Friday, October 12, 2007

City's best midfielder

The MEN ran a feature today where Chris Bailey shortlisted his six best midfielders to have played for the club with a quest to establish who was the best - clearly the international week is having a big effect on day to day City news, and with very much an emphasis on the present day there was the suggestion that Elano may well top the pile, not jumping the gun in any way, shape or form.

The six listed were Elano, Ali Bernarbia, Eyal Berkovic, Gio Kinkladze, Ken Barnes and Colin Bell. Now, I never saw Ken Barnes or Colin Bell play so I cannot really comment on their worthiness (suffice to say opinion of those who did is probably good enough to suggest they deserve their place in the City hall of fame), but for me there is no contest as it is Kinkladze for me.

Still to this day if you see any old DVD or youtube footage his skills take your breath away. As goodas Elano will be, or that Bernarbia or Berkovic were they were in the main surrounded by talent and good teams who were succesful.

Kinkladze by contrast was almost a tragic hero figure, his talent shining despite being in some of our worst sides in recent times - something that is used as a knock against him but should elevate him even more given he was a virtual one man time, and often singled out for some brutal attention from opponents (particularly after we were relegated).

During those dark times, it was Kinkladze who stood out, gave us hope and something to believe in. For me, as good as any player may end up being, I cannot see a player surpassing Kinkladze.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

i'm only 25 so i'm in the same boat having never seen bell in action. but its gotta be gio! not sure my dad would agree tho...

Anonymous said...

Johnny Crossan, is certainly a contender. An early Johnny Giles type, he got us promoted in 1966.

Phil B

Anonymous said...

Gio was something special at times but I remember a lot of games where he was anonymous. The team didn't know how to work with him which is maybe down to the manager but maybe just as much the player himself who never changed.

Lets not forget we got relegated to the 3rd division with Gio still a player and those emotional moments as Joe n Gio waved us goodbye at Stoke away. Joe hung around which is credit while Gio got his 'dream' move which was subject to much press specualation for the whole season.

Top player but a total individual in a team game as the rest of his career showed.

Elano is in a different league to Gio. So was Ali B just a shame we did not see him at his prime. As for CB I can only go on what I hear but he sounded and is fat worthier of the title.

eskimogirl said...

I take your point Ryan, but it wasn't quite as simple as that. As soon as Royle was installed as manager he put Gio on the transfer list. It was made pretty clear to him that he wasn't staying whatever happened. I'm sure if you asked him now he'd probably tell you he made a mistake leaving City. Who knows. It's certainly very sad that we never saw the best of what he was capable of.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, Colin Bell is the best midfield player to have played for MCFC. He was not the most talented individual in terms of dribbling ability but he was the most superb athlete you could wish to see. People are raving about Micah, but Micah is the same, not the most skilfull but what an athlete !!! However, the difference between Bell and Micah is that Bell used to plow up and down that pitch all game long pusshing the team to great efforts. He had great oace, great strength, great stamina. He could go past people not with skill but with speed and strength. He could shoot with both feet, was a great header of the ball, could pass perfectly, long and short and new erxaclt when to release the ball. He is ( at the moment ) unsurpassed. A few years after he retired because of that dreadfuo knee injury, I remember going to watch him in the Manchester Marathon and his time was nearly international class, even after the injury. What an athlete !!!!!