I stayed in Manchester (well, Eccles) on Wednesday night, the night that Messi, Neymar and Mbappé came to town.
But I didn’t watch City put the moneybags French in their place, instead letting Matt and James have the two tickets my season ticket allows me. I’ve seen Messi three times anyway, and I’d rather have Declan Rice in the City side after his performance yesterday.
NOW I could go inside and admire the properly pubby interior with my £1 tacos and more expensive Vocation beer in a schooner. That’s not the schooner on the ceiling.
Manchester definitely has more of these small bars with greasy food and craft beers than Sheffield, where the city is now filling up with upmarket food courts.
I like Wolf at the Door, I really do. The tacos are nearly as good as the ones near where Elvis played in Vegas.
I had to walk to the Etihad with the boys to make sure they got in OK, as they’d transferred the tickets from my Google Pay wallet via Cuba or something. I’ve never seen queues like it at a City match, mainly because the foreign language students, out in force to see Messi, seemed to have been sold counterfeits.
As I walked away from the ground, resisting the offer of a shared taxi back into town, the Etihad shone.
But we still hate UEFA, and their stupid “anthem”.
Instead of trying to watch the game in a pub I opted for an easy tick, a Tavare of a pushed single, at The Wobbly Stool in Swinton, their first new tick for a decade.
And while I was there City turned a deficit into a famous win, so I shall recall it fondly.
The beer was OK (actually it was from Outstanding but you know what I mean), and they played “Motorcycle Emptiness“, and the discussion about binge drinking and blood pressure was entertaining if scary. It’s one of those small pubs with something for everyone rather than a cask shrine.
But I felt a bit left out, as I often do in micros, and with a shout of “Oi, customer !” as I entered from someone who then got up to serve me, I noted again that lack of division between publican and customers.
For some, that’ll be what they want. For others…