Manchester City FC

Michael Frontzeck - Manchester City FC - Biography of his Man City career.

Photo/Foto: Stuart Franklin

Date: 06 April 1996

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      Left Back
      Thursday, 26 March 1964
      Monchengladbach, Germany
  • Manchester City FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Wednesday, 31st January 1996 in a 1-1 draw at Southampton (Aged: 31)
    • Club Career
      19 League apps (+4 as sub)
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Michael FRONTZECK - Manchester City FC - Biography of his Man City career.


 Michael Frontzeck was a German international left-back signed by Manchester City manager Alan Ball for £350, 000 from Bundesliga side VfL Bochum. Although he was 31 years of age when he arrived at Maine Road he came with an impressive pedigree, having earned 19 full international caps and been a member of the German squad that were beaten 2-0 by Denmark in the final of Euro 1992. He had also won a Bundesliga championship medal with Stuttgart in the same season.


He made his Premiership debut in a 1-1 away draw at Southampton on January 31st 1996, with City lying just one place above the relegation zone. A fifth-round FA Cup tie with Manchester United followed a couple of weeks later, a game for which Frontzeck will always be remembered by City fans as he conceded 'the penalty that never was'. With City leading 1-0 referee Alan Wilkie adjudged Frontzeck to have fouled Eric Cantona in the penalty area, a decision which mystified everybody in the ground (including Cantona), and the resultant spot-kick sent the Blues on the way to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their bitter rivals. League form was also suffering, with only two wins from twelve games, and although 1-0 wins over Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday gave some hope of salvation at least a point was needed from the last game at home to Liverpool to avoid relegation, with other results having to go their way. A 2-2 draw proved not to be enough as Coventry City and Southampton both avoided the drop at City's expense on goal difference, and Frontzeck would have to play his football out of the top flight after only 12 league appearances.


The 1996/97 Division One campaign got off to a winning start, Ipswich Town beaten 1-0 at home in the opening game, although the tough-tackling Frontzeck received his marching orders in the 65th minute as he was sent off for a second bookable offence. What nobody could have foreseen was the prelude to one of the most traumatic seasons in City's history as manager Ball resigned in late August to be replaced by caretaker boss Asa Hartford. Steve Coppell then took over as permanent manager on October 7th only to resign one month later for medical reasons, himself being replaced by assistant Phil Neal on a caretaker basis. This meant that Frontzeck had amazingly played under four different managers in his ten months at the club, but with Neal at the helm Michael was only chosen once more when he made an appearance as a substitute in a 2-1 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers on November 23rd. After making a total of 25 league and cup appearances (including 4 as substitute) he was subsequently allowed to return to Germany on a free transfer when he signed for Freiburg.



He spent two years with Freiburg before returning for a season to the club with which he started his career, Borussia Monchengladbach, and eventually retired from professional football in 2000, by which time he was 36 years of age. He decided to stay in football as a coach and later went on to manage German clubs Alemannia Aachen and Ariminia Bielefeld. (David Redshaw)

Senior club career.

1982–1989 Borussia M'gladbach 190 (17)
1989–1994 VfB Stuttgart 163 (16)
1994–1995 VfL Bochum 28 (2)
1995 Borussia M'gladbach 8 (0)
1995–1997 Manchester City 23 (0)
1997–1999 SC Freiburg 61 (3)
1999–2000 Borussia M'gladbach 40 (1)

Total 513  games 39 goals.