In January, a lot of City fans were wondering what Alexis Sanchez coming into the Etihad would bring. Would the Chilean enhance and compliment the fine balance we were currently enjoying? Or would he disrupt the side, and prove to be a distraction rather than attraction.
Some of the older supporters had cast their minds back to the 1970’s, and the arrival on this day in 1972 of Rodney Marsh. Moving to City from Queens Park Rangers for, a then club record fee, of £200,000.
He was touted as City’s version of George Best, and his stats at QPR would make the case a hard one to argue against. Although City had already talents such as George Best’s friend, Mike Summerbee. Francis Lee and Colin Bell were both still on City’s books at the time and the pomp and ceremony in which he arrived seemed to unsettle the side.
Widely argued that he was responsible for Manchester City not winning the title that season. Marsh did admit in his 2001 autobiography that he feels he was responsible for that. It’s hard to say if it was tongue in cheek, What cannot be argued with is that City only won four of their remaining nine League fixtures.
That may not seem like too much of a disaster, certainly this season that would be enough. That season though, only one point separated first from City’s fourth, and we beat Champions Derby on the final day.
Marsh did go on to become City’s top scorer the following season, although City had begun their decline with Malcolm Allisons resignation. Relations were not great with Club legend, captain and now Manager, Tony Book. Things came to an end for Marsh when he questioned Books ability to manage.
At the end of his playing career Marsh the only two trophies in England he would lift is the League Cup with QPR and a Charity Shield with City. The blues were only in that after Derby and Leeds declined the invitation. Book, on the other hand, won the European Cup Winners Cup, League, League Cup and an FA Cup. As manager, a League Cup the very season Marsh leaves us.
It’s not to say Marsh wasn’t a talent, he was. His attitude is what cost him trophies and more International caps. The Hatfield Balotelli if you’d like, why always him eh?