I am still struggling to deal with the shock from the other night. Manchester City were just minutes away from a Champions League Final and yet, inevitably, they crumbled at the final hurdle and handed the opportunity to Real Madrid on a silver platter.
I suppose England breaking my footballing heart is nothing new. Nine months ago, England were minutes away from international glory when it was cruelly taken away from them due to a penalty shootout (and a healthy dose of cheating from Georgio Chiellini). Like many others, I cried rivers of tears that July evening and it caused pain that still haunts me now and I doubt that particular scar will ever heal.
Guardiola Crushed My Hopes!
Another all-English Champions League Final would have eased my pain slightly, though. As you know, I’m passionate about seeing this country succeed on the world stage no matter what the context. Especially this year as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our beloved Queen. It seemed almost fitting that England would roll back the years and dominate Europe just as it’s done several times before.
But then Pep Guardiola happened. Known to overthink the big games, his team seemed to be more focused on pointless rondos and asinine tiki-taka than killing the game off and sending Real Madrid packing. In the process, he ruined my dream of a Liverpool/Man City final and crushed my hopes of seeing England dominate Europe’s premier club competition this season.
It doesn't stop there! The Rangers/ West Ham Europa League final also failed to happen after the Hammers got knocked out, a result that has made me crack my knuckles and embark on a vicious online tirade.
World Cup Triumph?
There’s also the possibility of a World Cup triumph, something that’s very much on the cards considering England’s prowess under Gareth Southgate (who, by the way, is long overdue for a Knighthood). This could be the best sporting year in our great nation’s history despite Manchester City’s abject failure.
The Sky Blues must go at least another year without being considered Europe’s elite clubs. Much like Paris Saint Germain, Manchester City’s lack of Champions League success is a massive hindrance. Though they’re a fantastic side, I struggle to put them in the same bracket as Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea despite City’s recent league dominance.
It’s one thing to dominate at home, and another to rule overseas. Perhaps the idea of winning the European Cup has been built up so much in the heads of Guardiola and the players that it’s become an impossible, unconquerable task.
The Bridesmaids Of Europe
The mega-rich owners of Manchester City must be feeling the heat. Even after investing billions of pounds and signing one of the greatest managers of all time, the club has been unable to get over the line in the theater of European football. For me, this is nothing short of a disgrace and an embarrassment. I’m certain that, judging by my tactical nous with Subutteo, I could absolutely win this competition with this squad should I ever be given the reins.
I’m running out of patience with Manchester City. It seems that they’re destined to be perpetual bridesmaids of European football and time is running out for them to have their special day. If Pep can’t fix their problems, I see no reason why I can’t. I’ll even do it for a fraction of the salary Guardiola gets.
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