As a Man United fan, the end to this inexorable Premier League season is as excruciating as root canal surgery. In many ways I'd prefer to be on a dentist's chair, mouth gaping.
Gary Neville was recently asked who he'd prefer to win the league: Manchester City or Liverpool FC. He said it's like asking who you'd prefer to nick your wife. That's how United fans feel at present.
We are trapped in a lose-lose situation, our precarious position in the Champions League proving our only trump card. I keep telling myself to savour every ounce of European excitement. It doesn't looks like we'll be picking up any sky miles for a while. Immediately I think of those Holiday at Home commercials pushing insular, British tourism.
Fear not however, I've made a decision. For United fans reading this, I hope it brings you the clarity of thought and bravery of spirit; you will undoubtedly need over the coming months.
I would prefer Manchester City to win the league. Here are my 10 reasons why, in no particular order:
1) I dislike Luis Suarez.
2) Liverpool fans reveling in contemporary success? Even more nauseating than their relentless harking-back to the 80's.
3) 90% of football pundits in this country have an association with Liverpool. We shouldn't be subjected to gloating undertones in their commentary.
4) Liverpool would win their 19th league title, one behind us. That's a bit close thank you very much.
5) I dislike Kenny Dalglish.
6) I want very much to keep singing the, "Have you ever seen Gerrard win the league,' song.
7) We have already seen City win the league in recent years. Better the devil you know.
8) On that point: you can say City won it because of the gazillions they've spent. Liverpool winning it the right way: good management and a blend of youth? A painful admission.
9) My business partner is a scouser.
10) I cannot deny my admiration for Brendan Rogers. If they win it, expect my self-loathing to multiply tenfold.
You see, within my reasoning lies a modicum of respect for what's going on at Liverpool. First and foremost, I'm a fan of the sport, and therefore not blindly oblivious to facing the facts. And yet I'm guided by the same tribal instinct of my fathers and fathers-fathers.
Liverpool has five games left to clinch the title, though they have to face City this weekend, a true six-pointer if there was ever one.
I'm aware I haven't mentioned Chelsea thus far. Naturally, should they rise to the occasion, players laden in shining amour, entrenched in siege mentality enforced by the enigmatic Mourhino; this bout of verbal anxiety pales into insignificance. Yet being a United fan, I am well learned in late season charges. It's all about momentum, and though my spirit feels self-mutilated at the thought of it; Liverpool is in the swing of things.
Squeaky-Bum-Time? More like season-progressive-induced nausea time. City; this will be the first and last time you hear me say this: please win the league.Suggest a correction