Well, what a time to be a Blue. We've had a rollercoaster few months, years for that matter actually, but the past few days in particular have been something else.
I walked out of the Etihad on Sunday afternoon ecstatic that we had pulled a win out of the bag against a team who, on recent form, we had all secretly been dreading playing, with or without Adebayor. At 2-nil up I thought we'd settle down and cruise to 90 minutes. Almost immediately that notion was disregarded, as Spurs pulled it back to 2 all. The next 20 mins were nervy, to say the least. At the beginning of this period, Mario Balotelli came on the pitch. For me this added to the nerves, waiting for Super Mario to save the day. And it happened, he won us a penalty in the final few minutes and then scored it, City get 3 points, and that is all that should matter. Harry Redknapp should go back to worrying about his upcoming court case, and we would go back to worrying about the things that matter to us, namely winning the league.
But the press didn't fancy that. I was unaware of it, but the witch hunt had already begun as I exited the stadium that day. The first I knew of any controversy was when I got home and saw Redknapp's post match interview. The long and short of it, is that for an incident which went unpunished by the ref, unprotested by opposition players, but involving Balotelli, media talk was of the FA "taking action". The following day, this happened, and Mario has been banned for 4 games. A referee who was a few feet away signed the warrant, by saying he didn't see it, thus allowing the FA to "take action". He's either not fit to do his job, needs an eye test or both. Following on from decisions made regarding Vincent Kompany's challenge in the FA Cup game, where our appeal against his sending off was thrown out yet a similar challenge from Glen Johnson went unpunished in our next game, David Platt has today said in a press conference that he doesn't see the point in appealing to the FA.
Balotelli has proven divisive in all camps. Us, them, everyone has an opinion. This most recent incident has been even more polarising. Some say he should leave for the good of City, some say he should stay for the same reason. My brother loves him but thinks he did it intentionally, I don't. No-one knows for certain except Mario. My Mrs tells me that they talk about him on Radio 4. I don't expect confessions in years to come a-la Roy Keane on Alfie Haaland in semi-literate auto-biographies. But having said that, Mario is unpredictable, after all.
On the back of all this fallout from one game, talk was not of City seeing off a rival in a closely fought football match, the talk was of an incident which went unpunished by the ref, unprotested by opposition players, but involving Balotelli, and against this backdrop the next chapter opened up.
Manchester City Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak was interviewed in Abu Dhabi, and the content of what he said would surely rock football to the core, if not then at least scare the pants off Carlos Tevez.
In a nutshell, Khaldoon informed the world that Manchester City have not paid Tevez since November, and that AC Milan have to present a better offer if they wish us to consider letting them sign him. Without an improved offer, on "our terms", Tevez will be contractually obligated for the next two and a half years. As he is patently not a part of Roberto Mancini's plans, this means that Carlos Tevez will not play for anyone unless he is bought for at least £25 million, or until approximately 2015. He professionally ridiculed AC Milan and Kia Joorabchian's tactics in trying to get a cheap deal, and said it was a pleasure to deal with cross city rivals Inter, and PSG, with whom dealings had been conducted in the correct manner, albeit eventually unsuccessful.
After seperating the fanbase over Balotelli, the media have done something of their own making, and reunited us. There was always a new Tevez story on the way, and having Khaldoon tell it has been a masterstroke. I don't know if it was done on purpose, or if it was, then if it was for this reason. Maybe it was to force AC Milan into a deal, I don't know. For football, it has put some of the power back with the clubs who offered the lucrative contracts, and especially in our case, indicated that what the media term "wantaway" players cannot hold clubs to ransom in the hope of a transfer.
What the past few days have told us, if you didn't already know, is that it doesn't matter who you are, because we are City, and we are not going anywhere. The boss isn't, the Sheikh isn't, we fans certainly aren't, and the Club is on the rise whether the FA like it or not.
City 'til I die.