Manchester City: A Club Growing In Stature.
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 8, 2016
In the past few years, Manchester City has been, on the whole, successful. With Pellegrini following Mancini to the Etihad next year presents a greater challenge for City. With a new manager comes changes not only to the squad, but the club as a whole. Pep brings new life to City but also adds a degree of experience with the biggest teams in the world that we have possibly not had much of in the past few years. Since the takeover, Manchester City have invested heavily in world class players. But, with these world class players, there has been no real world class manager. However this will change this summer. With Pep’s imminent arrival, I look at what both Mancini and Pellegrini have achieved at City and look at, ultimately, their flaws and their achievements.
With Sheikh’s investment in 2008, this gave City fans worldwide hope for the future. Bringing in world class players, at the beginning, was not an option, although City did manage to pull off the signing of Robinho on deadline day. In December 2009, Manchester City appointed Roberto Mancini to replace Mark Hughes. With growing hope, City fans began to dream of success. Despite finishing fifth just behind Spurs’ in the 2009/10 season, City crawled into the top four a year later, despite leaving the champions League without a whimper. Although we exited the champions league without a great deal of fight, this signalled a massive moment in City’s future. To play in the biggest club competition for City, albeit without a proper go at it, was a momentous achievement for the club and Mancini.
Despite reaching the champions league a season before, the 2011/12 season was the defining moment in City’s future. With continued problems in the champions league, City ended December in first in the premier league. And when May came along, we had crept up behind United to somehow overtake them when everyone ruled us out. May 13th 2012, the title race looks virtually over. City play QPR, who themselves were in a relegation battle on the final day. But, do I really need to explain what happened next? ‘AGUEROOOO’, that is all. Ultimately, this was City’s long awaited day. A day in which not only history was made in the most dramatic of ways but also this signalled an incentive to win more trophies in the future.
Roberto Mancini was a massive fan’s favourite at City. Not only was he a brilliant person, he also delivered City’s first title in 68 years. With growing expectation, City entered the 2012/13 season. Although, this season was as a whole, very disappointing. Once again City exited the champions league without real desire. As we were knocked out in the champions league, the attention turned to the premier league. Strangely, City didn’t mount any sort of title challenge and this season was certainly one to forget about. Despite being a fans favourite, City sacked Roberto Mancini after the 2012/13 season. Although Mancini left, he left a fantastic foundation for the then soon to be City boss, Manuel Pellegrini. With a world class spine of the team; Agüero, Kompany, Toure, Silva etc this already gave Pellegrini a strong side for the upcoming 2013/14 season. Pellegrini, who had previously managed Málaga, was highly thought of by the media but the majority of City fans were still deeply saddened by the exit of Roberto Mancini. For me, Mancini’s sacking was a blessing in disguise for the club, although many City fans would disagree. Going nowhere in Europe or in the domestic competitions, I could see why Mancini was sacked.
The following season, with Pellegrini in charge, was very successful. Winning the Capital One Cup and the Premier League in his first season was a massive achievement. As for the 2014/15 season, not only were City outclassed but the whole league was by an impressive Chelsea team who barely gave anyone else a sniff. This season has been both a sense of relief and uncertainty. Relief after likely reaching the quarter-finals of the champions league and uncertainty in the premier league. As uncertainty grew about our possible final position in the premier league, Pellegrini’s future at City was under scrutiny. With speculation growing, Pep Guardiola was the name sounded out by many media outlets; although, to be honest, I didn’t even believe it would happen. On deadline day, January, Pep Guardiola was named as the new Manchester City boss, minutes after Manuel Pellegrini succinctly briefed the media about his departure. This, for me, is not the reason for our poor form since the announcement. Last summer, Manuel Pellegrini made an extensive series of world class signings, leaving Pep Guardiola with not only the backbone of the team that Pellegrini and Mancini had built but further new additions to the squad. Ultimately, Manuel Pellegrini had a largely successful reign as the Manchester City boss. On behalf of all City fans, we appreciate Pellegrini’s professional side to football, this is why Manchester City fans have labelled Pellegrini as ‘The Charming Man’, a name that describes him superbly.
Although City have had managers that have been fan favourites, we have yet to have a real world class manager, as such. With Pep Guardiola comes the greatest manager in the world, with Pep Guardiola comes bigger expectations. Better things are still to come for City. The possibilities with Pep are endless, could he win a treble? which players could he attract? could he win us the champions league? these are all possibilities next year, when really, they have never been proper realistic possibilities under Mancini and Pellegrini. Pep, obviously, is a world class manager but this doesn’t mean he is certain to succeeding. Many people could argue that when he took over at both Barça and Bayern the squad was already made for him. At City, this isn’t particularly the case, although he does have a large transfer budget to work with. The argument is, Pep’s job at City isn’t as easy as it looks. Pep will attempt to build a structure for the future and guide Manchester City to one of the top clubs in Europe. With players such as Yaya and Silva getting older and less able to cope with the demands of the premier league, replacements must be signed. But, do we really need to look further than our youth? Manu Garcia, for example, has all the attributes that David Silva possesses. If you look at Pep’s records at both Barça and Bayern, he has promoted youth. At his time at Barça he developed and promoted names such as Bojan, Pedro and Thiago to name a few. At Bayern, he brought Thiago with him to further his career and most notably, this year, has developed one of the brightest prospects in European football, Kingsley Coman. City, who now have one of the best youth academy’s in world football, could easily start promoting players to the first team. Young players with strive under Pep. This is why players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Brandon Barker and Manu Garcia and many others are eager to impress, as Pep will surely give them numerous chances on the biggest stage as he has done to the young players at Barça and Bayern. Ultimately, in the coming season, everyone will keep an eye on City. Pep will not only make our club far more superior that it once was, but bring us a substantial amount of success and a foundation to build on as a club. For Manchester City, this is just the start.
What does the future hold for Manchester City in your opinion?
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