Things We Think We Think #26

1. The reaction to the Burnley defeat remains, two days on, primarily one of shock. What little recriminations there have been have centred on a poor substitution made at the wrong time; most are just accepting that every now and then inexplicable things like that just happen in football.

2. While the 15 minutes of madness at the end will remain as our abiding memory of the game, one trusts Nick Barmby has cleared his head enough to emphasise to his team that the preceding 75 are worth recalling too. City played some marvellous football for much of that time, and a freakish spell at the end shouldn’t be allowed to cloud what was a display full of verve.

3. The atmosphere was a decent one on Saturday, the unquestionable highlight of which was a couple of thousand schoolkids taunting the Burnley fans with a high-pitched squeal of “who are yer”. Let’s hope the youngsters in the North Stand enjoyed proper football played in front of them instead of on Sky Sports enough to pester mum and dad for return visits.

4. That lad who suffers the indignity of walking around the stands dressed as a slice of pizza, is that some sort of community service penance? If it isn’t restorative justice in action, we sure hope he’s on more than minimum wage.

5. Paul McKenna had a slow start to his City career, but he’s been a star of late. City’s man of the match on Saturday, his knack for quietly tidying up in midfield is an unglamorous but essential role. He’ll be sorely missed tomorrow night at Southampton.

6. More glamorous is Cameron Stewart. What an outstanding talent he is, and he’s seemingly lost no pace, talent or confidence during his time injured.

7. Unfortunately, it seems inevitable that Robbie Brady will be judged on how he compares to Stewart. On Saturday, that was very much as the lesser of our two wingers.

8. Southampton, then. They’ve won all nine at home this season, and are clearly something more than a flash in the pan. If anyone can ruin a side’s outstanding home record it’s City, but the task looks a daunting one.

9. The visit to St. Mary’s offers the last readily justifiable chance of 2011/12 to use the alternate amber shorts and socks set, as Southampton are the only side we’ve yet to face away that use black home shorts. Go on Johnny, give us another fix.

10. Sorry Bill Shankly, but you were wrong about football being more important than life and death. Gary Speed’s untimely end is testament to that.

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