Manchester City: How Are We Doing?
Wswilly3 sent us the following...
Now success is a relative thing. For Chelsea not winning a trophy this year will be a disaster, whilst for Burnley finishing 17th in the Premiership will be a great triumph. So where do City fit into this equation and has there been some real progress to date?
On the latter point I would argue that the answer has to be a definite 'yes'. Having passed the magical 40 points and still being in the FA Cup by the end of January should be a reason for feeling really positive about our club's progress. Yes we have greater expectations these days and so we should, given the money that has been spent but we are definitely moving in the right direction. I mean in the past, the 40 point mark was for crawling over in March or more likely April, wasn't it?
We also seem to have a manager that has charisma, is a proven winner and already seem to know exactly what he is doing, even though his knowledge of English football was limited. It is still early days and yes things can still go wrong but Mancini has for me, already acquired that indefinable knack of making decisions that I as a fan, do not feel like automatically questioning.
Taggart has that same ability for the Rags and Wenger for Arsenal, when they appear to make irrational or strange team choices but their fans largely go along with their judgement rather than howling from the roof tops. I suppose it adds up to having a certain confidence in what is being done and being prepared to accept that 'hey this guy' has a pedigree and a knowledge that shouldn't automatically be questioned.
That is hard for any football fan as football is very much a game of opinion but equally those that are paid millions to make decisions should at the end of the day make better decisions that 'Joe Public' who has not spent their lives playing and managing in top class football. So what I am saying is that I for one have a much better 'feel good' factor with Mancini than I ever had with any of our previous four or five managers and that too is progress.
Furthermore, we have a developing squad of players that as well as international pedigree has some 'bite and fight' about them, which has not always been the case and we still appear to be producing talent from the academy. Added to this I believe we are making great progress behind the scenes, irrespective of the press trying to undermine this and we have the wealth of our Sheikh who has proved to be a most wonderful owner, in marked contrast to some of our rivals.
So yes we have great reason to be positive but we still have to make more progress this year to keep everyone happy. By everyone I include our owners, our fans and the merciless hacks, which will be hovering like vultures at the prospect of any perceived or real vulnerabilities that they can swoop down upon and devour.
So I would argue a definite level of progress and a definite level of potential for the future is evident but to keep this going requires that a Top 4 place has to be achieved by the end of the season. Anything less and we are surely still punching below our weight and the self doubts and accusations will start appearing.
Fans, owners and the hacks will all have their theories and start questioning the manager, the board, every player and each other. Whilst on the other hand, a difficult but realistic target being achieved can be the springboard for a real title challenge in 2010/11 season. Yes a good run in the FA Cup culminating in a final appearance would be a wonderful bonus as well and might even get the albatross from round our neck in terms of winning a trophy. However Champions League football has to be the real goal for next year and although it is perhaps repeating the obvious this should be our measure of success
Lets just hope we achieve this and in the process act as 'true' supporters by getting behind our team, our owners, our board and our manager; for we can be sure that there will be many jealous people that support other teams waiting for any excuse to start their sniping at our expense.