Wednesday, 3 August 2011

City to be serious title challengers

It has taken a little longer than Sheikh Mansour may have envisaged but Manchester City will begin this season as one of the clear favourites for the Premier League. Having won the FA Cup last season everyone associated with the club will be determined to lift more silverware this season.

The club has assembled an incredible squad due to their limitless financial resources but have begun to purchase more wisely than they did initially. The addition of Sergio Aguero should take them onto the next level; no matter whether Carlos Tevez remains a City player or not. He is exactly the type of player they needed to attract to cement their status as one of the biggest teams in Europe. Although it has come about through a lack of financial restraints the manager Roberto Mancini deserves a lot of credit.

However, this season will prove to be pivotal for the Italian manager. For too long last season his side were far too defensive and were over reliant on Tevez for most of their goals. The purchase of David Silva only really began to bear fruit towards the end of the season; he ended up producing nearly every attacking opportunity City created. He needs to be utilised in a far more effective way this season in a midfield that should boast such talents as Yaya Toure, James Milner, Adam Johnson, Nigel de Jong amongst others.

Last season the side was set up too often with two defensive holding players which meant the side lacked any real attacking cohesion. The new addition Yaya Toure was often played as the creative midfielder which is not really his strongest attribute. If City can adapt to playing with one player in that position it will free up their more creative players to ply Aguero, Balotelli and Dzeko with the service they flourish on. One player I have intentionally not mentioned is Gareth Barry. There is a good reason for this as he stifles their play too frequently to remain a part of the regular first team. He is not a bad player but offers little, apart from five yard passes. I can appreciate the need to have a player you can depend on sitting in front of the defence but with their array of talent there has to be someone more capable than him.

There is still another four weeks remaining in this transfer window and much will hinge upon Tevez’s future. It certainly appears that he will be on the move and City could do with adding another couple of players on order to consolidate their position as title challengers. It seems highly likely that whoever they will buy will already be a well-known player in world football. They could do with another commanding centre back to play alongside Vincent Kompany, who was outstanding last season.

Manchester City have not been domestic champions since 1967-68 but this season could be the one they regain their place at the summit of English football. The Beatles once sung that money can’t buy you love, it can however buy you a winning football team, I’m sure the Manchester City fans are not complaining.

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