At what point does City’s good start to the season become more than, just a start. Most of us are contemplating turkey or nut roast options for the 25th December now, and Christmas means to me not only presents, mince pies and incredible weight gain in a fantastically short space of time but halfway.
Half way to the end and the half from the beginning. It’s the point where we can take stock of how City’s season has been successful and where the club is positioned.
And, so far, when we do look back, it reads like its been a bit of a breeze, a cruise, a walk in the park. That’s what we say to anyone who’ll listen, but in reality, we know that hasn’t been the case.
Endeavour and steadfastness have seen us through on occasion, along with skill, preparation and talent at other times of course.
There has already been talk of the Blues maintaining this form throughout and completing our 38 PL fixtures unbeaten. Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to see that happen.
To attain something that United never had would be a sweet, sweet victory. Alas, do any of us honestly think that will happen? Someone will beat us, I’m sure, and I fancy it’ll be someone outside of what we’d consider our top challengers (although having said that, I’ve got a feeling about Spurs on 16th December).
Huddersfield reminded us of that recently when, as the pundits love to do, they were written off before a ball was kicked, a whistle was blown or a vanishing spray, sprayed.
Seldom does anyone look comfortable at the John Smith’s Stadium, but City got the result they were after. Pep Guardiola and the team’s reaction at the final whistle told its own story, and we all should revel at that moment.
Our manager and the media, for once in unison, are right – its moments like those which define a season and in the past, we may have capitulated, dropped points, even lost, City showed a determination to see it through. There is no respite in the team – they keep on keeping on and don’t let up until the task is complete.
Huddersfield turned out to be a tough nut to crack and perhaps a little unexpectedly so. For a side who capitulated 4-0 away at Bournemouth last time out in the Premier League were (and are, as United for out to their cost) a different prospect at home.
However, it cannot be understated just how dominating the Sky Blues are when in pursuit of a result. From a statistical perspective, 80% ball possession tells its own story.
We frequently hear these days that keeping the ball counts for nothing but I always counter that if you haven’t got it, you can’t score. However, at risk of sounding like a preacher of the gospel of stats, the knowledge that the Terriers completed just 37 successful passes in the second half compared with City’s 336 tells a story of complete dominance.
This is football, City rode our luck at times but stood toe to toe during what felt like a real fight at times – the Yorkshire outfit living up to their nickname admirable.
Having said that, anything less than a win would have felt we were cheated. On paper, City have faced more stringent tests already but this, I perceived at least, felt like a major battle and a significant milestone.
There’s a defeat coming, we all know that, but to have made history like City have already this season, it’s a fantastic way to go into the Christmas period.
City cruise into December full on confidence but also with a now recognised sense of strength and steel about us that lacked last year.
The waters will get choppy, but I don’t sense we’ll be rudderless when they do – there’s potential captain’s all over the pitch, and that should see us through the winter.