Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cameo Stars Need to Step into Spotlight ; Blues' Summer Signings Have Mostly Failed to Impress or Improve the Squad

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cameo Stars Need to Step into Spotlight ; Blues' Summer Signings Have Mostly Failed to Impress or Improve the Squad

Article excerpt

ONE of City's worst performances of 2012 came off the pitch - in last summer's transfer window. Manager Roberto Mancini said as much himself last week, pointing out how main rivals United had strengthened by adding '25 goals' to their squad in the shape of Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa.

He added that, just as the players and the manager can make mistakes, it can also happen in the pursuit of players, another rumble in his long discontentment with the man who was previously tasked with bringing in the club's transfer targets, Brian Marwood.

Now Marwood has been moved sideways to a job heading up the revamped academy as it heads for its spanking new Etihad Campus home, and Mancini has expressed his hope that new sporting director Txiki Begiristain will bring home the bacon in future.

Mancini has made it plain that he did not get the players he asked for last summer. He wanted Van Persie, and ended up stuck with his four current strikers. He wanted Javi Martinez or Daniele de Rossi, and got Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell. He wanted Eden Hazard and got Scott Sinclair.

That is not to belittle the players who came into City, but the fact is the only one of the six players City brought in that has been truly impressive is 19-yearold defender Matija Nastasic. Perhaps now is the time for the others to step forward and prove they belong at the English champions.

Garcia made an impact on his debut with a headed goal at Stoke, which he almost followed with a late winner. But since then, a player who was lauded for his lion-heart at Benfica seems to have been startled by the pace and physicality of English football.

His confidence has plummeted, possibly because he has not played, and his distribution has looked sub-standard for a team which aims to pass the opposition to death.

Perhaps it is unfair to judge a player who has come in from Portuguese football and has missed a large chunk of the season with an injury.

But when a player whose biggest asset is said to be his competitiveness pulls out of a tackle and almost costs his team a goal - as he did against Ajax recently - that cannot be blamed on lack of time to adapt.

Garcia cost Pounds 17m, yet he has not been as good as Nigel de Jong, who left for AC Milan. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.