Battling route to top for new City coach
- Fri 02 Jul 2010, 10:37AM
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
David Platt, City's new coach, became an England hero and Serie A star despite the disappointment of being shown the door by his first club as a youngster.
Platt went to Old Traffford after leaving school in 1982 only to be given a free transfer in a cost-cutting move in January 1985, joining Fourth Division club Crewe.
But determined David bounced back from this early blow to such an extent that he became one of the best-known players in Europe and a mainstay of his country's midfield.
Under Dario Gradi's guidance at Crewe he established himself as a strong-running, goal-scoring midfielder, and in 1988 signed for Graham Taylor's Aston Villa.
In his first season at Villa Park he helped the club achieve promotion to the First Division, and was PFA Player of the Year as Villa finished runners-up in 1989-90.
Then came a love affair with Italy, and spells with Bari - who he joined in 1991 - Juventus, where he won the 1993 UEFA Cup, and Sven Goran Eriksson's Sampdoria, where he won the Coppa Italia in 1994.
He returned to England with Arsenal in 1995, winning the Double in 1995 and heading a memorable late winner against rivals Manchester United to stay in the title race.
Platt's 62-cap England career began with a friendly against Italy in 1989 but took off when he came off the bench in extra time for a 1990 World Cup winner against Belgium.
He scored again in a 3-2 quarter-final win against Cameroon, and while England lost their semi-final to Germany, he crowned a fine tournament with another goal in the third-place play-off with Italy.
Platt, an England fixture under Taylor and then Terry Venables, scored 37 international goals and was in the side again pipped in a penalty shoot-out by Germany in Euro 1996.
After leaving Arsenal in 1998, he returned to Sampdoria briefly as manager. He took charge of Nottingham Forest before becoming England Under-21 manager in July 2001, qualifying for the 2002 European Championships.