May 22 2013 Latest news:
Robin Sainty, INCSC chairman
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Those of you old enough to remember the classic Looney Tunes cartoons of the 60s and 70s will recall that a recurrent motif was the hero tricking the bad guy into running off a cliff.
Of course, being a kid’s cartoon there had to be a joke, which was that he would carry on running and only plummet to the ground when he finally looked down and found nothing below him but air.
My rather tortuous point is that City’s season seems to have reached a similar point, with the last couple of games suggesting that the swagger and self-belief that saw the squad through the business part of the season has started to dissipate.
Suddenly it’s starting to look as if there is very little left in the tank, and Saturday’s mauling by Liverpool was tough to watch as City were never able to establish any kind of foothold in the game.
In fact, it was like a return to the start of the season with basic defensive errors effectively killing the game before half-time.
However, to put things into perspective, I suspect that back in the summer many of us feared that what happened on Saturday might turn out to be the norm against the top clubs, yet City have competed tremendously well to be mathematically safe with two games left.
That long-awaited moment finally arrived on Sunday afternoon courtesy of our old friends QPR, and I think that huge credit is due to everyone at the club for a phenomenal achievement in taking the club from the brink of administration to Premier League respectability in just three seasons.
No pundit seemed to give us a chance of staying up in the summer and yet here we are with some people moaning that we may “only” finish a few places above the drop zone.
Generally speaking our fans have been great, but inevitably there are a few who develop unrealistic expectations for the team and then feel that it’s acceptable to take it out on the players when these are not achieved.
I still maintain that this squad has consistently punched above its weight all season and will deserve huge praise whatever their final placing is.
It saddens me when individual players are made scapegoats, because what has been achieved at City has been due to the efforts of the collective, rather than the individual, and a crucial factor has been the willingness of players to make self interest secondary to the good of the team.
The prime example of this is Steve Morison, who seems to have attracted the ire of a very vocal minority, yet his late winners at QPR and WBA secured six vital points and he has frequently played as a lone striker, one of the most thankless tasks in football.
Far from being lazy and aloof, as he has been described by some fans, he is the sort of team player that Paul Lambert looks for and in my view he deserves much more support than he has got from some quarters.
Another City striker will no doubt be eyeing the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager with interest.
Will the new man give Grant Holt and John Ruddy the chance that their performances have deserved? Only time will tell.
Despite the deafening silence from the England inner circle and the teeth gnashing of the gutter press, I think that Hodgson is an excellent and brave choice by the FA. He has significant international experience, has managed big clubs like Inter and Liverpool and has experience of big tournaments, as well as being known as a tracksuit manager.
What’s more, he doesn’t have a pet with an offshore bank account…..