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The low down on City

Posted on 22 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Joe Royle underlined that City meant business in the Premiership by splashing out £8.65m this summer.

In doing so, he created a potentially thrilling forward line including a former World player of the year and one of the most talented but unpredictable strikers around.

Paulo Wanchope arrived at Maine Road for a club record £3.65m in August and took just two games to show what he's all about - a hat-trick against Sunderland.

But the Costa Rican can also be very frustrating and Royle admitted after this week's Worthington Cup tie against Gillingham that he 'looked dangerous one minute, dangerous to us the next'.

His partner is none other than George Weah, a real coup for City. On loan at Chelsea in the second half of last season, Royle actually snapped up the Liberian superstar on a free transfer from AC Milan.

So far the pair have helped City to a decent start with two wins and a draw from three games, including a shock victory at Leeds and a cracking 4-2 success against Sunderland.

Elsewhere in attack, Shaun Goater is on his way back from a knee injury while Paul Dickov and Shaun Wright-Phillips look to be battling for places on the bench at the moment.

Providing the ammunition from the left-hand side is the highly-rated Irish international winger Mark Kennedy.

Jeff Whitley grabbed the limelight from the big two up front with man-of-the-match display when City's last Premiership match against Middlesbrough was televised live on Sky Sports with a display full of hard graft. He is joined in midfield by Kevin Horlock and Alf Inge-Haaland - one of George Graham's ex-players at Leeds. He arrived for £2.5m in June. Ian Bishop provides the back up.

The defence has a new look with the summer captures of ex-England man Steve Howey for £2m from Newcastle and a relative bargain in Paul Ritchie for just £500,000 from Glasgow Rangers. Howey's recent career has been blighted by injuries but has a new lease of life at Maine Road.

Spencer Prior is also a relative newcomer having arrived at the back end of last season from Derby County.

However, City could be without their key defensive man Gerard Wiekens, who has been excellent so far in a sweeping role. He limped off against Boro with an Achilles problem and remains a doubt for the Lane. Aussie Danny Tiatto took over against Boro.

Behind the defence is the outstanding Nicky Weaver in goal. The Under-21 international is tipped for full England honours in the not-too-distant future.