5 of Manchester Citys Scariest Lineups (for Their Own Fans) of Recent Times This Halloween

Manchester City are one of the best football teams in the world, and that's a fact that can't be disputed wherever your loyalties may lie.

With Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne among their ranks, City's place among the elite is secure for a long time to come - particularly while they are guided by the revered Pep Guardiola.

There was once upon a time, though, when ​City weren't actually very good. A time when they didn't have mega money investment and a time when they used to lose football matches, quite regularly.

So with Halloween upon us, 90min has deemed it appropriate to dive into City's house of horrors - digging up some classically horrific team sheets that will leave you squirming and begging for mercy... 

vs Oldham Athletic (Jan 2005)

Scott Vernon

Lineup: David James, Danny Mills, Richard Dunne, Sylvain Distin, Ben Thatcher, Paul Bosvelt, Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Antoine Sibierski, Jon Macken, Bradley Wright-Phillips

Subs: Willo Flood, Steve McManaman

Way back in 2005, City were mid-table also-rans. Managed by Stuart Pearce, expectations were minimalistic to say the least - avoid relegation and have a good cup run to give the supporters something to cheer.

However, that particular script wasn't followed when the Citizens rocked up at Lancashire neighbours Oldham, and instead they decided to tumble out of the FA Cup at the first opportunity.

Looking back, you can see why that might have happened - with the creativity that City have in midfield now sorely lacking in this sorry state of affairs.

vs Arsenal (May 2006)

David James

Lineup: David James, Micah Richards, David Sommeil, Richard Dunne, Sun Jihai, Trevor Sinclair, Joey Barton, Claudio Reyna, Albert Riera, Georgios Samaras, Darius Vassell

Subs: Lee Croft, Willo Flood

Fast forward towards the back end of the following season and City had significantly upgraded - to the likes of...ahem...David Sommeil and Albert Riera.

Okay, upgrade may not be the word that's appropriate here, as the team sheet still makes for pretty chilling reading.

The versatile Sun Jihai offers a brief ray of light for you nostalgic folk, but it's pretty horrific compared to City's modern standards of greatness. Joey Barton and Claudio Reyna in central midfield? Good lord.

vs Middlesbrough (May 2008)

Manchester City supporters gather at The

Lineup: ​Andreas Isaksson, Sun Jihai, Vedran Corluka, Richard Dunne, Michael Ball, Stephen Ireland, Gelson Fernandes, Javier Garrido, Martin Petrov, Darius Vassell, Benjani.

Subs: Elano, Dietmar Hamann, Nery Castillo

Remember when Manchester City got absolutely spanked 8-1 on the final day of the 2007/08 Premier League season?

Yes, we do too. What we hadn't remembered is that prior to the game, City's fanbase had marched and protested against the possible sacking of Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager. Looking back, that team sheet was absolutely horrific; the Swedish mastermind the only one capable of cramming Ball, Petrov and Garrido into the same awful side.

Within four months, Eriksson was out and owner Thaksin Shinawatra had surrendered ownership of the club to Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarek. Worked out well, didn't it?

vs Aston Villa (August 2008)

Aston Villa's Norwegian footballer John

Lineup: Joe Hart, Vedran Corluka, Micah Richards, Tal Ben-Haim, Javier Garrido, Kelvin Etuhu, Gelson Fernandes, Michael Johnson, Martin Petrov, Elano, Ched Evans

Subs: Stephen Ireland, Daniel Sturridge

The opening day of the following season was meant to be a beacon of light for City, with Mark Hughes the new man in the hot seat.

The money hadn't fully started to roll yet, though, and what followed was an opening day horror show against ​Aston Villa

The likes of Tal Ben-Haim, Kelvin Etuhu and Ched Evans may have started here, but they would barely be seen again as City began to pile on the investment in better players - but not before they had been pumped 4-2 at Villa Park.

vs Lech Poznan (November 2010)

UEFA Europa League - KKS Lech Poznan v Manchester City

Lineup: Shay Given, Micah Richards, Dedryck Boyata, Joleon Lescott, Wayne Bridge, Pablo Zabaleta, ​James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Adebayor

Subs: David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany

Sadly, our trawl through the archives of City being funny comes to a grinding halt in 2010. Because, since then, they've taken things far too seriously and always put out three or four heavy hitters, no matter the competition.

Fortunately, we've found one final gem of a team - one that featured Dedryck Boyata, Adam Johnson and a reportedly 66-year-old Patrick Vieira. You won't be surprised to learn that City's decision to bench David Silva came back to haunt them as Poznan inflicted an embarrassing 3-1 group stage defeat.

Since then, business has picked up somewhat - with four Premier League crowns one way of forgetting just how bad things used to be...

Source : 90min