Manchester City, good or evil?

Posted: July 26, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Sport
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
ballotelli.png Mario Balotelli image by SoloRenders

City are about to sign Balotelli, but will he have any medals by the end of the year?

The Sky Blues completed the signing of Aleksandar Kolarov from Lazio yesterday, and look certain to get Inter’s Mario Balotelli as well. These two will cost upwards of £40 million between them, on top of the personnel that have already come in this summer – David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Yaya Toure. On top of these, James Milner has been constantly linked with a move to the Eastlands, and in all likelihood, it will happen once they agree a fee with Villa. Even Fernando Torres hasn’t been ruled out, the £70 million price-tag that Liverpool have placed on him has scared off everyone except, inevitably, Mancini’s men.

No other team is spending like this in July 2010, the last ones to do it were Chelsea when Roman Abramovich  first took over the club. Many detractors at the time thought it was impossible to “buy the league title”, but it wasn’t long before that theory was put to bed. The Mourinho era, with the arrival of Drogba, Essien, and, ahem…Shevchenko, heralded in a new epoch for the whole league, where Stamford Bridge’s perennial under-achievers were transformed into Premiership champions in a few short years.

Are we about to witness an even more dramatic turnaround this year at City? There is a lot of evidence to suggest we will. While their pre-season defeats to Sporting Lisbon and New York Red Bulls were not the ideal preparation, the game acted more as a shop-window for the likes of Jo, Steven Ireland and Craig Bellamy, who are all expected to make way for more illustrious teammates. Silva, Toure the Younger, Boateng, Milner, Balotelli etc will line up alongside established heavyweights such as Tevez, De Jong, Adebayor and Barry posing a huge challenge for any team.

jermain-defoe-image.jpg jermain!! image by elniko13

Home-grown players like Jermain Defoe have thrived for Spurs under Harry Redknapp's reign

The question is whether all this spending, so disproportionate to the rest of the league, is actually good for the game? The likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have been relatively quiet on the transfer scene. While some might argue that Man City have been great in adding to the drama and competitiveness of the Premiership, their achievement of 5th place last year is dwarfed in comparison to Tottenham’s 4th. Harry Redknapp’s side have grown organically, with a few shrewd purchases here and there (Heurelho Gomes was ridiculed when he came to England, but is now one of the best goalkeepers in the business), and achieved something a lot more admirable than City’s smash-and-grab approach.

It must be a strange feeling to be a City fan these days, being linked with the world’s best players, not knowing what fantastic turn things might take, but really, where’s the satisfaction? If you gave Blackpool or West Brom that kind of money, they too would be gunning for the title. The old art of managership and hard work have been completely bypassed. In it’s place are the burgeoning expectations of an Abu Dhabi consortium who expect results in the near future, without really understanding the nature of the football system in England.

With so many sides focusing on bringing in foreign stars, English sides have seen their reserves filled up with young players from other countries, without developing home grown talent. This search for cheap, instant results has been damaging to English football, and their performance in South Africa with their aging side was testament to that.

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