Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Chris Marsden - the one City let slip away

The Sky Blues’ second Premier League season saw the brief introduction of the midfield playmaker we hope recent signing John Fleck will mirror. Signed on loan from Huddersfield Town, Phil Neal’s signing of Chris Marsden in the winter of 1993 was a masterstroke. The balding left-footer dovetailed perfectly with Roy Wegerle and Peter Ndlovu as Neal’s side hovered in mid-table. When it came to signing him on a permanent deal his injury record stalled the City hierarchy and Wolves took him to Molineux.

Marsden’s seven appearances showed the City faithful his ability to link the play with neat passing, keeping the team moving forward. An excellent example is displayed in the clip below as Sky Sports’ ‘Monday Night Football’ featured newly promoted Swindon Town’s visit to Highfield Road. Marsden’s break from his own area (forward to 3:40 mins) set up Sean Flynn to send Wegerle racing clear to score and City led as the clock ticked to 88 minutes. Then came the comical moment when Sky’s cameras lost the live pictures leaving host Richard Keys to discuss with guest Terry Yorath how City deserved the win. Moments later his demeanour altered to break the shock news of Andy Mutch’s late leveller, witnessed only by supporters in the ground.

In Neal’s wisdom he allowed Marsden to sign for our Black Country neighbours before spells with Notts County, Stockport and Birmingham propelled him to five seasons back in the top flight with Southampton. His replacement at City was Sandy Robertson, a midfielder labelled by Rangers then manager Graeme Souness as the ‘best young player in Britain’. He signed for £250,000 in the week Marsden departed but his spell at Highfield Road did not work out and he would make just four substitute appearances before Dundee United took him back home. Let’s hope the similarity (Rangers) with Fleck ends there as Andy Thorn’s ‘bang, bang, bang’ transfer policy sweeps into action and revives fan optimism for the coming season.

With the ever dependable Martin Cranie departing along with Gael Bigirimana and James McPake, we await Richard Keogh’s plans for 2012/13. Bursting through the revolving door, the signing of Stephen Elliott appeared from nowhere while we warded off a number of suitors for Fleck and Kilbane which is a first for us as a club in recent years. We normally lose out in transfer wars mirroring the way we lost out on the pitch last season. The new arrivals must bring in a winning mentality, the last time we won a game after trailing was Watford in 2009, it’s far too long, needs rectifying and will be tested on day one at Yeovil Town.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah Chris Marsden was a classy player, I didnt realise he only played that few games for us. Hopefully Fleck can give us some go forward in midfield instead of side to side,someone who does what Majewski does at forest would be good!