Well, to return from my stump to the subjet du jour, it has been a not uneventful few days in City land. First we had the amazing scenes against Spurs last weekend, then the Scousers dumping us out of the piss weak lager Cup on Wednesday. Lots of talking points and lots of opinions. There can be no doubt that the pressure of success is telling on City, with our inability to put any real distance between us and a pack of truly mediocre teams revealing in itself. Not all of the pressure is internal (and I'll come on to that) though quite a bit of it is. Balotelli is the obvious case in point. I do find him entertaining as a man, I must admit, though he is a very frustrating footballing 'talent' on too many occasions, and needless to say (because everybody is saying it all the time) his incendiary temper and ability to attract publicity like a supercharged Pete Doherty is depressingly well documented.
On the stamp, as evidenced by a piece on here from some time ago, I'm no fan of Scott (Batman) Parker, and given the intensely critical timing of the incident which could so easily have cost us the game - if not the season - my initial reaction was that it was accidental. Having watched it again (and again) I am no longer convinced of that fact. However, the deed is done and the game was won in the most dramatic fashion. Unlike the Liverpool match, which was really decided in the dreary home leg. Again though, from what I could tell on 5Live, it seemed a decent enough ding dong do, with a couple of cracking goals to boot. Stand up NDJ - what a man! And who - despite the shocking and frankly bad tasting decline of a once mighty Liverpool team - could wish ill on that Welsh bastard Bellamy, with his African school? Only those with a heart of stone, that's who. So that's that. It's just a shame that major finals are no longer held in Cardiff.
Those who bemoan the fate of City, who are not eppy, and scream that we are victimised and put upon, will elicit little sympathy from me, although lazer blue blood courses through my furry arteries, and I am avowedly CTID. For me, the main culprits (and I exclude Savic only out of deferring to his extreme callowness) are Nasri and Lescott, with the uncertainty around Big Nige's future also seeming to be playing a part in a decline in his form. Mancini cannot be excused either, and has indeed come under fire for both team selection and tactics in recent weeks. As I said above, we should be streaking ahead of the dross that is the Premier League this season, while instead we are floundering a little and just keeping our noses in front.
That all said, there can be no doubt that the very fact of success brings a pressure of its own. Everyone wants to have a pop, and even referees are inclined to change their behaviour. But, now we're out of the Carling Cup and the FA Cup, I think we should make every endeavour to drop out of the Europa League and concentrate on winning the main prize.