1956/57 SEASON REVIEW
A month before the season started City and the other 91 league clubs rejected an offer from ITV to televise second halves of 35 games live on a Saturday afternoon, even though the deal was worth a massive £50,000 FA Cup winners City opened their league campaign with a visit to Molyneux, and were well beaten, 5-1 by Wolves , and then drew 2-2 against Tottenham at Maine Road, and still struggling to find their cup winnning form from the previous season they drew at home again, 1-1 against Aston Villa . City were without Bert Trautmann after he broke his neck in the ’56 Cup final and in a game at White Hart Lane Johnny Hart became another casualty as he broke a rib in a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham . The Blues lost again, 3-2 at Luton and with five games gone they were third from bottom of the league with just two points. City improved their position with two wins at Maine Road, beating Leeds 1-0 and Sunderland 3-1, but then the usual inconsistency reared it’s head as McDowall’s side lost 2-0 at Leeds and then 1-0 at bottom of the table Charlton . City ere clearly struggling and went on to lose the next four games, 2-0 at Manchester United , 3-0 at home to Blackpool , 7-3 at Arsenal and 1-0 to Burnley at Maine Road to leave them 2nd from bottom on just six points. The Blues stopped the rot with a 3-0 win against Newcastle at St James’ Park. Unusually the Charity Shield was up next, originally postponed from the start of the season it was played midweek at Maine Road in front of a crowd of just over 30,000 who saw City lose 1-0 to rivals Manchester United . Les McDowall in an attempt to pull City out of the relegation zone moved Don Revie back to right half with Bobby Johnstone taking his place in the attack. And the move, to Revie’s reluctance seemed to work as City won again in the league, 4-2 at home to Sheffield Wednesday , drew 1-1 at Cardiff and won at home again, 3-1 against Birmingham . Don Revie then moved away from Maine Road and joined Sunderland for £24,000, history would out Revie’s mercenary nature but Ken Barnes certainly remembers Revie planting the seed when he left recounting Revie said “‘There is one thing that will tell you whether you have been a good player and that is how much you have got in the bank” In the league City’s good form continued with a 1-1 draw at West Brom followed by a 5-1 drubbing of Portsmouth at Maine Road. In between City played a friendly at Hearts and won 4-3. Entering December the Blues lost 3-1 against Preston at Deepdale, and then played a European friendly at Maine Road, and lost 3-2 to MTK Budapest . In a nine goal thriller at Maine Road City beat Chelsea 5-4, however McDowell was under pressure from the board to bring back Bert Trautmann, who had started training again since his broken neck and, although he had only made two inept reserve appearances, he was surprisingly picked to play again for the first team, clearly not ready for action, Bert’s performance was poor and City lost at home 3-2 against Wolves . Bolton certainly spoiled City’s Christmas as they won at Maine Road 3-1 on Christmas Day and then at Bolton on Boxing Day City lost again 1-0. Trautmann played in both games and his lack of form clearly contributed to the defeats City said goodbye to 1956 with a 3-2 win at Luton . In the FA Cup The Blues earned a replay in a 3rd round tie at St James’ Park drawing 1-1 against Newcastle . In the replay at Maine Road City were knocked out 5-4 by Newcastle . In a terrific game where The Blues had led 3-0 at half-time.
Back in the league City drew 1-1 at Sunderland and at Maine Road beat Charlton 5-1. And then in a friendly at Stoke they lost 4-1. February saw a solitary two points earned by the Blues as they lost 4-2 at Maine Road in the Manchester derby against United, then drew 2-2 at Aston Villa , they then lost 4-1 at Blackpool , and then drew 2-2 at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday. The Blues also played a friendly at Notts County, which they won 2-1. The bad form continued into March as Newcastle visited Maine Road and beat the Blues 2-1 and the Chelsea won 4-2 at Stamford Bridge. City then played a money spinning international friendly against Werner Bremen at Maine Road and beat them 4-0. The Blues then managed a first league win in seven games as they beat Cardiff 4-1 at Maine Road and although they lost 3-2 at home to Arsenal they then beat West Brom 2-1 at Maine Road and Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park. A further two defeats at Maine Road, 2-0 against Preston and 4-2 against Everton saw City drop into the bottom five, but then with a 3-0 win at Burnley and a 1-1 draw at Everton in the pernultimate game of the season saw City safe and they drew the last game of the season 3-3 at Birmingham . City finished 18th in Division 1 on 35 points.