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Manchester City Villains

Vital Manchester City received the following article from Redmond6.

Well I couldn't entitle article 'Heroes' and not do a follow up piece called 'Villains' could I? (If I could I would use the beach boy`s version on the 'Smile' album by Brian Wilson.

Those players that through no fault of their own were just terrible and I know that amongst City fans we have laid witness to some absolute dross over the years.

As the past 30 years have been one of up and downs there will be obviously be numerous entries I cannot fit in or some will believe deserving of more of a mention than others, so please excuse me if I do not include your worst player ever.

When I first started watching Manchester City home and away, the first player I remember having the 'pleasure' of seeing was one Aage Hariede signed by John Bond, basically on the back of his performance v England in the '82 World Cup qualifying victory, we were told he could play anywhere across the defence or midfield. And even as a 10-year-old I knew he couldn't and after 17 over two seasons he was sent on his way to Norwich. He did appear on the football radar after he left, going on to manage his country, so maybe he did learn something at City!

I also remember it being announced on a Friday night that we had signed a veteran called John Ryan and he went straight into the squad for the match the next day, well-being so young I was as always excited at us signing a new player. How wrong I was, terrible, just terrible! He made only 19 appearances for us before he was released to (our) merciful obscurity.

Through our Second Division stints in the 80's we signed numerous Scottish players of questionable ability, Jim Tolmie, Derek Parlane and Jim Melrose all scored goals so will be excused, so the one that stands out still for me is Duncan Davidson, one of the most Scottish names you'll ever hear! I cannot recall him ever having a good game and so after six appearances, his last game being a 0-5 reverse at Newcastle we never saw him play again for City.

Of course we can blame City's parlous financial state at the time for the quality of our signings, when the most you are spending to get promoted is £30,000 (On Neil McNab and Jim Tolmie) you don't think you've signed Zico or Eder (as we are talking about the 80's) and so it proved but we had nearly 10 years' service from Neil Mcnab and still sold him for a profit so there were bargains to be had, unfortunately we just seemed to miss them!

Tony Cunningham was brought in at the start of 84-85 with a good reputation for scoring vital goals something we were going to need if we were to get promotion at the second attempt, alas Maine Road being the striker graveyard we all know proved to be so again, in 16 appearances he scored one goal.

Towards the end of the 80's with promotions and relegations there were numerous players that would have been included in this article, dishonourable mentions must go to Bobby Mimms( loan), Carl Bradshaw and unbelievably we saw Justin Fashanu in the Sky Blue.

As our financial position was now such that we could afford to spend money (or rather the banks would lend us more) we could buy a better class of failure to light our lives, Wayne Clarke came in and because he replaced folk hero Trevor Morley and was portly to be kind, he failed in Sky Blue where in the Royal Blue of Everton he looked a player. I will always remember him, being at the back post unmarked in the final minutes at Old Trafford when we were 1-0 down, and he missed a sitter to salvage a point.

The Mid 90's under Brian Horton brought us some joyful football it also brought us Alan Kernaghan and Carl Shutt, one a defender who couldn't defend and one a striker who couldn't strike. Carl Shutt, his name on his shirt was miss-spelt without an 'I' in it.

1996-97 brought us many, many managers and so many players, players who had no right to ever pull on a sky blue shirt, Micheal Frontzeck- appalling, Dalian Atkinson (porker, scored on debut) and the ever crap Neil Heaney, a winger who couldn't wing, I never saw him beat an opponent and cross the ball, but for me even worse than Frontzeck, was Darren Wassell, the mere mention of whom brings me out into a cold sweat.

1998-99 ended in the most dramatic Wembley appearance by the blues but during the season had borne witness to the sight of City in the Third Division and thankfully unable to afford to turn Micheal Branch's loan move from Everton into a permanent deal just as well as he was unable to turn my view that he was crap into anything approaching ok and so without scoring went back to Merseyside.

The 2000's brought relative stability to the blues, obviously it still included one relegation but Joe Royle got us promoted a second time despite having to field both Lee Mills and Robert Taylor up front at times during the campaign.

And so because this article on bad city players could become a book, the last entry is synomous with wanton waste of money, and despite him never appearing in a competitive game for the City first team, I can say safely the biggest waste of money in the 2000's is...drumroll please.

Matias Vouso, world beater on you tube, crap in the flesh when watched by myself in a 6-0 friendly romp v Rochdale, he had the first touch of an overweight elephant yet described by Kevin Keegan as one of the best headers of the ball at the club (not the greatest endorsement of talent ever is it?) and only ever got as far as the substitutes bench without getting on, all this for £3.5m.

Obviously there are other contenders, Charvet, Alain Toure and Negouai but at least they cost less and appeared more.

You may not rate some of the players we have now, we have overpaid for some of them but none of them and I mean none of them are as bad as those names above or those given below.

Worst X1; Siddall, Ryan, Frontzeck, Davidson, Wassell, Hareide, Cross, Grealish, Hopkins, Branch, Vouso.

I'm sure I've overlooked someone. If I have can you let me know?



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The journalist

Writer: Redmond6 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 6 2011

Time: 8:16PM

Your Comments

SIgh. So many to choose from! This is why it always rankles me when people accuse us of having no history - we've got plenty, it's just not the sort of history we're able to boast about! WHere were we when we were ****? Right where we've always been - in the Kippax, the North stand... Isn't it splendid not being **** anymore?:-)
fifthcolumnblue
 

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