WELL, that all went according to plan.
Beat QPR at home in the final game of the season and pick up the old Premier League bauble.
Except this is Manchester City, of course, and we do things a little bit differently.
Our fans have known it for years, and after Sunday’s remarkable,
dramatic, unforgettable, stomach- wrenching finale, so do a quarter of a billion people across the globe.
No, we had to concede two daft goals, then go and score twice to win it in Fergie Time. Bloody hell.
I must admit, I’d given up the ghost. As the clock ticked past 90 minutes and the wall that was QPR’s 10 men stood firm, I told my brother to remember the Gillingham game at Wembley in 1998, when we scored twice in injury time to force extra-time and win the Division Two play-off on penalties.
It won’t happen again, we agreed gloomily.
At that moment, I was ready to switch off the TV — preferably with my boot — and begin three months of mourning, encompassing a media black-out of all things Fergie, United and red.
I dreaded the ribbing forevermore from United fans. Bottlers. That was us.
Two minutes later, the soccer world had shifted on its axis and I found myself prostrate on my parents’ living room floor, covered in lager and being kissed by grown men.
Ladies, I now know the discomfort of stubble rash and I sympathise.
Champions! For the first time since I was three months old, City were the finest team in English football.
And as you can judge from my byline photo, that was many blue moons ago.
The last few months of slugging it out toe to toe with Fergie have added years to that face too!
Nobody can deny that City are worthy title winners. The most entertaining team, the best defence, the most goals, the best goal difference, thumping wins home and away against United, Spurs and Newcastle – the only team we failed to beat all season was Sunderland.
And every time we slipped up, the pundits, rival fans, and — inevitably — Fergie were sniping in the wings.
I’ve lost count of how many “massive tests of character” and “must-win matches” City have faced en route to the title.
Happily, we passed nearly all of them with flying colours. Including that last one.
How did I feel at 4.55pm on Sunday? Delirious, proud, overjoyed, exhausted, and yes, a wee bit emotional too.
There was also another feeling. A belief that this wasn’t the end of a wondrous journey, but just the
If we are this good now, imagine how good we will be next season. Are we good enough to retain the title and win the Champions League?
What do you think?
It’s only a daft game of course, but when my team play it, it is some game.