Roberto Mancini’s Galacticos

The day that Sheik Mansour of Abu Dhabi bought Manchester City remains etched in memory.

One moment, City were about to sink into oblivion under the reckless control of Thaksin Shinawatra; the next, a club employee was blinking hard with disbelief as she faxed a £32million transfer request to Real Madrid for the registration of Brazil forward Robinho.

In the following days and weeks, English football began to wonder if its familiar landscape – one with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool at its center  was about to change forever, indeed it has.  Two years on, it is finally threatening to happen. City’s progress to the top of the English game has been relatively slow.


Chelsea did it almost as soon as Roman Abramovich’s money arrived in 2003, finishing second the following season and reaching the last four of the Champions League. Abramovich poured in more than £400m in transfer fees alone since taking over but the club was starting from a position of relative strength in their bid to overthrow Manchester United’s dominance.

It is, and must be said, an increasingly impressive pool of players. Arguably, City now have the most talented and deepest squad in the Premier League. They could now field two teams of internationals. They had 13 players on World Cup duty in South Africa this summer.

But can this squad win the Premier League this season? Certainly, it could. Will it? It’s unlikely. A team needs a tried and trusted core of players if it is to succeed, individuals who instinctively know and understand each other and will drag a team through the difficulties of a demanding season. That is where big teams such as Chelsea and Man United have a upper hand, both have a wide array of players to select from. Both coaches can field different teams in the Champions league, FA cup, Carling Cup and even the Premier league. On the other hand teams such as Arsenal and Liverpool don’t have that kind of core needed to survive in the top flight, hence come mid of the season, half the team is injured, suspended resulting in them not being able to mount a strong challenge to United and Chelsea.

Although they haven’t spent heavily this summer, City’s title rivals Chelsea and Manchester United have that core.Certainly, City should be preparing for the Champions League in a year’s time and they will certainly win the Premier League title some day soon. The big question is can they manage it this season? It remains to be seen. All the best Mancini… I don’t envy you at all.

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7 thoughts on “Roberto Mancini’s Galacticos

  1. Brilliant post. I think its quite clear that cash will not integrate a team into performance greatness. It has to come from within. Am also for the opinion that all these stars in a single team hurt the long-term outlook of the club. Consider the African Cup of Nations, Copa South America and Euro, it means that during such times, the club suffers for lack of players due to national commitments.

    These new noveau-riche owners also splash too much cash since club owning is the latest prefered toys by this club….. they don’t understand the passion, the business and the love to achieve greatness for such clubs. All they want is prestige of having a club in the EPL Top flight….. seems for ManCity owners, its a long way to go for that.

    • @mmnjug – I totally agree with you & with alot in this post. My first thought when I read the abt Man City being able to field 2 squads of internationals was how they’d survive with these players gone on international duty.

      Slowly, my interest in following the Prem league live is waning, coz alot of its mystic I reckon is fading. A rich person who wants, like u said, the prestige of having a club in the EPL top flight, can buy a club, and turn them into a “top 4” club almost overnight. If the owners say should get bored and up and leave, then little else will keep the club up.

      That said tho, I wish every club in the Prem league were owned by a rich fellow, then that way the predictability of the league would be out the window and maybe I’d find interest in watching the league live again. Till then, I’ll pick out my poorly Liverpool’s “traditionally” juicy games and follow the rest of their scores online, and keep watching the NFL which is less predictable year after year than the Prem League

      • City have a good squad, infact no other coach can boast of having such a team. Mancini needs to find a way of rotating his players, the season is long and there is still the Europa league, Premier league, FA cup. This team has great potential if he can get them to work as a unit, and he will be sure of a top 3 finish, history has showed us that come next year teams such as Arsenal are usually injury plagued with half the team out thru injury and suspensions. Good luck City.

    • The City owners are yet to understand that money will not buy success nor trophies, it is the team that does it. Roman Abramovich learned the hard way. It will take time before City can break even and will not need to depend on “Arab Money” that much, hope that day comes soon.

  2. Pingback: “Money Cant Buy Love”- Manchester City’s Struggles « Diasporadical

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