After watching the seemingly effortless destruction of a very handy Watford side last evening, I am motivated to put pen to paper this morning to share the fact that after watching and playing the game for the bones of forty years, this current City team are playing some of the best football I have ever, EVER seen in my life.
Liverpool in the Eighties, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and even our quiet neighbours over in the borough of Salford during the Nineties, have set the highest of standards in European club football.
But this Manchester City side, under the stewardship of the artisan-in-chief, Pep Guardiola, have, and will continue to raise the bar even higher.
Blue-tinted spectacles? Deluded?
What say the neutrals, begrudgers and haters now?
Averaging a ridiculous 70-80% possession per game, home or away, and breaking records week in and week out, this really feels like the dawn of a new era, a renaissance par excellence, in English football.
For it is a high-octane, laser-guided precision, feast of mouth-watering, easy-on-the-eye, silky, smooth, purring almost sexual brand of footy, in the vision of the Cruyff protege, and moulded with the poise and sophistication one would expect from a sculptor, who makes love to his masterpiece with every stroke of a fine, delicate utensil, in the knowledge that his limitless passion and sheer beauty in excellence will undoubtedly be appreciated by fellow connoisseurs and humble witnesses alike.
I recall a favourite family photograph, taken in the midst of a log-flume descent in Florida in 2011, the year that City beat United at Wembley and went on to end the trophy drought of 35 long years after finally winning the F. A. Cup thanks to Yaya Toure. Emblazoned across my t-shirt, as our faces grimaced at the impending descent into cold water, was the somewhat sarcastic slogan : "MCFC; It's just like watching Brazil".
Perhaps the irony is lost on some, but not unlike the highly optimistic City anthem, "Best team in the land and all the world," which was belted out with as much sarcastic enthusiasm by the City fans in the away end at Lincoln, Stockport, Macclesfield and Barnsley, as it would be with vilified justification at a Champions League final in Paris or Milan, based on what I have witnessed yesterday evening, and over the last few months, the sumptuous football on display is of a calibre which would suggest that we are actually better than Brazil.
Yup, I said it. And I haven't gone delirious (at least, not just yet).
Some of the passing and moving and intricacy in detail, accuracy and spellbounding delivery made it often difficult to imagine how the onlooking Watford lads could even get the ball. Like United in December, and a few other teams before and since, who have been left in the wake of this pristine and punctual sky blue rollercoaster, it was often like watching a cat toying with a mouse. "Please sir, can we have our ball back?"
They say nobody wins a title in January, but with twenty wins in twenty-two games nobody has ever dreamt of, let alone registered, such a brazen and bold attempt to dominate the domestic scene.
Even the Arsenal team which boasted Bergkamp, Henry and Pires, and went unbeaten for the whole season, didn't score as many goals, win as many matches, and dominate possession the way this City side do.
Forget the personnel for a moment.
Dismiss the poor refeering decisions around the highly cynical and vicious challenges on City players by Jason Puncheon, Harry Kane, and Delli Alli in recent games.
Disregard the injuries to captain Kompany, solid John Stones, talented Ilkay Gundogan, left-back Benjamin Mendy, and now promising Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus.
This is something else.
And not just for the City faithful, but fans of football everywhere.
This is how it feels to be City.
Breathtaking, audacious, enterprising, swashbuckling,
Football journalists had better wield dictionaries like never before, in an attempt to describe the beautiful game on show at the Etihad campus this season.
Notice has been served.
Happy New Year!
Carl J Ashley
#FootyPorn #SuperCity #PepTalk #BlueMoon