I have always imagined how Nielsen did its TV ratings. But I would have guessed it would have been easy to count how many tuned into that momentous Sunday afternoon. All you had to do was count the number of surprised-almost-coming-out-of-its-sockets eyeballs around the world.
Truly, it was significant. 6-1. And the six was next to Manchester City on the board. The scoreline itself could have been an aberration, an anomaly. But the implications far lasting. I will go through each of the sub-plots the derby match with Manchester United unfolded.
#Mario Is Gold.
What to me proved that Mario was class was not that perfectly wieghted sidefooted shot that disturbed the net. Nor the placement of himself for the second goal. Not the undoing of Johnny Evans. What to me showed he is class, was his confidence when he got hold of the ball. I have seen no one in the recent past, looking so confident, so as to stop dead still, to tease a Manchester United defender to make a move. Too many people have given Man United too much respect over the years. Sometimes the players demanded it. Other times simply being in the Red Devil jersey unsettled the opponents. But Mario is Mario. And its all fireworks with no deference.
#The Mentality To Win.
I touched this subject the other day. Other than Chelsea, no one has shown the mentality to force through results in the past few seasons. We saw Liverpool falling out. Arsenal falling out. Man City falling out. And to be champions, you have to have that I’ll-get-through-the-difficult-days-no-matter-what thinking. Manchester United has that mindset. And without a doubt you’ll see them come back and keep Man City on the edge as proof.
It has been proved so many times in Psychology, that when the purpose is bigger, expanding out of the individual is when you attain more happiness. To me Man City was a bunch of egoistic players showing up together, so that they could collect the check at the end of the month. Until Sunday. There was a bigger purpose that day. The way in which Zabaleta, a non-starter, came out to join his team-mates to acknowledge the crowd was proof of it.
For years Mancini has been around people that had a bigger say. Be it owner. Be it a larger than team player. Finally it seems he has the power. Not of only the money. But of truly calling the shots. Every single one of them. And has come good in the last two matches.
#Beat The Bully.
Season after season, Man United has bullied their way into wins when they were down on the ground. But if you ask me why the bully was so effective, you have to blame the geeky nerd too. They always were on the defensive. They thought they could just stand still, put their tiny fists up, suck up the fight, and hoped the bell rang. This was the first time, they got beaten up. After the first goal, you could sense that the Reds believed they could steam roll their way back again. No, Man City had other ideas. Man City decided to punch back. In the groin, where it hurt. Everytime they pushed front in the end, the Blues came to the opposite side and scored. Or narrowly missed. MU still did not think maybe I should limit the damage. That was not a way the Red Devils were used to thinking. But it teaches the other teams a lesson. Play to your strengths. Not to your weaknesses you think will not show up. You cannot defend against Man United. Their players are too good. Even if you have eleven players behind the ball.
#Power Sharing or The Disappearance Of The Big Four.
Man City went into the match as under-dogs. It will never be the case in the near future. The odds will be fifty-fifty from here on. The power in the Premier League seems to have spread out. The Big Four ceases to exist. It’s the Super Six from now on. Get Everton a new owner, and then it can become the Supreme Seven. Give Stoke a few more seasons, and an Elite Eight.
#Premier Premier League.
The Premier League will continue to be the best football league for years to come.
#Who gets the Man Of The Match.
Balotelli? Milner? Silva. For his direct influence in each of the goals. And for being the player of the Premier League this season. Dinks, passes, goals. Even defending.
#Did Anyone even mention or think about Tevez?
Thats the end of him, really.
That was that. And now I can have my cup of tea. And reflect on times to be.
(I’d like to thank Mr. Aquilina for giving me the title to the post when his first question to me on the phone was, “Did you watch six in the city?”)