It was a bit of a false start, really. Abandoning my City season ticket in May after umpteen years, the new season saw me attend my first pre-season friendly in ages as City took on Porto. I never had any intention of going to the match, but when my parents offered to take my lad to what would be his first City game I just had to be there; to witness the event, and to lend the folks a hand.
And I am delighted to report that he had a great time, eating Smarties and Pringles with his back to the pitch, while “fixing my seat” with a stone he had picked up from the floor; so he showed more imagination than anyone in the City team that day. Fair’s fair, it is a bit much expecting a 3 year old to remain interested throughout a 90 minute match; but then it is tough on anyone who isn’t in a yogic trance to sit through a pre-season friendly at City, so I think he did really well.
Then Wednesday saw me sat back in my old seat to watch the Portsmouth game – well, it was one of the few home matches before Christmas not to be televised, and I always thought I would probably go to our first match of the season – and while at the start of the match I wondered if I would miss my jaunts to the City of Manchester stadium, by the second half of the nil-nil draw I was convinced of the rightness of my decision. By full time I was desperate to get home.
So yesterday truly marked the start of the new regime; perhaps fittingly, while last season’s home fixture against Arsenal was my last as a season ticket holder, yesterday’s home match against the same team was the first where I chose The Weavers over Eastlands.
It will be interesting to see how becoming an armchair fan affects my viewpoint. When I was someone who attended every home game I could I hated the 5:15 Saturday kick-offs; they were a real pain in the arse, completely buggering up your Saturday night. Now, however, I think they’re great. I pop to the pub, have a few pints, pick up a take-away pizza on the way home, and we are tucking into our Thin-Crust Sicilians with extra jalapenos while others are stuck on the match bus, or in a traffic jam. Certainly it seems a far more painless way to watch a somewhat fortuitous victory.
So I don’t know when I will grace a City home match again, not while Sky give me every opportunity to go to the pub instead. The next home game that is not on telly and where I am available is Bolton on the 23rd of December, and that fixture hardly sets the heart racing. Christmas shopping and an impending new born may scupper any chance of me going to that game, even if I want to. But after Porto and then Portsmouth, perhaps for the sake of neatness I’ll wait to see if we ever play Port Vale, either in the cup or even in the league, before I once again watch a City match in the flesh.
I may be in for a long wait.