Simon Kelner: City's moment of truth. We can't cock it up, can we?

Kelner's view

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It started life back in the late summer of 2011. Since then, it has seen so many twists and turns, and endured a number of scandals, sensations and slanging matches. It is principally about money and power, and, for many months, its dramatic narrative has captivated much of Britain. Now, we are about to witness a climactic moment.

I am not talking about the Leveson Inquiry, and today's appearance of Rebekah Brooks, but, of course, the denouement of the 2011-12 football season. On Sunday, the most important of our domestic sporting prizes will be decided, and one of the two Manchester football clubs will receive the Premier League trophy. A seemingly interminable campaign has been distilled to a single, simple equation: if Manchester City defeat Queen's Park Rangers, they will win the title for the first time in 44 years.

Given that City have not lost a single league game at home this season and are 16 places above QPR in the table, you would think that the engravers might as well start work on the trophy now. But none of us who supports City is taking anything for granted.

History reveals that this is a club with a penchant for turning the most promising situation into a disaster, and everyone steeped in that tradition has a corner of his or her mind populated by fearful thoughts about Sunday. I am reminded of a story a club director once told me. It was towards the end of a game in which City were 4-1 ahead. The City supporter next to him was agitated. "Relax, we're 4-1 up," said the director. "I know," came the reply, "but there's 10 minutes to go!"

This fatalism explains why Stuart Hall, the veteran commentator who is a loquacious aficionado when it comes to City, once called our home ground "The Theatre of Base Comedy" – United, in contrast, play at the self-styled "Theatre of Dreams".

Of course, all this refers to old-style City, when we had a toilet roll manufacturer as chairman, and United were, literally, in a different league. For a while, our big local derby was against Stockport County.

But thanks to the ambition of Sheikh Mansour, left, to build a footballing dynasty with enduring links to the community in a deprived area of east Manchester, we don't have to worry about the ghosts of recent history any longer. Football fans are nothing if not sentimental and superstitious – I shall be there on Sunday, wearing exactly what I wore when we won the FA Cup last year, meeting the same friends in the same Manchester bar – but there comes a time when you have to let go of the past.

We have an oil-rich sheikh for an owner, an impossibly cool Italian manager, and a squad of players who would grace any team in Europe. We can't possibly cock it up now, can we? In the street yesterday I saw someone I'd met only once before. "Good luck on Sunday," he said. "Thanks," I replied. "We might need it..."

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