draw….
For a January transfer window, things are remarkably quiet so far. Dzeko seems to be sneaking in without much hype, and the free association word-game papers and grubsites are either working themselves up into a terrific frenzy, or have found something better to do, like killing each other.
Admittedly, there are likely to be more on the way out of Eastlands this January than there are coming in, but this relative calm is pleasing to a City fan, surely. We’re not throwing money in the air and seeing who wants it… as much.
No panic buying or arrivals that just don’t make sense… yet. If Adeboyar is on his way to Real Madrid, for example, and Dzeko is the scoop of the season he appears to be on paper, surely things are starting to slot into place, and Mancini is finding the magic with what he has.
Okay, no one can deny we’ve been lucky with United’s draws, Chelsea’s implosion, the ailing Liverpool, Villa and Everton, and Spurs’ Champions League distractions.
But even so, there’s something about our current status that feels not necessarily deserved, but a far better reflection of the club’s resources and ambitions, a continuity and confidence that the squad is bringing to every fixture, instead of collectively resembling a nuclear weapon one week and a wet empty crisp-packet the next.
Of course, based on previous experience and cynicism thanks to the City of yesteryear, I expected Arsenal to beat us tonight, but a draw is fine by me. We’re missing Silva, who’s just an awesome little ferret, but if Johnson, Tevez and Ya Ya are on the same wavelength, we could be in for a bit of fun. Balotelli is out ‘cos he hurt his knee, and I’m still way off convinced by him anyway.
Everton was an important game, and we lost it with more conviction than Everton won it. Arsenal is a big one if we take three points from Highbury for the first time since I was two years old, not just in terms of points but for the confidence boost. But it isn’t the end of the world or our title hopes if we don’t. And this is the key to how things have changed.
Sure, Mancini and the players are under pressure to deliver a return on investment, but the current vibes emanating from Eastlands make it far less a big deal somehow. And this could bode well for what actually happens.
I think we will spend big again in the summer if… sorry, when we secure Champions League football. But for now, the calm is very pleasing. The mentality is changing. Some might say the club has lost character, but let’s face it that’s a Premiership disease – not exclusively ours.
Crucially, we’re not the lovable comedy club any more. More people hate us than ever before, which means things are going well. And the loyal fans are starting to see what they’ve dreamt about since I was two. Hopefully.
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