Thursday, 2 May 2013

We all get it wrong from time to time.

Over the last 28 years or so of following Manchester City, I dread to think how many times my footballing radar has been well off about a player. Many-a-time I thought that a particular player was good (or gonna be good)...only for them to all-too-soon turn out to be a right flop! And, indeed, the other way round of course; not being particularly enamoured with the signing of a player (or first dozen or so games-played) only for them to go on and prove to be a real asset to the team.

If proof were needed, I freely admit to being very lukewarm on the signing of Yaya Toure and in his first few months – apart from a few decent games – that tepid temperature went quite cold at one stage. 'What an unfit-looking, lumbering player Barcelona had managed to off-load onto us', I thought; I wasn’t even sure what kind of midfielder he was supposed to be!

So far off was my player radar that, once I’d started to see small signs of why he’d recently played for one of the best Clubs in the world, I’d decided that his best position was lying deep just in front of the back four; ‘sweeping up’ and making evermore accurate passes to our more attacking players.

How wrong I was in so many ways.

So I feel that I can now take a moment to say that even the best – or certainly those who SHOULD know better than me – get it wrong too. Not with any great pleasure do I point the finger at our very own Gary Owen (and his, “pal”, inside Manchester City F.C.).

I knew there was a reason why I kept this link to an article dated 16th September 2012 from the Manchester Evening News:

It was because, as much as Gary and his Pal were ’lording’ over the acquisition of Benfica’s defensive midfielder Javi Garcia; on this occasion my football-player radar felt right in tune with the world and, unfortunately, it was telling me that we’d signed a real dud.

Was it because I was still personally smarting at the loss of our Nige’? Was it because we went for Garcia only after failing to bring in De Rossi and Martinez? Was it because his Wiki-stats (however little credit you might give to those) didn’t look too impressive in comparison to the two afore mentioned? Or was it the dreaded, "He looked (no) good on YouTube"?

Whatever it was, I just looked at this guy last year and didn’t even get anywhere NEAR lukewarm…and that concerned me a lot.

Then came Gary’s piece in the M.E.N. and I just thought, ‘Go-on Gary, you and your mate prove me wrong’. I wanted them to.

So all that is left to say now is to quote Gary from an article in the same newspaper 228 days later:

Referring to the possible / hopeful acquisition of Sven Bender from Borussia Dortmund, Gary says,

He gets about the pitch, makes tackles, and is a superb passer. We have not replaced Nigel de Jong, and Bender would be an improvement on the Dutchman, and on Javi Garcia, and buying him would also allow Yaya Toure to play further forward, where he does most damage”.

What a difference 8 months make, hey? And, for me, it’s good to see that I’m in good company when it comes to getting it wrong about incoming players to our Club.

So will my football-player radar let me down again in the future? I’m sure it will many-a-time. But at the moment, it’s pointing to…’pretty cool’ on this Fernandinho fella (and I don't mean 'cool' in a good way).

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