~ DPBBlue at Mancityfans has found an interesting profile of Bianchi which looks very promising.
~ The Portsmouth News ran this story about Geovanni recently which includes some of his scoring stats, and there's another profile of him at Uefa.com.
~ No-one can agree on how much Geovanni cost Barcelona in June 2001. The News claims the fee was £13.28m, Wikipedia says £11m, Uefa believes it was €19.6m (£11.76m at 2001 exchange rates), while news wire AAP reckoned it was US$18m (£11.76m in 2001). According to this story, Geovanni was on €2m-a-year at Barcelona (around £25,000-per-week) but probably took a cut in wages when he joined Benfica.
~ This 5:27min clip at YouTube pretty much shows who's going to be taking the free-kicks this season.
~ According to the BBC, Fernandes was valued at around £2m in April when Bolton were linked with him, though the £3.8m we paid for him is probably a fair reflection of the way transfer costs have spiralled this summer.
~ There was fun and games at Geovanni's Wikipedia page, with changes been made every few minutes after he signed for us. As usual it's all settled down now, but here are a few versions I saved before they were edited out:
'Geovanni is currently impressing at a two-week trial at the successful Premier League team Portsmouth FC. He now plays for Manchester City, as Sven Goran Eriksson signed him under the nose of fat Harry.'
'Geovanni went on a two week trial with the English Premier League club, however he signed a one year deal at Manchester City on 17th July 2007 where he will again be one of the greatest talents in the game as super Sven's Blue and White army start to control Europe'
'However, he is now Sven Goran Eriksson's latest signing at Comedy Central.
'He is now Sven Goran Eriksson's latest signing at Man City - He would never consider a move to Comedy Central (Man U).
'He is now Sven Goran Eriksson's latest signing at Manchester City (Gods Own Team).'
'After a short two-week trial at Portsmouth in July 2007 he decided to join Manchester City on a one year deal on July 17 2007. That's one in the eye for 'Arry. CTID!
'However, after a short trial at Portsmouth in July 2007 he decided to join Manchester City on a one year deal on July 17 2007.'
Squad list updated
It's starting to look a little healthier now, though I'm figuring we still need a minimum of two midfielders and three defenders for the start of the season. I've put the list in the Squad & Stats section and will update it whenever there's a signing.
When City were poor (part 1)
News that City have a swanky new coach stands in stark contrast to Frank Clark's problems with the City bus.
In his autobiography, Kicking with Both Feet, Clark reveals how run-down the club had become when he joined in December 1996. The players didn't have enough training kit and 'had to go scratching round picking up bits and pieces wherever they could'. The restaurant at the Platt Lane training ground was open to the public and expected to make a profit. 'It was chips with everything and no thought was given to the players' nutritional needs as professional athletes,' Clark writes. But it was City's team bus that best summed how the club had declined:
"The team bus was archaic and totally unsuitable. It was shabby and there were no facilities on it at all to occupy the players on long journeys. No food was available after the game, yet there was always beer on offer. It was ridiculous.
I set about changing things as quickly as possible. We got them proper kit and I explored why we had such an ancient bus. It turned out we had been with the same company for 60 years. I called in their managing director and he was amazed to find we weren't happy. I reeled off our complaints and he said that was the first bit of feedback he's ever had. He gave us a better coach straight away as a temporary measure and then set about getting one exactly as we had wanted. Beer on the coach was banned and we set about providing proper food."
Newcastle ready for Barton
Browsing through the Volvo buses website I discovered that the firm have just completed a revolutionary prototype for Newcastle United.
Here's an exclusive shot of the coach Newcastle will be using to transport Joey Barton in this season: