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Column: City kicks off revolution with a bang
Question of the Day
Manchester City’s players are champions of England _ yes, that is a phrase we’re all going to have to get accustomed to _ because they believed in themselves like those at Manchester United used to.
Like the great teams that Alex Ferguson has produced in his quarter-century at United, City’s players refused to accept that hope was lost, that they couldn’t make the seemingly impossible possible.
Not only did they take a leaf out of Ferguson’s never-say-die play-book to win the Premier League title on Sunday, they rubbed salt in the wound by trumping one of the Scot’s greatest triumphs, too.
It was a moment that, for the people of Manchester, especially in those households that support the Reds, seemed like it could never be topped _ one of football’s most spellbinding dramas.
Well, this was even more astounding. Two goals in two minutes that marked the beginning of a new era in Manchester, making this more significant than 1999, too.
The more than $1 billion that the Abu Dhabi owners of City have spent to finance this revolution _ more of a hostile takeover, really _ in the best and most engrossing league in world football were vital, of course.
Putting a stop, perhaps a full stop, to Ferguson’s winning ways at United couldn’t have been accomplished, at least not by City, any other way.
But, in the 2 minutes and 6 seconds that really counted Sunday, it was the courage and the belief of City’s players and not the size of their paychecks that made the difference. Sure, the money helped to lure the likes of midfielder Yaya Toure and striker Sergio Aguero from sunny Barcelona and Madrid and it will help to keep them and others in the less hospitable north of England. And, yes, perhaps that does make them mercenaries _ like so many others in football these days.
But they confounded the critics who opined that such an overpaid bunch of stars were unlikely to jell into an effective team and that they’d trip over their egos before winning a title.
“It’s not us just coming here for money and all these stories that we’ve heard,” said City captain Vincent Kompany. “We’ve dreamed of this all our lives, when we was kids and we had nothing, no money, nothing.”
Although that last part has to be taken with a pinch of salt _ it’s hard to believe that Kompany longed to play for what was then poor and sorry City when he was growing up in Belgium _ you get his point. Kompany, especially, this season and again Sunday has played as though the blood in his veins has always run pure City blue. And he is not the only one.
With 91 minutes and 13 seconds played, City fans’ hearts were breaking. They screamed, turned the air blue and stamped in frustration.
The last game of the season and City looked to be throwing away the title. Horrible defending had allowed Queens Park Rangers to build a 2-1 lead. And to complete the nightmare scenario, United had beaten Sunderland 1-0 in its final game and looked to have one hand, perhaps both, on the trophy.
By David Keene
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