You cannot really look forward to the new season without reflecting on the one that has just passed. Especially if you are a Manchester City fan. In fact, it’s difficult not to reflect on the past 18 years since my Dad first took me to Maine Road, considering what went on in the 2011/12 season. So to cut a long story short; being English Champions has a better feel good factor than being relegated to the third tier of English football.
So after the “greatest moment in Premier League history” (*shudder* that makes me sound like I think football was created in 1992) people will ask, “where to now for City?”
Despite the aforementioned feel-good factor, the great sporting coverage for the nation and one or two epic gigs on a personal level, it’s been an odd summer for City fans. We knew that sooner or later the exciting splashing of cash on top footballers would end, and to be honest, it would only show that we had failed if we had another summer like 2009. Still, in Jack Rodwell we have a great prospect, but with his injury record, he has a lot to prove.
Another reason why you could argue that we haven’t added to the squad is that we simply don’t have to. Ever since Mancini took over at City we’ve had a good, solid defensive unit. The competition between Richards and Zabaleta is healthy, and if Kolo remains at the club, he will be a stronger replacement centre half than what we had last season due to his drugs ban. Clichy will always feature ahead of Kolarov, but we all know what he can produce when we are in need of a goal.
One of our most improved players last year was Milner, and I expect him to feature even more than he did last season. I am also expecting Nasri, with a full preseason at City underneath him, to have a stronger season. We all know what to expect from Barry, Silva and Yaya, as they have been pivotal to our success in the past 2 years, and if they can improve again then its scary to think what’s possible…
Although we might have missed out on Van Persie, we have a fantastic front line. I really believe that Mario and Aguero will improve this season. It’s hard to be negative about Dzeko when you look at his record from last season, but he’s got to start with the right mentality – he went into last year thinking he was first choice, he cannot do that this season. And then there’s Tevez. Its hard to forget the past, but looking at the present and future; he’s looking fitter and more determined now than he ever has at City. Which can only mean good things.
It’s not within my DNA to predict or claim that we’re going to win this or that this season (and I certainly won’t be carrying a banner with “why always we? #20″ on it) but I will say that I’m expecting better. For those of us lucky enough to go week in, week out, home and away, we’re still pinching ourselves that we aren’t scoring ten at home a season and winning two games away from home a season. And long may it continue.
Liam Wright, along with guest writing for us here at Football Rascal, runs his own blog on all things City here: http://mcfctba.blogspot.co.uk/ … and you can also follow the man himself on twitter @mcfc_TBA