Well that was a shame, wasn’t it?
I’m extremely biased of course, but I can’t help but feel the good guys lost in the end, and that it was the evil, cash-strapped imperial baddies from Manchester who ended up winning it.
That’s not entirely true though. Manchester City may break a load of rules that don’t exist, and it’s mad that someone can just buy a football club and do what Sheikh Mansour has done with them, but they are a proper side. Perhaps not a proper club, but certainly a serious football side, in more ways than one.
This Man City side are relentless. To win 15(?) games in a row knowing that any dropped points would mean losing out to Liverpool is truly incredible. Yeah there's the money etc but that mental strength, throughout the side, isn't bought it's coached. God knows how Liverpool feel
— Dicko (@DickoLCFC) May 12, 2019
All season it was easy to think that despite City’s quality, when the pressure really kicked in and they were going to have to dig deep, they would falter to a bunch of lads from Merseyside who’d probably have cut their own four limbs off with a penknife for a nineteenth league title.
But City never gave in, rather annoyingly.
Their skills as footballers are there for everyone to see. Those skills exist as a product of monstrous spending in the transfer market and world-class coaching by Pep Guardiola. But their nerve is tremendous, bordering on scary.
So is Liverpool‘s, and that’s really been what has made this title race so good. Between them on March the fourth, they had 17 league games to play. All 17 were hugely pressurised, under the magnifying glass of the 24/7 hyper-critical football media that exists today and possibly even must-wins.
Between them, they won all 17.
There were countless opportunities for either side to give way under the pressure. And if they had done, it would’ve been understandable as it’s extremely hard to win eight games in a row in the Premier League. But neither gave way, resulting in a frankly ridiculous points total for both sides.
In the ten years since Manchester City became the footballing lovechild of Lance Armstrong and *insert name of literally any Russian female athlete here*, this feels like the first season where they’ve really had to prove that they were more than just an expensively assembled squad of world-beaters.
Manchester City‘s achievements will never be as admirable as everyone else’s though, how could they be? Fair play to them. They’re a team as good as the league has ever witnessed and have perhaps a manager who the likes of only come around once in a generation.
But it will never be looked back on as one of the best success stories in football. Pep Guardiola still seems to live in his own world where he should be accredited as one of the greatest names in football management history. Despite his relative humility, there’s an underlying sense that he’s convinced himself he’s a level above everyone else.
What he can get out of a team is incredible, at times wonderous. But when he talks about how he ‘destroyed football’ and he speaks as if he has done everything there is to do in the game, it feels too much like he’s fooled himself into thinking he has had major adversity to overcome in his career.
Everywhere he’s been he’s never had to settle for less than what he’s wanted in the transfer market and the toughest job he had was at a club that wins their domestic league nigh-on every year and are routinely in European Cup semi-finals.
He may be one of the greatest coaches ever seen, but it doesn’t half feel like the ballsy move would be to go to Everton or Villarreal next.
Say what you want about Sunday, no one can ever take away that mad five minutes from me when a glitch in the matrix meant Brighton scored. The hope, the desperation, the madness. It wasn’t to be, but for five minutes I felt more alive than ever. And that’s all you can really ask from them.
Sky’s coverage of the game didn’t help matters. Although I suppose it’s hard to manage when all ten games are on at the same time as if it’s the late 1800s. I heard Pierre Emerick Aubameyang looked leggy after his 16-hour shift in the coal mines.
The continuous score updates in the corner of the screen meant hearts were skipping beats every few minutes in case someone had scored at the Amex. But in most cases, it was just Cardiff netting another goal past United.
United’s celebratory walk round went well then 🔥🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/EWnFN0N8jZ
— Dave Ellis 🤷🏼♂️ (@fullback03) May 12, 2019
All eyes on Madrid now. 18/19, all the best. We’ll always have Origi’s derby header.