For two consecutive seasons Manchester City have been placed in the Champions’ League group dubbed “The Group of Death”, something we bet Fergie has taken some solace from after seeing his beloved Premier League trophy snatched out of his grasp last season.
However, with Manchester City’s spending since the Sheikh’s takeover now in the billions we can’t help but feel they shouldn’t be rooted to the bottom of Group D with only one way into the Champions League knockout stages, to win their remaining three matches?
Looking back at their past European displays this season, they were completely and utterly outplayed by Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and rather surprisingly Ajax and had it not been for a world class display from Joe Hart at the Bernabéu, the 3-2 score line wouldn’t have nearly been so flattering on Man City’s part. The question has to be asked, with the return fixture against Ajax tonight looming where on earth are those vital nine points going to come from?!
They go into the fixture against Ajax tonight on the back of a lacklustre performance (by any teams’ standards) against West Ham. Last weekend saw them unable to match Manchester United and take full advantage of Chelsea’s hiccup at Swansea, which left Manchester City begging for the return of David Silva. That lack of creative spark they so sorely need will no doubt be their downfall not just tonight, but for the short-term future. After all let, James Milner’s not going to step up to the mark.
Madrid, Dortmund and Ajax all have those two quality players that they can always look for if the game isn’t going their way to try and turn it around. Many will argue Manchester City have too, and we completely agree when Sergio Aguero returns to top form again and if Mario Balotelli decides he wants to play football or just turn up to get paid. The point we are making here is without David Silva, or someone of that quality to fill the playmaker role their hopes are pinned on if’s and but’s. Football is an unpredictable game but by limiting the amount questions of they can give themselves the best chance and winning vital games.
In past few line-ups Man City have fielded have been quite defensive and this is due to the lack of depth in those playmaker positions, and if Mancini doesn’t use Samir Nasri to his full potential then you can’t really see any way out for Manchester City. Mancini had already raised concerns about Man City’s transfer policies in the closing summer, a policy set out by Brian Marwood which saw city make just three major signings; Jack Rodwell, a young player with good prospects; Javi Garcia, a defence-minded midfielder and Matija Natasic, replacement for Stefan Savic. Subsequently the board heard as Marwood was replaced by ex-Barcelona technical director, Begiristain.
Due to this lack of summer spending that we’ve been so accustom to seeing from Man City, it’s no surprise that they’re in this position; falling behind in the league and left with one point in Europe. With these new developments from the Etihad this week, the real question here is: Was Manchester City’s demise pre-plotted from the end of the transfer window?
When Silva returns to action, a slight return to form can be expected for Mancini’s men. However, we can’t see them keeping up the pace with Chelsea and Manchester United in the run up to the vital Christmas marker in the Premier League. It’s not all despair though City fans! Expect to see more of the Man City that spends a vast amount of money on players again in January. After all, the hottest name in Brazil is already being mentioned by Mancini.