Time for new heroes, says Doyle
- 31 December 2009 10:32
- Posted byDave Clayton
Former Blues skipper Mike Doyle is urging the City team of 2009 to consign him to the history books for once and for all.
Doyle was the last captain to lift a trophy for the club back in 1976 and he believes the Blues are close to having another skipper take finally that mantle.
“If I’m honest, I get a bit tired of me being the last City player to lead a winning team at Wembley,” said Doyle. “Obviously I’m proud, but the longer it goes on, the longer it means we haven’t won anything.”
Of the current team, I really like Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy because of the fire they have in their bellies,” he said. “Wayne Bridge, Gareth Barry and Pablo Zabaleta have impressed me, too and I really believe we have the players to win a cup and qualify for Europe this season.
Doyle, a boyhood City fan, enjoyed a glittering career during his 16 years at Maine Road and clocked up 448 appearances between 1962 and 1978. Initially a defensive midfielder, he later became an outstanding centre-half and won five England caps. He still attends every home match some 25 years after retiring.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this could be the season when we bring some silverware back to the club,” he said. “I’m there every week and enjoying it as much as I did when I was a kid.”
Doyle was known for being one of the hard men of his era and the supporters loved his never-say-die attitude and the effort he put in every time he pulled on a sky blue jersey and admires anyone who display similar qualities.
“Of the current team, I really like Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy because of the fire they have in their bellies,” he said. “Wayne Bridge, Gareth Barry and Pablo Zabaleta have impressed me, too and I really believe we have the players to win a cup and qualify for Europe this season.
“If I was managing a talent like Robinho, I’d just tell him to get out there and do his stuff. I’d let him float around the pitch and encourage him to get involved as much as possible. It’s hard to pin a player like that down to one role so what’s the point?”
Doyle was an integral part of the team that beat Manchester United the last time the two teams met in the League Cup semi-final in 1969 and will join other members of that City team on the pitch before the first leg against the Reds in January. His dislike of all things Red is legendary and he is also hoping his grandson Thomas Doyle will carry on the family traditions by one day playing for Blues.
“Thomas is eight and is a terrific little player,” he said. “He’s just been taken on by City’s Academy so who knows what might happen in the future? He’s got me and Glyn Pardoe as his granddads so he’s certainly got a good pedigree!”
There's lots more from Mike in an exclusive video clip, now available to watch for free.