Next up in our chats with Football Fanzone & Talksport’s Jason Cundy is Man City.
The former champions have spent big on Raheem Sterling this summer but off field matters could play a bigger part in their season than the ex-Liverpool man, with talk of manager Manuel Pellegrini’s position being in danger.
Having finished second last year, can City get their title back? Jason breaks down the Manchester club’s chances.
For me City’s problems will likely be off field, they have shown in the past that matters away from the pitch can cause issues, with Tevez and Balotelli previously proving problematic.
Pellegrini goes into the season in a weird position with the figure of Pep Guardiola looming large. It is being said that Guardiola will be coming in at the end of next season but you get the impression City would have approached him this summer had he been available.
It’s the elephant in the room and can affect player performance; you just have to look at how United went off the boil when Sir Alex announced he would be leaving back in 2001.
Looking at on field matters, City have bought well. Whilst Patrick Roberts is talented, he is one for the future but Fabian Delph could be a good signing when you consider who he has to compete with and should be looking to take Fernandinho’s place whilst Raheem Sterling’s big price tag means fans will expect him to hit the ground running, but should prove a huge upgrade on Jesus Navas who’s final product isn’t anywhere near the required standard for a team with title aspirations.
Sterling isn’t the finished article but it will be interesting to see what he does at The Etihad.
That said I think City still need cover for Aguero, the Argentine is one of the finest strikers in the world and without him City look a completely different side. I expect someone to come in, especially with Dzeko leaving for Roma this week too.
One position I am surprised they haven’t strengthen in is at centre-back. You know that City will always score goals, and have been the Premier League’s highest scorers in 3 of the last 4 seasons, but they have looked shaky at the back with Kompany failing to hit the heights he has previously and his partners flattering to deceive. Last summer’s big money signing Mangala for me hasn’t been good enough.
They reportedly moved for Atletico Madrid’s Godin and were turned down by the player and are now looking at Valencia’s Otamendi, so having strengthened further up the pitch will definitely need to add some steel to their back line if they are to have a say in where the title ends up next May.