14 May 2012

The day havoc cried

I haven't often agreed with Alex Ferguson, which I'm told keeps him awake at night, but I did when he was asked "how he felt" that night in Barcelona when Manchester United had just beaten Bayern Munich in the Champions League final with two injury time goals.

"Football, bloody hell!" was his response.  Fucking hell, was mine.  What else can you say really at moments like that, but bloody hell? Or a solitary, Fuck?  It sums it up perfectly. Bloody hell.  Rare moments those.  Those are the moments when I justify my love for football to myself, which is becoming an increasingly hard sell.

I warned on Saturday of the coming of chaos, and I think it's fair to say that was rather prophetic.  There's no other experience that I can think of off the top of my head that can put a person through such a torrid storm of emotions in one and half hours. The fact that it is just a game is irrelevant.  The emotions it provokes are very real and it's emotions that remind us we are alive.

But, life without pain has no meaning and after forty four years of it, Manchester City fans' lives have had enough meaning, they were ready for the good stuff, the stuff that makes no sense but you love how it feels.   

I was just blogging a few days ago about how the recent Manchester derby would be forgotten as it wasn't a title decider.  Arsenal's night at Anfield I explained, was a moment in history never to be repeated.  Well, I didn't expect City to score two goals in injury time to win a game they were losing to QPR - the team with the worst away record - and steal the title away from absolutely devastated rivals Manchester United.
United's players were still on the pitch in Sunderland trying hard to maintain their composure before they were officially proclaimed champions when City's winning goal was scored.  The announcement of 3-2 to City rather than Manchester United are Champions was not immediately understood by their players.

You almost felt sorry for them.  Almost.  That second of disbelief.  That horrible second where you hope you've misheard and the blood freezes.  The frantic search for a way for this not to have happened.  Then the realism you have been royally fucked for posterity.

It was such a moment in footballing history it has left me completely indifferent as we speak to Arsenal's qualification for the Champion's League again next season. The tottering ton's won, and that would have been intolerable for them to have qualified while we waited for Chelsea to seal our fate.

I'm sure the relief will wash over me when Chelsea either beat the Squareheads, or we thank our lucky stars when Totterinton are losing in the qualifiers to one of the big European teams they could end up playing, but for now,.... football, bloody hell! 

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