As the old saying goes “there’s two sides to every story”, I’d probably say, there’s at least two sides, if not more. What you choose to accept and believe, is up to you. The trouble is, nowadays, the “truth” is often what the people with the power of influence, want you to think, rather than what the facts are. It’s not to say that everything in life is purely objective in the true black or white definition. It’s impossible to not have shades of grey in fact. And a lot of stuff is down to opinion at times depending on the given scenario. When it becomes more subjective, rather than objective, there’s always going to be disagreement.
So I read with interest some of the discussion around what Pep Guardiola said about the Man City fans after the Leipzig game. It’s the early rounds of the Chumpions League, the ground was a bit empty and quiet and he was disappointed. Was he wrong to say what he said? I think he has now apologised for saying it, but why should he? All he was saying was what he thought. He’s been castigated for saying it by many, some of the Man City fans have hit back. But there’s two sides to every story.
This was the take of the Manchester Evening News:
Why am I particularly interested? Well, it might be us in a few years, mighten it? Well, we can only hope that in a few years, we are playing in the Champions League so regularly that we are getting bored with it.
Was Pep wrong? Where do we start?
All he did was say what he thought. What is wrong with that? Firstly, the facts. It was the 1st round of the Chumpions League. They were playing RB Liepzig. Citeh won 6-3. The capacity of The Etihad is 54,000 give or take, the attendance was 38,000 give or take. The price of a ticket at Citeh is getting more expensive. The regular fans are going to games twice a week as a matter of course-in every cup generally to the bitter end. Citeh have forced a digital ticketing system onto their fans without any discussion, which unfortunately doesn’t work properly, leading to multiple problems with getting the right tickets for the right games. The reaction. Pep looked round, there were huge gaps in the crowd, it had been a bit quiet at times during the game, he got a bit cross. How was he to know what problems fans were having with their tickets? How was he supposed to know the effect of being so good that you are in basically every competition going year on year, is going to affect fans pockets so severely?.
Of course , as usual SkyTVisf**kings**t did it’s best to shit stir the pot and sought to further drive a wedge between the manager and the fans. Divide and conquer. It’s an old trick, works like a charm if you want to increase your viewing figures by getting “latest” reaction from the usual hasbeen pundits. Let’s ask our expert panel. None of whom have never been in Pep’s enviable position of multiple trophies and league titles though.
Divide and conquer is also fantastic if you want to cause trouble and capitalise on the weakened parties after the dust has settled. Bates tried it with us, but we were made of stronger stuff. We stuck it out, but there were casualties of war and some of the bridges can never be unburnt, and some of the cuts will never heal. A grudge is for life after all. I digress…
Both sides, the manager and the fans have the right to have a little gripe though. two sides to every story.
The real difficulty is managing the expectation, of both fans and the players and managers (also including Chairmen and owners, I guess).
Take our position after the game on Saturday. It wasn’t a bad display, but we lost. Arguably Antonio shouldn’t even have been on the pitch after the antics of his flailing arms. Their equaliser was a unlucky ricochet. Our defence has once again been torn to shreds, by injury to Llorente and Koch and by the fourth official and Gurning in Struijk’s case. Even with these extenuating circumstances, our so called fans have still felt fit to condemn the team, the manager, the board and the owners with their usual vitriol. It’s fine to have a rant, we all do, but to continue to whinge and over exaggerate our position in the table even though it’s not even October, that’s just excessive.
How do these people think it makes the players feel when they see this terrible language?
How do these people think it makes the manager feel when he hears this? I won’t even mention what Kinnear, Radrizzani and the 49ers might be feeling.
Bielsa isn’t going to react, because he won’t. He’s a consummate professional who takes his job very seriously. We know from the picture from QPR in February 2019 just how seriously Bielsa takes his job. But if he wasn’t such a dedicated manager, if he didn’t respect his work and his job as much, he’d be completely entitled to go off on one and have a pop at the “fans” who are criticising him so vehemently. But he won’t, cos he’s not like that.
It’s not even October.
Like most, I have stayed away from social media since Saturday so I can avoid all the naysayers and doom mongers. I said at the start of the season, it was going to be a marathon not a sprint. We need to hold our nerve. We’ve seen much much worse. They’ll be some clever dick reading this now who going to start saying “oh God, they are going to dig up going to watch Hereford and Histon when we were shit again” .
Actually, I am.
I was once deigned a “glory hunter” and I retorted by saying if I was a glory hunter, I would have never staved the course when we were terrible. Like a few select loyal fans, we have been there through the good times and the bad. The ones who have almost self imploded with vitriol, brimstone and fire this weekend just need to have a good look at themselves and listen to what they are spouting. If they can’t take that we are three wins away from Europe, having played 4 of the top 7 in the league, still technically in the League Cup and it’s still not yet October, they really need to give their heads a wobble. If we are still in the same position by Halloween then I suppose they can get worried.
Are these same people going to be clamouring for tickets if we get past Arsenal and end up in the quarter finals? I’ll tell you what, if we do, anyone who has been slating the team or Bielsa off these last 48 hours doesn’t deserve to get a ticket. Ooh they won’t like that, will they?
Please, for the good of the rest of us, if you expect instant success and won’t accept anything less, just hand your season ticket back, or get yourself off that season ticket waiting list. Definitely don’t try for any away tickets either. Just leave the rest of us to it. We’ll see you back when we start doing well again, I have no doubt.
Here’s Chorlton to cheer you all up
thanks to googleimages for the picture of the happiest dragon on the planet