The inconsistent form of Adam Johnson and James Milner means that City need to add an out and out winger to the side. David Silva had a superb first season at the club, however his best position is in the hole of the striker, and with Carlos Tevez set to leave the club, the Spaniard next season may get to play in his favoured position. Roberto Mancini clearly has highlighted the wing position as a worry, with interest in Alexis Sanchez reportedly high, only for the Chilean to join Barcelona. A perfect addition would be a player the club has been heavily linked with in Juan Mata. The Valencia star looks certain to leave the club with Arsenal reportedly another English side interested.
Defensively under Mancini Manchester City have been very good with Vincent Kompany, the clubs player of the year, and Joleon Lescott, who got into the side because of Kolo Toure's ban, forging a very good centre half partnership. They are also very strong in both full-back positions with differing options available to Mancini. The right back birth see's a battle between the attacking Micah Richards and the strong defensively good Pablo Zabaleta, with the left back area a straight fight between Aleksandar Kolarov and summer addition Gael Clichy. With the shield of Nigel De Jong and either Gareth Barry or Kolo Toure protecting a strong back four, for me City have a defensive unit as good as anything in the league.
The addition of Aguero just backs up the fact that the team has goals in it. Tevez's 20 league goals are going to be hard to replace, if his likely exit is confirmed before the end of the current transfer window, however Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Aguero are three strikers who can score. You can always tell of a teams strength when the players who are no longer needed are of the quality of Roque Santa Cruz and Craig Bellamy who are of proven Premier League ability, despite the duo failing to score and being loaned out to a Championship club respectively last year.
Under Mark Hughes City lacked a real balance, however despite criticism for deploying 'negative' tactics, under Mancini City had a great year, winning the F.A Cup aswell as a third placed finish in the Premier League, even towards the end of the 2010-11 season some of their performances were hailed for their attacking flair. Their attacking play is supported well with two or even three of Yaya Toure, De Jong and Barry always playing, meaning teams will struggle to break them down. Their F.A cup victory shows that they have the know how to win trophies and with many of their squad successful with their previous clubs, the team has experience in winning leagues.
A reason why I feel City have a great chance this year is that, despite the league being stronger on the whole, the top sides in Arsenal, Chelsea and their Manchester rivals United, have decreased in quality in the last two years. Arsenal often flatter to deceive and when it comes down to the crunch part of the season have been accused of 'bottling it', most notably their 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final. Chelsea's squad is an aging one, with seven first team players over the age of 30, and despite the addition of manager Andre Villas-Boas, I feel unless they add to their squad will struggle to challenge for the title this year. Manchester United despite winning the league last year have lost key players in Edwin Van Der Sar and Paul Scholes, and due to the laters retirement they lack a real quality creative midfielder, with this season a huge one for the Brazilian Anderson.
Last season Manchester City struggled for consistency and often drew against sides they really should be beating, however if they can overcome the weaker sides then I really expect them to challenge strongly for the title.
|Manchester City are expected to challenge for more honours this year.|