1. One week, two Cup games, two exits – and two very different ways of departing knockout competitions. Manchester United first, where City were magnificent in victory on the night, and although it wasn’t enough to make the League Cup final, it was still as impressive as anything we’ve seen this season.
2. All the more so for a highly unexpected team selection. It smacked a little of tossing the tie away and keeping our powder dry for the league, however the attitude on show suggested precisely the opposite. In the end, even if it never quite felt as though the miracle of qualification was on, City outplayed their illustrious guests and thoroughly merited a first win over them in four decades. Terrific stuff, and a richly enjoyable League Cup run came to an inspiring end.
3. Not that many were inspired to attend. To see the whole of the upper West Stand shut and barely 13,000 City fans in attendance was as shocking an indictment of the Allam family’s poison as you could wish to see.
4. Three days later came an exit from English football’s premier cup competition, and if we left its less distinguished counterpart with heads held high, no such feeling was possible at Fulham. City were disjointed, disorganised and worst of all, disinterested in crashing to a wretched 4-1 defeat at Craven Cottage. There are no positives to take, and it’s a stark reminder that Marco Silva has an epic task in making City competitive this season.
5. Which brings us back to the ghastly, spiteful, hateful Allam family, who seem to regard any bid of £10m from any club for any of our players as an automatic prompt to cash in and instruct the manager to replace them with an inferior loan. “We aren’t a selling club”, dribbled Ehab. He must think we’re as stupid as his classmates recall him to be.
6. Robert Snodgrass was a fine player for City, one whom we almost certainly didn’t see the best of thanks to his elongated spell on the sidelines after that horrific injury suffered on the opening day of 2014/15. Eventually we did get to witness some marvellous free kicks and some generally incisive displays from an international footballer who rightly felt he deserved better than a last-ditch auto-extension on his contract from a regime who have form for not adopting known employment practices for key senior players. We wish Snodgrass well at West Ham United, without obviously wishing any wellness towards West Ham United.
7. There has been some criticism of Snodgrass for not apparently showing enough loyalty to City after they nurtured him back to health while paying his not insubstantial wages over 15 months. As a riposte, we’d say that a) being seriously injured was not his fault; b) highly-paid footballers are just as likely to be injured as those on the breadline; c) he was never slow in thanking the club and the supporters for believing in him before and upon his return; d) he was generally brilliant this season; e) the quickness with which the club accepted the £10m offer suggested they could see life without him quite readily; and f) his slightly outspoken interviews in the early part of the season (specifically on the tiny number of players in the squad) suggests that he didn’t like nor trust nor rate the Allams and wanted to carry out his professional duties with a club that knew its gluteal muscles from its lateral epicondyle. Not that West Ham is that club, of course – a world of other problems exist there – but at least it understands that having some footballers on the payroll of a football club is rather crucial.
8. Burnley seem now close to getting Andy Robertson off us. Only a simpleton (morning, Ehab) would endorse such a deal and if he goes, that’s £30m worth of assets the owners have cashed in on without spending a bean on credible, proven replacements. Marco Silva has stated that up to four players are coming in before the deadline – but “up to four” can be defined as anything from four down to none whatsoever.
9. Manchester United on Wednesday, again. Then Liverpool at home. Then Arsenal… and then the fight to stay in the Premier League actually starts. Even a point from the next nine available would be regarded as a bonus, especially as we seem to be close to picking players barely on solids thanks to our destructive transfer policy.
10. Ryan Mason has been released from hospital and this is something from which we can take good cheer. The road to his full recovery starts here and we hope it is speedy and not uncomfortable.