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WH Smith and the City shop
During the World Cup news came through that Alfredo Di Stefano had died. aged 88. I was fortunate enough to see him play on two occasions - first was at Hampden along with 127,000 others in the European Cup Final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt in May 1960 . Real Madrid won 7-3 Stefano scoring a hat-trick - Puskas scored the other 4. The program is below.
The following season I saw him score a goal against Man United at Old Trafford when Real Madrid won 3-2
He was a great player with all the skills and widely regarded as one of the best players of all time.
So far this month City have signed four new players.
With the departure of reserve keeper Pantilimon to Sunderland we now have a new keeper Willy Caballero from Malaga who has a good reputation He is 32 and is just over 6ft 1 in.
A new midfielder is Fernando - a 26 year old 6 foot Brazilian who has come from Porto. He has not scored many goals so I presume he is a defensive midfielder.
One that we have known about for a while is Bacary Sagna from Arsenal - a right back who was in the French squad at the World Cup.
He is 31 and was a regular with Arsenal last season.
Bruno Zuulini is a 21 year old attacking midfielder who scored ten goals for Argentinean team Racing Club and has also joined City but may go out on loan.
Many reports are saying that the Porto defender Ellaquim Mangala is about to become a City player in the next few days. He is reported as having a medical and the £31m deal is as good as done. He is likely to become Kompany's new partner at the centre of defence. He is 23 and is 6ft 2 in and has played for France three times
Well at last the miracle has happened and the Mangala transfer has gone through - a record for a defender in English football history and the third highest in the world. I just hope he will be fit enough to play alongside Kompany at Newcastle. I doubt it somehow as the third party fiasco has led to him not being able to train with his colleagues. So it will probably be Demichelis who partners Kompany as long as its not Boyata who had a nightmare game against Arsenal at the weekend in the Charity Shield game.
August 9th would have been the 100th birthday of Joe Mercer one of City's most celebrated managers. He was manager of City from 1965 to 1971 and the images show him celebrating the Cup win in 1969 (more pics HERE
I saw him play against Man United for Everton in October 1945 - a goalless draw at Maine Road. Tommy Lawton played that day too. Later that season in february he scored for Everton against City in a Everton 3-1 win at Maine Road. For those with long memories the City side that day was - Swift,Clark,Barkas, Walsh ,Sproston,McDowall, Dunkley ,Herd, Constantine, Smith and Pearson
In 1947-48 season I saw him play for Arsenal against both United and City in draws at Maine Road. Against City both Denis and Leslie Compton played for Arsenal. The following season too I watched him against City and United. The City Arsenal match in April of 1949 was the last game of Frank Swift. Bert Trautmann was in goal the next time I saw Joe play- a 4-2 win at Maine Road for Arsenal in April 1953 and then a goalless draw in Feb 1954 at Maine Road. I was in the RAF when I last saw him at Highbury in a one all draw against Aston Villa in April 1954. There was a crowd of 14,000 there!
Joe Mercer 100 years
Scoring 7 goals in one half is a bit unusual to say the least so the terrific second half display by City against Sheffield Wednesday in the Capitol One Cup reminded me of another big win - back in 1963 - on Boxing Day. Scunthorpe were the visitors and the 27000 crowd saw City score just one in the first half. Just like the recent game City banged in another 7 in the second half. Scorers for City wee Murray and Gray 3 apiece and Kevan got the other two. Lawther got a consolation effort for the visitors. My notes at the time said that City were great and one of Grays goals was from 80 yards! The teams were as follows- City - Dowd, Lievers, Sear: Kennedy, Wood, Oakes: Young, Gray, Murray, Kevan, Wagstaffe.
Scunthorpe - Jones, Hempstead, Brownsword: Gibson, Horstead, Gannon: Crawford, Hodgson, Kirkman,Lawther, Wilson . Mr Hackney was the referee
So we have a new striker to watch in a few weeks. The transfer of Wilfried Bony from Swansea has at least been confirmed but we won't see his debut until the end of the Africa Cup of Nations. He is 6ft and is pretty quick. He scored 25 goals in 64 games for Swansea City and 46 in 66 games for Vitesse.He's 26 and cost us about 25 million plus. He will be wearing number 14.
A not unexpected departure is the loan of Nastasic to Schalke with a view of a permanent deal in the summer. There is unlikely to be more major moves though there are rumors concerning Lacazette of Lyon and Jay Rodriguez of Southampton.
Just heard the sad news that Harry Dowd has passed away. He was the City keeper in the 1969 Cup Final against Leicester City and there are a couple of images of him above. He first played for City in December 1961 but only played 2 games that season deputizing for Bert Trautmann. I first saw him in November 1962 in a one all draw against Everton at Maine Road. The City team that day was - Dowd, Kennedy, Sear: Benson, Lievers Oakes:Young, Dobing, Harley, Hannah, Hayes.
He played his final game at the end of the 1969-70 season. He played for City 181 times before moving to Stoke City.
More sad news today with the death of Richie Benaud a great cricketer and commentator at 84. I met him briefly while taking pictures at the England Pakistan Test at Old Trafford in July 1992.
He played 63 times for Australia scoring over 2200 runs and taking 248 wickets for his country. He was later an excellent commentator
more old cricket pics HERE
Managed to find the last memories of Maine Road
turn up Carnival Place and you will find the centre circle
It's a shame the writing on the surrounding concrete is so indistinct
More building work is going on in the area
This is probably the cafe where the City players often went for lunch back in the late 50's and early 60's. It was on Wilmslow Road near Platt Lane. I often met them there. I am guessing it has been a cafe ever since
Silva-----------7.47 (21 games ) last season 7.68
Hart-----------7.36 (22 games ) last season 6.94
Aguero -------7.26 (19 games ) last season 7.50
Milner -------- 7.21 (19 games ) last season 7.00
Toure -------- 7.05 (19 games ) last season 7.42
Lampard ----- 7.00 (11 games )
Nasri --------- 6.93 (16 games ) last season 7.54
Kompany -----6.80 (15 games ) last season 7.35
Zabaleta ----- 6.80 (20 games ) last season 7.31
Navas -------- 6.76 (21 games ) last season 7.24
Mangala ------6.75 (16 games )
Dzeko -------- 6.70 (10 games ) last season 6.80
Fernandinho - 6.65 (17 games ) last season 7.36
Clichy ---------6.64 (14 games ) last season 6.80
Demichelis ----6.54 (22 games ) last season 6.05
Jovetic --------6.50 (12 games ) last season 7.26
Kolarov -------6.40 (15 games ) last season 6.80
Fernando -----6.37 (19 games )
Sagna -------- 6.35 ( 7 games )
Caballero -----6.25 ( 6 games )
Down on last season as expected. Minimum of 6 home games to be included and at least 20 mins on pitch if a sub. Only games I have watched live are included
No certain news on transfers yet but plenty of rumors regarding Paul Pogba, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling. Even Jack Wilshere has been mentioned since his two goals for England.
Just noticed that ex City forward Matias Vuoso scored twice for Mexico in a 3 all draw against Chile . City played over 3 million for him in 2002 but he never played for the first team. You can see some pics of him playing for City reserves against United reserves HERE