The Masked Singer


Lee was dazzled by the then largely unknown player’s performance against Wales.

He returned to the Premier League and showed flashes of brilliance during a spell with Derby County, but by this stage managers had tired of basing their side around him.

In fact, its rugby union players are probably as big as any successful footballers, having played at four successive Rugby World Cup finals, coming within a point of embarrassing Ireland at the pool stages in 2007.

Then that dream-like middle act between Kinkladze wandering the 18 yard box and passing the ball into the Riverside bottom corner. Although established in the national side of Georgia, Georgiou “Georgi” Kinkladze was an unknown entity in the Premier League. Georgi Kinkladze.

His wonder goal against Southampton came in a season that ended with relegation from the Premier League. This site celebrates the league’s glorious past in The Premier League Archive! The red and white striped shirts of Southampton players are all around him, but left dazzled by his footwork, as if watching close-up magic.
English football, traditionally slow to embrace tactical innovations from abroad, opened its eyes. He wanted to build the team around Georgi and change the whole dynamic of the side, but it was never going to work…for a player who the whole team operated around he didn’t score enough goals, didn’t make enough goals, didn’t tackle, didn’t head it and his overall contribution wasn’t enough.”, The winger Nicky Summerbee agreed. “I could have been Maradona and he wouldn’t have changed the system to accommodate me,” Kinkladze complained.

Only seven teams have managed to achieve this feat in the first 28 years of sensational action. A further half dozen defenders taken out, eyes glued to a ball that was stuck to Kinky’s boot like the Solvite adverts of the 70’s. When he returned against Port Vale, Kinkladze was barely noticeable and was dropped by Royle for six matches. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Donny van de Beek was pivotal after he came on for Man United in their Premier League win vs Newcastle at St James' Park.

To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Clark was replaced by Joe Royle, less of a footballing romantic, whose first words to the board about footballing matters were simple: “We have to sell Kinkladze.” He would no longer be indulged.

City continued their descent down the league and when manager Frank Clark was sacked, new boss Joe Royle decided Kinkladze was a luxury, rather than an asset and recommended the Georgian be sold. The goal v Southampton from 1996 is a standout with Man City’s number 7 untouchable on the run from fifty yards, elastic ankles pivoting past four Saints defenders before a cute nudge over an exposed Dave Beasant.

Goals: Temuri Ketsbaia 8, Georgi Kinkladze 7, Zurab Khizanishvili 1, Mikhail Kavelashvili 1. Mretebi Tbilisi were a smaller club playing at a lower level, but the move gave Kinkladze the opportunity to play first team football instead of playing for Dinamo's second team. Even the most ardent of Blues supporters probably don’t remember his spell at Stamford Bridge.

“We tied ourselves up in knots trying to accommodate him,” Clark said. It was Alan Ball who bought him to Manchester City and the fans at Maine Road absolutely loved him. Kinkladze was recruited after a sensational performance in Georgia’s 5-0 thrashing of Wales in November 1994, a seismic result: only three years after Georgia had gained independence it was their first competitive victory. In 1991 Kinkladze's Mretebi won the Pirvel…

The camera operator, never mind the Wales rearguard didn’t have the foresight to imagine Kinky chipping the keeper from 25 yards.

Manchester United bench's reaction to Juan Mata shows his impact. Man Utd defender Di'Shon Barnard will spend the first half of the season on loan at League Two side Salford City. And all the goals that City score are blinding.”. A little jink fooled the Saints goalkeeper and that allowed Kinkladze to loft the ball into the opposite corner of the net for what is one of the best goals in Premier League history. Ketsbaia is most famously remembered for his celebration after scoring a winning goal against Bolton Wanderers in January 1998. Mention the name Giorgi Kinkladze and thoughts immediately turn to a March afternoon in 1996. Manchester City player ratings for their Premier League win over Arsenal at the Etihad thanks to a first-half Raheem Sterling goal. However, the bleus struggled to make an impact in the First Division and finished well outside the promotion places, which again prompted speculation that the Georgian maestro would leave the club. Having opened the scoring with a close-range tap-in and hit the crossbar from outside the box, Kinkladze collected the ball on the right, dribbled directly towards goal while evading four increasingly desperate challenges, dummied to put Dave Beasant on the ground, then lifted the ball over his head and into the net. The Premier League had evolved radically in terms of incorporating more technical footballers but in a tactical sense there was still plenty of improvement required. I am not saying that City’s ills were all down to Kinkladze, but there was too much about the whole Kinkladze cult phenomenon that wasn’t right ...too often since his arrival, the team had under-performed. Georgi Kinkladze, pictured in 1997, was a superb dribbler and scored some amazing goals for Manchester City, but they were relegated at the end of his first season. He did it because he could.

Bruno Fernandes hit back at critics of Man Utd's summer transfer business after the 4-1 win vs Newcastle. “He spoke very little English and it was foreign to him to tackle and scrap and fight like you do in England. There was another at Middlesbrough a year earlier, with Kinkladze roaming and able to eat territory with a superlative left foot and man-beating acceleration. “Kinkladze was different class and the best player on the pitch by a mile.” In the return fixture the following summer Kinkladze again dominated. Kinkladze wheeled away in a beautiful zig-zag Adidas kit as uniform as his career, blighted by civil strife in his home country.

Georgi Kinkladze, an absurdly talented Georgian No10.

The most expensive cost £40million; the least expensive record deal was worth £270,000... Update your browser to view this website correctly.Update my browser now, Underrated wonder goals: Georghi Kinkladze v Wales.

To me he was a big negative.” The Georgian was sold to Ajax, a club who deeply value technical players but also generally play a 4-3-3 system – meaning the manager, Jan Wouters, had no space for a No10. “He was bewildered to start with,” Ball said at the time.

But without a wonder goal v Wales in 1995, Kinkladze’s Maine Road sojourn may never have happened. To me, he was a big negative. But Kinkladze was completely unsuited to the traditional English 4-4-2 system and, in order to incorporate him in his favoured position, City’s managers were forced into tactical experiments which often proved disastrous and eventually contributed to the club suffering consecutive relegations.

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