On paper the weekend's performance was not the greatest preparation for the midweek game. A 4-1 defeat to Tottenham was certainly not a result that ever crossed my mind but there are positives and, looking at the bigger picture, should not be too costly for our season in the long run. Certainly a defeat against Spurs only leaves us a point behind United with thirty one more games to go. On the other hand, a defeat tomorrow against Borussia Monchengladbach, would see the blues bottom of the group with only four games to recover, and a dangerous Sevilla to play twice. With a certain importance by the owners being put on Champions League progress it is no surprise that it would take priority, and lets face it, if it wasn't for a missed offside call just before half time, and then one in the second half for the third goal on Saturday, it could have been a much different story with few complaints.
The head to head record between the two clubs is very short and not all that sweet for Manchester City. It would be on Gladbach's run to the final in 1979 when the two would meet, and would end with the German side lifting the trophy.
It was round four of that seasons UEFA Cup and a Ewald Lienen goal cancelling out Mick Channon's opener in the first leg at Maine Road. Two weeks later it would be goals from Christian Kulik, Hans-Gunter Bruns and Karl Del'Haye who made the tie secure for the German side before Kazimierz Deyna scored a consolation for City.
Two years later, Deyna would move to America to play for the San Diego Sockers, and reunite with Mike Sumerbee to star in the movie, Escape To Victory.
Against English clubs, at home, Gladbach boast a very good record with four wins, one draw and no losses including a 3-2 win against Arsenal in the UEFA Cup first round almost a decade ago. That, combined with City's away form in European competition, doesn't make great reading with only four wins from the last ten away fixtures.
Bayern Munich are City's usual German opponents, and who can forget that last minute winner from ex City player Jerome Boateng the last time we were on German soil. Two wins in Germany in the last eight games adds to the doom and gloom.
CITY'S GERMAN FORMER PLAYERS:
Jerome Boateng (DF): Currently at Bayern Munich the West Berlin born defender played for one season for City in 2010/11 before scoring that winning goal against the Blues the last time City were in Germany.
Maurizio Gaudino (MD): In 1994/95 season City loaned this midfielder who would score three goals in his 20 appearances. His first was in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Maine Road before another a week later, against Everton, secured a point. His last goal was again at Maine Road, this time the opener in a 2-1 win against Liverpool as City narrowly avoided relegation.
Dietmar Hamann (MD): Coming to us from Liverpool, after being with Bolton for a day in 2006, Dietmar played over 50 times before being released in 2009.
Eike Immel (GK): At Dortmund and then Stuttgart the Bundesliga winner and UEFA Cup runner up joined City for a couple of seasons. He played in all League and Cup games for in the first season as City conceded 58 goals and were relegated. The next season would be a traumatic one for City, both on and off the pitch and Immel played his last game in a 2-1 home win to Charlton.
Loris Karius (GK): In the youth side for City the young German is now number one at FSV Mainz in the Bundesliga.
Steffen Karl (DF): Another loan for half a season the defender came on as a sub at home to Wimbledon. A week later he made his full debut against Sheffield United before scoring his only goal, in a 1-0 win, away to Southampton.
Uwe Rosler (AT): City legend who played over 150 games scoring 50 goals for City. My clearest memory of this guy is the derby game in which the build up had highlighted the differences between manager Alan Ball and Rosler. On the bench, Rosler was eventually brought on, scored a great goal before running to the bench and letting his boss know who he was. City were relegated that season.
Michael Tarnat (DF): Another one season wonder for City. Kevin Keegan was in charge of City that season when we scored more goals than any side outside the top four. Tarnet scored three of those goals, his first in a 3-2 away win against Blackburn. Two games later he scored at Maine Road in a 4-1 win against Aston Villa, with Anelka scoring the other three, two from the penalty spot. His last goal came away to Leicester City and made his last appearance for City in the 5-1 home win against Everton.
Bert Trautmann (GK): A few lines would not do justice for this City legend. A goalkeeping hero in the FA Cup Final in which he played on despite a broken neck. Over 500 appearances for City after being in a prisoner of war camp. His legacy spreads further than just Manchester City and football. Tragedy in his personal life, with his five year old son killed by a car only months after the 1956 FA Cup Final and an estranged daughter Trautmanns story is a real inspiration and I suggest those, who haven't already, look more into his story.
Some of you eagle eyed Manchester City fans may notice a ex City German name missing, Michael Frontzeck. A City player from 1995 through to 1997, Frontzeck made his debut away to Southampton. He would go on to play 23 times for City but the reason his name appears last on this list is because he was born in, and started his career, at Monchengladbach. He would spend three spells at City's German opponents from 1982-89 before rejoining for eight games in 1995. From there he went to City before returning in 1999, after a couple of seasons with SC Freiburg.
A decade later he would be back at his home club, this time as Manager.