Manchester City: Interview with Jim Whitley

1 Dec 2001: Jim Whitley of Wrexham in action during the Nationwide League Division Two match played between Wrexham (3) and Northampton Town (2) at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, North Wales. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Pete Norton / Allsport
1 Dec 2001: Jim Whitley of Wrexham in action during the Nationwide League Division Two match played between Wrexham (3) and Northampton Town (2) at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, North Wales. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Pete Norton / Allsport /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 6
Next
5 Feb 1997: Steve Lomas of Mancheser City (right) tangles with Darren Bazeley of Watford during the FA Cup Fourth round tie between Manchester City and Watford at Maine Road in Manchester. City won the match 3-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson /Allsport
5 Feb 1997: Steve Lomas of Mancheser City (right) tangles with Darren Bazeley of Watford during the FA Cup Fourth round tie between Manchester City and Watford at Maine Road in Manchester. City won the match 3-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson /Allsport /

Biggest Influences:

JB) Good stuff. You mentioned Geo Kinkladze. You played with a number of great City players from certainly when I grew up, who I remember. Uwe Rosler, Kinkladze, Goater just to name a few. Who was the guy you admired most, or learned most from?  

JW) Ah, well, see I was there for a very long time. You try to pick out little bits from the players. There was a guy called Steve Lomas, who just talked non-stop. And I’m not kidding you, incessant talking but, you know what, sometimes he helped you massively in a game. When, you know, you couldn’t see who was behind you. Just shouts from him were amazing.

Then you got people who worked hard, the Goat (Shaun Goater) was one of them. Uwe Rosler was another. Even the Brightwell’s, Ian Brightwell, just the work ethic in training was phenomenal.

Then you get the skill, and Geo Kinkladze, for me to watch in training was just phenomenal, he really was. How he’s not up there with some of the greats -sigh- I almost want to give him a slap. Because he should be up there, with the skill he had, but he just didn’t apply himself in the same way, and push himself enough to get into that bracket. But still unbelievable to watch in training, he really was a joy to watch and learn different things from.

JB) Yes, I always remember that Southampton goal. That always keep getting played back. But yeah, I remember Stevie Lomas.

JW) Yeah. I mean there’s loads. I’ve tried to be really critical and go through the list. There’s so many players and all having different characteristics that would help any young player coming through. On the skillful side, which not everyone has, Geo Kinkladze was definitely above everyone on that front.

JB) And on a similar thread, maybe a little easier, the manager you enjoyed playing for the most? And that doesn’t have to be just Manchester City, it’s whoever. 

JW) Well, I owe Frank Clark a lot for giving me my debut. Unfortunately he wasn’t there long enough in the end. Joe Royle was a bit of a joy around the ground, when we were down in the dumps he’d still find a way to be jovial, and try to gee the lads up. He was one of the first managers, he knew what players to shout at, what players to put an arm around. He was one of the first managers that brought a different approach to different players, which was really good to see..

Everything ran by him bringing players in, free signings, he was great about.

JB) I know he brought in Andy Morrison who kind of secured us at the back a little. So that was good.  

JW) Andy was a scary man. I am not kidding you! He is not one you’d wanna meet in a dark alley. But, when you have him on your team, it’s great. But he’d have a go at you, you know, which was grea. He would literally shout at you like he was going to kill you, on the pitch, if you did things wrong. Which kept you on your toes, some didn’t like it and wouldn’t listen to some of the things he said but, it defiantly gee’d you up.

JB) You said about meeting him in a dark alley, I don’t think I’d wanna meet him in a fully lit alley!

JW) Yeah that too. Andy Morrison in the dark is not great, but he was certainly a big, big signing in our time and pushing us towards promotion.