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city blogger
Season 2013/14

City Blogger: Vincent Kompany's gesture

  • 20 May 2014 12:33
  • Posted by @viewfromablue

There is a touching moment in the video below that encapsulates the modern, understated and thoroughly professional Manchester City.

As the players jubilantly make their way on to the Etihad pitch to collect the Premier League trophy after a refreshingly relaxed final day, one has a beer in hand, plenty others have their countries’ national flag draped round them and then, behind the rest of the squad, strides Vincent Kompany.

And yet, initially, as he leaves the tunnel to receive the much-coveted piece of silverware, he does not even reach the pitch. Instead, glancing round, he notices a small group of City players hesitating in the enclosed area. Perhaps through modest recognition of their limited role in the title success, they hang back, content to avoid the limelight and allow their more influential teammates to acknowledge the crowd’s acclaim.

Our captain, however, consumed by team ethic, doubles back on himself and gently coaxes the shy stars onto the pitch. The squad is bound as one, irrespective of how many minutes an individual played or how many goals they contributed. It was a season of toil, of grit, of spirit. At brief moments, it was one of deflation, of cutting pain. At the end, it was one of unrefined joy, of elation and, thanks to Kompany, of unity and togetherness.

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It was the type of gesture that could easily be overlooked, yet it spoke volumes about our captain as a person and as a leader. He wanted Micah Richards, Marcos Lopes and Dedryck Boyata to be part of the celebrations and to feel involved. It typified City’s all-encompassing approach nowadays.

As the club aims to expand on a global scale, there is still a personal, down-to-earth, inviting warmth that surrounds the place. It would be all too easy to embrace the wider world and the sponsorship deals and trips abroad that entails whilst forgetting the family feel and intimate touches that have characterised the club throughout history. City have been very careful to avoid exactly that.

Along with seven other diehard Blues from around the world, I’ve been given the opportunity to write for this website over the course of the season. A handful of other bloggers enjoyed a truly unforgettable experience as they were invited onto one of the buses that paraded through the city centre just days ago. One supporter who recently applied for a job at the club received the news that he had been successful thanks to a visit at home from Sergio Aguero. It’s the personal touches, as exemplified by Kompany, which go a long way.

That assuredness, that notion of professionalism, of genuinely trying to do the right thing is one that pervades the club. There are no boasts of wealth from the owners, no hyperbolic exclamations, just a professional and dignified approach that manifests itself in the manager, the players and the fans. Manuel Pellegrini is not one to get caught up with the mind games nonsense and the media soundbites that are so popular among his colleagues, the players are ambitious and fiercely driven but have humility to match, and the fans are as self-deprecating and modest as ever.

This title-winning, cup-winning, pulsating season may be over and it will be August again before we can settle down to enjoy domestic matters, but rest assured that the personal touches will continue and the family feel will always be prominent. This club, off the pitch and on it, is in great hands.

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