Despite the unpredictability of the Premier League, there are some things that seem unshakable, the balance of power in Manchester for example. That's why, even if Man City win tonight, Man Utd will retain the title.
As the Premiership enters its vinegar strokes, what I've been noticing is how what is expected from people is often permeated by a sense of history. Maybe it's just me but what has gone before has huge value in dictating what I expect to happen next, and I am starting to wonder if it is out of proportion. I'm stunned to see Norwich in mid-table and fully expect them to go down next year, regardless of how good they might be. I actually refuse to believe that Newcastle are sitting in 5th with or 2 so games to go. An Aston Villa relegation seems implausible even if the odds are on for it. Who in their right mind actually thinks Everton will finish ahead of Liverpool?
Perhaps the biggest example here is in the title race itself. United are 3 points ahead of City but have to play them, and in my opinion are more than capable of messing up another of their remaining games. Yet how many people out there actually believe City can win? How confusing would it be to wake up to a day when City beat United to the league title?
I have a distinct sense of inevitability and it is for this reason, for surprise, City winning would be the best possible outcome for the Premiership. For all the money spent on it over the years the Premiership has been coming up short. The comprehensive battering United took from Bilbao was indicative of the quality of the Spanish league compared to ours. City fell flat at the first hurdle of the champions league and the English national team are no one's favourites for Euro 2012 and rightly so. Munich look about to batter Chelsea in the final and yet, all things considered, we still have a claim on the best league in world. And it comes largely from the unpredictability of the Premiership. Week-to-week we don't know who will win which game. In recent years we have seen the underdogs overturning the big boys, and now there is a feeling that anyone can win. It can be fierce and it can be ugly, but what we have here is a league that is never boring. The recent renaissance of Wigan has shown that not only are the worse teams capable of winning unexpectedly, but they can do it in style.
How many people out there actually believe City can win? How confusing would it be to wake up to a day when City beat United to the league title?
However, this sense of history is strong. I can't shake it. I'm looking for City to win the league and yet I'm wondering how. City strike me as a club that isn't lucky. Maybe standing in the shadow of United for so long has toughened them, but still the shadow looms large. For the sake of the league; and I'd go as far as to say fairness, I'm rooting for a Man City Premiership. But I just can't see it. I might be surprised, but my prediction is City will win tonight and then somehow, God only knows how, they will somehow make a mess of it.
On the way to Eastlands a few years ago my friend and I shared a taxi with some season ticket City fans. We discussed the inevitability of the Premiership title swinging their way soon. To the whole world it seems a foregone conclusion that Manchester City will build a long and glorious dynasty. With such vast riches how could they fail?
According to the City veterans in the taxi , I was being naive. City are long used to false dawns, and have been living in the shadow of Fergie for so long that any optimism is tempered by a lingering sense of doom. In their own minds; or at least in their collective subconscious, they are destined to be glorious failures. Destiny has brought them this far, and my feeling is destiny will strike them down in the most City way possible. It would be perfect somehow if they won tonight but lost against Newcastle. I think they are going to win tonight but United will retain the title. As my new acquaintances told me, for Manchester City - “What can go wrong will go wrong.”
Following the success of our previous two hangouts on Google+, we’ll be doing it all over again tonight from 10pm, picking through all the crucial moments from the Manchester Derby. If you haven’t seen the show before, check out the highlights from our first two hangouts following the recent FA Cup semi-finals.
Joining our host James Brown on Monday will be Manchester United fans Franki Goodwin and Sam Pilger, Manchester City fans Richard Sylvester and Steve Cohen, our very own Owen Blackhurst, Sam Delaney and Barnsley keeper David Preece, and we’ll be broadcasting the hangout live at 10pm. To watch and interact with the show set up a Google+ account and follow the Sabotage Times’ new Google+ page, and we’ll post the link where you can tune in.
Other stories you should read
Click here for more stories in Football and Sport
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook