UNMISSABLE. Sky is calling it.
Manic Monday, Man-c Monday, Massive Monday ... they’re all being rolled out ahead of tonight’s potential title decider between Manchester City and Manchester United.
Derby matches (never say local derby – all derbies are local) are always fascinating and explosive affairs even when there’s nothing more than bragging rights at stake. No one likes going into work the next day to face a crowing colleague whose side has won when yours has lost, but imagine that feeling when their team has just taken a giant step towards winning the league at your team’s expense. That’s got to hurt.
There could be a lot of fallings out in the offices and factories in Manchester tomorrow morning. That’s if the losing fans turn up. Those that haven’t already booked the day off will be practising their best ill voices if it hasn’t gone their way at full-time ready for calling in sick in the morning. And they genuinely will be sick – it’s just that “as a parrot” won’t really wash with HR.
Tonight is not just the red side of Manchester versus the blue. It’s old money v new. It’s the established order v the new kids on the block. History v a very real vision of the future. With all their money Manchester City are here to stay.
This is not Jack Walker’s Blackburn. Sheikh Mansour’s City won’t be tumbling out of the league they once topped in a couple of seasons, they – as Fergie himself has acknowledged – will be challenging for top honours for years to come.
And there’ll be many more sick days being used up.