Football and City. That's what it's been all about this year, so apologies to anyone who reads this for reasons other than my ramblings on the beautiful game and the ugly participants in it. I did begin drafting something about the Human League earlier, but lost the will to live, so you'll have to make do with this I'm sorry to say.
I watched Sunday's match against Leicester City in the pub, and it's fair to say that there weren't too many others in that particular part of North London who shared my interest. In fact, it would not be untrue to note that there was - for a long time - no-one but me paying any attention to it. Then, just before the second half started, a bloke came in and asked the bar staff if they were showing the Chelsea match (which was almost over in time terms and most definitely over in score terms, as Ipswich were taking a 7-0 battering at Chelsea, so what he was doing asking to watch it is anyone's guess) but had to settle for sharing the City game with me when told no.
Prior to the kick-off, it was all a big love-in. Sven and Roberto re-united from their time in Italy; Sven coming back to City, saying how sad he had been to leave, and how it was all a question of timing; Darius Vassell coming back to Sven and City; Roberto going back to Filbert Street, where he enjoyed such a short and bizarre time as a player. Double page spreads in the Sun (or was it the NoTW? Who cares) which went on and on about how much mutual respect they have for each other, etc. It was enough to make one feel quite giddy. And the game continued this 60s theme, with expansive displays of over-fondness in both goal areas making for a reasonably entertaining 90 minutes. Roberto laughed off a failed effort to control a high bouncing ball in front of the Leicester faithful and - wait for it - there's more to come back at our place in a little while. I can hardly wait.
FWIW, Shaun is definitely a busted flush now, and old Sparky is welcome to him. Kolarov concerns me a little defensively, though he does seem to be able to pick a pass. In defence, we look half a team without Kompany and Zabaleta these days. Jo is still Jo, and I sense a slight dip in Carlos' confidence, though of course his goal was taken extremely well. Hart has developed the habit of trying to nonchalantly palm the ball down instead of catching it. I noticed he did that against Arsenal and we were lucky not to be punished for it. At the Leicester love-in, our luck ran out. I can appreciate that any pro needs to do a bit of that showboating sometimes - it's what marks them out as pros after all - but sometimes you've just got to look like a bit of a dill and grab the fucking ball!
That's enough football for now, I promise, and my next post will definitely be about another subject, though probably not the Human League.