“We’re not really here” is a mantra Manchester City fans sing with pride. That’s why, despite the pain of a loss to Liverpool that might very well end our title hopes this season, we will continue to enjoy the soccer our club is providing and the indulgence in the club culture and ethos our ownership group provides.
Yesterday’s loss to Liverpool was certainly heart wrenching. It was the third successive trip to Anfield where we have felt aggrieved about an official’s call that may have decided the match. But while some newer City fans have spent many hours since full-time complaining about the officiating, many of us — while upset with the result and the possible end of our Premier League title chances — just savored the moment of being in such a big match.
It was not very long ago when the idea of our club being in a potential title-deciding clash at Anfield in mid-April was simply a fantasy reserved for playing Football Manager or FIFA. These occasions, the big occasions, still sometimes overawe our supporters.
Those of us who have supported Manchester City for a long period of time are on the journey as supporters of an English football club. We never imagined we would be where we are, sitting four places in the table ahead of Manchester United and having finished ahead of Liverpool four successive seasons. While we want to win titles and trophies, our club has always been about fanatical support and having fun on the way. The loss at Anfield was heart wrenching no doubt but it was also the type of English football match we enjoy — end to end action with constant goal scoring opportunities and plot twists.
Each and every time we are in a big match, on a special occasion with a special atmosphere, the club culture and lore grow a little more. The results, while important, don’t always matter as we build our legacy. For us “being here” simply means more than most supporters of big clubs can imagine.
Being a supporter of this club has never been better or more relevant. Those who support our great rivals might mock the “lack of ambition” us Blues supporters have but we are just enjoying the ride.
Kartik Krishnaiyer, who has supported Manchester City for thirty years, is the author of the new book Blue With Envy about his experiences as a Manchester City fan in the United States. The book is available here.