For some teams though, those calamities recur on an all too often basis. Manchester City’s almost suspicious bundle of has-beens, duds, and downright unfathomable purchases throughout their history flabbergast even the most committed and devout sections of their die-hard fans. Some of Manchester City’s imports have been so bad, in fact, that they are now the stuff of legend. So, what other reason do you need to peruse the oil-rich club’s dark, woeful and cringe worthy history?
Cameroonian defender Mettomo was signed in 2001 for £1.5m as Manchester City spent the season in the First Division. Once City had gained promotion to the Premier League, however, it was clear that Mettomo, despite having only played 27 games for the club, was surplus to requirements . He was quickly ousted by the much more formidable presence of Sylvain Dystain.
Following Manchester City’s relegation to the Second Division in 1998, it became quite clear how desperate City were becoming to turn their fortunes around. So, up steps the world renowned Danny Allsopp. With the Australian striker coming from such an impressive pedigree with spells at South Melbourne, Carlton and even the famous Port Melbourne Sharks on his CV, what could possibly go wrong? After four goals in 25 games, Allsopp swiftly departed for loan moves to Notts County and Wrexham before finally – some would say, belatedly – being shown the door.
Still appearing regularly in the Greek national side and for his current club, Celtic, Georgios Samaras could be forgiven for forgetting all about his torrid tenure in Manchester; but City fans certainly won’t. At Heereven before he joined City, Samaras had proven quite a prolific goal-scorer by notching up 30 goals in 88 appearances. As the Dutch club snatched at City’s proverbial hand for the £6m they were offering, however, that success in front of goal quickly disappeared. The Greek’s drought quickly turned into a desert. Samaras scored only 8 goals in two seasons at the club.
With 14 clubs to his name, Barry Conlon is a weary traveller. His appearances at Maine Road became indicative of his entire career. He made seven appearances after signing from Queens Park Rangers. City never renewed his year-long contract. He now plays for Chesterfield.
Astonishingly, this French midfielder was bought by city for £1.5m from Belgian side Charleroi in 2001. He was branded a cheat in his second game and was sent off in his third.A few weeks later he required two major operations on his knees. There’s still an ongoing enquiry into exactly how the Negouai managed to pass his medical with the club as those dicky knees continued to plague him for the majority of his City career. Upon his return he was sent off again in the reserves. Then he missed an FA drugs test, narrowly escaping a ban. In 2004, he made his final Premier League appearance, replacing Jon Macken against Everton. He was promptly sent off again for shinning Marcus Bent. He left the club the year after.
If playing alongside Diego Forlan is an indication of anything, it is an indication that you may want to be a little more cautious in obtaining that players signature. But these were more innocent times. Forlan had yet to demonstrate his ineptitude in the English league when City swooped for his strike-partner Matias Vuoso for £3.5m. Undeterred by the fact that Independiente had finished bottom of the Argentinean Clausura league, Vuoso the Virtuoso was signed by Kevin Keegan in 2002. The Mexican international failed to play a single game and was subsequently sold on only a year later.
After three decent seasons at Portsmouth, Frank Clark brought Lee Bradbury to Manchester in 1997 for a club record fee of £3m. Bradbury went on to become a major factor in City’s struggle for relegation that year as the Englishman managed to convert only six opportunities throughout the entire season. City did manage to achieve relegation that year and, his job done, Bradbury moved on to Crystal Palace the following year. Before leaving, however, he was cemented in club folklore as fans dropped the ‘r’s from his name so he was forever known as Lee Bad Buy.
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