Friday, July 30, 2010

The Sv-end of an Era

With the announcement that Javier Garrido is to join Lazio — ironically as a replacement for recent signing, Aleksandar Kolarov — the last of the eight players brought in by Sven Goran Eriksson in the 2007-08 pre-season will leave the club.

They were certainly interesting times, as the club narrowly avoided relegation the season before, and had already lost two of our better players in Joey Barton and Sylvain Distin. Before the takeover, the signs of us staying alive as a club, let alone staying in the Premier League, weren't great.

Whilst the magnitude of spending is nowhere near that of today, it was still exciting to see so many players brought into the club, even more so by the fact that most of them were unknown to the Premier League.

Garrido was the sixth player signed that window, joining the club from Real Sociedad for the knock-down fee of £1.5million. He was Sven's first-choice left back for the opening stanza, however he eventually lost his place to Michael Ball on the back of some woeful defending in a 6-0 loss to Chelsea. He scored two goals for the club, both of which came from free kicks — against Liverpool in 2008-09 and against Wolves last season.

It has been suggested that Javier was instrumental in attracting David Silva to the club, and if that is true, he was well worth the transfer fee for that alone!

Despite his limited appearances, he was nothing but a model professional, who never moaned or threw the toys out the pram when on the bench. And when he did get his chance, he took it with both hands.

A good squad player, but with Kolarov, Bridge, Lescott, Barry, and Cunningham, left-back is a place where we have a few options. I genuinely wish Javier all the best for the future.

Sven's Class of 2007
Rolando Bianchi
Sven's first signing, Bianchi joined for £8.8m from Regina. Despite scoring the team's first goal in the season opener at Upton Park, he never really took to the English game. Was loaned out to Lazio in January, and had the indignity of being sent-off five minutes into his debut. Bianchi and his neck scarf was last season playing for Torino in Italy's Serie B.

Gelson Fernandes
Didn't get many games under Sven, and less so under Hughes, where the aging Dietmar Hamann was preferred in defensive midfield. Will forever be known for scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Spain at the 2010 World Cup.

Geo signed as a free-agent, just days after scoring in a preseason friendly for Portsmouth. Best known for the long range effort in the 1-0 win over the Rags. However, there was always a question mark over his commitment in training, and that relegated hm to the fringes of the squad. Subsequently moved to Hull City, where he bagged their first ever Premier League goal.

Martin Petrov
One of the 2007-08 season's best players, Petrov was scintillating down left flank for the Blues. Scored the only goal in City's 1-0 win over Barcelona in a 2008-09 friendly. Between the arrival of Robinho and niggling knee injuries, Petrov struggled to secure constant game time under Mark Hughes. Moved to Bolton on a free transfer this off-season.

Vedran Corluka
Vedran, along with Garrido and Elano, was part of the famous triple-unveiling. Despite his languid style, "Charlie" was quite comfortable on the ball, and was one of the most consistent performers that season. Soon moved to Tottenham in the hours before the Abu Dhabi takeover, not before scoring a key penalty in the UEFA Cup qualifier against FC Midtjylland.

Set the Premier League alight in the first few months of the season, including that free-kick against Newcastle. However, as the weather blew colder, so did his performances. He was the player who clashed most with Mark Hughes, and as a result, was moved on at the end of the 2008-09 season — despite City having insufficient cover in the playmaker role.

Valeri Bojinov
Was injured just five minutes in to the aforementioned 2007-08 derby, and failed to return that season. Suffered an Achilles injury in warm-up in the 2008-09 seasoon opener at Aston Villa. Accrued less than an hour's game time in the two years he was at the club.


  1. You are wrong! Philipe Caicedo is still a City player

  2. @jackblue

    Yes, Felipe Caicedo is still a City player (for now), but he was brought in during the January window, not the summer, which is the point I was making.


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