Re: UEFA Champions/Europa League 2012-13 Thread
City's support wasn't great, but there isn't an english team who can lay claim to having a consistently good atmosphere at home in Europe anymore. Arsenal, Chelsea, United, Spurs, City, Liverpool and Everton are all garbage for any game which isn't a monumental tie these days, and even then its not like the atmosphere is that great compared to most of Europe.
Football in this country is marketed towards your replica shirt wearing sit down shut up families whose only contribution noise wise is to moan at every misplaced pass. City tbf had a great following when they went down to the 3rd level of English football and do have by all accounts generally a solid base of loyal fans, though Mancunians are pretty much some of the most devoted fans as you'll get, as seen by the likes who follow United, City and of course FC United.
The problem with home games is that there are too many different sorts of supporters in the ground to generate a consistent atmosphere. City have the corner to the right of the away fans as their main base of noise, but 90% of the rest of the ground is made up of predominantly sitting supporters who make no effort. So you've got about 2500 fans giving it a go but met with 40,000 others making no effort. Its the same with United, Liverpool and Chelsea: they all have sections of the ground where a consistent atmosphere is generated but they can only do so much when so many fans in the ground have no effort in making noise. This isn't the 70s and 80s where a broader percentage of fans were boozed up fanatics who loved to get behind their team, football has become the fashionable thing in British society and as a result you get so many families, teenagers, middle aged women and other age groups who aren't put off by the ridiculously steep prices and now more and more grounds around the country have these type of fans in the clear majority, with the people prepared to sing handicapped by who's surrounding them.
This is why having clear sections of football grounds where all fans prepared to stand and create an atmosphere is vital for English football. Europe leads the way by giving supporters the chance to group together and create an atmosphere, rather than trying to stamp out the hardcore fans via ticket prices and ensuring they sit at games. Take Old Trafford for example, 2 sections of the ground regularly stand every game (9000 in total) but you get so many people not arsed with creating an atmosphere in these sections as well as the rest of the ground that you can't get anything going. This is why away supports piss on near enough every home support in the country, aside from lower league football where numbers diminish.
TL;DR - City's support was dire tonight, but then I can't think of any english team who would have excelled in that situation. The English atmosphere is always dictated by the tempo of the game, dire when the play is slow, ferocious when you get tackles flying in and the home team constantly attacking. As big as City's game was tonight, to many fans it was still 'Ajax' who they have no hatred towards and who to many shouldn't have posed a threat. I imagine many more fanatical supporters may also have been priced out tonight which doesn't help, but this is basically the result of what happens when the English game tries to drive out the devoted fans and replace them with the face-painted, soccer am happy clapping brigade.