Managerial Merry-Go-Round

Due to the general downward trajectory of Manchester City during the late 1990s the 1996-97 season often gets overlooked but it is important to remember that, even in the darkest of seasons, there can be positive moments, experiences and wonderful performances by talented players. Even at the bleakest of times a young fan may be experiencing their club for the first time and, no doubt, in 1996-97 the magic of watching Manchester City for the first time was experienced by Blues who, as adults today have enjoyed some of the greatest football ever seen. Today (25 January) is the anniversary of one positive moment in the dreadful 1996-97 season: City’s FA Cup victory over Brentford. You can read about that game and the season’s FA Cup run below.

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Rosler Double

On this day (31 December) in 1994 Uwe Rosler netted twice to help Manchester City to a 2-2 draw at Maine Road. However, the Blues had been 2-0 up at one stage and the general feeling around Maine Road was that this was a couple of points lost, rather than a point gained. Here’s a couple of contemporary reports of the game:

You can read more on the 1994-95 season here:

City Make History With Foreign Player Rule?

On this day (23 December) in 1995 there was a great deal of speculation that Manchester City would be the first team to field four ‘foreign players’ which wound PFA chief Gordon Taylor up considerably. There had been a rule in place limiting the number of foreign players to three but this had been challenged by English clubs, following the historic Bosman judgement in the European Court of Justice.

Basically, before Bosman challenged the restrictive trade practices UEFA insisted that a maximum of three foreign players could appear for clubs. The Bosman judgement was immediately considered by Premier League clubs who felt it meant they could play as many players from the European Union as they wanted (though the maximum of 3 from outside the EU was still a limit).

The Premier League, supported by the FA, said the ruling meant that City and other clubs could play as many EU players as they wanted. At Maine Road Alan Ball had brought Danish under-21 international Ronnie Ekelund on loan and together with Eike Immel, Uwe Rosler and Georgi Kinkladze it was suggested he would play against Chelsea on 23 December 1995.

In the end Ekelund came on as substitute for Rosler, so 4 ‘foreign players’ had appeared that day but only 3 at any one time (though there’s a whole other discussion to be had about players from other United Kingdom countries and Ireland and whether they should count as that day the Republic of Ireland’s Niall Quinn played, as did Gerry Creaney from Scotland and Welsh international Kit Symons!).

As for the game… City lost 1-0 to Chelsea!

Ekelund had a brief up and down career at City, making only 6 (plus 3 as sub) appearances and he was soon off to Barcelona, while the change to the ‘foreign player’ rule was to have a massive impact on the development of football in England, paving the way for the multitude of talented players at City today.

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Kinky Double and Neal’s First

On this day (27 November) in 1996 two penalties from Gio Kinkladze helped Manchester City defeat West Bromwich Albion 3-2.  Use Rosler netted the other City goal.  This was the first victory of caretaker manager Phil Neal’s reign at City and you can read more on that season here:

Manchester City in the Early 1990s

We hear so much about the Premier League era and how the game has changed, so for today’s feature I’ve decided to take a look at the early 1990s and the birth of the Premier League. It’s almost thirty years since the structure of league football changed forever and during that time some clubs have benefitted from the new structure and others have found life difficult. City have experienced both extremes of course.

The narrative that we often hear about the Blues’ journey over the last thirty years is that they’ve gone from a struggling club to a hugely successful one and, while it is true City are highly successful today and that the Blues entered their lowest ever point in the late 1990s, it is wrong to assume that the position the club found itself in by 1999 was typical of the club’s full history. 

So, here for subscribers, I’m taking a look back at the early 1990s and remind ourselves where the Blues were; who their rivals were; and the state of football at that time:

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