The Worst of Friends: Malcolm Allison, Joe Mercer and Manchester City Colin Shindler

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The Worst of Friends: Malcolm Allison, Joe Mercer and Manchester City  by  Colin Shindler

The Worst of Friends: Malcolm Allison, Joe Mercer and Manchester City by Colin Shindler
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Between 1965 and 1970, Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison formed the most successful managerial partnership in the history of Manchester City, winning five trophies in five seasons during a period fondly remembered as Citys Golden Age. Only two yearsMoreBetween 1965 and 1970, Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison formed the most successful managerial partnership in the history of Manchester City, winning five trophies in five seasons during a period fondly remembered as Citys Golden Age.

Only two years after winning their first European trophy, however, the managerial partnership terminated abruptly when Mercer left to manage Coventry. Allison shed no tears the day he heard the news, for by then the two men were barely on speaking terms. What Allison wanted was supreme power at Maine Road and he was prepared to engineer a boardroom takeover to get his way, forcing out the man who had given him his big break.Ironically, within nine months of getting his dearest wish, Allison was also on his way out of Manchester.

Without Mercer, he seemed incapable of recreating those glory days that had come and gone with breathless speed. The Worst of Friends documents the plans Mercer and Allison hatched to make a team with no decent players league champions in three seasons and the rows that followed Allisons realisation that Mercers initial promise to let him take over in two years was never going to be fulfilled.

It is a cautionary tale of how greed, ambition, double-dealing and betrayal can dominate the Beautiful Game, but ultimately it highlights how two men touched greatness then let it slip through their fingers.



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