City fans could be expecting too much

 

After such a barnstorming start to the season Manchester City now find themselves struggling to finish the season on a high note. Sure the recent draw against Stoke City is disappointing but to hear some City fans chanting for Mancinis head it makes me wonder where have they been all these years? 

We all knew, at the beginning of the season that this was going to be a good one, but it is a long season and there have been many twists and turns along the way. The season started off well enough with big wins against Swansea, Tottenham and the 6-1 win against United. That coincided with a tough Champions League group which eventually ended our participation at the group stage, despite getting the 10pts which is usually a marker for qualification. Meanwhile United whimpered out of a relatively easy group and both Manchester clubs found themselves in the lesser Europa League.

As far as I can see this was where the first title road bump appeared for City. Carlos Tevez refused to come on as substitute in the game against Bayern Munich and then disappeared from Manchester until he returned recently. Any club who loses a striker of this calibre would struggle but we really didn’t, at least not to the extent you would think.

To that point we had only dropped two points after drawing with Fulham in mid September but it would be over the Christmas to the end of January period, when we also lost the Toures to International duty and Kompany through a sending off and Balotelli for a retroactive punishment.

During that time we got knocked out of two Cup competitions and also lost to Sunderland and Everton which really took us out of January with United closer to us than we would have liked. We had a very good undefeated in all competitions February, buoyed by the return of the missing quartet but then after the defeat away in Portugal we then returned to Premier League games with a defeat in Wales against Swansea.

So far this season Manchester City have dropped twenty points and all of those points have come away from the Etihad with the most recent one away to Stoke. A win against Fulham for United would leave them three points ahead of us going into the final eight games and that seems to be the end of the road for a small portion of the City fan base. However, could we not look at the bigger picture? Below is a graph showing Manchester City and Manchester Uniteds Premiership points tally for the last ten years prior to this season. 

 

 

As you can see the points gap between City and United is closing, season after season. The 2001-02 season shows City off the chart as we were not even in the same League as United but they have always maintained a healthy distance from us until we have started to close the gap over the last few seasons. We are only one point away from having our best Premiership points tally ever, which was last season, under Mancini. 

United have been on a good run since the begining of the year but it has come at a cost to them. No longer in Europe, they went out with a whimper in two different European competitions this season and in the League Cup, Palace knocked them out. The FA Cup is out of the question also and so the pressure should be on Sir Alex, not City at this stage. The Premiership is all they have left to fight for and they are being pushed hard by City. 

My point is that City are on the upward trend and if it doesn’t happen this season then it will certainly go to the wire and City will end up with their best Premiership finish in recent memory. Even in the title winning season of 1967-68 the Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison Manchester City lost 10 games and tied six in the season. Another four wins will see Mancini equal their win total for that season, and they had four more games played in the League season.

Personally I am excited by the fact that United are finally being pushed for the title and I am proud that it is City who are pushing them. Sure there are things that have happened that I didn’t like, the defeat at Swansea, putting Savic in the centre and Edin Dzeko can be frustrating sometimes but the bigger picture for me is we need to keep faith with Mancini, cut loose Tevez and some others at the end of the season and next season we will qualify for the Champions League for the second time in a row, directly and before I leave, offer to swap our position with the fans of Arsenal, Chelsea or even Liverpool and they will rip our arm off. City have 24 points left to fight for, the season isn’t over and remember, Uniteds average points tally in the Premier League for the last ten seasons is 83 points!

Only five seasons ago 2006-07 we finished a cool 47 points behind United, look how far we have come. For the next eight games, be loud, be proud, stay true and BE BLUE!

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