Writer: Lorna Silva
Date:Sunday June 22 2014
It seems ages ago since the battle for the league ended and Manchester City lifted the tropy with pride but already pundits and bookies are looking ahead and getting ready to place their monies on City retaining the title of Premier League Champions.
Seeing us earn this title twice now in the last 3 seasons has seen our status soar up to the 'power elite' of English football, not forgetting of course that United and Chelsea are also in that bracket. I don't think for one minute that City will be keeping in line with United's 20 but we have at least levelled with Chelsea in gaining 4 titles. The bookies are quite excited at the prospect of City maintaining the title and surpassing Chelsea's current record.
The coming season sees City better prepared for what is to come in respect of aiming to hold on to the title and with Manuel Pellegrini guiding the boys with his calm attitude towards footballing life we have as good a chance as anybody of keeping the cup in our trophy cabinet where it belongs. As it stands at the moment Chelsea have been placed second to win the title and United have been placed third favourite to win the title. Liverpool surprisingly enough have been placed fourth, which I find hard to comprehend, yet the fact that the bookies have elected us to stay at the top is a compliment in deed.
Seeing we have had our spending curbed somewhat by UEFA does mean we will have to rely upon making good use of the players we already have on board and that means up front Alvaro Negredo will have to find his shooting boots again. With a bit of luck Stevan Jovetic can shine in the English arena more so than last season which sadly saw him plagued with injuries. I hope we keep the forwards that we already have as there are some big clubs trying to edge in on the likes of Negredo and Jovetic. I hope they are unsuccessful in their ploys to woo them over especially with Jovetic possibly being tempted into a return back to Serie A.
In the engine room, it looks like we are finally going to acquire Fernando from FC Porto and this is a huge boost for us as it means The Engineer won't have to rely so much upon the YaYa Toure-Fernandinho axis as he did during The Blues 57 game marathon last season.
Fernando will allow Pellegrini to rotate his central midfielders more frequently which will obviously lead to Ferny and Yaya being a little fresher and not so overworked or over relied upon as he can take some of the heat and pressure off them. He will bring much needed extra qualities to the defensive side of the midfield like back in the day when Nigel DeJong was around. I'd further suggest that a three man midfield option could be much needed especially, in tight games - home and away.
All in all, if all goes according to plan, this will mean City will be extremely well-stocked in central-midfield next season and better able to cope with the rigours of battling again in four competitions.
All that I have mentioned here doesn't take into account Yaya and his mystifying badly timed recent comments made through his agent or the man himself into consideration. However, were he to carry on with such bizarre behaviour it may well lead to City deciding that YaYa IS expendable, and the search for a successor could begin. I wouldn't want to go further into the YaYa debate right now after he suddenly fell out of favour with myself and many other Blues big style. Yet the knowledge that he has now lost his younger brother Ibrahim this past week at such a young age having been ill for some time provides some balance. YaYa's head surely couldn't be right and I know all City fans will join me in offering himself and Kolo our sincere condolances.
We shall see what the rest of the summer brings but swift transfer business outside of a pulsating World Cup which has seen a number of Blues already book return flights means that by the time August dawns we should see the majority of the squad feeling fresh, invigorated and ready to challenge our rivals once again.
Date:Sunday June 22 2014
Toronto 0-1 Manchester City (Thursday May 28 2015)
Toure & Toronto (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Audio - Pellegrini On Toure (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Infographic - Aguero In Alternate XI (Wednesday May 27 2015)
Manchester City Know 2015-16 Opponents (Tuesday May 26 2015)
Jake's Southampton Report (Tuesday May 26 2015)
Aguero's Surprise Inclusion (Tuesday May 26 2015)
Toure Will See Out His Contract (Monday May 25 2015)
Lampard Talks City Time (Monday May 25 2015)
Pellegrini Pleased With Final Day Win (Monday May 25 2015)
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