Anyone else still got the FCR version of Yellow Submarine stuck in their heads? I have. Apart from the original being classic earworm material, City fans’ choreographed rendition rolls so delightfully off the tongue and is so easy to sing.
It’s the best feeling but in spite of this, I will be glad to see the back of the derby.
It’s looking increasingly likely that the two teams won’t be in the same division next season and may well be two apart. Even if City choke in the final third of this epic season, surely Sunday’s visitors have been sucked too far into that black hole to escape now.
I for one won’t be sorry. I don’t enjoy derby day and never have done. Although we have had the best times over recent years, the trouble is (stating the bloody obvious here) you don’t know the result until afterwards.
The gnawing fear of losing lasts right up until the game. Despite the lucky underwear, the same breakfast cereal as the last derby game and the knowledge that your team is better than theirs, you don’t know.
For me, the pleasure of winning is not as intense as the pain of losing. At the start of the season, I’d always settle for two draws. The tension for me is unbearable. I work in border territory and the veterinary practice I’m at suffers regular incursions from those from the dark side.
The build-up to kick off starts weeks earlier and intensifies with the approaching game. If I’m honest I’ve certainly dished it out over the years, so when it finally happens, and they beat us (which they inevitably will one day) I’ve got it coming.
I don’t actually mind the banter, it’s the nastiness I hate. I enjoyed my trips to places like Hartlepool and Yeovil in League One. I loved putting the football world to rights with their fans in the pub beforehand. That’s what being a football supporter is all about.
But I find the whole tribal hatred thing horrible. I know we have our fair share of idiots too but I can’t forget being spat on and having stones thrown at me at Portman Road. It’s completely unacceptable.
On a couple of times I had young children with me and really feared for their safety. The advent of social media has made it doubly bad.
And if the whole thing wasn’t volatile enough, we now have Paul Lambert in the mix. His behaviour during the match and his post-match comments were quite frankly embarrassing. I’m assuming his Hall of Fame picture will remain. If we took it down, he’d dine out on it for years.
But tell me, when you walk past it, will it rekindle memories of stirring 1-5 victories, of Chris Martin’s winner against Leeds or of that magical night at Fratton Park?
No. It will immediately bring to mind a bloke behaving like a street brawler.