Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Safety Fears Over Future Of Manchester City's Poznan

I love the Poznan as much as the next man but the Fulham match on Sunday raised the first few concerns over its longevity.

It soon became clear in the Putney End that some Fulham fans in the Riverside Stand to the left seemed as interested in the City fans as the match itself. Quite a few of them had cameras and phones pointed at our supporters during open play, clearly hoping for some spontaneous outbreak of Polish-inspired unity.

The greatest example I've seen so far was at the FA Cup final in May. We were lucky enough to be in the Wembley corner where Yaya ran to celebrate after scoring the winner. This video, shot on my iPhone, shows how quickly the fans turned from hailing Toure to turning our backs, throwing our arms over our neighbours' shoulders and jumping up and down in the most memorable City moment of my life. It's now been viewed more than a thousand times (most of them probably mine).

The joyous celebration is now as familiar and essential as Blue Moon to most City fans - an obligation every after every goal.

But after Kun's brilliant first strike against Fulham I slightly misjudged the narrowness of the gap between my legs and the Craven Cottage seat. I clattered both knees with the kind of impact that makes you feel slightly queasy for a minute. I had to grit my teeth for the encore after his stunning second goal.

The pain came flooding back when I absent-mindedly knelt down in the gym yesterday as part of my neverending training for this WWF charity half-marathon.

The other problem is the opposition piss-take Poznan. Murphy's deflected equaliser on Sunday led to an impromptu, if vastly inferior, effort from the home fans in the Hammersmith End. We had to stand there ruefully, hoisted by our own Poznan petard.

Intelligence from Poland suggests that the sight will become a Europe-wide phenomenon during the European Championships next year.

Maybe that's when City fans will shrug and move on. It'll be stored in the mental attic next to the inflatable bananas and bounced out only on special occasions.

But for now the British franchise belongs to us. So hands off. And make those terraces wider.

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