Football: Rosler inspires City

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The Independent Online
Manchester City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Everton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

A YEAR to the day after Brian Horton took up the poisoned chalice at Maine Road, his players filled it with celebratory champagne for him.

Horton, who appeared at times last season to be there merely to take the rap for relegation, has had few happier half hours at Manchester City than the one that saw his side score four delightful goals and play some of the best football of his year in charge.

In Uwe Rosler, Horton has a charismatic German striker whose rapport with his fans transcends international borders.

'He's a bit like Klinsmann,' Horton said. 'He's a very nice man. He shakes hands with everybody when he arrives in the morning.'

There is nothing nice about Rosler as far as opposing defences are concerned, his bustling approach making him a thorough nuisance to any but the best-organised sides - a category that does not include Everton.

With two goals on Saturday and a contribution to another, Rosler was their principal tormentor. A natural showman on the field, he is disarmingly modest off it. At 25, with five caps for the old East Germany, he now regards his international career as effectively over.

'I don't think Bertie Vogts knows my name,' he said of his prospects in the unified German side. And no, he did not think that his fellow-countrymen would be particularly interested in his achievements with City: it would be Klinsmann who would command the attention back home.

Klinsmann will be fortunate, however, if he settles into a partnership as effective as the one Rosler has with Paul Walsh.

And Everton would improve out of all recognition if they had a pairing half as good. They will naturally hope their Nigerian recruit, Daniel Amokachi, whose signing was announced after this debacle, will provide part of the answer.

As the Everton manager Mike Walker conceded, though, their performance at Maine Road proved that their problems extend far beyond a lack of attacking firepower. After a display as dreadful as this, more sweeping changes are in prospect.

Goals: Rosler (58) 1-0; Walsh (61) 2-0; Walsh (63) 3- 0; Rosler (80) 4-0.

Manchester City (4-4-2): Coton; I Brightwell, Curle, Vonk, Lomas; Summerbee, McMahon, Flitcroft, Beagrie (Quinn, 76); Rosler, Walsh. Substitutes (not used): Dibble, D Brightwell.

Everton: Southall; Jackson, Watson, Unsworth, Ablett; Parkinson, Samways, Ebbrell, Stuart; Rideout, Cottee (Limpar, 70). Substitutes (not used): Kearton, Hinchcliffe.

Referee: P Don (Hanworth Park).