Here's the thing... If at the start of the season you'd said to the average City fan that the club would take four points combined from their trips to United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal I suspect most would have taken it quite happily.
After today's excellent result against Liverpool that City are already there with two more games to play shows the tremendous strides the club has made. This has to end though. Winning 11 with two draws in the first 13 matches isn't championship form, it's other worldly. United's 9-3-1 form is championship quality, it is - look it up. For City to be five points clear one third of the way through the league schedule is remarkable.
Honestly I thought the club would lose today. At some point the club will pay the price for not playing Nigel de Jong in front of Kompany and Lescott. You have to love the talking heads pointing out that Kompany hasn't been as assured this year as last season while failing to understand that it was de Jong playing in front of Kompany that made him the reputation that he has. Kompany is good, very good, but he's not as good as most think based on last year.
Which as an aside and while I think about it, has anyone else noticed the remarkable number of really good young Belgian players that are starting to appear? Kompany and Boyata for City of course but players like Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea, Alex Witsel at Benfica, Thomas Vermaelen with Arsenal and reported Wenger targets Jan Vertonghen at Ajax and Eden Hazard with Lille. If Lukaku can turn into the striking force that Belgium needs it won't be just the Croatians and Serbian's that the Scots and Welsh have to worry about in World Cup qualifying.
But I digress. Back to today and with the game overshadowed by tragic events off the field, a draw felt like a reasonable result. A shame Craig Bellamy didn't play, however given the circumstances completely understandable.
Finally I'd like to draw your attention to a fine article by Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail. Read it here.
I urge you to read the entire article, it's Samuel at his best, but the relevant passage is
What UEFA did by going further and linking spending power to generated income was effectively outlaw new money coming into the game to upset the established order. [my emphasis added] City then had a deadline in which to join the elite or be left behind.
While the Wenger's of this world resort to claims of "financial doping" a particularly odious statement which implies that City have done something illegal, Samuel shows that not only what City have done is more than above board but also necessary. United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs all spend money; City have just spent a lot in a short period of time... or is the proposed purchase of Mario Goetze by Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for 30 million financial doping on behalf of the Gunners?