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Season 2013/14

City Blogger: Engage Counter Logic

  • 11 March 2014 11:24
  • Posted by @bifana_bifana

Manchester City’s fabric, the very stuff this grand club is made of, what some people might like to call the wonky DNA, was at work again last weekend, when Wigan took advantage of the mis-alignment of the planets to remove us from the FA Cup.


It is difficult to know what to expect these days. One thinks with the right half of the brain that we should be prepared for predictability, that a team this good and this strong, may have left the cow pat days behind. Then the left half of the brain makes us kick ourselves hard in the calf: unfashion that kind of thinking, unravel all of that bone crushing logic immedtiately. It really doesn’t match the Manchester City we love, to presume that every game will be won. The evidence tells us it’s ok to do a little more than just hope and dream and bite finger nails, but history tells us not to be so presumptuous. Worse than that, most of us just can’t do it anyway, can’t bring ourselves to actually adopt a relaxed position and wait for the glory to pour itself all over us like a lorry load of sky blue syrup. This is, after all, not who we are and not why we came here in the first place.

The Gods of Custard have not stopped looking at us, you see, and this makes us feel comforted and at home.

Most of us have been brought up on heroic deeds being followed directly by morale sapping defeats, by exciting transfers who turned into coal dust before our very eyes, of top scorers who, suddenly paralysed by the dense and exotic-smelling smoke coming off the Kippax, couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo. We have seen successful businessmen who couldn’t run a corner shop, Presidents who couldn’t run countries and top goalkeepers suddenly dressed in buttered gloves. Over a period of time we have come to expect the unexpected. Even in modern times some of us have attempted to protect our fragile minds with a kind of double bluff approach to football logic. It follows that, now the City squad contains a stellar cast, we can all relax and enjoy the show. In fact, this is correct, but only because we have traveled mentally through the “this is wrong, expect the worse” zone and back, using the double bluff, to where we started. Confused? Good, because a confused mind is exactly the safest state to be in. In fact, the “special preparations” recommended to me by my personal analyst some years ago have been engaged and enacted in the correct manner and just in time.

We are now ready to run with it.

Which brings us in a roundabout way to this week’s unimportant, run-of-the-mill, slightly humdrum reserve game in Spain. Nothing at all to get het up about here, is there? There is the smallish matter of continuation in European competition and the tiny problem of a two goal deficit from the first leg in Manchester. That the opponents in this game just happen to be a side that, in their own delicious reveries, like to see themselves as more than a club is immaterial. What we need to focus on and here I mean really focus, focus hard, is ourselves. City is also much more than a club.

It is a state of mind. And what a state it is too.

By applying the wonky DNA reverse logic double bluff structure (c), we see that – as with many instances through City’s modern history, this game is likely to throw up some kind of heroic history-defining bone rattling outcome that will go down in Manchester, and indeed Catalonian, folklore. The ancient runes that suggest “after every Wigan comes a Barcelona” were not just committed to those pristine neolithic Gorton cave paintings because they were pretty words and allowed the loin cloth-wearing artist to draw little buffalos with funny legs being chased by stickmen with bows and arrows. They actually mean something.

Even Pythagoras chipped in with his timeless approach: Wigan x2 divided by scorched hope and mysterious kebab stains = phyrric victory on the Ramblas. Einstein followed on the good work with his equation Stale Pie on the trousers = Scorching Hot Tapas for Two. This was an early effort at explaining the Law of Sod, otherwise known as the “How the Heck Did We Lose That One Rule”.

Scientifically, mathematically, historically. Unbelievably.

Take the cup tie won in extremis at Tottenham in 2004, when Jon Macken’s header made the earth revolve the wrong way for a full twenty three minutes. This, we were reliably informed, couldn’t happen. It was counter-logic on a grand scale. Joey Barton already dispatched to the changing rooms to write poems, Anelka limping in the corridors practising his hand signals and the home side three-nil to the good and coasting. None of us noticed Thor, God of Thundrous Comebacks, strike that cockrell statue with his lightning rod. He smote it hard with his bright blue stick of counter logic and odd things immediately began to happen: a goal from Sylvain Distin, a mishit from Paul Bosvelt that would have gone out for a throw-in but for a ricochet off a stray Jack Russell terrier, Shaun Wright Philips appearing from a tiny hiding place nobody had noticed to equalise. This was anarchy that could not be tamed by the simple mathematics of probability.

So, when you think you have seen it all, that you just know what is going to happen next, that all those grey hairs and worry lines aren’t there for nothing, that City have been doing this to us for decades, that the Law of Lee Bradbury always strikes when it is most ill-needed, that pony tails aren’t for you, think again, dear believers, because, as Frank Clark used to say before strumming us one of his battle tunes, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. 


us on

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