Priorities For Strengthening City
Just under three months to go until the January transfer window swings open. Ten games into the new campaign, we asked Vital Blues to identify the City squad's needs...
There is still a long, long way to go of course, and a lot can happen between now and New Year's Eve, but we can be sure that Svennis and his management team are already assessing what areas of the Manchester City squad need to be strengthened.
SGE will be looking to further assert his authority upon the squad in January, and we can expect the same measured approach that he applies to each game, interview or press conference with much more time for planning than we experienced amid the summer transfer whirlwind. That's reassurance in itself for all Blues, as if any were needed at this stage of an increasingly fascinating season!
One area that we have been fortunate with so far is that of injuries. Outside of Valeri Bojinov and Daniel Sturridge's unfortunate situations, only the regularly incapacitated Andreas Isaksson has been the main cause for concern. Injuries can have a major impact on transfer window activity and we will do well to reach the end of the year in such good shape as the intensity of the games increase. Limited injury problems are certainly helping the team gel much quicker than any of us anticipated.
And so to the stats:
8% of Vital Blues polled saw a new goalkeeper as a priority area. The jury remains out on this debate, as Isaksson's fitness and form are now crucial if he is to make a real go of it at City and maintain his status in the Swedish national side.
13% saw the need to bolster the right wing. With Martin Petrov going like a turbo charged jet engine down the left wing, it would be tremendous to see the balance of a similar threat down the right as well as being terrifying for opposition defences.
44% say we need to bring in a new striker. It could well be that Bojinov is back with us by Christmas after his serious injury but can we rely upon that? Will Samaras gain the confidence and robust qualities required at this level? Can Emile Mpenza maintain the fitness levels he has worked hard to attain and will Rolando Bianchi earn a sustained run in the team?
22% see a midfield enforcer as an important acquisition. Michael Johnson and Didi Hamman have put in some excellent performances so far but engine room strength in depth is required in the Premier League.
Finally, 13% were prepared to go for broke and ask Frank Shinawatra to fund a cover all areas recruitment drive. If we are in the position by January to make a realistic push for success then that would defy all expectations. If that were the case, then go for it. To date, we have spent relatively little compared to many of our opponents down the years, no matter what the Sports hacks tiredly repeat about 'Sven's Foreign Legion' and Frank's spending. Good grief, even Joey 'Rivelino' Barton has been getting in on the begrudging act.
Who would you like to see, or expect to see City make a move for in the January window?