Pep has recently praised the vibrant atmosphere at the Etihad, particularly recently. But has the atmosphere really changed at all at Manchester City?
Last season saw some great atmospheres created at the Etihad. There are three games that stick out for me: PSG, the Manchester Derby, and the final game of the season vs. Aston Villa.
Manchester City’s away atmosphere is often praised. However, there is a bizarre perception that home support is poor; cue emptyhad and empty seats remarks.
Whilst there are occasions where the stadium isn’t completely full, more often than not, it’s packed. Manchester City still hold the record for biggest attendance of a home game set in 1934 with a whopping 84,569 packed into Maine Road.
Some Spurs fans might argue that they set a new record in 2016. However, that was a game played at Wembley Stadium – not their home ground, which was still being built.
The atmosphere at the Etihad has the ability to give a fan emotional whiplash depending on the day. But I guess that’s football.
There are periods where the fans are so much in awe of the football they are blessed to witness up close, that it can be a little mellow.
However, the south stand keep it going (“Ringleaders)! They, along with the players, get the whole stadium going, and when it gets going, it’s beautiful.
I myself have been known to well up at being involved in an electric atmosphere, that sucks you in and gives you a place to call home with thousands of people that you share a common love with.
The atmosphere varies. We are Manchester. We work hard here. More often than not, it is bitterly cold. So when there is a midweek fixture and we all come straight from work, we can take a while to warm up because we are tired.
Is the atmosphere better now that it ever has been? I would dispute that. However, what we watch now is more special than it has ever been. There is a togetherness between fans, players and the manager – and that is likely the special buzz that Pep has noticed more of.
A love for a club. For a community. A love for a family. Despite what City critics spout, that is exactly what we are, and no one does football family like the blues.