The expectation on Manchester City going into every game right now is that they will win. Whether it is Liverpool, Barcelona or someone from a lower league in the FA Cup, City expects to win. The Citizens find themselves in the knockout stages of the Champions League, FA Cup, Charity Shield and Premier League winners with more shiny stuff expected. But it wasn’t always like that.
On this day in 1998, City found themselves in the third tier of English football after some bad management, bad luck and bad purchases. The season didn’t start off in the best of ways with way too many tied games keeping the mighty Manchester City locked in mid table and promotion looking like a long shot. Known publicly now, but not at the time, was the fact that City were financially on the brink with another season in the third tier maybe ruining the club completely.
Boxing Day did see Manchester City win away to Wrexham thanks to a single Gerard Wiekens strike. Two days later was the home game to Stoke City, and City were thirteen points behind second place Walsall halfway through the season. After going in at halftime a goal down City were in trouble, but thanks to second half goals from Paul Dickov and Gareth Taylor the win was secured and history will show the push up the league began. Out of the remaining 66 points available to City for the rest of the season, they only missed out on 20 (two defeats and seven draws).
Now that was not enough to actually get them promoted in the automatic positions, but it did get them to the playoffs and the form eventually pulled them through.
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sport. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on www.facebook.com/jasonbardwell1979.