Where did the Poznan go?
- Sat 31 Mar 2012, 9:22AM
- Posted by David Clayton
The backs-to-the pitch dance that caught the imagination of the football world has all-but disappeared – and one journalist is asking 'why?'.
The Guardian’s Danny Taylor reckons it’s because City and our supporters have become tense and intertwined with the pressure of the title race and the mind games the manager of our neighbours is creating – and maybe he’s right.
It’s more likely the Poznan has just had its day and though it will probably be revived on special occasions (such as clinching the Premier League!), it is more often used against us from celebrating opposition fans and therefore lost some of its uniqueness.
Taylor’s interesting piece suggests that Sir Alex Ferguson has seen off some of the best managers in the business and that the relentlessness of their challenge and refusal to concede the title has an effect of grinding down opponents.
There’s no doubt that’s true, but history is waiting to be written and if anyone can deflect and repel the mind games, it’s Roberto Mancini.
Looking at how different managers have handles the situation before, Taylor writes:
At some point, they stopped doing ‘the Poznan’ at Manchester City
“Every so often they go back to it and, in those moments, the Etihad Stadium is a happy place to be. It is just that a bit of the fun has gone lately, and along the way we have not seen so much of that writhing, back-to-front celebration that came to symbolise the new carefree attitudes on their side of town.
“It can be that way when your neighbours are serial champions, relentlessly wearing you down, and Sir Alex Ferguson is radiating so much confidence it can be a surprise to see the state of his fingernails, bitten to the quick.
“Squeaky-bum time, the Manchester United manager calls it. Arsène Wenger was driven to such a state of sangfroid during one run-in he could be seen tugging at his tie knot, as if it had been closing round his throat. The more we saw of José Mourinho before Ferguson finally got the better of him, the more he seemed to be auditioning for Monty Python's Silly party.
“He wasn't, of course. Mancini was simply in a bad mood, angry with his players and annoyed with the referee, and could not trust himself not to talk his way into trouble. Which, incidentally, is the precise reason Ferguson decided he could not be bothered to come to the press room after a defeat against Liverpool in November 2001 and has not been back after a single league match since.
“Mancini resumed media duties on Friday and this was not a man on the point of spontaneous combustion. He had rung Tony Pulis, he explained, to apologise for not shaking the Stoke manager's hand.”
A thumping good win against Sunderland and a shock result at Ewood Park on Monday could see the mind games switch around in the blink of an eye.