Manchester City is often at the receiving end of mocking remarks aimed at their lack of continuous successful history. The stitches are only partly true. Ever since the Abu Dhabi United group took over, the Citizens have become a serious financial force threatening to challenge on all fronts.
But they’ve tasted the sweet heights of football triumph before – something that would not have been possible without the right managers.
This piece will give those people some homage. Here are the figures and how they left their mark on the club:
1880 – 1928
The managerial position in the early days of English football differed greatly from today. The job also involved secretarial duties like arranging fixtures and the upkeep of the club’s ground.
The first manager that marked the club was Lawrence Furniss, who in 1892 ensured City became a member of the Football League as part of the Second Division. He turned chairman in 1894 as the club grew in big leaps in the next six years.
The rewards of the growth were reaped under Sam Omerod who drove City to the pole position in the Second Division in 1899, earning the club the first ever promotion to First Division.
In 1904, Scotsman Tom Maley, the first non-English manager for the club, managed City to their first FA Cup in history.
1928 – 1950
Wild spent 14 years managing City. Under his tutelage, City won the FA Cup for the second time in 1933. Four years later, they become champions of England for the first time after going on a 22-game undefeated run in the second part of the season.
1950 – 2000
Mercer is undoubtedly the most successful Manchester City manager before the Abu Dhabi era. He took the club out of the Second Division in his first year as a manager and made them champions in 1968.
The success didn’t stop there as the Citizens sailed to another FA Cup in ’69, and a League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup in ’70.
Book’s appointment as a manager came immediately after the end of his playing career. He took City from 14th to 8th in a year and then won the League Cup in 1976. A year later, City finished second only behind Liverpool despite a hugely successful and attractive string performances.
The Swede became the first non-British manager of the club in 2007. Apart from a good start during which City went top of the table after three games without conceding a goal, the rest of season proved to be unspectacular before Eriksson migrated to China.
Mancini was appointed manager in 2009. Two years later, he managed City to an FA Cup triumph, and the Premier League title in the following season. He was sacked after three and a half years at the club, but remains one of the most successful managers in modern Manchester City history.
Pellegrini spent three years as City boss, winning the Premier League in 2014 and the League Cup in 2016. But it’s the way he did it that stuck. During the 2013/14 champions winning run City posed one of Europe’s most efficient forward lines.
The iconic Catalan manager has not yet marked the club in a significant way in his first season. But having become one of the most successful people in football from his spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola hold serious potential.
Let’s wait and see.
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