Anis Bazza looks back at Maicon’s inglorious stay at Eastlands…
Maicon’s arrival in Manchester was certainly an odd one. City already boasted arguably the two best right-backs in the league at the time while Maicon’s career was dwindling towards an inevitable return to Brazil. Inter Milan’s desire to get his huge salary off the wage bill meant Mancini couped the ageing Brazilian for as little as £3m. City supporters weren’t without their doubts though as Maicon signed on deadline day.
Maicon started plenty of games for supposedly a third choice right back, including both Champions League clashes against Real Madrid. He was even drafted into his first game against Stoke. It didn’t take long for Blues to realize why Inter had sold him so cheaply. I guess it’s fair to say Mancini, who was familiar with Maicon during his time at Inter, underestimated the effect age had on the Brazilian’s power and pace, two attributes that are so typical of his game. Continue reading →
Manchester City fan Ted Poole remembers Robinho and the beginning of the Mansour era at Eastlands…
The impression Robinho left on English football is best summed up by the matches closest to his arrival and departure and Manchester City. He arrived as the first marquee signing of the new Mansour era, with all the hype that comes with a new record transfer.
To most English fans he was something of an unknown quantity- everyone had heard his name, knew he was at Real Madrid (which meant he must have been a bit alright) and had probably heard he was renowned for his flashy tricks and dribbling skills- but he had yet to make a real impact on the European stage. Nonetheless, his signing caused a lot of shock and disbelief.
For City fans, he was almost immediately a symbol of hope for better things to come, as well as the absurd spending that would realise this vision. His debut came against Chelsea, the original ‘bought success’ side, and when he stepped up to score from a free kick it seemed like a hero had been born. Naturally (and possibly also symbolically) City lost this match, but Robinho had shown us all enough of a spark that we believed that City could have a huge star on their hands. Continue reading →
Hugo Greenhalgh believes that PSG’s most recent managerial appointment is proof they have some way to go before they can dine out with Europe’s football elite…
The second half of last season was defined to a certain degree by a series of well-publicised open secrets that quickly unravelled to become common knowledge. Jose Mourinho would be leaving Real Madrid and his position would be taken by PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti. Roberto Mancini was to be shown the door at Manchester City and replaced by Manuel Pellegrini. A managerial merry-go-round of sorts was about to be set in motion. Continue reading →
James Dutton dissects Roberto Mancini’s tenure at Manchester City. Is it a sign of short-term reactionism, or long-term planning?
“The Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League. This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.”
After three-and-a-half years, during which he ended Manchester City’s barren 35 years without a trophy and ended their 44-year league title drought, Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties for a season of complete underachievement.
Since weekend reports leaked that his position was under threat, there has been little sympathy for the Italian lothario. Many commentators have cited a spiky personality that has estranged playing and backroom staff.
In their statement, the club admit as much. The use of the term ‘holistic’ has provoked a bemused reaction, but is entirely revealing of the long-term strategy that will define City as they approach the five-year anniversary of the Sheikh Mansour takeover. Continue reading →
As Mario Balotelli departs English football, James Dutton bids a fond arrivederci…
And so with barely a whimper he was gone. Mario Balotelli has departed these shores, seemingly, for the final time. He returns to the fashion capital Milan, this time to parade around in the red and black, not the black and blue, where his flamboyant hats will be accepted.
Ahead of tomorrow’s Manchester derby, False Nine editor, Andrew Belt, calls for one of the current Premier League champions’ stars to emerge from the shadows and take centre stage again…
You thought Mario Balotelli was the best striker at Euro 2012.
One Fernando was being touted for great things but Llorente was consigned to a watching brief as Spain slay all before them playing the much-lauded ‘false 9’ formation, in which the other Fernando, Torres, managed to bag three goals and restore some much-needed confidence. Continue reading →