1951/52 SEASON REVIEW
During the summer Joe Fagan left the Blues to take up a position as player manager at non-league Nelson.
A Maine Road crowd of over 45,000 turned up to see City’s return to Divison 1 a game which saw the Blues earn a point in a 0-0 draw with Wolves . Away from home though City were pointless as they were well beaten 5-1 at Huddersfield and 3-0 at Sunderland , however back in Manchester they quickly made up for their defeat at Leeds Road beating Huddersfield 3-0. Aston Villa were the next team to visit Maine Road and went away with a point in a 2-2 draw, and so after five games the early League table showed City in 17th place on four points. Another defeat followed, 1-0 at Portsmouth , before the Blues’ first away win of the season as they beat Derby 3-1 at The Baseball Ground. At Maine Road there followed two defeats 2-1 in the derby against United and 2-0 against Arsenal . Away from Manchester they drew 2-2 at Blackpool and then surprisingly beat champions Tottenham 2-1, a game which saw the debut of forward Ivor Broadis who had joined City the day before from Sunderland for a fee of £25,000. further movements in the transfer market as George Smith moved to Chesterfield for £5,000 and in came another forward, Don Revie, from Hull, City paid £25,000 with Ernie Phillips also moving to Hull as part of the deal. City continued their good run with a 1-0 win against Preston at Maine Road, a 0-0 draw at Burnley then a 4-2 win at home to Charlton and a 2-1 win at Fulham . Another win followed 2-1 against Middlesbrough before four consecutive defeats, 3-2 at West Brom , 3-2 at home to Newcastle and as we entered December, 2-1 at Bolton and 1-0 against Stoke at Maine Road. The rut was stopped with a 2-2 draw at Wolves , and then a 3-1 home win against Sunderland. It was to be a happy Christmas for the Blues as they beat Chelsea twice, 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Christmas Day and then Chelsea lost 3-1 at Maine Road on Boxing Day, and finished the year in a mid table position with an away victory, 2-1 against Aston Villa. On New Years Day 1952 City lost 1-0 in a lottery of a game against Portsmouth on a Maine Road pitch described in The Guardian as resembling “the mud-flats in the Dee Estuary when the tide had receeded”. Four days later on the same pitch the Blues beat Derby 4-2, a game which saw the debut of Ken Barnes, who had joined the club over a year ago, and after a great performance, he was immediately dropped without any explanation, and so the 23 year old handed in a transfer request which Les McDowall happily accepted, the relationship between the two since Barnes joined had not been good, a move away from Maine Road was unlikely though as City slapped a valuation on him of £1,500. A crowd of over 54,000, paying over £6,000 saw City come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Wolves and earn a replay at Molyneux in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. However four days later Wolves knocked City out winning 4-1. January finished with two good away draws, 1-1 against Manchester United and 2-2 at Arsenal . February began with a prestigeous friendly against Argentinian giants River Plate , the game ending in a 4-3 City defeat. City’s game at home to Blackpool on 9th February was preceded by a minute’s silence, the hymm Abide with me, and the National Anthem as a tribute to King George VI who had died three days earlier, the forwards maybe lost their concentration with the sombre pre-match ceremony and a game of chances finished in a 0-0 draw. The Blues completed a run of five successive draws with a 1-1 home draw against Tottenham and a 1-1 draw at Preston , sandwiched in between City played a friendly at Old Trafford against neighbours United , Matt Busby’s side won 4-2. And following the Preston game the Blues played another money spinning friendly at Maine Road, losing 4-1 against Hibernian . City then lost 1-0 at home to Burnley before another three draws, 0-0 at Charlton , 1-1 at home to Fulham and 2-2 at Middlesbrough . April started badly with a 2-1 defeat by West Brom and a defeat by the same score by Liverpool , both games at Maine Road. City had now only won one of their last fifteen league and cup games, however with just four games left in Division 1 The Blues were safe from relegation in 14th place. City then lost again 1-0 at Newcastle , before a rare win, 2-1 at Liverpool . The season petered out with two further defeats, 3-0 to Bolton at Maine Road and 3-1 at Stoke . The Blues ended the season in 15th position on 39 points. City played an end of season friendly drawing 1-1 against Sheffield Wednesday, before jetting off for a tour of Spain where they were beaten 5-1 by Seville , beat Zaragoza 3-1 and lost again 5-1 against Barcelona . Don Revie handed in a transfer request before taking a Summer break. He had felt that his partnership with Broadis wasn’t working and went some way in him being over looked fro England during the season in favour of Broadis, although Revie was suffering from a groin injury for a large part of the season as well, and so he decided it may be better for his future if he left Maine Road.