How many tiiiiiiiimes (Sydney Blues in-joke right there) have we thought "maybe, just maybe, this is the end of Typical City™".
All we need to do is beat Middlesbrough and we're in Europe. Bring on the trophies.
We've been taken over by a Thai Prime-Minister, we're set for life. Bring on the trophies.
We're in the top four at Christmas, sign Sven up for life. Bring on the trophies.
We've been taken over by rich Arabs and they've just bought Robinho. Bring on the trophies.
We've just smacked Sunderland, get past Liverpool and we'll smack the Rags in the FA Cup. *This* time, we'll take home a trophy.
We fell for it. Again.
So just when we'd thought the Blues had turned the corner after the 5-0 demolition of Sunderland, Mancini's men put up one of the meekest displays seen this season, as they were beaten
However, a sight more heart-breaking than any opposition scoreline was that of Carlos Estevez trudging up the tunnel with a hamstring injury that almost certainly will keep him out of the FA Cup semi final on Saturday.
In situations like this, it's important to try and keep a sense of perspective about things, and not over-react. Many of the same City fans that were calling Mancini a tactical genius last week are now calling for his head.
"We did not play for the first 20 minutes, when Liverpool played very well. But tonight I made some mistakes, so it is my fault. The players could do better, but I made mistakes."
"I’m sorry for the fans, because we only started to play after 20 minutes. It’s for me to know what I did."
"Liverpool started quickly, they are strong at home and we conceded a lot of chances to them early. After that we played, but not in the first 20 minutes. With all the other teams having won at the weekend, it was important to win this game but it is important we forget this and prepare for the semi final." said Mancini, conveniently overlooking the fact that we played shit in minutes 21 through 93, as well.
Although it was nice to see him admit that defeat was his fault (although there were not many players who could hold their heads up after that performance either), how about accepting responsibility for the fact we're on track for a lower points tally than last season despite spending over £100 million?
I really don't want to turn this into a slag-the-manager/slag-the-players post. Because that's not what this website, or indeed the Sydney Blues, is about. There's enough people out there tripping over themselves to put shit on the club as it is — and some of them even claim to be City fans. But there is I one burning issue I have with the manager — and it would be interesting to see if I can ask him this in the flesh (without hearing the words "important", "strange", or "this is a football").
How come every crunch game, every must-win game, every game where something big is on the line — we fuck it up? And it can't be chalked off as another occurrence of Typical City™.
I can't think of him winning an absolutely critical game. I know loads that we've lost. Carling Cup semi second leg, Rags at home, Tottenham at home, Everton at home, Rags away, Kiev away and home, Chelsea away, Liverpool away and etc and so forth.
The manager has this weekend to prove us wrong. Save your job Roberto — and more importantly, save our season.