Aguerooooooooooo. A good place to start, and no further explanation is required really. What’s more, he is always smiling, which is both endearing and also annoying as it’s a constant reminder of just how much better his life is than mine (and yours).
(Apologies Malcolm Allison. It’s a stupid way to devise a list)
Bell, Colin. Nijinsky. Not because he is hung like a grand-national winner (thanks for that Lord Flashard, Edmund Blackadder’s wife-stealer), but because of his tremendous stamina, and the king because of his sublime, supreme elegance on a football pitch. To many, he will always be City’s greatest player, and the fact that he alone has a stand at the Etihad named in his honour says it all. Not surprising that a nasty tackle from a United player ended his career.
Coton, Tony. Really?! Yes, really, he was a bloody good keeper, and he had a bushy moustache. Then he spoiled it all by going to United. But I’m keeping him in because I’m not quite convinced enough by Gerry Creaney’s credentials.
(Oh ok, it should be Joe Corrigan really)
Dickov, Paul. Scored an important goal once. Said goal resulted in me catapulting four rows down Wembley’s west stand and picking up significant bruising, not that I cared. The rest, as they say, is history.
Eric Brook. No, me neither. City’s all-time record goal-scorer from the inside-left position. From 1928-1939 he made 450 appearances for City, scoring 158 goals. He also scored 10 goals in 18 appearances for England. Brook scored a ‘wonder goal’ in front of a record crowd of 84,569 against Stoke City in the sixth round of the FA Cup. According to Gary James, ‘many fans from the 1930s claimed it was the greatest City goal ever scored at Maine Road’. A fractured skull from a car crash ended his career, not that a world war particularly helped either.
Goater, Shaun. Feed the goat and he will score. The most recognisable of chants, even if it makes no sense whatsoever. Perhaps said goat gets horny on a full stomach? Anyway, leaving aside the early scepticism from many a city fan at Goater’s prowess on a football field, he soon won everyone over, and was a true goal-scorer with a winning smile and all the attributes to attain cult status. A god back in Bermuda, he even has his own day (21st June). I bet Dwight Yorke doesn’t.
Horlock, Kevin. If you shower eternal gratitude on Paul Dickov, then you must acknowledge the player that made THAT moment possible, in the same way that there would have been no league title without Edin Dzeko. So all hail the All-England Aggressive Walker Champion, the Twitter United-fan-baiter and all round good guy, with a left foot so cultured team-mates were known to kiss it after he scored.
Ireland, Stephen. The man with 16 grand-parents. Oh to spend 10 minutes inside his head. Oh to have his fish tank (he can keep the pink car though). A wonderfully-talented player, but not the first of his type to never reach his full potential, his stock having fallen so far he now plays for StokeCity.
Jimmy Grimble. I’d love to honestly say that this was a wonderful film. I really would.
Kinkladze, Georgi. “Better than David Silva,” said one blue on a City message board last month. He wasn’t, because being a great footballer is about a lot more than skill alone, and a player superior to David Silva would not have moved on to DerbyCounty. But let’s not quibble over one of the most naturally talented players to put on a sky/laser/all the other shades of blue shirt. It’s just a shame he was at the club at completely the wrong time.
Lee, Franny. His legacy may be somewhat tainted, but without his chairmanship we’d never have experienced the Shirehorses’ Ballad of Franny Lee, so every cloud and that.
Maine Road. God bless its misshaped stands, outside toilets, massive floodlights, surrounding terraces, cantilever roof, Gene Kelly stand, the plastic bird hanging down from the Kippax roof. But most of all, god bless its memories.
(Tough luck Andy Morrison, Billy Meredith and the colour maroon)
Negouai, Christian. A City career that summed up the club of old. Blighted by Cityitis throughout his brief stay, the man for whom Kevin Keegan predicted superstardom stumbled from disaster to disaster. Keegan said he was the most exciting player he had seen, and exciting is certainly one way of describing his time at City.
An appalling home debut capped with a goal palmed into Rotherham’s net set the tone nicely. A red card at Blackburn capped off his first spell nicely (he was rather harshly sent-off, I might add), before severe injury derailed the inevitable meteoric rise, but there was still time for a quick return to action and a goal in the UEFA Cup, a missed drugs-test, a loan spell in Austria, a revelation as a reserve striker, another injury, and a further red card after 3 minutes on the pitch, before his eventual disappearance. A cult hero was born.
Oakes, Alan. City’s record appearance holder, with 680 appearances between 1959 and 1976. In his time at Maine Road, Oakes became part of more trophy winning sides than any other Manchester City player in history. In 2005 he was inducted into City’s Hall of Fame.
PaulLake. Wonderfully-talented, a diamond in the rough, but cruelly blighted by injury, and woefully treated by many at the club. Thankfully he had the strength to fight back, and move on, and still love the club like we do. Also the (co-) author of the best football autobiography I have ever read.
Quinn, Niall. Oh Niall, why did you have to ruin it all by pursuing a media career and being absolutely rubbish? By virtue of his surname he was always making the list, a disastrous 10-minute substitute appearance would have sufficed, but he was a great servant to City, and had “surprisingly good feet for a big man”. He played 244 games for City, scoring 77 goals. He also once said hello to me in JD Sports.
Roberto Mancini. First trophy in 35 years. First title in 44. 6-1 at Old Trafford. Boosted scarf sales. Didn’t give a f**k what people thought. Nuff said.
Sheikhs. Thanks for everything. But when are you going to serve real ale inside the ground? And where’s the WIFI? Oh, and…..
Terry Christian. Yes, that’s right. It’s people like Terry that remind me, even when times are tough, why I am glad I am a ManchesterCity fan. Terry Christian is a modern-day martyr. I salute you Terry (but I’ve had to un-follow you on Twitter).
(Oh ok, not really – it’s got to be Trautmann, Bert – – no further text really required. If you haven’t already, do check out one of his biographies, it’s one hell of a story.)
Uwe Rosler. Grandson of a Luftwaffe pilot (Editor: Can you check this please), 177 appearance, 64 goals. All round good guy, has made me want Brentford to do well.
Vincent Kompany. Michel Vonk cruelly overlooked, but we can’t have this list without City’s inspirational captain.
Wright-Phillips, Shaun. He feels like one of us. He was great, but not the greatest and he played with a smile on his face, he terrorized many a defence, scored many stunning goals and for a while was our only shining light. Times have changed since then, but I won’t forget the pride of him pulling on an England shirt for the first time and scoring too.
X Erm, well, err – Xavi? Bear with me. <fires up google>. Just one minute. Almost there. Right, here we go:
Xavi helped Barcelona win the 2009 Champions League Final versus Manchester United, which ended 2–0, assisting the second goal by passing the ball to Lionel Messi after 69 minutes. Legend.
Yaya, yaya yaya, yaya yaya, yaya yaya toure. Kolo, kolo kolo, kolo kolo, kolo kolo toure. Yaya, yaya yaya, yaya yaya, yaya yaya toure. Kolo, kolo kolo, kolo kolo, kolo kolo toure.
For THAT goal alone at Newcastle, he is a legend, let alone the FA Cup winning contribution, but of course there is far more to him than that. The man dubbed a Barcelona reserve by Brian Reade (“seduced by the whores of world football”), he is now considered by many to be one of the finest midfielders in the world.
Zabaleta, Pablo. Last week’s revelation that he doesn’t eat fish and chips after all has severely weakened his reputation at City, but I have decided to keep him on the list. Everything you want from a player, and more.
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