In light of the Community Shield tie between City and Manchester United last Sunday, Inoculated City was perhaps fortunate enough to be on a train in a foreign country during the game. It is not often one considers themselves fortunate to be a train but what transpired during the game sure makes me feel relieved to have missed it.
Whilst the last gasp 3-2 defeat to United is frustrating for numerous reasons it is not that bad. Of course, the City faithful would have loved to have got their hands on another piece of silverware and get one over on their fiercest rivals. The manner of the defeat (i.e. another last minute winner from United) only accentuated the pain.
Having said that, if you view this in the wider context of the season it is not as dire as it is first seems. Whilst City have had a great pre-season with many positive performances it is important to note that we have not lost a game until the Community Shield clash. Euphoric from the FA Cup victory and the run-in last season City’s last defeat was against Everton on 7th May. Whilst winning is no bad thing, it seemed that City’s pre-season ties were all too easy. Floating into the beginning of the season full of the confidence is vital, yet knowing how to lose and, more importantly, how to respond from losing is an imperative trait that all top teams have, ‘bounce-back-ability’, if you like.
The defeat against United should act as a dose of reality for the City players and management ahead of the season proper. Losing on such an illustrious stage like Wembley to bitter rivals can only spur the team on further to succeed. Inoculated City cannot vouch for every City fan but I would much prefer to take 4 or preferably 6 points off United in the Premier League and lose the Community Shield instead of losing to United in the Premier League and winning the Community Shield. Besides, who actually remembers Community Shield winners? Ultimately, who cares?
Words by Rob Toole