Man City fans quiet because they’ve got ‘nothing to be angry about’

Editor F365
Manchester City fans in Madrid
Manchester City fans in Madrid

Where are all the Man City fans? Well, they’re just enjoying being brilliant and aren’t angry like fans of other big clubs.

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Man City fans are too mature to be angry
Was an interesting message earlier about why City fans aren’t writing in huge numbers after the game in Madrid on Tuesday.

Really it’s because we’re not angry. Read the mailbox and it’s 90%, cough, fans of the big red clubs full of righteous indignation when something doesn’t go their way. Or, increasingly, when they laughably perceive some grand conspiracy against them or (as with Arsenal this week) have invented their own siege mentality to the bemusement of the rest of the world.

I’ve got nothing really to be angry about, or at least nothing that I feel other fans should care about. That’s the thing, these, cough, fans, think the world should care about them. I don’t. We’ve had some ropey refereeing decisions this season like everyone that have largely gone under the radar as Pep hasn’t immediately demanded a written explanation from the authorities, but that happens. We’ve had some go our way too, big deal. Poor refereeing happens to everyone, there’s no conspiracy either way.

We’re a fairly mature fanbase, as in the FA’s surveys tend to show we have an older average age for match-going fans than most. I’ve had a season ticket since 1983…I was angry when we lost at home to Bury and one of the directors phoned into local radio to say he saw no future at the club. I was angry when Sky decided to experiment with pay per view for our away games in the third division. I am angry when we get dragged down to London games repeatedly for games ending hours after the last trains leave at less than a fortnight’s notice.

I’m not angry about anything to do with a European Cup quarter final. We could have Javier Tebas walking on the pitch, delivering a sermon on behalf of the far-right party he supports (that definitely doesn’t make all the comments he makes about ‘Arabs’ in football extremely sinister) then picking up the ball and throwing in a last minute winner – but compared to Bury at home, Luton in 1983, Gary Lund’s winner for Notts County in 1991, losing 4-1 at Lincoln and the rest, it’s a first world problem.

And I don’t expect anyone else to care either.
Gav, Edinburgh


,,,Hi John Jack. Hope you are well, thanks for asking.

I think most City fans as Mark said are just enjoying our current success, as fans of a certain age remember pre-2008.

Also nothing we ever say or do will make any difference to other fans, so why bother?

K (nothing big or clever to put in here)

GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? Head straight to the comments


Oh Liverpool fans, what are you doing?
The people who wrote in complaining about Liverpool’s arrogance and linking it to VVD should be embarrassed. One bloody match – we didn’t even lose for Christ’s sake. Quansah is a young player- he made a mistake… on the half way line!!! Any other Man United player would have passed back to his own keeper from there.

All these people would have sold their soul for a shot at the title this year – so please let’s show a bit of class now. Supporting a team is about…well… supporting a team. So just try to do that now and don’t turn on them like f**king vultures.
Michael, Ireland


When is a Big Chance not very big at all?
Here’s a stats quiz. In the Premier League this season, what percentage of Opta-defined big chances have been converted? Is it:

A) 41.6%

B) 37.4%

C) 33.5%

D) 28.2%

Remember that the definition of a big chance is “a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score.”

Now the answer: none of the above. Only 23.0% of big chances have been scored this season.

To which the only possible response is: WTAF? If a player should ‘reasonably’ be expected to score such chances, and they’re scored less than a quarter of the time, either Premier League players are really awful at scoring goals or there’s something wrong with the standard. I know which I’d pick.

But the stat is still fascinating, because by defining big chances in this manner, Opta is jettisoning the entire reason for its existence. Opta is there to collect quantifiable data, and it’d be so easy to define big chances by xG, a concrete, quantifiable standard. But here instead they go with a vague ‘reasonable’ standard which can’t be nailed down.

Just as interesting, it’s a standard which I think approximates the average fan’s view of things. The fact is, shots with an xG as high as .23 don’t come along every minute. They’re good chances, at least compared with most of the others we see. So it seems reasonable to expect our players to score them.

Naturally the media conspires in this. When commentators say “he has to score in that situation,” they’re often referring to a chance not much better than 23%.

So is the ‘big chance’ an unconscious nod to the more traditional fan? Either way, I’m all for it. If you miss a 23% chance, you may still be a good player. But if you miss a ‘big chance, you’re useless, rubbish, a donkey, etc. etc. And isn’t that what football’s all about?
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA


View from the kids’ area at the Emirates…
Was at the Arsenal game in the family section on Tuesday night. Oddly not having away fans in a section actually dampened the atmosphere at bit.

That said there were Bayern fans in the ground. Saw a few through the game but they were quiet and not bothering anyone.

Then – with 5 minutes to go – it all kicked off. A group of c30 Bayern fans, coordinated by a WhatsApp group, rushed to front of the block of three family. They all started signing and jumping in the isle together at once. A poor girl at the front got knocked over. Then the punches started – as Arsenal fans pushed back against it. This was followed by a rain of bottles at the Bayern fans – unhelpfully most of these hit those of us with kids in the family section.

Stewards reacted late but when they did they did well and got the Bayern fans out fast. Police were nowhere at all.

No moral to this story. Clearly it’s very hard to keep out all fans from a team. Any Arsenal fans who sold their seat should hang their head in shame. Was a bit scary for the kids – and poor for the Bayern fans to decide kids area was where to front up the Arsenal fans.

As for the game – 2-2 fair. Gabriel incident right in front of us. He wasn’t watching when Raya passed it. Lucky the referee used common sense. No idea why Saka didn’t just put it in either later on.
James B – Last sent a letter in in the Danny Kelly days in 2003


Look who’s back…back again
Oliver Dziggel mostly hits the nail on the head – but it’s really not an exercise in mental gymnastics if you skip to the part “Let’s deal in objectivity and not subjectivity” (which you then ended up agreeing with the rest of that entire paragraph…) because I’m pretty sure the ref is supposed to prioritize the former and not the latter when making a decision. So, yeah, not really trying to paint it from the POV of Saka/Arsenal.

If one agrees that it should ultimately be a pen because Neuer made a move on the ball and was in motion towards Saka (as if I literally didn’t try to make this my main point…) then you are actually missing the point because your personal agreement is not necessary. As if by pure happenstance, Law 12 of IFAAB lays it out clearly:

“A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences…” one of which is “impedes an opponent with contact…”. Law 13 stipulates (excuse my paraphrasing but it’s there on the interwebs for the public) that if any of Law 12 happens within the offender’s own penalty box then a penalty kick is awarded.

Look at the hero image of the mailbox you all responded to. Saka is clearly altering his route, taking a touch laterally (when he’s already directly on goal) to avoid the path of Neuer who (and I think this is pretty relevant) gets nowhere near the ball. The IFAAB rules do not dictate that Saka has to go even further out of his way to avoid contact with Neuer – he’s already being impeded and not only that he actually doesn’t kick into Neuer – he just doesn’t really try to move his leg out of the way of Neuer’s and he doesn’t have to.

Also, while the narrative is that had Saka stayed on his feet he would have been able to pass into an empty net (btw, even if true totally irrelevant to what a penalty is) – had he stayed on his feet there’s two recovering Bayern defenders getting goal side of him who only had the opportunity to make that recovery cause Saka had to go out of his way to avoid Neuer because he was being impeded.

Stonewall pen. Unless you want to start a petition to rewrite how IFAAB frames the rules – which I would vehemently support. But that’s another discussion.
MAW, LA Gooner (No one’s forcing you to read any of this, btw…)


Does anybody think Saka is a ‘chat’ though?
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite and George, Little Spruffleton wrote in to complain about the number of ‘people’ calling Saka a “cheat”. Tom, Walthamstow wrote in asking why Saka is being “demonised” by ‘people’ “slating an opposition player”. Are these ‘people’ somewhere outside of the F365 Mailbox? Because only one person described Saka’s actions as cheating in Wednesday’s Mailbox.

There is a difference between calling someone a “cheat” and saying that they tried to instigate a penalty and it backfired, or saying that it was simulation, or saying it was a dive. Or even just saying nothing about Saka at all and simply describing the incident as a “non-penalty” and saying that MAW, LA Gooner was “clutching at straws” by writing 1000 words on why it actually was “a stonewall penalty”. I particularly agree with 99% of Tom, Walthamstow’s view of the incident, but he appears to have missed the bit where people were mostly just pointing out that this was not a “stonewall penalty”. I’m sure he’d agree considering he only described it as “not a clear dive”.

The only reason I’m writing this reply is because this is such a clear and obvious (😊) example of how debate and discourse breaks down and goes nowhere:

– Club A’s supporter describes a debatable penalty as “stonewall”.
– Rival fans say ‘no, not stonewall, at best it was ‘I’ve seen them given’, at worst it was a dive’
– Club A’s other supporters write in asking why the player is being demonised and accused of being a “shameless cheat”.

It’s almost as if internet debates are futile!
Oliver (on his way to Anfield) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


The big issue
Thanks for drawing attention to Mainoo wearing blue.

Never mind Saka’s ‘dive’ or Kane’s elbow, such treachery from Mainoo should surely result in his immediate banishment from Old Trafford for ever more.

P.S. While Kane should own what he did, he isn’t a scumbag, and Saka probably goes to ground too easily due to the kicking he takes on a regular basis up and down the touchline.
Graham Simons, Gooner. Norf London