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Enough to drive you to drink; CITY LEFT FLOORED BY MCCARTHY'S MEN.



Milijas 30, Edwards 57


Adebayor (pen) 23

SO HOW much is it going to cost then? You can hear the frustrated question being asked down the long-distance phone line from the desert.

Upwards of pounds 200million has been thrown into "the project" so far and City still are not certain of a place in the Champions League, let alone some silverware.

It has been a week to forget for Roberto Mancini's men. First they were picked apart by Arsenal's tippy-tappy passing. Then Gareth Barry, Adam Johnson and Joe Hart were all caught on video drinking with students. And yesterday Wolves really turned the screw.

To say that this time it was the old fashioned combination of spirit and team work that was responsible would be unfair on Wolves who played some quality football.

But their resolve and effort only served to show up how City remain a bunch of expensive strangers.

Even given the start of a gift penalty by Emmanuel Adebayor after 23 minutes they could not pull together enough of a performance to collect even a point.

Serbian midfielder Nenad Milijas equalised soon after and David Edwards hit the winner just after half-time for a Wolves team who, even after collecting their first League win since the opening day of the season, remain in the relegation zone.

Some pounds 70m of that spending in two and a bit seasons since the new Arab owners moved into Eastlands has gone on defenders.

And yet City still cannot defend. They have kept only three clean sheets in the Premier League this season.

Kolo Toure and Vincent Kompany lacked pace, and in front of them Barry is suffering the worst spell of his career.

"We played only for the first 26 minutes," bemoaned manager Mancini, who now has a worse record than Mark Hughes when he was sacked this time last year.

"After that we stopped playing. I don't know why, I must look at the film to see more. Wolves deserved to win - you can't play the way we did for 60 or 70 minutes."

Behind the big money there are problems.

Hart and Johnson are young enough that they might be excused the foolishness of drinking at a student party until the early hours in midweek - but Barry is old enough to know better.

And the 'Billy Big Time' attitude was summed up by new boy Mario Balotelli whose Premier League full debut was a 90-minute drama of bad body language.

Balotelli threw his arms up, he pouted, he rolled his eyes to the heavens whenever things went wrong for him.

It was not hard to see why Jose Mourinho fell out with him at Inter Milan.

Mancini insisted, however: "We have a good team spirit because we started the season very well. Even last week against Arsenal when we had a player sent off we still showed fantastic spirit. But in this game we didn't show that. You must play all the game at 115 per cent not just 15 per cent."

The prima donna tantrums of the pounds 24m so-called Super Mario were shown up by Mick McCarthy's two brilliant bargain buys.

Matt Jarvis, who cost all of pounds 600,000 from Gillingham, tore Micah Richards to shreds down the left.

It was his cross that set up Milijas for his 30thminute equaliser - a shinned shot from the edge of the box.

Edwards, a tad more expensive pounds 675,000 from Luton, was everywhere in midfield. And the Welsh international was the calmest man in the ground when Kevin Doyle's shot was deflected back into his path for the 57th-minute winning goal.

He passed the ball into the net beyond the reach of Hart who was his room-mate when they both started out at Shrewsbury.

Delighted Wolves boss Mick McCarthy said: "Without our team spirit we would be struggling, that's for sure - but then I have been saying that for weeks and I'm sure nobody believed me because we were getting beaten.

"We have had really good value from all the players who came with us from the Championship.

Spending money obviously helps, but you can get quality without paying big money.

"Jarvis, especially, is causing problems for everybody he plays against at the moment.

"He ran both full backs ragged at Manchester United in the week and Ashley Cole won't have faced anybody tougher than him the week before. We deserved to win today."

One glance at City's stats tells their story. With Carlos Tevez back in Argentina nursing an injury and dealing with family issues, they do not have another player who has scored more than one Premier League goal.

It was not difficult to see why yesterday as they rarely threatened.

In fact, it was an hour before Marcus Hahnemann had to make a save and that was a simple one from David Silva's 20-yard shot.


Before yesterday, Mick McCarthy had lost all five previous PL games against Man City, conceding 11 and scoring only twice.


THE ED BOY David Edwards celebrates his winner CITY SHOCKER Mancini sees his side drop more points in the title race NET GAINS: Edwards (top) and Adebayor find the target
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2010
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