Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Premier League Preview - Manchester City

Manchester City

The big money spending blue half of Manchester, back by the Abu Dhabi royal family member Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan, have real aspirations to be the biggest club in the world, while throwing cash at every single player they fancy is their approach.

This is underlined by the fact they’ve spent over £300million in the two years since the Abu Dhabi United group took over. Amongst others, some of the signings included the British transfer record breaking £32.5million deal for Real Madrid striker Robinho, a £17million deal for Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez singing for £25.5million after leaving rivals Manchester United. While Arsenal duo Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure came for £25million and £16million respectively.

Halfway through the Sheik’s second year in control of the club, they disposed of manager Mark Hughes and replaced him with Roberto Mancini, and highlighted Man City’s immediate aims were to be playing Champions League football this year. However the Sky Blues subsequently missed out finishing in 5th place and one spot behind Tottenham.

This preseason has seen the likes of Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Aleksander Kolarov join the club, and altough no one has left just yet, Mancini has a problem in that he has around 38 first team players on the books while the Premier League has new rules state that only 25 can be registered to be used until the next transfer window. Therefore the likes of Stephen Ireland, Shay Given, Jo, Vincent Kompany and a few more names could be on their way out of the club.

The underlying belief is that it is going to be a very big season for Manchester City this year.

Key Player: Carlos Tevez

The Argentina forward is one of the best strikers in the world and is probably the only indispensible member of the Man City squad. Last season he scored 23 goals in 35 appearances, and will look to continue his excellent form into this season.

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Key Signing: Yaya Toure

The Ivorian defensive midfielder has flirted with the Premier League for many years now, and after plying his trade in Ukraine, France, Greece and most successfully in Spain with Barcelona, he had finally arrived on these shores. After turning down a move to Chelsea and an approach from Arsenal, Yaya joins his brother Kolo at Manchester City for a measly £200,000 a week.

Money aside, he is expected to slot into the midfielder and become one of the dominant forces in the Premiership, helping out the defence in need be. An excellent player, with perhaps an underlying problematic attitude, Mancini will have to keep him in check if the team are to gel and achieve this year.

Aims: Champions League Football

Prediction: 4th

I feel that Man City will either get off to a slow start and kick on midway through the season, or get off to a flyer but fall off towards the latter stages of the season. I say this because of all the new faces, it will undoubtedly take time for the team to gel and build up chemistry amongst the players. Champions League is a real possibility mainly down to the calibre of players, as well as the budget, available to Roberto Mancini, but the season after they will be contenders for the title.

First Five Fixtures: Tottenham (A), Liverpool (H), Sunderland (A), Blackburn (H), Wigan (A)

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