I just finished watching the pre-match Press Conference, and one particular segment stuck with me long after the video was over.
Someone asked you if you received any supportive messages from the Football fraternity following UEFA’s decision to ban Manchester City from UCL for two years.
You said, “No!”, and gestured the same with a straight face followed by death stare. It looked like a usual drill, but something happened there, at that moment…
I talked about it with my peers, tweeted about it on my social media handle, smirked at the ignorance of others and believed that I’ll be over it, just like I’ve done countless times in the past.
Somehow, none of my usual responses left me feeling okay with what I just saw.
I struggled to articulate my feelings after knowing that you didn’t receive any reassuring texts from your peers after the unfortunate announcement. Especially when I’ve always seen you backing coaches and players from other teams, irrespective of the situation.
But that isn’t something new, is it? For once, I want to give in to my frustration and talk about how unfair it is.
I can start talking about the entire UEFA fiasco, but much has been written about it. Truth be told, I can even bring myself to accept any decision that comes our way but right now, I just want to talk about you.
Anyone who watches football knows how you changed the landscape of the Premier League since you arrived. They can throw innumerable excuses to remove your name from the column of elites but you, Sir, will always be the one who changed the course of our journey with sheer dedication and hard work.
I know that the media often says otherwise but if people were to accept their narration as the gospel truth, then tell me, wise men of the world, why isn’t every lottery-winner featured on the list of successful individuals? Bags of gold don’t guarantee success, but skills do. And, in this case, they accounted for seven trophies amidst historic achievements over the course of the last four seasons.
Hence, the only reason behind the lack of support for you can be narrowed down to the fact that it takes a courageous heart to come out and cheer for the biggest threat that it has ever faced. I can go on slating the big names for the same, but I learned from you that we should focus on what’s in our control.
Hence, I am writing this to let you know that thousands stand behind you in your uphill battle. It would be best if you now realized that you’re no longer standing alone.
Ever since you arrived, you made promises, and you stood by them.
You said you would never criticize your players in the media and you don’t. You say you will always be respectful towards your opponents and you are. You said you would fight till the end and you did. Yet, you are always criticized for living up to your words. I don’t think it surprises you anymore.
But sometimes, it makes me wonder if the perfectionist in you ever feels isolated, standing all by himself, against the self-appointed guardians of the sport.
I wish I knew if you would have been treated differently if you were managing any other team in the League… I don’t know if you think about it too. All I know is that you lead by examples of courage and loyalty, and I wish you were on the receiving end of the same more often.
I always hoped to write an open letter to you, inking the effect of your presence over my team, my club and most importantly, myself.
Since it is about support or the lack thereof, I am doing what I do best to make up for it. I am writing to you to let you know that I have been singing the praises of the Blue Moon since I was a little girl, but it was your arrival at Etihad which sparked a new rhythm in me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved City before you came and I’ll love them after you leave. But your presence instigated a passion for a fight that I had never felt before. It felt like the sound of a thousand drums synchronized with my heartbeat, urging me to push beyond the limit that I had lazily accepted as my utmost potential. Something that made me a much stronger person. I learned how to give it all for a win and how to take a loss on the chin.
If this is the impact that you have on an individual sitting thousands of miles away, I can only make a juvenile attempt at understanding your influence over the players and the overall game in England. I can’t even begin to contemplate why no one would come out and talk in your favour but look at the cruel joke of destiny, it’s you who taught me to respect other’s opinions even when I disagree.
I hope you have someone who tells you that you are brave to lead a fight when the onlookers always attempt to smear your spirit with comments about failure. I don’t know what the future beholds but I am sure that just like thousands of other Cityzens, I will always be proud to sing, “We’ve got Guardiola!” until it deafens any sound of disrespect directed towards the man who taught us how to be the Champions!
A very small but still a part of Football