Well, I became a City supporter in a not very straightforward way. When I started to take an interest in English football, I just knew the big clubs, like Liverpool, United, Arsenal – and strangely enough Torquay United (sadly not a big club, I know). After seeing a TV-report about United on German telly and learning that they are called ‘Red Devils’ (my club Kaiserslautern are ‘Die Roten Teufel’) I decided to support Man Utd (I hate to admit it). But pretty soon that started to change. Following them I couldn’t help but notice how very similar that club is to my most hated team Bayern: arrogant, blaming defeat on the colour of their away strip of all things, the referee and everything but their own performance, their glory-hunting fans who start whining whenever their team doesn’t win every single trophy around and in addition to all that a berserk player like kung-fu-man.
To make it short, I stopped supporting ‘Moan U’ and started wondering whether there wasn’t any other team around in Manchester and only then I found out about City (no e-mail access then, and no TV coverage on English football in Germany, mind you). But my interest was really awakened when Gio Kinkladze, who used to play for my hometown’s 1.FC Saarbrucken – now Division 3 – signed for City, and when Rösler, Frontzeck and Immel went to Manchester as well I started to follow the club more intensely. Oh, and of course there was Oasis, one of my favourite groups.
But I really came to support the Blues last season, because of all the similarities between my club and City: both playing decent enough football, both being let down by their strikers, both being threatened by relegation, both teams ‘too good to go down’ (the usual TV-commentary) and both teams having the chance to stay in Premier football if only they could have won their final game, Kaiserslautern drawing 1-1 after being 1-0 up in Leverkusen, Man City drawing 2-2 with Liverpool, after being 0-2 down.
So unfortunately both teams went down and I became a City supporter, because I could relate to the feelings of the fans and because we had a common cause: winning instant promotion. Besides, I got a feeling City fans support their team because they love the club and football in general, and not (only) because of fame and glory and success.
Anyway, if your Nationwide Division One is only half as gruesome as our Bundesliga 2, you’ve got my deepest sympathy and one word to cheer you up: in a crap division like that it’s never impossible to win a play-off place, even if you are 6 points behind, a series of 5 wins in a row will take you right up to the top again, and the season really has just started.
Keep smiling, and up the Blues.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #244 on