Leafing through the Bumper Book of City Swear Words, it is sometimes easy to forget how those well-thumbed pages, with their dubious-looking smudges and deeply ingrained tearstains, got so grubby. It is a body of work that has, on the whole, not been needed much of late, as City have cantered through season after season of gentle trophy gathering.
It may may go unnoticed as a footballing landmark, but this week marks the halfway point between the controversial awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, and the tournament kicking off in the tiny but wealthy Arab state in November 2022.
Kevin Keegan knows a bit about fairtytale endings except, that for him, there was to be no happy ever after when English football’s greatest tale of the unexpected — until Leicester City came along — reached its climax on a famous night in Madrid in 1980.
How Garry Monk must wish he could turn the clock back three months. Swansea’s manager ended August with a victory over Manchester United that lifted his team into the Premier League’s top four. He ends November barely clinging to his job.
Mario Balotelli gave away his Liverpool shirt at half-time against Real Madrid in a moment that symbolised the gaping gap between the two sides; and there will be now be inevitable speculation over whether he will ever get it back again.