Well, we did it.
The June edition of the City Magazine may be a little late as a result, but – for obvious reasons – we needed to see how things panned out… not that there was ever any doubt!
As a result, we can confidently claim this to be a ‘Champions Edition’ – filled with stunning photography from our very talented snappers and various overviews, stats, and features.
Our Alternative City Mag Awards makes its first appearance, with some very worthy winners included. Our panel chose the winners so see if you agree with them.
You’ll also discover the season stats for all competitions with 11 different Top 3 categories which makes very pleasant reading – especially if your name happens to be Joao Cancelo!
And former skipper Andy Morrison gets his end of term report for his predictions column – how did the big man do? The results are listed on a game-by-game basis, so see how he got on…
Elsewhere we have extensive coverage of our Under-18s and EDS, with season reviews and interviews and Alex Greenwood and Julie Blakstad feature from our women's team.
Regular columnists Marc Riley and Kev Cummins supply their usual offerings and the legend that is Nicky Weaver has sent us his Best XI.
All the above plus The Last Word, Fantasy Premier League’s end of season stats and City fan and professional boxer Charlie Schofield checks in to share his City memories.
On with the show!
It’s awards season with the Premier League, PFA, FIFFA and Football Writers’ Association all handing out their seasonal prizes.
Of course, these celebrate the best of the best, but do they always capture the essence of a season?
The things that made us smile, gasp or even begrudgingly applaud… these are the moments that often get lost in time, hence the unofficial City Mag awards 2021/22.
There are no trophies handed out and no glitzy ceremony to attend, but it’s our recognition of a snapshot in time, a performance or pretty much anything that stood out during another epic campaign…
The How Did That Not Happen Award…
Winner: Bernardo Silva
When Match of the Day revealed their shortlist for Goal of the Season, one very special goal was missing.
The scene is Villa Park, Fernandinho sprays a pass out to the right flank where Gabriel Jesus collects, spots Bernardo’s run towards the box and plays an inch-perfect cross in for the Portuguese to hit on the volley into the top left corner. Stunning.
Mo Salah’s goal against City won the actual vote on Match of the Day with Rodrigo’s strike against Everton third. But how on earth did Bernardo’s goal not make the shortlist?
Opposition Hero Award
Winner: Adebayo Akinfenwe (Wycombe)
City were drawn against Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup – that meant a chance to see one of the game’s true characters in the flesh for the last time.
Adebayo Akinfenwe – ‘The Beast’ – had already said this would be his last season before retirement and he started up front for the Chairboys against City.
He was a handful, too, giving some of our younger defenders a valuable lesson in dealing with physicality and guile.
But it was the genuinely warm reception for the big man as he was substituted that meant so much to Adebayo and he later said it had been a very classy act by the City fans.
Take a bow, big man.
Opposition Performance of the Season
Winner: Christopher Nkunku
It’s not often you see your team ship six goals and still walk away with the UEFA Man of the Match award.
But that’s exactly what Christopher Nkunku did when City took on Red Bull Leipzig in the Champions League group stage clash at the Etihad.
Though City won 6-3, Nkunku grabbed a 31-minute hat-trick and would go on to score 35 in all competitions for the German side.
He just pips Harry Kane's masterclass in hold-up play and counter-attack nous.
Quote of the Season
Winner: Pep on Ederson
When the City boss was asked about Ederson’s calm clearance against Liverpool as the ball rolled towards the goal-line after a slight miscue, he replied with what we believe to be the quote of the season…
“He is crazy. This guy is crazy, sometimes I think he doesn’t feel or something! He concedes a goal, he is calm, makes a save, he is calm, so stable and as a keeper he is fantastic. Outside, he is completely different."
Fan Participation of the Year
Winner: Heads up!
It’s a definite ‘Ave it!’ moment.
Against Norwich last August, Rodrigo fires a shot high over the crossbar into the stand when one City fan watches the trajectory and stoops across to head the ball into the away fans with a powerful glance. It’s not only the header, but the war face celebration and City chant that follows that sets this guy apart. Sign him up!
The Impersonating the Referee Award
Winner: Riyad Mahrez
We all know Riyad Mahrez has ridiculously good technique and more tricks than David Copperfield. But who knew he had the ability to replicate the exact sound of a referee’s whistle? Effectively enabling him to take set-pieces and penalties whenever he’s ready. Now that is worth blowing your own whistle!
VAR Decision of the Season
Winner: Jack Grealish
Jack’s hairstyle makes a head tennis clash with Bernardo testing at times – but in a close game, watched by team-mates in the indoor skills room at the CFA, one call is disputed by Jack. He demands a VAR decision that Rodrigo duly delivers… watch the results for yourselves… This clip has had 4milllion views to date.
Dribble of the Season
Winner: Bernardo v Liverpool
We have a number of great dribblers in our team – Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling… the list goes on. But nothing tops Bernardo’s incredible run away to Liverpool. The Portuguese star has the Liverpool players chasing shadows as well as leaving one of two dizzy as he moves from his own half to the edge of the Liverpool box – having left six or seven in his wake – and then setting up Phil Foden who, for once, is unable to profit from the assist. The reason why the word ‘mesmeric’ was invented…