Norwich City’s Javier Garrido holds no grudge against Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini
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Javier Garrido knows more than most footballers just how fragile the bond between club and player can be after his days at Manchester City.
The Spaniard will come up against the side who gave him his first taste of English football on Saturday after being deemed surplus to requirements by the Eastlands club in 2010.
Happily for City fans, the Abu Dhabi United Group’s takeover in 2008 started a chain of events that led the club to the Premier League title last season. However, there have been victims along the way, including Garrido himself.
It was clear when Manchester City signed Alexander Kolarov for £17m from Lazio that his future lay elsewhere and, just days after the Serbian signed, Garrido found himself heading in the other direction.
Garrido insists he bears no grudge against Roberto Mancini and Co. – the 27-year-old merely knew he would have to move on if he wanted regular first team football.
“When you have got the money and the opportunity to buy big players, everything changes – that is what happened when I was there,” he said. “The experience was great but I wanted to play. I was not playing as much as I wanted to so I decided to have another experience in Italy and at the moment I am here. I have got the opportunity to play regularly so that is what I want. I am a footballer and I am happy here.”
Garrido has nothing but praise for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini for at least giving him an opportunity to re-establish himself at The Etihad having fallen out of favour with previous manager Mark Hughes.
“We got on well – I was struggling to be involved with Mark Hughes and as soon as he (Mancini) arrived, he gave me a chance,” he said. “I scored a goal against Wolves and after that I started to play more regularly.
“But when the summer transfer window arrived, they had a new idea and Kolarov arrived and I had an opportunity to move to Lazio and that is what happened.”
After a year with Lazio, City boss Chris Hughton re-ignited Garrido’s love affair with English football by bringing him to Carrow Road on a season-long loan.
His form at left-back was one of the cornerstones of a 10-game unbeaten run that saw the Canaries gain impressive wins against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City.
They were unable to repeat the trick against Chelsea on Boxing Day despite Sébastien Bassong’s gilt-edged chance at the death, but Garrido believes Norwich have established a brand of football which can upset the Premier League’s leading lights.
“We just have to concentrate and run more than them,” he said. “Against Manchester United and Arsenal, the team have been so compact and so good and we have had opportunities to score as well.
“In the last moment (against Chelsea) we had a chance to score. That is a very good thing with Norwich – we never give up. Until the referee finishes the game, we are trying. We are permanently in the game. We have to stay like this and hope they don’t have a good day.”
The question remains whether Garrido’s Norwich career will be extended beyond his loan spell. If he continues to be a first team regular then he sees no reason why the move cannot be made permanent.
“I would like to stay,” he said. “I have been playing and that is the most important thing for football players. I am settling down well here in the city and club. The people here with me are happy too so at the moment, why not?”