Saturday, 13 April 2013
Perhaps it was because there was nothing to fight for but pride; maybe it helped that Van Persil left his shooting boots at home and Roo (ha!) had a mare. It could have been any of those things, but in the end we easily deserved the glorious win that marked two consecutive away beatings of the old enemy. Another incredible goal from Kun to seal it, and an overall performance which showed few of the cracks and failings we have displayed in some of our worst matches this season. Nastasic looking solid, Clichy full of running, Vinnie back to his self-assured best, Yaya strong and powerful - playing a captain's role on the occasions when football was secondary to handbags - and Milner getting MOTM as he deservedly should have. Merlin not quite clicking as we know he can, but still more than bloody decent, and Nasri playing... well... OK, I suppose. Then it was all nicely capped off with the #tweetyourphiljonesface hilarity the next morning, once again confirming City fans as the wittiest in the country.
On to Chelsea then, and in the purest sense, the football gods you might say would demand a sacrifice, but the victory at the Sty was purely on merit, and I can say with my hand on my heart that we bossed the fuckers for pretty much the whole 96 or 97 minutes. Even their goal was ridiculous, down to a crazy Joe Hart lunge and a bounce off Jones' beaker mug onto the back of Vinnie's shirt before somehow going in. We all know that Bobby and Platty are right when they say that the title race is over, but we can dream. A small glimmer of hope to brighten this interminable winter with its persistent easterly wind gnawing at our bones.
Though they do say spring is on its way, with a possible 21 degrees at Wembley to look forward to tomorrow, and what promises to be a testing game against the Smilers. Could go either way that one (I'm not ashamed of the cliche, thank you) but it does look likely to have its moments. Mata, Hazard and Oscar are all deadly on their day, while Ba can bang them in, and even old Frankie Lamps is still a man to cause any team problems. But they are, if not a curate's egg (which is becoming one of my favourite phrases - typically slippery English) then certainly a curious bunch this season, Benitez's boys: full of flair and brio one minute and clod-hopping losers the next. On top of that, it is the FA Cup of course, and the accepted wisdom is that accepted wisdom goes flying out of the window. All I can say is that I'm looking forward to it. Sunday 4 o'clock kick-off is an ideal match time for me.
Current reading: Stephen King's It. Not up to the standard of Gerald's Game or The Shining, but entertaining nevertheless. King can write about childhood like nobody else, but It seems a little too unfocussed to hold the terror of - for example - the Overlook Hotel. I've had quite an exclusive diet of the Maine man lately, but I'll stick with It for the time being. I feel I can't flush Stephen out of my system till I get hold of a copy of Pet Sematary. Then I will move on to someone or something else.
Current listening: I've Been Everywhere, Man by Johnny Cash. What a tune! I'm trying to:
a) learn the words and
b) come up with an Oswestry version (having found that there's a Kiwi one, FFS!) even though Maesbury doesn't have quite the same ring as Sioux City.
Current work situation: being called a fucking wanker by some weirdo who spends his time ringing us up and complaining about... what? I don't know. I was rattled the first time it happened, but now everyone is surprised at how clamly I deal with him.