A long story of heroic achievement.
A long, involved story, account, or series of incidents.
Legend – story
A dreary way to start a piece though a dictionary definition may be, it should highlight the absurdity of the use of the word, “saga” when referring to a football transfer. The Kaka Saga, the Hazard Saga, the Van Persie Saga and now the Isco Saga. What do they all have in common? That’s right – none of them are sagas. Granted they are long and I do find myself getting involved, but they could hardly be described as being ‘stories’. As someone so eloquently put it on Twitter, “It’s not fucking Star Wars. It’s a transfer.” Despite the irritating choice of word, the media insist upon using it and this is my take on City’s now annual Summer Saga.
This Isco transfer is ‘rumbling on’ as most sagas tend to. Will the diminutive and skilful Spaniard be swapping the blue and white for blue, or for white? Will he join one of European football’s juggernauts, home to some of the biggest names in world football or, will it be Real Madrid?
It’s been sold as some sort of epic chronicle and at times it’s felt that way. Star Wars, oddly, does feel an applicable saga to compare it to with the ‘Father’ theme that’s been emerging in certain sections of the media. It appears that Isco’s father wants him to go to Real Madrid who, in the absence of a manager, have got Zinedine Zidane there to oversee proceedings. And to be fair, if I was Isco’s dad, I’d imagine it would fill me full of pride to watch my son play for one of the two biggest clubs in the country I’d brought him up in. I’d have a fear of him flying the nest to some oil-rich Manc upstarts, when I could be safe in the knowledge he’s a mere train journey away in his country of birth. Word has it Zidane painted this picture to Papá Isco. Just butt out will you, Zizou?
The father theme continues, however, with the relationship between City’s new manager, Manuel Pellegrini and the player himself. Isco is cited as having described Pellegrini as his, “footballing father” and the man who brought him up in the game giving him the confidence he now exudes. According to the ever reliable @City_Watch, Pellegrini was, in a heart-breaking choice of word, “upset” at Real Madrid’s intrusion on City’s negotiation with Isco. He seems like a man who commands and demands respect and places his trust in the people he associates himself with. For such an honest, humble and genuine man, to find himself up against the renowned seedy negotiating tactics of Madrid, adds extra gravitas to this soap opera style tug of war over his ‘son’.
I blame the internet for the construction of this supposed saga. Well I blame myself for succumbing to the online rumour mill. I feel like I’ve been through the mill. The tennis match style toing and froing has caused quite a racket on Twitter and the ball has never settled in either court. The media in Madrid would have you believe it’s a ‘done-deal’ (another infuriating example of transfer saga semantics) and that Isco has ‘snubbed’ (another) City and joined Los Merengues. Other sources would suggest the icing isn’t on the cake just yet and that Isco still wants to hook up with Pellegrini in Manchester. Word has it tonight (Sunday), that Isco is on a flight to Manchester leaving some City fans to check online flight times from Ibiza, where the player is enjoying a holiday. No, no. You read that right. Checking… On flights… From Ibiza. The hilarious Howard Hockin tweeted that he was at the airport with a ‘packed lunch and a mint Aero’ during what he termed #iscowatch. Sunday night Isco fever.
So the Blue side of Manchester waits with baited breath. I’m checking Twitter every couple of minutes, (hoping he doesn’t sign this evening rendering this piece out of date!). My internet data allowance is taking some hit for you, Isco. I’ve tortured myself watching YouTube highlight reels; drooling over the skills, goals and incredible first touch that this kid has at his disposal. I’ve not only looked at horrendous mocked up pictures of Isco in a City shirt but I’ve also held in high regard a picture doing the rounds of Isco, standing with his friends, wearing the 2008 home City jersey. His name also rhymes with ‘disco’ – had you noticed? So he’s an integral part of a song that’s already been penned and is now circulating around Twitter, namedropping a few City players. Cavani has already lost his chance to be included in the jingle. We can’t lose Isco too… his name rhymes with DISCO!
I’m going to be so disappointed if he signs for Real Madrid. Not in the same way I was when Eden Hazard signed for Chelsea. He suited going there after arrogantly whoring himself out over Twitter throughout the close season a year ago. Isco seems genuine and loyal and hardworking and he’d really fit right in at City. We’ve already got some of the best midfielders in world football, and Javi Garcia, too. With Isco involved, we could be unstoppable.
The worry is always there that he’ll choose Madrid, and who could blame him? And for City to even be in competition with the Galacticos is a sign of progression and of where we currently are thanks to Sheikh Mansour. Despite the incessant Twitter rumours that he’s already signed for Madrid, we can’t raise the white flag until we see him raise the white shirt at the Bernabéu. We’ll fight to the end, though. We’re Manchester City; we always do. I hope you come and reunite with Padre Pellegrini, young Isco, and join the Man City family circle. Make the right choice.
Until we know for sure what he decides, the saga rumbles on and on. And on…
This is how it feels to be City.
written by Ciaran Murray