This would have been the final day of the season had it not been for some impeccably farcical cocking up from our daffy neighbours down the road. Instead, because of a suspect package that turned out to be a dummy device left behind during a training exercise, the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign will reach its climax on Tuesday night.
But our 1-1 draw in Swansea means there’ll be no excited wailing from Manchester United fans or their players should they beat Bournemouth, unless Van Gaal’s rather impotent strike-force can hit 19 goals past their opponents, of course. Fourth place is ours and I suppose that’s all that matters now really.
It was nail-biting stuff. Right down to the cuticles sort of stuff. And when it was sensationally announced that the match at Old Trafford had been abandoned – after we’d already launched at least 10 attempts on Kristoffer Nordfelt’s goal – you just knew Swansea were going to nick it and make us wait another agonising two days to find out whether we’d secured a Champions League place or not. Kelechi Iheanacho’s early poach and our dominance was ruled out by an André Ayew free-kick that deflected in off Fernando’s head just before the half time whistle. All very predictable.
This was also painful stuff. Eye-wateringly, head-slappingly bungling stuff – the sort of stuff we’ve seen all season. The Liberty Stadium’s away section may have been littered with the fingernails of City fans, but the teeth weren’t chomping with excitement, nor were the fingers picking with any sort of enthusiasm. It was more a coping mechanism to deal with the shit-show.
It makes very little sense to whine on about another flat performance now that the season’s over, I know that. But if Pellegrini’s arsed about his legacy at the club, surely he wont be happy with the disturbing contrast between how his team played in his first game and his last as our manager. Like an obese trucker enjoying an hour or two on the Blue Zeus, Pellegrini’s reign began ferociously only to finish in a big, fat, sticky mess.
Nevertheless, Pellegrini scored an A+ final assignment at the club: reaching the top four. Forget for a minute the poor football and the underachievement. None of that mattered on Sunday afternoon. All the club, the players and the fans cared about was finishing in the top four and we’ve done that. Job done.
Pellegrini: The man who divides opinion
Manuel Pellegrini is a frail, elderly fellow with a gentle smile that reaches into your heart and demands that he be mothered and cuddled. I mean look at those Tesco Express photos for God’s sake. What a cutie.
He’s also a pretty rich bloke fully capable of taking care of himself. Those steely wrinkles convey no emotion whatsoever. Does he care? Not a clue, mate.
Even after the final whistle blew in South Wales, Pellegrini was dividing opinion. Without the persuasion of Yaya Touré, would he have handed over his jacket to a fan? It was an incredibly kind gesture from the Chilean, a lovely parting gift, but it’s difficult to know how he feels about the fans and whether he feels any sort of relationship was established between himself and us.
Pellegrini is a model professional in that the job comes first, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we like to have someone we can relate to. We feed off of the emotion and passion of our manager.
By no means will he leave a villain, but will he be remembered like Keegan or Mancini ten years down the line?
A thanks from us.
On behalf of City Watch I’d like to say cheers for all the RTs, likes and general feedback that you’ve given us over the course of the season. That’s it for the match reports, but there’ll be a load of content in the summer covering the Copa America, the Euros and all the transfer news before what could be the most successful era in the history of the club. Pep’s coming, boys and girls, and I think we’re in for a killer season.