Did anyone hear Steve Bruce on 5live on Saturday?
I was driving to the game and had radio 5 on. Long story short, Bruce was on and he was asked about City and our recent dip in form. He essentially said that early in his United career, the 91-92 season to be precise, that United did something very similar to what we are threatening to do now. They lead everyone throughout the first half of the season, but after Christmas the wheels came off and they ultimately finished behind Leeds.
He blamed this on the pressure of being so close to winning the title, and on the fact that the club hadn't won it for so long that it all built up and became too much for them to handle, so they threw it away. He likened it to our situation and I thought he made a lot of sense. His final point was that the year after, they all sat around before the first game and said they weren't going to let it happen again, and he said they learnt so much from the previous year that it helped them go out and secure not just one title but championship after championship. Obviously he likened it to us and said that the squad will be more experienced with the pressure, but more importantly so will the fans and everyone working/involved in the club and that next year we will be an even better proposition.
Normally I would totally disregard anything that the man utters, but his comments made a lot of sense to me, I know we have title winners in our squad (the Toures, Nasri, Clichy) but the vast majority haven't won a huge amount, so this is a huge learning curve. Sure our frailties since Christmas could be down to the wrong tactics, or bad management, but for me, every time I see us playing lately I see a team short of confidence and belief, and a team that is struggling with the weight of expectation.
So to sum up, after hearing what Bruce had to say, I genuinely believe we will come back next year better equipped mentally than we are now, and I think we will win the league in style. We are still gaining that winning mentality, and we will continue to develop and improve. As dire as Saturday was, we came from 2 goals behind to take a point, we wouldn't have done that a few years ago, we also came from behind against Chelsea and Stoke, again those are games that we would have lost 18 months ago. I genuinely believe we are starting to get the right mentality and we will learn from our mistakes this campaign, there, now how is that for a bit of positivity?