Man City’s 5 Biggest Wastes of Money since the $$$$$
Man City winning the league has allowed me to do a fair bit of strong-arming on here. Whether it was has been basking in our rags to riches glory or writing entire articles about the end of United’s golden age, I’ve been using the license granted to me unapologetically. Well, with the new season approaching and things resetting back to zero, I feel I too need to re-balance the scales. So here is my atonement: the biggest wastes of Sheikh Mansour’s money… When we waste money, we WASTE MONEY.
Robinho; £32.5 million from Real Madrid
This one’s probably the marquee. City were bought by the sheikh in the late summer of 2008, and while this meant great things for the future, it meant a mad, three week rush to sign a name that could have an impact on the coming season, or we’d have to wait another season for our revolution. After much waving of money in faces, saying please come and play for a mid-table premier league team with Paul Dickov in it, the mercenary we landed was one Robinho, signed for a clean 32.5 million from Real Madrid. His form was poor, and in the two seasons he spent at City averaged 7 goals a year. A woeful under-achievement in Andy Carroll territory. Still, cheaper than Andy Carroll.
Wayne Bridge; £12 million from Chelsea
Played solid enough for the first year we signed him. Not a world beater, but a solid worker, But Wayne Bridge hasn’t started a Premier League game for Man City since May 2010. He will still be a contracted Man City player well into May 2013. In those three years, outside a couple of failed loan spells, Wayne has played with the reserves, with the EDS. Making the bench would be an astonishing turn up for the books and I don’t think that happened after 2011. Why didn’t he voluntarily leave? Seek first team football elsewhere? After all he was in theory an England player at the time. Well Wayne must have liked his fat City cheque, and knew he’d never get a better deal for the rest of his days, so damn it, he was going to suck up every penny of that contract until it’s last second. He’s the worst case scenario of that first wave of City spending. Quickly upgraded upon, impossible to excavate. Still, Cheaper than Andy Carroll.
Jo; £18 Million from CSKA Moscow
Another Mark Hughes gem, Jo scored 1 league goal for Manchester City. That’s 1. A solitary one. He got a scattering of goals in cup competitions, but statistically, it’s hard to deny this is the worst of the lot. Just an utter write-off from day one. To add insult to injury, a brief 12 game loan spell at Everton saw him net 5 goals, 5 times what he scored at City in 3 years under contract. A gangly, slow, error prone awkward mess, Jo was supposed to be the model signing for City. Someone snatched up at a young age who could grow into themselves at the club, or the ‘ten year signing’ philosophy. This will work with Kompany, Hart, Aguero and maybe Balotelli. With Jo, I just get shivers every time he is brought up. What a plank. Still, half the price of Andy Carroll.
Roque Santa Cruz; £17.5 Million from Blackburn
Frickin Mark Hughes. At least I can understand the Jo one in theory. It was a roll of the dice that didn’t pan out right. Santa Cruz. Ergh, give me a second to gather myself…Right, Santa Cruz was 28 when we paid 17.5 million for him (more than Tottenham paid for Luka Modric if you want a frame of reference). And he was playing for Blackburn. And it wasn’t like he was clearly a cut above that club. He was scoring a solid if unspectacular amount of goals for the upper-bottom half Blackburn Rovers, a team I’d argue we were superior too pre-abu dhabi. Not to mention that we already had Adebayor and Tevez at this point, so what was exactly the point in signing Santa Cruz? Paying £17.5 million for a benchwarmer when you KNEW he was going to be a benchwarmer? FML. Still, cheaper than Andy Carroll.
James Milner; £26 million from Aston Villa
This is perhaps a controversial one, but hear me out. Milner has done a job at City. He’s had great games at City, but ultimately he’s been a utility player, a worker who can fill in if we get a couple of injuries. Those players are valuable and if we’d signed Milner for £5-8 million, like we did Adam Johnson, you’d hear no complaint from me. But Milner cost £26 million! That’s more than Tevez, more than Silva, more than Yaya Toure. And for that money we got a player who could do about a £7 million rated job. In our title winning season, Milner was nowhere near our starting eleven for the most part, and in the back half of the season rarely got off the bench if he even made it. For £26 million you expect a world class midfielder, someone who can change games, and dominate squad proceedings. We got a squad filler. But hey he still walked into the England starting eleven.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Tel Ben Haim, Kolo Toure.
CODA: Thanks to fellow Ballsy Banter writer and furious Blackburn fan Sam Lovell, I have been informed that Blackburn finished above City in the early 00′s nigh on every year, so the statement ‘far superior than’ is of course grossly incorrect. Bearing in mind he has Steve Kean for a manager, it’d be cordial not to besmirch the good times, so I apologize for the error.