Manchester City; Then and now

When West Ham host Manchester City on Saturday we will be facing one of the best teams in the world. As games this season at Upton Park come, this will be one of the toughest

When West Ham host Manchester City on Saturday we will be facing one of the best teams in the world. As games this season at Upton Park come, this will be one of the toughest

City’s sudden rise to a great team is no fluke and it’s fair to say that Manchester City have bought success. Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour in 2008 they have spent over £360m. That money has led to City becoming league champions as well as a Champions League side. However it’s not always been like that. In fact you only have to cast your minds back to when we were last promoted (2005/06 season) to see just how different it was for City. The difference between that side and the side we will play Saturday is very interesting.

When we played them at the Boleyn towards the end of the 05/06 season Shaun Newton scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Hammers. Alan Pardew, who was in charge at the time, rested some players and we still managed to beat a very average City side. I was at the game and if someone told me then that Manchester City would become a power in world football within the next five or six years I would have laughed, as many other Hammers fans would have.

Nowadays City are seen as one of the best teams in Europe, especially going forward, the calibre of creative players they have at their disposal is quite frightening. When they arrive in London to face the Hammers they will most likely have: Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, and Samir Nasri in their squad.

Re-wind the clock six years and the West Ham back line was against: Darius Vassell, Georgios Samaras, Albert Riera and Trevor Sinclair. It’s fair to say that the 2006 Man City team wasn’t packed with goals and this was proved by Andy Cole who finished as their top league goal scorer – he netted just nine times. To put that into perspective Edin Dzeko is already on five Premier League goals. Even our very own Kevin Nolan has scored four already.

The transformation all over the pitch is quite unbelievable. On Saturday the blues will line up with arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, Joe Hart. Even at his young age, 25, Hart is looking like he could be one of England’s best: he is consistent, brave and a great shot stopper. Six years ago the visiting keeper was David James.

City’s past squad included names such as: Ben Thatcher and Claudio Reyna. Not exactly world beaters are they? But simply through money Man City have become a big power in world football. They attract the best players in the world and are now starting to consistently win trophies. It certainly looks like being our biggest test of the season and probably the best Man City team West Ham have ever faced.

Despite their big name players, big money and new reputation as one of the best in England, I still think we could spring a surprise on them and remind them of the days when we were a better side.

How Manchester City lined up against West Ham in 2006:

David James, Micah Richards, Richard Dunne, Sylvain Distin, Ben Thatcher, Trevor Sinclair, Claudio Reyna, Kizito Musampa, Albert Riera, Georgios Samaras and Darius Vassell

How Manchester City lined up against West Brom last month:

Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, James Milner, Samir Nasri, Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli

Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, James Milner, Samir Nasri, Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.