Yes! I am a fan of Manchester City. Before you ask me how long I have been a fan of this team and accuse me of being a bandwagon jumper let me tell you, I never did have a favorite team in the Premier league until 2008, when Man City purchased Robinho and Jo. I was naturally very intrigued about two star Brazilians joining a relatively unknown club, not to mention the hundreds of millions of petro-dollars that were getting ready to flow into the squad from their new custodians.
Further, I only needed a bonafide excuse to root against Man United whom I have always disliked on a cellular level. I have no idea where this hostility comes from but I detest everything about the Red Devils. And their fall from grace these last few seasons make my weekend mornings doubly joyful.
Alas, Man City doesn’t give me much pleasure either. Other than that last moment of magic from Sergio Aguero to win the Premier League at the death, City almost always leaves me dejected with their performances. I don’t enjoy their 5-0 home victories as much as I am gutted by their 2-3 losses on the road, mostly giving up goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. They play a really bland style of football without much creativity. They lack the zip of Liverpool or Arsenal or dare I say Man United. All City does is play a boring style of possession football occasionally looking for through passes. As strong and dominant as Yaya Toure is in the City midfield he lacks the match winning creativity of Ozil or Xavi and Yaya sometimes clogs the middle of the park and looks old and out of shape. Nasri, Silva, Fernandinho all hold up the ball very well and mostly make accurate passes but where is the flair? Why can’t they beat Cardiff or Stoke by themselves with a moment of magic that any megastar should be able to? Aguero! As brilliant as he is at times, why can’t he just pass the ball to the open player so City can go up early? Other than Arjen Robben, I don’t ever recall seeing a more selfish professional football player like Sergio Aguero. I must admit though Aguero will take 8 shots at the goal and put two of them in the back of the net, and I guess I should be grateful for that.
But what frustrates me the most is the Man City defense or the lack of it. They are sorely lacking another dominant ball winning defender like Vincent Kompany. Watching Jolean Lescott, Demichelis or god forbid Javi Garcia playing defense, I want to break my television. Lescott, who used to be a solid defender mysteriously has started to suck, I don’t know if it’s the lack of playing time or he’s got other things on his mind but his style of defending is best when he’s warming the bench in the City dugout. Demichelis is so god damn old I am certain I have seen him in clips from the 1962 world cup on YouTube. And Javi Garcia is a football player in name only. This guy is lucky to make a comfortable living playing professional football because all he does is practice during the week and come in for 2 minutes at the end of the game and make 80 thousand pounds a week! Great job if you can get it. But by the terrible misfortune he is actually given a chance to play a full half, this man looks like Bambi on ice. He is completely lost on a football pitch and the other City defenders have to constantly cover for him.
But I am drawn to City each week. As I curl up in the New York winter and silently fume at the TV each weekend, City gives me the joy and anguish that is present in other parts of my life. I live and breathe City and if only they became more consistent, I think I would too. (written in 2010)