Saturday, 20 August 2011

The City Career of...Elano

Brazilian playmaker Elano signed for City under Sven Goran Eriksson. It was the time of Thai owner Thaskin Shinawatra and City had begun to see a little bit of investment of late, Elano transferred to Eastlands along with Vedran Corluka, Javier Garrido, Martin Petrov, Geovanni and Rolando Bianchi. But the £8 million signing from Shaktar Donestk was the first to catch the eye of the City faithful. With impressive displays in the Premier League and FA Cup, we began to see a growing number of the crowd sporting the Elano 11 shirt.

His passing and set piece ability is unquestionable, he took a large number of City's penalties, and scored every one. Elano scored his first goal at home to Newcastle in the Premier League. A sensational free kick hitting what some like to call 'the postage stamp' of the goal. Unstoppable. He also scored in games against Boro, Bolton and Birmingham and his creative mind had cemented him a place in the heart of Sven's midfield. He finished the season with another goal...albeit the only 1 in a humiliating 8-1 defeat at the Riverside Stadium. However, City's mid-table finish saw Sven's position as manager but in doubt and he was later replaced by Mark Hughes on the 5th June 2008. 

Many believe this was the turning point in Elano's city career as he failed to impress the new boss and was rarely in his starting 11. Mixed appearances from the bench meant City fans were losing faith in his commitment to the club as he often looked like he really didnt want to be there. An appalling show in the 3-0 cup defeat to Nottingham Forest was the final nail in the coffin for the Brazilian. He was sold to Galatasaray in 2009.

Elano's final record stands at 14 goals in 62 appearances. He also has a respectable 48 caps for his national side so his talent is unquestionable. However despite a promising start City fans just got the feeling his heart was never at Eastlands and  City just wasnt the team for him. In my opinion I dont think he was even given a chance under Hughes, but he's one of those players, if they're happy with the manager, the fans, the stadium, the training ground, the kit, the kit man, the tiles in the showers, the weather, their car parking space in the training ground car park, then they will play well and excite people. Otherwise, a sulking uninterested figure begins to emerge. 

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