The year 2020 rolled around with so much promise. Apart from the fact that Manchester City’s title defence was all but over, of course.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool stunned the football world with an amazing performance losing just once in 29 league games all season. The Reds equalled City’s record of 18 straight wins in the division and were champions in waiting as early as January. But City’s season was far from being written off as a failed one. In fact, the team won the first domestic trophy of the season (the Carabao Cup) by beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley in early March. David Silva captained the side and lifted his 11th major trophy with the club.
Despite failing to live up to expectations in the Premier League title race for the campaign, City’s season was still on course to be described as successful. A 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 raised hopes among the City faithful of something special to come. Until suddenly…
The Covid-19 outbreak!
That has put the whole world in a quagmire. Nations are fighting tooth and nail to clamp down on this enemy. But how do you defeat an enemy you can’t even see? Well, it takes a careful, measured and multi-pronged approach. That’s exactly what different countries are trying to do. Lockdown. Social distancing. Regular hand washing. And so on.
Although the measures are producing some results, the war is far from won. And in the meantime while the battle rages on, many things are out of order. Football is not left out. Yes, many issues have cropped up. Continuous payment of wages, especially to non-playing staff has been a problem for many clubs. With the rate of infections growing, can the season be completed? Or should it be cancelled? What are the consequences for either decision?
Oh, what about players’ contracts, particularly those expiring at the end of the campaign? Apparently, the season will extend beyond June as it is (that’s if it can be completed at all). For Man City, David Silva, Claudio Bravo and on-loan goalkeeper Scott Carson were all expected to leave at the end of the campaign.
But Silva’s case is special. El Mago has been one of the best things to happen to this club since joining from Valencia in 2010. The Spaniard has been at the heart of all the on-field success achieved by the Blues in the last decade. Like former teammates Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, he is a Man City legend. And so he deserves a special send off.
But the Coronavirus pandemic is making that a complex situation. With the current lockdown, many expect that even if players return to the pitch in June to round off the season by July/August, fans may not be in the stands to bid goodbye to one of our legends. That will not be fair to a man that has given us so many beautiful moments and put smiles on our faces on numerous occasions.
As it stands, Silva’s contract will have to be extended to whenever the season ends. But we also hope that by then it will be safe for fans to be present at the Etihad Stadium to give him the big send-off he deserves.