Sunday, September 18, 2016

Manchester City Greatest All-Time Team

2012 Premiership Title
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.



This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

The club's most successful period was in the late 1960s and early 1970s when they won the League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup under the management team of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, culminating in relegation to the third tier of English football for the only time in their history in 1998. Having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won six major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014.

Team  
GK: Bert Trautmann (Germany)
Trautmann was a former POW who decided to remain in England after the war.  He signed for Manchester City in 1949.  He turned from the most hated player in England to a fan favourite.  He was the hero of 1956 FA Cup winning team. In his prime, he was known as one of the best keeper in the world.  He was credited for healing the German-British relations after the War.
Bert Trautmann
GK: Frank Swift (England)
Widely to be considered the greatest English keeper before the emerge of Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton.  He was an all-time great with Manchester City, where he played from 1933 to 1949. Because of the War, his international career was limited to 19 times. He also played in14 wartime internationals. He died in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, while working as a reporter.

GK: Joe Corrigan (England)
Corrigan began his career at Manchester City in 1967. He spent 16 seasons at Manchester City, winning the Cup Winners' Cup and League Cup twice, while also earning 9 England caps. He left in 1983 to play for Seattle Sounders, then returned to England for spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, Norwich City and Stoke City. A neck injury forced him to retire in 1985

RB: Tony Book (England)
Book spent a large part of his career in Non-League football with his home town club Bath City, before entering league football with Plymouth Argyle. At the age of 31, he joined First Division Manchester City, where he became captain. Under Book's captaincy, Manchester City won 4 trophies, making him the most decorated Manchester City captain of all-time. 
Tony Book
RB: Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina)
With Manchester City, Zabaleta has won all three of English football's major honours: the FA Cup (2011), the Premier League (2012 and 2014), and the League Cup (2014). Before joining Manchester City, Zabaleta played for Espanyol, where he won the 2005–06 Copa del Rey.  Zabaleta represented Argentina at the 2011 and 2015 Copa América, and was part of their team which finished as runners-up in the 2014 World Cup. 

CB: Dave Watson (England)
He played for Notts County, Rotherham United, Sunderland, Manchester City, Werder Bremen, Southampton, Stoke City, Vancouver Whitecaps and Derby County as well at the England national team where he won 65 caps. He played in the European Champion in 1980.  He never played in a World Cup Finals.

CB: Sam Coward (England)
Cowan played centre half for Manchester City for 11 seasons, captaining the team in the early to mid-1930s. He is the only player to have represented Manchester City in three FA Cup finals, as a runner-up in 1926 and 1933, and as a winner in 1934. Internationally, he gained three England caps between 1926 and 1931

CB/DM: Mike Doyle (England)
Doyle made a total of 570 appearances for Man City scoring 41 goals before joining Alan Durban's Stoke City in 1978. Stoke gained promotion to the First Division with him being a part of the defence. He left for Bolton Wanderers in January 1982.  He spent a season and a half at Burnden Park and ended his career with a season at Rochdale.

CB: Vincent Kompany (Belgium)
Kompany is widely considered one of the best center-back of his generation.   He played for Anderlecht and Hamburger Sv before joining Manchester City in 2008. In 2011-2012, he became the captain of Manchester City, leading his club to win the Premier League that season, their first league title in 44 years.  At time of writing, he earned over 70 caps and played at the WC Finals in 2014.
Vincent Kompany
CB: Richard Dunne (Ireland)
He was capped 80 times between 2000 and 2013.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2002, but did not play.  He played at Euro 2012.  For his club career,  he spent ten years with Manchester City. He moved to Aston Villa in 2009 and then, Queens Park Rangers in 2013.  He won Manchester City's Player of the Year award 4 straight times from 2004 to 2008, first player to win it 4 times.

LB: Glyn Pardoe (England)
He made his first team debut against Birmingham City in April 1962. At nearly 16 years of age he became Manchester City's youngest ever player, a record which still stands in 2016.  He was part of the Manchester City team in the club's most successful era. The club won the league championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in a three-year period.
Glyn Pardoe
CB/LB/RB: Roy Paul (Wales)
Paul played for Swansea, but his career stopped due to the outbreak of the Second World War.  In 1950, he was one of the British players who went to play for Millonarios in Colombia.  He only lasted 10 days and joined Manchester City for a record transfer for a half-back in 1950. From 1950-1957, he played for them.  He had 33 caps.

CM: Colin Bell (England)
Bell is considered to be Manchester City's greatest ever player.  He won the league in 1967-1968, FA Cup in 1969 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1970. He was remembered as the substitute for Bobby Charlton at the World Cup Finals in 1970 against West Germany.  In 1973, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for West Germany 1974.
Colin Bell

CM: Alan Oakes (England)
Oakes joined Manchester City in 1958, making his debut a year later. He picked up numerous honours at the club, including a Cup Winners' Cup winners medal in 1970, a First Division and Second Division championship medal in 1967–68 and 1965–66 respectively, an FA Cup winners medal in 1969, two League Cup winners medals in 1970 and 1976, and FA Charity Shield winners medals in 1968 and 1972. 

CM: Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
Yaya Toure is probably one of the best African player of his generation.  He went to three World Cup Finals at the 2006, 2010. He also represented them in six Africa Cup of Nations, captaining them to victory in 2015. Touré had stints with Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, and AS Monaco before moving to Barcelona in 2007. In 2010, Touré moved to Manchester City where he helped City earn their first league title in 44 years. He is among the greatest Manchester City players.
Yaya Toure
RW/FW: Mike Summerbee (England)
Summerbee made his league debut playing for Swindon Town in 1959 at the age of 16. He made more than 200 appearances for the Wiltshire club, scoring 38 goals. In 1965, Manchester City signed Summerbee.  Playing on the right wing, Summerbee was one of the most influential players in the Manchester City side which won four trophies in three seasons from 1968–70. Capped 8 times.

RW:  Billy Meredith (Wales)
He was a legendary player for both Manchester City and Manchester United. He was probably the greatest right winger in Manchester United's history, where he played between 1906 and 1921.  He was the oldest ever Manchester United player ever played. He gained 48 caps for Wales, for whom he scored 11 goals and won two British Home Championship titles.

LW/FW: Peter Doherty (Ireland)
An inside left, he was one of the top players of his time, winning a league title with Manchester City. He also win the 1946 F.A. Cup with Derby County in which he scored in the Final. He also had a long career with Huddersfield and Doncaster Rovers. Doherty gained 16 caps for Ireland. 

LW/FW: Eric Brook (England)
He is the all-time record goalscorer for Manchester City in all competitions. After playing amateur football for Wath Athletic, Brook began his professional football career with nearby Barnsley. He has been described as an 'unorthodox' outside left 'with a licence to roam'.  He won the 1934 FA Cup.  Capped 18 times.  Brook was involved in the famous Battle of Highbury game against the world champions Italy in 1934. 

AM/LM: David Silva (Spain)
Silva became a starter at Valencia in 2006 which forced Palbo Aimar to leave the club.  In 2010, he joined Manchester City helping the club to win their first Preimership in over 40 years. For Spain, he had 118 caps from 20006 onward.  He was a key player throughout the period Spain won the "triple crown": two European Championship and a World Cup.

FW/AM: Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
El Kun became the youngest player ever to play in the Argentine Primera Division in 2003 when he played for Independiente.  In 2006, Atletico Madrid broke their transfer record to sign him.  He rewarded the club with the Europa Cup in 2010.  In 2011, he joined Manchester City. Again, he rewarded the club with an added time goal that won the Preimership for Manchester City's first ever title. At the time of writing, he had over 80 caps.  
El Kun
FW: Neil Young (England)
Young made more than 400 appearances for Manchester City, Preston North End and Rochdale.  In total, Young scored 86 goals from 334 League games for Manchester City, he scored the only goal in the 1969 FA Cup Final, and scored as City won the 1970 European Cup Winners' Cup Final. 

FW: Francis Lee (England)
Lee played for Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Derby County and England. He won League Championship medals with Manchester City and Derby, and scored more than 200 goals in his career. In 2010, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.  He holds the English record for the greatest number of penalties scored in a season, a feat which earned him the nickname Lee Won. Capped 27 times.
Francis Lee

ST: Tommy Johnson (England)
He started his professional career at Manchester City in 1919, and represented the club throughout the 1920s.  He holds the record for the most goals scored by a Manchester City player in a single season, with 38 goals in 1928–29. In 1930, he joined Everton, where he partnered Dixie Dean and won the league title in .  He later joined Liverpool.

ST: Carlos Tevez (Argentina)
Tevez began his career with Boca Juniors, winning the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 2003 before moving to Corinthians where he won the Brasileiro. In 2006, he moved to West Ham United and to Manchester United in 2007. In 2009 he joined Manchester City for £47 million, becoming the first player to move between the two rival clubs since Terry Cooke in 1999. He helped City win their first league title in 44 years. In 2013, he joined Juventus for £12 million and he returned to Boca Juniors in June 2015.
Carlos Tevez
Honorable Mention
Joe Hart, Denis Law, Georgi Kinkladze, Shaun Wright-Philips, Dennis Tueart, Ernie Toseland, Rodney Marsh, Shaun Goater,  Niall Quinn, Sam Cowan, Dave Ewing, Paul Power, Horace Barnes, Peter Barnes, Ken Barnes, Tommy Browell, Joleon Lescott.

Squad Explanation
-- I tried to mix the squad with players before or after Mansour's era. Obviously, Sheikh Mansour turned the club into one of the best clubs in England.
-- Carlos Tevez? His joining of the club represented a new era for the club.  He also won a Premiership. 
-- Richard Dunne won Manchester City's Player of the Year award 4 straight times from 2004 to 2008, first player to win it 4 times.
-- Billy Meredith played for Manchester City longer than with Manchester United.  He played 12 years in his first stint and returned for another three years after he left Manchester United.
--  Joe Corrigan edged out Joe Hart because he spent 16 years at the club. Hart also started well, but faded away quickly.
-- Denis Law's career at Manchester City was too short.
-- Ernie Toseland deserved a spot, but too many right wingers were already on my team. The same applied to Dennis Tueart on the left side. Georgi Kinkladze and Shaun Wright-Philips were also not included.

Formation
--  Trautmann was a great, great keeper and he had a sentimental story behind his career.  In the end, I still started Frank Swift. 



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