Not to be. Photo: Michael Regan (Getty Images)
Now I know what it must have felt like to be a Bayern Munich fan in 1999.
That was the most gripping, enthralling, exciting, twisting final day of football that has ever graced the Premier League. Nothing will ever compare to that. For nine months of ever changing football to come down to the last goal of the season is nothing short of incredible.
It hurts to see City winning the league, especially in such a United fashion with two late goals, but it only put the seal on what we had already anticipated. City might have made a meal of it today but they have deservedly won the league.
They comfortably beat us on two occasions and have, with consummate ease, played the best football over the course of the season. United weren’t in the title race until the dying seconds because of how fantastic we were playing, we were there because we grinded out results. In general, it was a poor season that will be remembered only by the fact that City won their first league title in 44 years.
It seems a lifetime ago that United knocked eight past Arsenal and were looking like a team possessed, playing some of the most fluid football we had done in years. Fast forward to our performance against City at the Etihad and you realise just how difficult a season it has been for us. Today would have been SAF’s greatest triumph, but it was not to be.
What’s next? The entire demographic of the Premier League has surely now changed. Powered by an infinite bank roll, City have stormed to the top of the throne and have stolen United’s crown. With £300m debt still looming over our head courtesy of the Glazers, this summer is possibly the most important in the Premier League.
We needed players last year and struggled this season because what we needed wasn’t brought in, bar David De Gea. Young added options and Jones added versatility but the creativity we craved came in the form of Scholes after January. With SAF watching Kagawa against Munich the day before today’s game, early signs suggest that we will move swiftly in the market and if City aren’t going to come over the top of us with their bigger wallet, we are going to have do it very fast.
City were egged on by their FA Cup successes last year and came back this season to win the Premier League. What will winning the title do for them? An exponential amount of confidence will be pumped into the blue side of Manchester, that’s what. Next season could be the start of an era if City press on from their title but we all know that with SAF at the helm, he will refuse to bow down and leave United unless they are on a high.
If today’s drama is anything to go by, then the Premier League is going to go from strength to strength. I just hope, for our sakes, that United do the same: dust yourselves off, pick yourselves up and come back stronger.