Manchester’s Millions

by Dave Redden

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Spending big does not mean success!

After watching the (fairly) entertaining Hull City v Manchester City game I got to thinking about the two stars of the game and how much they cost their teams to purchase.

Hull City’s most consistent player so far this season must be the Brazilian, Geovanni.  His deflected free kick helped to earn his Tigers a point at home against the Sky Blues over the weekend.  Geovanni is comparatively well traveled for a 28 year old.  He’s played for Cruzeiro in Brazil, where his manager was none other than Luis Felipe Scolari, in addition to pulling on the shirts of both Benfica and Barcelona.  His last club was Manchester City who picked him up on a free transfer, just as Hull City did after the Blues released him.  To be fair, he did not set the city of Manchester alight, yet he is dazzling in the gold and black of Hull this season ….. for free.

Over at Manchester City I firmly believe that their best player so far this season is Stephen Ireland.  Sure, before this campaign Ireland may have been better known for some bonehead moves such as dropping his shorts to reveal Superman undies after scoring a goal or even lying to the Republic of Ireland F.A. as to why he had to pull out of a qualifying match for his country, but this year he’s been a breath of fresh air at City.  Upon further research I found out that he arrived at Eastlands via the club’s academy.  So, the newly appointed Big Boys with the open cheque book have an international quality player currently excelling for them week in and week out and he cost them ….. essentially nothing!

Hull City really doesn’t have a whole lot of cash to spend on mid-to-high level foreigners to come and grace our shores with their silky skills but Manchester City?  Oh, they do, especially now that they are owned by the soccer fans of Abu Dhabi.  City spent around £60m during the summer while signing Robinho, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Tal Ben-Haim, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and the wonderfully named Jo.  A British transfer record of $32.5 million of that was on Robinho alone!  Currently the Sky Blues lie in 12th place in the Premier League, just one point above the relegation zone while Hull City are clinging to the coat tails of the Big Four in 6th place.

The moral of the story here is obvious.  It’s not necessarily the money that buys you an outstanding team, listen to all the whining Arsenal fans for vindication of that, but it’s the shrewd playing of the transfer market and the belief in your own club’s farm system that can also reap sound rewards.

On a side note I notice that the afore-mentioned Manchester City should now be able to cut their Portuguese translator from the payroll.  Mark Hughes made Robinho the team captain against Hull City while Richard Dunne was unavailable for the game.  Since the captain must be able to communicate with his colleagues on the field I feel it safe to assume that Robinho, who could not speak a word of English in the summer, is now perfectly fluent and City can save at least one person’s salary as they release the translator.  Either that or Hughes is sucking up to Robinho big style!

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  • Tom

    Man City have not got the winning mentality, they will do well to finish in the 8 this season. You can sign who you like, but you WILL NEVER win the league!

  • Dave

    But what about Hull City? Where are they destined to finish? Can they stay in the Top 6?

  • Darren

    Hull City will finish 14th. MMW!!

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