Football FanCast columnist Mark Bryans wonders if Man City's blue moon is finally rising.
I have been writing for Football FanCast for almost two years now and unquestionably my most read and controversial article regarded Manchester City not being contenders for the League title under Sven-Goran Eriksson. It was written at a time when the Blues' were on a fantastic run under the Swede and pundits and fans alike were in a spin to describe how the ex-England boss could lead City to glory. Thankfully, despite several vocal disagreements, I was correct in my assumption that the chase would burn out and City would drop into mid-table mediocrity. I was certain that Sven would not be able to take them to the heady heights of the Champions League and that Shinawatra's money was questionable at best. Those of you new to FanCast can still check it out at https://www.footballfancast.com/blog/england/man-city-contenders-never-blue-moon
Fast forward to today, and I have to say that my stance has altered slightly. Managerially it appears that the club is now more secure. Mark Hughes has been given more backing by his Arab backers than Eriksson was ever afforded by the ex-Thai PM. The Arab billionaires have also been able to splash more cash, even in these rocky financial climates. Only the might of Real Madrid's spending power has outshone that at Eastlands so far this summer. Hughes has spent that money wisely thus far; when it was first available to Hughes he didn't sign the high profile, name-up-in-lights superstar desired by the board. He signed the likes of Vincent Kompany, Wayne Bridge and Shay Given; players to add experience and stability.
Robinho was the only earth-trembling signing and he was nothing to do with Hughes, and ended up disrupting the harmony amongst the rest of the players. This summer however, big names are the order of the day. But big names can also add determination and fortitude to the squad, Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry are signings likely to appease those wanting star signings, but will also do their bit for the team on a wet Wednesday night in Wigan.
Add these factors to the likes of the ever improving crop of players such as Nedum Onhoua and Stephen Ireland and it becomes apparent that the Eastlands revolution is now in full swing. I however, still do not believe that the blue side of Manchester will be able to celebrate just yet. The leaky City defence needs tightening up and even the Arab billions won't be enough for a massive signing of the likes of John Terry.
The squad is very striker-heavy as Hughes now has to fit seven or eight strikers into a system which last year only employed one forward. So will he be able to keep Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and the rest happy? Are there still going to be places in the team for players such as Elano or even Shaun Wright-Phillips?
I wrote in that article two years ago that City would never be contenders ‘in a Blue Moon.' But now it seems that Blue Moon may be rising, it just might not have risen in time for the upcoming season.
Check out the Newly Launched Transfer Tavern for all the latest football Rumours. You decide whether they Fly or Die!