October 31st 2015: Manchester City 2 Norwich City 1.
‘Call me Dave’ Cameron is Prime Minister. Adele is top of the hit parade with “Hello.”
A routine City win is marked by something that seems to augur well for the future. The first goal is a towering header by Nicolas Otamendi.
It’s the beginning of the City career for the man hailed by many as ‘the best defender in La Liga‘. We signed him in August. He made his debut in September. He got off the mark in October.
Here our story begins.
In the weeks and months that followed, it became clear that it could be a while before we see a goal from our bearded Argentinian tough guy again.
That’s because Nico’s main chance of notching for us is from corners – and we are bad at corners.
Since that happy day, Dzeko has left to make hay at Roma, Kompany has mostly been on the sidelines and as a consequence City have resorted to taking corners short or getting Silva and KDB to launch away-swingers because most of our attacking players are, well – vertically challenged would be the kindest way of putting it.
Our biggest chap, Yaya Toure does not use his head to strike the ball. John Stones came along later but nodding in corners was not quite his forte either. For fans, the winning of a corner in our opponent’s half was not really a cause for much excitement.
Then something happened.
A mere two seasons later, Vincent Kompany returned and within just a couple of games, the big bustling Belgian showed us what we were missing when he nutted in the first recently against Southampton. In the same way that they say London buses rarely come alone but rather in twos and threes, such now seems to be the case with us, the corner kick set piece and the onion bag.
And lo and behold, Otamendi‘s back at it!
A short seventeen odd months after his stunner against the Canaries, yesterday’s virtuoso performance against Palace was capped by that rarest of things: a header from a corner, and an Otamendi header at that!! It’s as if Nicolas has been inspired by his partner and skipper who also scored yesterday.
Ladies and gentlemen, it seems very much as though all that was missing was for Otamendi to be back in good Kompany!
Guess who was Nico’s defensive partner against Norwich back in 2015? That’s right..
During this time, us Twitizens (City fans on Twitter) have been inspired by one particular supporter whose account name is @beardamendi. We all love @beardamendi.
With the never-say-die optimism of the most dogged national lottery contestant, ‘beardy’ vowed to post the video clip of Otamendi’s goal at Norwich EVERY DAY until his hero scored again. Followers of @beardamendi have become used to seeing that goal in our newsfeeds with the ceaseless regularity of the rising of the sun. We loved the sheer relentless glass half-full chutzpah of our follicle-loving twitter pal.
And now it’s all over.
That diving fifth that drew our applause yesterday added a healthy dollop of cement to our top 4 plans but of course after the euphoria receded, many soon realized that this might also mean the end of @beardamendi. His cellphone overheated with hundreds of messages of congratulation and there were soon calls for him to be rewarded with a signed shirt from his hero (gratifyingly, this has now happened!) But what next for our hero?
Whatever happens now, @boltfromthablue salutes the awesome patience of Twitizen beardamendi and intends to tell his story for years to come. We hope that he undertakes a new challenge on our behalf.
@beardamendi: I nominate you for entry in the MCFC hall of fame!
Rock on my friend!!
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