In the midst of all the hand-wringing angst and hysterical calls for heads to roll and cash to be splurged, Andrew Lawn remembers why we all go to football in the first place; to enjoy ourselves, win, lose or draw.
Saturday was bad. Sure. Losing 4-0 at a newly promoted side doesn't look good, especially when expectations were so high going in.
However, what a reaction. You'd think Webber, Farke and Russ had got their heads together and deliberately planned to personally con everyone of a yellow and green persuasion.
Hysterical barely covers it.
Demands that City immediately reimburse travelling fans, that Farke should be sacked, that Webber should go, that Delia should sell and that every player signed over the summer should return from whence they came (often confusing where they actually came from) greeted the half-time whistle, let alone the full-time one.
Of course we aren’t unique in this regard, with the infamous Arsenal FanTV leading the way in spoiled childish whining and toy chucking, which has shamefully made stars out of its most belligerent contributors. In that regard, Arsenal FanTV is the most obvious example of an ongoing trend in football discourse.
More and more any ‘analysis’ of the beautiful game is becoming a case of who can say the most invective thing, the most vehemently. Rational thinking doesn't get a look in. It's all instant hysterical screaming, further characterised by the emergence of angry little ‘pundits’ like Chris Sutton.
The solution to any footballing problem is never patience, hard work on the training ground and coming together to support the club. Nope, it's all heads must roll, money must be spent, gratification must be instant.
Partly this is a product of our increasingly throwaway society where money, principally the spending of it is deemed as success.
Club's that have spent heavily are automatically deemed to have had a more successful transfer window than one that's spent within their means, or heaven forbid made a profit.
Prudent, sustainable, long-term planning is derided as being naive or worse "unambitious" in a way that suggest £ spent = ambition quid pro quo. When long-term planning collides with a poor performance the reaction is apoplectic.
Spending truckloads of money is not deemed to be a failing of underperforming academies (which is the ultimate reason England repeatedly fail at major international tournaments), but as something glorious and to be celebrated.
This is sport. Poor performances happen. When City lose it's not personal. They don't owe you anything and certainly not a refund on a choice you made to follow them in full knowledge that this is sport and poor performances can happen. As David 'Spud' Thornhill pointed out we wouldn't expect to pay more if we won well.
Nobody supports their local team expecting to win every week. We do it for the drama and for the not knowing. It's that same anything-can-happen-drama which makes sport so enjoyable. Take the Windies sensational 2nd Test win earlier this week; a wholly unexpected triumph built on a team coming together in adversity, which was sport at its best, characterised by an unexpected triumph, made all the sweeter coming on the back of a mauling the week before.
Yes, we all want City to win and it hurts to see a side we’re proud of embarrassingly mauled. Of course, it’s also true that there is little point in sport, if you’re not striving to be better and ultimately the best. But…
Football is meant to be fun. Following City is fun and it's fun because it's unpredictable. We win sometimes. We lose sometimes. The long-term joy doesn't come from winning, it comes from belonging, from coming together with your friends for a laugh.
Calm down and enjoy the ride.
While you're here.
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