Men's Team

Onuoha and Dickov on what they miss most about playing

Former City duo Nedum Onuoha and Paul Dickov have lifted the lid on what it is they miss most about their days playing in the top-flight.

Across the course of a distinguished career, Onuoha played almost 100 times for City as well as featuring for Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland and American side Real Salt Lake before retiring in 2020.

The former City Academy graduate has since gone on to become a hugely respected pundit and is a regular guest on our Matchday Live programme.

And speaking on our latest edition at the weekend in the wake of City's 1-1 draw with Southampton, Onuoha and fellow special guest Dickov were both asked by presenter Natalie Pike what it was they most missed about their playing days.

“For me, I miss that feeling of walking out to start a game,” Onuoha revealed.


“You look through the tunnel and see thousands of people gathered to watch.

“And you get a sense of how big a game it is by the sounds that are coming through, whether they are singing or cheering.

“You see your family in the stands and give them a wave and its like ‘Here we are.’

“Monday through Friday can be fun but it’s all building up towards that point on the Saturday.

“I don’t really get excited too often but that was an exciting point as you don’t know want is going to happen next.

“From a fan’s perspective, when you hear the song that’s playing just before the players come out, you feel that energy and connection as well.


“It’s like ‘This is time – let’s go and do this!'

“Then when the game starts, the game is the game. You can play football in front of 50,000, you can play in front of 5, but that feeling there for me that’s what I miss the most.

“As for the rest of it, no I’m alright!”

Fellow special guest Dickov – who chalked up more than 150 appearances for City with the striker enjoying a hugely successful club career that also took in spells with Arsenal, Leicester and Blackburn amongst others - echoed Onuoha's thoughts about missing the special anticipation of walking out to play.

And the former Scotland striker also lifted the lid on one extra special pre-match ritual while he was waiting in the tunnel.

“I loved every minute of it,” admitted Dickov who has also carved out a career as a highly respected pundit.

“Monday to Friday in training and the banter in the dressing room…that was the big thing

“But you’ll never beat the experience of a match day.


“From when you wake up, there’s that adrenalin and a little bit of nerves as well as you don’t know what to expect.

“And then just before you go out walking down the tunnel and going out onto the pitch… it’s just the best feeling ever.

“I also used to love being in the tunnel when the other team came out.

“I used to look at the biggest guy in the opposition and think ‘he’s getting it in the first five minutes.”

“I can vouch for that,” Onuoha added. “He’s not lying and that’s why he is who he is!”