Dodgy Tackle: Why Costel Pantilimon really left Man City

By Paul McConville

JOE Hart's leftfield lurch to Torino may have come out of the blue(s), but the reason for the departure of another Manchester City goalkeeper has become a bit clearer this week.

Costel Pantilimon is Romanian so, it a brazen stereotype-fuelled leap, Dodgy reckons Costel must have some vampire blood somewhere and what to vampire dislike? Well, apart from dreary young adult fiction books that are turned into dreary movie franchises.

Yes, it's garlic and it was revealed this week that Man City have been spraying their pitch with it to ward of would-be Draculas, sorry, microscopic parasites. Yes, it seems those pesky parasites have a similar intolerance to stinky bulbed vegetable as Transylvania's finest.

More accurately, the City staff have been spraying the grass with garlic-infused liquid. I have visions of Sheikh Mansour trawling farmers' markets to buy those weird-shaped jars with garlic and peppers crammed into them. Of course, that’s probably not the case – he probably bought over all the farmers' markets in the entire Cheshire area (and that's a lot).

*ALTHOUGH the may not be able to add vampire slaying to their list of attributes, garlic's distant cousin, the onion has prompted many to burst into tears.

Former France striker Christophe Dugarry may have needed to multi-layered food during his stint at Barcelona as he confessed this week to blubbing to earn himself a move away from the Nou Camp. What could possibly prompt anyone to want to jump ship from one of the world's most famous football clubs? Well, in Dugarry's case, it was Louis van Gaal.

During his stint with Man United, we witnessed Van Gaal's unique ability to suck every last ounce of joy out of football.

It seems Christophe wasn't having much fun in his role as a defensive midfield but couldn't find a way out. Sick of being screamed at for constantly loosing the ball by the Iron Tulip, Dugarry felt he had only one tactic left – crying.

"I spent six months asking myself what I was doing there. It was surreal. The worst thing was that I went to his office to ask to leave, recalls Dugarry.

"I had to leave at any cost... I pretended to cry, saying: ‘I can’t take any more, I have to leave."

But showing his softer side didn't have the desired effect...

"He just looked at me and said: ‘No, you can’t leave. I believe in you."


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