Another side who
have developed a reputation as a yo-yo club over the last few
years. Since the inception of the Premiership, Manchester City
have bounced between the top two divisions and in one case slipped down
to the Second Division. Only a play-off escape against Gillingham
earned them an escape from the bottom point of their plummet of late.
This is in stark
contrast to the early days of the club. After formation in 1887
and changing their name from Ardwick FC in 1894,
City won Second Division championships in 1899 and 1903, with an FA Cup
win in 1904. Two more Second Div. titles and another FA Cup lead to them
finally taking the top spot in the First Division in 1937.
payments scandal rocked the club in 1906, which lead to City falling
from grace. They had been accused of using the payments to win the
1904 FA Cup and had 17 players suspended (including the big notorious
figure of Billy Meredith), having to put their ground up for sale to pay
off the fines imposed by the FA. This was the main reason they
tried to shy away from publicity and moved to Hyde Road. Four of
the men joined arch rivals United and they went on to win the league
title twice and an FA Cup with the Reds over the following four
years. When this period of success was over, City acquired the
architect of this team, manager Ernest Mangnall.
In 1912, City were
awarded three penalties in the same game against Newcastle United and
missed the lot from the spot. It is not something that is
new to City.
rivalry between the two clubs, there has been a fair amount of movement
across the city. Indeed, when the FA Cup was lifted in 1934, it
was Matt Busby who was in the light blue doing so and Denis Law's famous
back-heel condemned his former side United to relegation in 1976.
It is a little known fact, but Eric Cantona actually thought he was
signing for City when he went to Manchester and the rest, as they say,
is history. The club even managed to sign up a cricketer in the
case of Patsy Hendren !!
In 1957-58, the
Citizens famously scored 104 and conceded 100 goals in finishing 5th.
It was an expensive season for City, as they had just installed new nets
and had to replace them at the end of the campaign !!
Joe Mercer, the
popular manager of the club, paved the way for further success by
winning the Second Division again in 1966 and the FA Cup for a fourth
time in 1969. Malcolm Allison's reign in the 1970s brought a
League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970 and a League Cup
followed in 1976.
Coming into the
90s, the City side have made a habit of vacillating between the top
division and the First Division. On one occasion, they guarded the
ball in the corner of the pitch believing that the would avoid
relegation, as other results had gone their way. Unfortunately,
they had been misinformed and went down.
Moving away from
Maine Road to take the main chance in becoming occupiers of the Stadium
of the City of Manchester built for the Commonwealth Games was a big
risk, but they have now settled in and are scoring goals, as Swede Sven
Goran Eriksson took charge and the team look to pull themselves up
the table, much as their manager is always on the look-out to pull.
despite a good season, Sven was replaced by Mark Hughes, when Thaksin
Sinawatra (the Thai Prime Minister) took over and made changes.
They were nothing in comparison to the changes in his life, when he was
charged with corruption in his homeland and he decided that perhaps he
didn't have the money to run a football club after all. Despite
trying to do it his way, he sold the club quickly to Abu Dhabi United,
who suddenly were not only a company pumping oil out of the ground in
the Middle East, but were pumping money into Middle Eastlands.
This included the Premier League record fee for Robinho from Real Madrid
of £35 million, leaving Hughes with a great weight of expectation on his
shoulders, which couldn't be met immediately, leaving him out of a job.
Coming in, Roberto
Mancini was initially unpopular, but when City beat Stoke City in the FA
Cup Final of 2011 for their first trophy in 35 years, he was a hero, but
one backed by the huge oil money that threatened to buy the Citizens way
to the top. The slick work of the team pushed them on to the top
of the table winning the Premier League title with the last kick of
2011-12 to achieve the aim of the project, but the following season was
a slippery slope that saw them struggle to keep up with neighbours
United once more, leading to Roberto Mancini being shown the door.
Manuel Pellegrini was the next manager through the door and he seemed to
be getting things right, with his array of attacking talent hitting the
net more than 100 times by the middle of January in all competitions on
their way to their second Premier title. That wasn't enough to
secure his long term future and when he left, he was replaced by Pep
Guardiola, who was to bring his particular brand of football to City in
the aim of winning not just the Premiership, but the Champions League
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