Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 5

And at number 5 of our christmas countdown - you, our viewers have chosen Georgi Kinkladze.

Georgi Kinkladze
The Georgian midfielder scored 22 goals for Manchester City during his spell between 1995-1998. He made 119 appearances for the club in this time.

Kinkladze's first season was the 1995-96 season where City didn't win a game in the first 3 months. The Blue's first win came against Aston Villa on the 25th November where Kinkladze's strike was the only one to hit the net in a 1-0 victory.

This game was a big one and Kinladze opened the scoring in a game that ended in a 4-1 defeat. Despite the defeat, Middlesbrough's fans voted Kinkladze as the "Best Opposing Player of the Season".

Kinkladze scored again against Southampton in a game that the Citizens won 2-1. His goal was a cracker as he ran passed 5 players before chipping the ball into the net. This goal meant that he achieved second in Match of the Day's "Goal of the Season" competition.

Kinkladze could've moved from the Blue's after they were relegated to the First Division. The relegation resulted in interest from Barcelona, Liverpool, Celtic and Internazionale, but the Georgian decided to stay at Manchester City.

City finished the next season below the promotion places, and this again sparked speculation. Fans begged the midfielder to stay and messages were displayed on the screens at Maine Road and again, Kinkladze won player of the season. To the fans relief, Kinkladze signed a new 3 year contract keeping him at Maine Road.

Kinkladze used the funds from the new contract to buy a Ferrari, which he later crashed into a motorway bridge. He missed two matches through injury as a result, and required 30 stitches.

Kinkladze started his career at Manchester City uncomfortabley. The midfielder was homesick and did not own a home. In fact, the player was staying in a hotel. His mother then moved to Manchester to try and find a solution to the problem. This brought familiarity into Kinkladze's life and by the 9th December the star was touted as the best player in the side.

Joe Royle took over as Manchester City manager on 18th February 1998. He was not the biggest fan of Kinkladze and viewed him as an "unaffordable luxury". In his first board meeting, he opened with the words "We have to sell Kinkladze". Kinkladze was sidelined for a month with an anke injury and made his return against Port Vale in a 2-1 loss. Royle criticised Kinkladze's performance in this game and questioned his effort. Royle then dropped the ace for the next 6 games.

WIth two games remaining of the season, City found themselves occupying a relegation spot. Royle reinstated Kinkladze to the starting lineup against QPR, in which he scored the opening goal with a freekick. City then drew the game 2-2 and won their last game of the season 5-2 against Stoke. Despite this win, City were relegated to Division 2 and Kinkladze left the team to join Ajax.

Come back tomorrow to find out who has been voted at number 4!

Watch Kinkladze's chip against Southampton which earnt him MOTDs "Goal of the Month".

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