BBC BLOGS - Football Tactics
« Previous | Main | Next »

Silva delights as City add more punch

Post categories:

Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 00:26 UK time, Monday, 22 August 2011

Based on Manchester City's first two Premier League games, something seems to have shifted in the normally cautious mind of manager Roberto Mancini.

Actually, you can make that one-and-a-half matches because, since he introduced Sergio Aguero as a substitute to replace Nigel de Jong during the 4-0 win over Swansea in their opening fixture, City have looked close to unstoppable.

Granted, they will face sterner tests than they did against the Swans and Bolton, but in playing two strikers from the start at the Reebok Stadium, Mancini added deeds to his words after stating his intention to take more risks this season.

There were many reasons for the Italian to be cheerful: David Silva showed again why, according to Match of the Day pundit Lee Dixon, he is the Premier League's best playmaker; Edin Dzeko was able to receive the ball in wider areas in order to set up Aguero; and James Milner also took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half to give City added thrust when they needed it.

Strangely enough, having recorded the highest number of clean sheets last season, it was the defence which looked vulnerable against Bolton. But without the injured De Jong and playing a four-man midfield, that may be a consequence Mancini and City fans are willing to deal with.

Mancini has already stated that his team need 15 goals more than last year if they are to challenge for the Premier League title. So another pleasing aspect may be that they have struck seven in two games, while also doubling the average number of shots and their cross completion rate compared to last season, all without Carlos Tevez.

Tevez was named on the bench against Bolton but Mancini insists he has a future at the club. Where he will fit in is another question - against Bolton they demonstrated they can have several points to their attack.

Mancini will now be content he has the players to enable him to adopt several tactical options, while Samir Nasri may still join.

Towards the end of last season, Yaya Toure played a key role in supporting Tevez from a five-man midfield. Against Bolton, he played in a holding position, allowing Silva and Milner to join the front pair of Aguero and Dzeko from the flanks.

To try to pin Silva down to a position, however, is close to impossible. The method in which the Spaniard ghosts in from the right proves he operates along different lines to most footballers.

The angles of his runs to receive the ball - and those of his dribbles and passes - are often diagonally from right to left, as can be seen from the graphic below.

silva_bolton.jpg


And although he is very left-footed, the way he can cut inside defenders at speed means he is difficult to tackle, as it takes the opponent time to shift his body into position to be able to attempt a challenge.

The clever thing, too, is that by cutting into space inside, Silva almost always has his body between the defender and the ball, so even though he is slight, his frame forms a natural barrier.

Dixon said: "When you look at how City play, their midfield is so important to them, to how they move the ball and to how they move players around. I thought Milner and Barry played really well.

"Obviously Silva is going to take a lot of the plaudits because he was absolutely brilliant. The way he links the play is just fantastic and in terms of the Premier League's best playmakers, he was equal to Cesc Fabregas before he left Arsenal."

With regards to Dzeko, just two goals from 15 Premier League games last term led several to question the £27m City paid to sign him from Wolfsburg in January. But as with so many who move to the English top flight, it has taken time for the Bosnian forward to adjust.

He certainly looked a far different prospect on Sunday, twice teeing up Aguero either side of Silva's opener for what should have been relatively straightforward finishes, and he has now scored as many goals and set up as many chances as he did last season. In hustling Zat Knight and guiding the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen, he paired power and technique.

"He looks a different player to the one we saw last season," said former Arsenal, West Ham and Celtic striker John Hartson on Match of the Day 2. "And he looks like the perfect foil for Aguero. Already they have formed a great partnership and Dzeko is using his height and bulk, which we didn't see last season."

Importantly, Dzeko helped stretch the Bolton defence and that complemented City's surging and interchangeable midfield.

That Bolton stayed in the game was a credit to their persistence under manager Owen Coyle. But even he acknowledged the gulf in resources between the two sides by pointing out the personnel on the visitors' substitutes bench.

Buying the players is one thing but moulding them into a title-winning outfit is another. Yet, on this evidence, Mancini is developing his team into one with a lot more punch.

You can also discuss more tactical issues and follow me on Twitter

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Despite being a Spurs fan, I'm actually quite excited to see how Man City fare this season. If Mancini can finally get them playing as a team and go for more attacking football, which given their plethora of offensive options should be a no-brainer, then I feel they'll be a real credit to the Premiership, and great to watch besides. If they carry on the way they started they'll definitely give Man Utd a run for their money. Exciting stuff at the top.

  • Comment number 2.

    I hope the two City wins are a fluke! They have begun to worry like never before..

  • Comment number 3.

    Only the second game Alistair, but couldn't have asked for a better start. Despite all his goals, Tevez is a head down merchant once he gets the ball, and it seems he's only got one thing on his mind. The transformed Dzeko we've seen in the first 2 games is a completely different animal, and he is much more aware of the rest of the team. Up till now we've been relying on Carlos to find the target with those lone furrows, but of course he can't do it all the time, and last season Dzeko couldn't hold the ball up at all. And Mario...well....What we've seen in the first 2 games this though from Edin is the complete striker, where he not only holds it up, but develops and brings team mates into play, and scores! I think this was more the difference yesterday. Silva was tha same great player last season.

    Yesterday must have been Dzeko and Milner's best games for City. If Nasri comes, then we'll have someone in the same vein as David, and be nearer to the finished article. Come on City!

  • Comment number 4.

    How has Mancini got City playing so well!? By buying extremely good players. There's NOTHING else to it.

    It's time the Press stopped chasing headlines and follow the real success stories in this league.

    The managers keeping teams in the league on a shoe string, those who've secured their status and are pushing on for mid-table and beyond, even the likes of Ferguson, Redknapp and Wenger who only spend what they can afford have all achieved more than Mancini ever will at City.

    People talk about clubs buying success but if it's money they've earned who can begrudge them? When it's play money, hiking wages and unsettling players, where's the accomplishment?

    City fans will call me bitter but I'm just bored. If City win every trophy this year who cares, it's the least they should do.

  • Comment number 5.

    Exile Spur-Did you know that last weekend Man U's starting line up cost 5.8 million more than Man City's...?

  • Comment number 6.

    As a Bolton fan I struggled to appreciate Silva yesterday but have to say that citeh seem to have that aura that champions have. Hopefully, after our next home game (against THAT other team) we'll help them along to their first premier league title!!

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    I am still not covinced. Lets not get carried away as the media always does. Same was said about Chelsea last season. They win a few games with a healthy goal line while Man Utd stumbled through. Then look what happened.

    Man City played more open and attacking football but the understanding with the players still needs to improve. They still looked like individuals with a few exceptional performances. If Swansea had a goal scorer then last weeks match would have been a lot closer. 4-0 flattered City.

    People have got carried away with Aguero as well. Exceptional talent and is better than Tevez, but still has a lot to prove. He got two last week. However, he came on late when Swansea were beginning to tire. Effectively he acted like a super sub. He is very quick so Swansea just couldn't deal with that so late on. If he started the match and then was subbed off it would have been a different story.

    These two matches does not indicate how they will set up against tougher opposition. Will Mancini resort to parking the bus again against Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool? Remember last season against Blackpool they played attacking football and won comfortably. He may go with more positive football but im not sure.

    City certainly have the personel and the resources to be successful. They have spent a huge amount of money though, more than Chelsea and Utd have ever spent. I think City have eveything in place apart from the manager. For me Mancini hasn't improved on what Mark Hughes achieved (Hughes played more attractive football as well). I don't rate him as a top manager and I think this may cost City in the end. He shouldn't be given anytime now. When you spend over £200 million do you deserve more than a year?

  • Comment number 9.

    EddieHowe is completely right, it's very early in the season, much tougher tests to come and things have gone nicely for City. Lets review in another 5 games. (though i have to disagree about the Hughes comment! its personal)

    Interesting to read here about the cross completion doubling. Obviously it's hard to make that stat carry any weight just 2 games in but it's an interesting coincidence that Adam Johnson has been dropped and Kolarov told to stay back (or dropped) and the cross completion goes up. Johnson is very good and exciting but has huge deficits in his game, crossing being just abut the main one. He is good but currently overrated (or under-performing in relation to his talent).

  • Comment number 10.

    I guess if you start a game of monopoly with unlimited money, you should be able to beat your opponents eventually.

  • Comment number 11.

    You ask "How has Roberto Mancini turned side into potent force?"

    Err, money, perhaps?

  • Comment number 12.

    For the first time City have developed into a possible title winning side and there is still more players to come in. They need another centre back as dont think Lescott is top draw. Will be a very exciting race for premier league between Man U , Chelsea and City. At times yesterday Citys inter play was some of the best football ive seen for a long time just goes to show what can happen when you actually play a more attacking side.

    Very impressed with Silva, great players make the game look easy and he certainly does that. Will be very intersting to see how city fair in CL and against top Premiership teams. Bet Tevez is gutted that City actually look like they are a better side without him with everyone else playing more as a team rather than relying on one players ability to create goals from nothing.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think with the resources that Mancini had, he had to be one of the worst managers if he was not able to win convincingly against a newly promoted team and a midtable team. The real test comes when City face Spurs, Chelsea, United, Arsenal or Liverpool.

    WBA_Parera-Did you know that the starting line up that United put up last week was paid for by the revenue that the club generated rather than from a sugar daddy?

  • Comment number 14.

    Let's go back to your first sentence, 'two Premier league games'. I'm a City fan and have been since year dot. Remember Chelsea last season and their amazing goal-scoring start? Therefore, let's not get too carried away. However, after eon's of up's and down and more managers than I care to remember (and a spending spree to rival an entire country) isn't it great to be a City fan???

    There will always be the 'sour grapes' of rival fans and calls of 'The Game' being ruined. Quite fankly, let's look at Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal and how they have spent a fortune in the last 10 years. I think one can conclude that these are the main protaganists of financial inflation within the Premiership. How did they do this? Erm, Champions League income etc maybe? City are doing the same thing but in a shorter space of time.

    Silva, Aguero, Dzeko, Balotelli and Tevez....Do these guys really play for City? I must be dreaming!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Roberto Mancini and City have adopted a Chelsea-style (under Jose/Kenyon) transfer policy of seeing who the other top clubs may be interested in and offering ridiculous wages to them. The problem with buying players like this is that the likes of Nasri, Tevez, Balotelli, Johnson, Aguero, Dzeko, Silva etc aren't going to be happy playing second fiddle (half of them aren't happy playing first fiddle). Mancini has to rotate to stand a chance of keeping his players happy, but doing this will knock any momentum out of the side. I mean, who would you drop from yesterday's performance?

  • Comment number 16.

    No shortage of bitterness and jealousy on display in the comments section I see.

  • Comment number 17.

    Despite being a Manchester United fan, I think Manchester City is the only team in the UK capable of defeating Barcelona

  • Comment number 18.

    Lets ask the obvious question. Will Mancini set up his team in same attacking way against bigger teams??

    I hope so but think not, he has had one of the better squads in league for a few years now and has usually been defensive. With the talent on show does he really need Nasri??? Isn't Kaka available, u could prob get him for same cost as Nasri. Former world player of year, no contest

  • Comment number 19.

    WBA_Parera - Utd have earned every penny of the money they spend. Fergie has built a dynasty on top of trophies, he built their global fan base and fills a big stadium every week. The interesting thing about their debt is they are the only club in the world capable of servicing it!

    City... Well just what have they earned in the past few years? It's akin to steroids in sprinting in my opinion.

  • Comment number 20.

    City will always be 2nd to Man Utd. Even if they morgage a country or 6 to but their way to the title, which they should win with 38 Wins this season surely??

    Anything less then 1000 goals, and 5 conceded with 38 Wins is a total failure in City.

    This is coming from a Sad Blackburn fan.

  • Comment number 21.

    17.At 13:21 22nd Aug 2011, theflyinggiggs wrote:
    Despite being a Manchester United fan, I think Manchester City is the only team in the UK capable of defeating Barcelona



    City have played 3 games this season - Us, Swansea and Bolton. They were outplayed by us and outplayed Swansea and Bolton. From this you think they are capable of beating Barca? I'm not saying they aren't but cannot see any logic in your statement.

  • Comment number 22.

    Re: - Comment 17 'theflyinggiggs' - I believe City achieved this feat a couple of season's ago, albeit in a pre-season friendly. I wouldn't be too optimistic should we meet them in the Champions League this year though!!

  • Comment number 23.

    10. At 13:12 22nd Aug 2011, hudjer wrote:
    I guess if you start a game of monopoly with unlimited money, you should be able to beat your opponents eventually.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    LOL best comment i've seen in a while.

  • Comment number 24.

    4. At 12:58 22nd Aug 2011, Exile Spur wrote:
    When it's play money, hiking wages and unsettling players, where's the accomplishment?

    ---------------------------------------

    I have to agree.

    I can't get excited by Man City, nor their transfers, anymore. Balotelli was supposed to be the next big exciting player to take the league by storm - he is now a £24m bench warmer.

    It's not really a case of 'will they win the Premier League' anymore, it is a matter of 'when' - because if they don't do it this year they will spend again next summer, and while they are getting CL football and paying big wages they will attract players.

    And when it is that nailed on it lacks excitement.

  • Comment number 25.

    21.
    At 13:25 22nd Aug 2011, Born_Again wrote:

    He ment Barcelona B

  • Comment number 26.

    5.
    At 13:04 22nd Aug 2011, WBA_Parera wrote:

    Exile Spur-Did you know that last weekend Man U's starting line up cost 5.8 million more than Man City's...?
    ............................................................
    And they have net spend of £293m more than man utd. There wage bill is the highest in world football overtaking chelsea. I wouldn't be suprised if it now is 200m now a year on wages which is insane.

    They have bought adebayor balotelli silva tevez dzeko santa cruz as strikers on top of there robinho signing they got rid of for £14.9m/ £12.5m depending on actual fee.

    Fact is if man utd bought ronaldo for £80m, kaka for £50m, messi for £110m, villa for £50m we would still have a lower net spend than Man city since the premier league started. Thats another £290m worth of players on top of our squad so your comment means nothing.

  • Comment number 27.

    adamwp- You are forgetting the most important bit, the fortune that Man U and Liverpool spent over the last decade was generated by the club itself. You did not have the shareholders and now the owners (lol) of United or the Liverpool board putting in money into the club (and i would think you are out of touch of football if you believe Arsenal spent a fortune in the last decade)

    Chelsea's and City's victories will always seem hollow until they start generating their own income (legitimately i might add) Chelsea gave out the same reason a decade ago and are still struggling to break even. I think legitimately, City too have a very low chance of breaking even, even if they manage to become regulars in the Champions League

  • Comment number 28.

    EXile Spur- That has nothing to do with your original point. You were saying the only reason they're playing better this season compared to last is because they've spent big money on players during that time. Clearly a)only one of those players is in the starting line up, and b)as i said, regardless of the time frame of expendature their team is not massively expensive.
    Lord Tingi-See above

  • Comment number 29.

    How much money have Utd spent this year 70 Mill? What about Liverpool over the last 8 months? 100 Mill. Why do CITY get critized for improving their team? Mancini took over from Hughes and decided that some players in his squad were not his cup of tea, hence Adeybayor, Bellamy, Bridge and Hughes have not featured. What happens when Mike Phelan takes over from Fergie? Doe's he keep the players he inherited or will he bring the players in he wants?

    Liverpool paid 35 Million for Carol, why? becaues they believed it to be a good investment and worth the money. The same can go for Chelsea and Torres.

    To be honest I watched an awful lot of CITY last year and they are playing no differently, except they have a little more swagger following the belief born out of their FA cup triumph. Mancini likes his players to keep the ball and pass, we saw it last year when CITY beat, Fulham, West Ham, WBA, Bolton and Blackburn away from home. The better teams like Arsenal, UTD and Chelsea siffle your attacking prowless.

    Dzeko was great yesterday, holding the ball up and even chasing back 50 yards and winning a tackle. For those bloggers who fell CITY are not a team, take a trip to the CITY website and review the celebrations following the FA Cup win.

    In Mancini we trust and in CITY we believe. It's a fary cry from our days playing Macclesfield in our derby game. (Adversity brings strength)

  • Comment number 30.

    Manchester City have bought their way to title contention.. If they can fully gel then they have the quality to really trouble sides like Barcelona. It's sad that they chose to go down this route as if I was a Man City fan any silverware won with this side would feel hollow.. There is nothing left of the Man City side that was unmistakably mid-table 3-4 seasons ago every position has a world class player, I fear next season if this side win the Premier League and/or Champions League. They are attracting high calibre players as it is but you start winning the league and European tournaments and players like Ronaldo start becoming more realistic targets.

  • Comment number 31.

    What's the differnce between a benchwarmer and a squad player?

    If your on the bench your part of a squad. Players like Balotelli, Johnson, Glichy, are members of the squad who will play an importnat part in the CL, FA Cup, Carling Cup and PL.

  • Comment number 32.

    @WBA_Parera Yes, and how much of that money has been spent over the last 5-10 years?

    Of course Utds spending over the big picture will still be bigger. Theyve been spending sanely for years with money they earned with success.

    City have been spending insanely for the past 2-3 years since their sugar daddy came along.

    Honestly, Im expecting City to challenge just because I wouldnt be suprised if theyve spent near or over half a billion pounds on players and wages these past few years. Id hate to think how much the final figure is on top of everything else at City.

    Of course, Im expecting United to perform even better because winning is in Uniteds culture, theyve built a legacy on it, not tried to buy a legacy for it. The fact that this season all our big signings are youth development prospects is even better.

    Im not sure if City will beat Chelsea to second place (provided we dont screw up ourselves and gift one of the two the title this season), Demolishing Swansea at home was no accomplishment, and Bolton at times shifted between gifting City the win on a platter and challenging them for it themselves. But yes, Ive now squared with the fact that they will challenge in some respect. The ridiculous cash theyve splashed in around 24-36 months or so demands nothing less.

    The only thing Im clutching at now, besides the fact that we are still better when we play like we should, is City having champions league football.

    Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal are all hardened, proven CL contenders who still to this day struggle with competing in both. I recall last season everyone was all to eager to point out Tottenhams inexperience in the league, and Im expect City to receieve the same treatment this season, particularly if the results slump after CL games.

  • Comment number 33.

    Simples. £800-£900 million (and that's conservative). The higher this blue moon rises, the smaller the shadow it will throw - nothing earned, nothing learned - no legacy.

    At best a 3yr project until it is strangled by the new UEFA regulations.

  • Comment number 34.

    I don't rate the last two performances of city. least not yet(though it was a good n improved one coming from city). lets see how they are faring come christmas. then we come up with the blogs, comments n analysis.

    On paper maybe the squad can challenge Barcelona.... =-?

  • Comment number 35.

    I will put myself on the line by saying catergorically City will NOT win the PL this season. As long as Mancini is manager and the likes of Tevez and Ballotelli are there and indulged they will not win it. You need a settled dressing room which is united and as long as Mario and Carlos are there it spells trouble. Their defence looks weak and prone to giving the ball away when threatened.
    Too much money, too many egos and not enough fighters means they will fail.

  • Comment number 36.

    I would love it if Man city get banned from europe. I wonder if Man City somehow get away with it.
    http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2010/10/08/qa-on-financial-fair-play-and-the-mountain-manchester-city-have-to-climb/

    What makes me laugh is since 3 years ago Man utd won it Man City got new owners and now they will have the most expensive squad in the champions league (and they are newcomers) and net spend more than Real madrid when they play in the competition.

    If Man city don't at least go to a semi-final Man city will have underachieved with there resources.

  • Comment number 37.

    Man City have bought success, and in reality should have achieved a lot more by now than they have

    Hopefully the financial fair play rules come down hard on City to set an example that the league cannot simply be bought through others money. However, I doubt this will happen.

  • Comment number 38.

    Adam M, i think you, along with countless others, have a fairly popular point about City buying their way into the success and onto the top table

    BUT, with the way that the current competitions (especially champions league and financial fair play rules) encourage the status-quo to be maintained in terms of successful clubs, how is any team supposed to break the strangelhold?

    no top top player will want to go to anyone outside the champs league so how is this status quo ever broken?

    I for one think it's good that City are shaking things up, despite it being done through non-conventional profit methods.

  • Comment number 39.

    I am tired of this money arguement. Money is the same nomatter where it comes from. Does a £10 note from a cleaner buy more than a £10 note from a bank robber? Errm no. So whether Man U generated their own money or what it doesn't really matter. They still bought the best players on show at the time to be successful e.g. Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Jaap Stam ah the list is endless. Chelsea did it, Liverpool are doing it.

    But the bottom line is, none of these teams played as attractive football as City is playing right now. To be honest I haven't seen any player play as good as Silva since Ronaldinho.

  • Comment number 40.

    WBA_Parera - Sorry but my point wasn't related to this year in particular, I was simply answering the question "How has Mancini turned them into a potent force?"

    There is only one answer to that question, they bought good players.

    If you ask the same question of Utd do you think it's that simple?

    It's taken 20 years of dominance that all started on the football field and now, if necessary they can pay big wages when appropriate or refresh the team when the elder statesmen retire.

    That's my point. Can anyone really say the only reason Utd win so often is money? Can anyone really say City would be top 4 without the Sheikh?

  • Comment number 41.

    Manchester City have bought their way to title contention.. If they can fully gel then they have the quality to really trouble sides like Barcelona. It's sad that they chose to go down this route as if I was a Man City fan any silverware won with this side would feel hollow.. There is nothing left of the Man City side that was unmistakably mid-table 3-4 seasons ago every position has a world class player, I fear next season if this side win the Premier League and/or Champions League. They are attracting high calibre players as it is but you start winning the league and European tournaments and players like Ronaldo start becoming more realistic targets.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After 36 Years of frutility we win the FA Cup, there was nothing hollow about it. Can I tell you exactly how it felt??? "Absolutely Joyous".

  • Comment number 42.

    hafijur and Phlegmatic-you also seem to have missed my point. It was in response to a comment that the difference between this season's Man City and last is big spending. Obviously the difference between this season's Man City and 3 years ago IS massive spending but that's irrelevant to this blog or the comment I was responding to.

  • Comment number 43.

    VExile Spur-Then you missed the point of this Blog. Clearly money is what has improved the team over the last 3 seasons but that's not the question as only one player has been added to the starting line up in place of arguably their best player last season this window and yet they are playing different football.

  • Comment number 44.

    29.
    At 13:38 22nd Aug 2011, The Stepford Sheep wrote:
    'Mancini likes his players to keep the ball and pass'
    ......................................................
    Are you being serious. Man city tactics are to sit back and defend with numbers and nick a goal and sit back. They didn't attack at all against Arsenal Tottenham Chelsea away and got batterd in these games even at home Man utd Tottnham Chelsea Arsenal went there and City tactics that worked against tottenham and chelsea was to nick a goal on the break and sit back all game to the point City fans were embarrassed in the stadium.

  • Comment number 45.

    Early days yet.guys.early days! don't forget they will be playing in europe too.they might break along the way and don't tell me they have strength in-depth cos apart from tevez who was on the bench against bolton,the rest of thier squad are either overrated(balotelli),are average or just a lil above average(adam johnson).
    It is early days yet and they can't keep two goal advantages safe for longer periods of games(against ManUtd and Bolton),imagine when that time of the season is up.Their defenders are still lacking in some areas especially keeping their concentration for the whole 90minutes.If Swansea had a world-class striker and were not new to the premier league,the scoreline wouldn't have been 4-0...Imagine if they had played Bolton 1st then Swansea.do you honestly think they would have registered 7 goals already?

  • Comment number 46.

    Man City have brought this, brought that, no soul, bunch of individuals bla bla bla... same old same old! For years people have been saying the prem is boring because only a couple of teams win it and someone need's to do something about it, and Man U win again how boring... Finally some challengers emerge ( I include Chelsea relatively recently, City and even Spurs in that) and everyone moans about it being hollow and "cheating" Regardless of money it's good for football! All this Man U use their revenue rubbish is irritating too, regardless of revenue they still have to spend big to win, are you saying because they are a big club they are allowed to spend money but others are not? if no one ever spend money or "brought big" then we may as well have Man U and Liverpool playing each other week in week out and everyone else just watching (I say Liverpool because of their historic success)

    ....you either want lot's of teams challenging that involves spending big or just accept Man U to win every year because they have done in the past....Whats it to be?

  • Comment number 47.

    Yes I'll admit as a city fan that I'm uneasy about the money being spent at present. It's not so much the tranfer fees paid out, as fans of Utd, & Chelsea have spent large sums on transfers. It's more the wages being paid out surely aren't sustainable in the long term. City will attract jealousy and bitterness from other fans, but I'm delighted that as a fan we have genuine title aspirations this season. It's not too long ago that when Chelsea won the premiership the media started to give them credit for being a top football team. The mention of money seemed to evaporate. Don't forget it's not the players fault that City pay such high wages, but I'm starting to see, as the rest of the media that City play good football and are an attractive team to watch.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm not getting into the money debate, where are we where are.I would like to comment on how comparable city's formation reminded me of Barca's.

    Even the big guy up front did not play so forward at times, they seem'd well spread and pulled Bolton out of position.Who I thought set out a good stall last night and were quite organized.

    City are maturing and appear to be shaping up well in what they are working towards.still two more years at the least of competing all season will see them
    gain the experience to win a title.

    Going to be a great season ...... good luck all.

  • Comment number 49.

    Exile Spur, Mancini is only spending what he can afford too, just as managers in the lower leagues are only spending what they can afford, a lot less than Wenger, Rednapp, Ferguson, et al. I had to endure Alan Parry yesterday going on....and on....and ON...about the cost of Bolton's players compared to City's, and how Chelsea were another example of how money talks, and he didn't mention United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Portsmouth on their Cup run, Milton Keynes, Crawley, ONCE! Not to mention numerous others.

    Keep harping back to it, but there was a report in the summer that all bar 4 PL clubs were living beyond their means, and were being propped up by sugar daddies. And with the financial advantages of London weighting, not forgetting it was you guys got the Gekko greed ball rolling with floating on the stock exchange, you got Paul Gascoigne to sign by buying his parents a house, and you have Arry as your boss, and you're complaining about hiking wages and unsettling players, you've got to be having a larf! Not to mention your rewriting of history about sugar daddies never having bankrolled the Greedy 14, or however many it is these days. And no sooner is Wenger angry about Nasri being unsettled,then there he is 'unsettling' M'Vila at Rennes.

    I'm no more bored watching City win with great players than anyone else doing it. In fact, I'm absolutely loving it!

  • Comment number 50.

    Hilarious to see the bitters out in force on here.

    You can have the best players in the world, but without a decent manager to man manage them, organise the tactics and build team spirit you won't win anything. That especially includes the marathon that is the EPL. Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you that, and all your whining does is indicate your ignorance and impotent rage.

    If the G14 hadn't fixed the CL to ensure a regular income stream for the likes of Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool, the it wouldn't be necessary for clubs to find big financial backers to break into the CL closed shop.

  • Comment number 51.

    @ swindonbluearmy wrote 'Regardless of money it's good for football!'

    How is it good for football? Man City have players rotting away in the squad that could be benefiting other teams elsewhere, making more teams more exciting to watch. Plus, what about Man City's academy, do you really see any young players being brought through under Mancini's reign. So how is this good for football? It has just led to another team challenging at the top and increasing the gap between the top and bottom through the ridiculous wages that Man City pay.

  • Comment number 52.

    41.
    At 13:48 22nd Aug 2011, The Stepford Sheep wrote:

    After 500Million pounds plus of investment, all you could "Buy"/"Win" was the FA Cup and your happy?? Surely 500Million should "buy"/"Win" the League?? 3 years of huge and heavy investment and all you managed was the FA CUP!! And Just at that!! Portsmouth won it in 2008 without 500 Million investment for the lords sake!

    If you dont win the Champions League and Premier League by a Whitewash of wins and no loses then Man City have failed.

    City doesnt warranty being in the top 4.

  • Comment number 53.

    Someone saying they are sad City chose to go down this route? Ok, but the club didn't choose to be bought by a rich man. And I think most people are honest enough to admit that they would be happy if their club had a wealthy benefactor.

    Someone mentioned monopoly (made me smile by the way, there's a certain truth to it). It interesting because even where it was through earned cash the previous top 4 (Chelsea, ManU, Liverpool, Arsenal) had a monopoly on success through champions league revenue etc. If new money didn't come into the premier league, the mechanism wouldn't be there for other clubs to succeed. As soon as a smaller club would develop some talent, then one of the big 4 would buy them. It doesn't matter how it's achieved, a monopoly is still a monopoly.

  • Comment number 54.

    Pre PL 1992, money divided fairly equally.

    post 1992, money, advertising, sponsorship all based on TV appearences so guess who benefited most and some would say stole money from the other clubs?

    Yes step forward the break away Big Five Spurs, Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool) but the biggest beneficiary of all Man Utd who got richer and richer at everyone elses expense, who could pay inflated wages and transfer fees to stay at the top and keep their revenue streams flush.

    So the dice were loaded but now City and Chelsea have money they dont like it and cry "but we earned our money" but did they? Or did they steal away the money that would have gone to other clubs if Man Utd hadnt got saturation Sky coverage?

    I know what i think but i will let you be the judge.

  • Comment number 55.

    5. At 13:04 22nd Aug 2011, WBA_Parera wrote:
    Exile Spur-Did you know that last weekend Man U's starting line up cost 5.8 million more than Man City's...?

    -----------------

    ok fair do's. but wasn't the money spent by United money which they have gathered from the previous decade's success?
    whereas the money City spent came from??....

    yeah ill let you fmull over that one...

  • Comment number 56.

    After 36 Years of frutility

    -------------------------

    Dare we ask what FRUTILITY is?

  • Comment number 57.

    @51


    ...Umm Our academy is producing excellent players and always has done, Richards is an excellent player and came through the academy... Joe hart cost about 50p a few years ago too, There are not a lot of players "rotting" away... have you seen the Chelsea, Man U bench? are their players also rotting away?

    Re your last point it's not increasing the gap at the top it's adding to the top... Surely a top 6/7 is better that a top4?

    City are just the new boys to be battered by the press and bitter "fans" just the same as Chelsea were a few years back @49 makes a good point also!

  • Comment number 58.

    @ prophet_samuel, You are not describing a monopoly. A monopoly is one club dominating. You are describing an Oligopoly. And through your logic how did Spurs manage to get a top 4 spot?

  • Comment number 59.

    City will win the PL this season and dominate for years to come.

    I'm not a fan - merely an observation.

  • Comment number 60.

    39.At 13:48 22nd Aug 2011, tgtaxi wrote:
    I am tired of this money arguement. Money is the same nomatter where it comes from. Does a £10 note from a cleaner buy more than a £10 note from a bank robber? Errm no. So whether Man U generated their own money or what it doesn't really matter. They still bought the best players on show at the time to be successful e.g. Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Jaap Stam ah the list is endless. Chelsea did it, Liverpool are doing it.

    But the bottom line is, none of these teams played as attractive football as City is playing right now. To be honest I haven't seen any player play as good as Silva since Ronaldinho.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Spot on!

    Silva has been magnificent since he joined CITY. If Modic is worth 35 Million what price for Silva?

  • Comment number 61.

    Frankly the responses are quite predictable here. A blog asking how almost the same team is playing different football is met with the standard, "CITY ARE SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY!!" "IT'S A DISGRACE!!" "LOOK HOW MAN U DID IT OVER TIME". Seriously?! Watching that team play yesterday was the most exciting football this league has seen in it's very early couple of weeks. As a West Brom fan with little concern over what happens at the top of the table it's great to see a team mix it up a bit whilst at the same time playing instinctive, cutting football like that. Long may it continue.

  • Comment number 62.

    Even as a staunch Manchester United supporter, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching City yesterday. Yes there are areas of the club open to criticism, but if that is the way they play this season. Good luck to them.

  • Comment number 63.

    @57 swindonbluearmy You have named two players that were already being brought through before this massive spending occurred, could you name any more? Also compare City to United, Liverpool or Arsenal in terms of the amount of academy produced players in their team.

    In terms of players rotting I am talking about: Cruz, Wright-Phillips, Bellamy, Adebayor and i'm sure there are many more.

  • Comment number 64.

    Man U fans starting to get a little worried I think... If there was no investors or club buyers Man U would continue to buy the best players from their CL revenue and would be forever untouchable... If it wasn't for investors the top 4 would be the top 4 forever more... regardless of how/why/when this is fantastic for everyone else in the PL!

  • Comment number 65.

    Kang Dae Sung-Let me point you in the direction of many of my replies to others making the same comment. Read what the point is before you dive in with an irrelevant comment and then sign off trying to sound smart....

  • Comment number 66.

    You pundits never cease to amaze me. Last season CFC had a relatively light starting fixture list and by mid-November some of you had declared them Champions elect. The more patient fans decided to wait until the fixtures got tougher. Well ManCity is in a similar position right now. I am sure had ManCity had an early fixture list involving any 2 out of Arse***, CFC, ManU, Spurs, LFC the story would have been different.

    All I can say for now is "Let Mancini and his boys enjoy the sun while it shines, believe you me the going will get much tougher"

  • Comment number 67.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    41. The Stepford Sheep wrote:
    After 36 Years of frutility we win the FA Cup, there was nothing hollow about it. Can I tell you exactly how it felt??? "Absolutely Joyous".
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Good luck to the long suffering City fans, but unless your club can build on the initial cash-injection to make something more sustainable, I wonder if that FA Cup win it'll be remembered in the same way as Blackburn's Premiership title? Sure it's there in black and white in the record books, and Blackburn fans will still have fond memories, but does anyone outside of Ewood Park view it as anything more than a bit of a joke?

  • Comment number 68.

    54.
    At 14:03 22nd Aug 2011, jam tomorrow wrote:
    You do know Man utd net spend from 1992-1998 was nothing. Man utd mainly relied on the likes of giggs scholes becham neville. When we bought we sold as much if not more in value. Fact is with our revenue and success we spent less than Man city from 1992-1998 and in this period Liverpool spent more as well. So surely we should of finished below these teams.

  • Comment number 69.

    It's interesting how 'earned success' is often banded around. There's not been a level playing field for some time now, maybe ever. But once Sky came in, the larger clubs were best placed to build on a bedrock of already being more financially privileged - whether that be because of larger support, more shirt sales, an owner/set of share holders who are prepared to put in their own money or a club's banks being prepared to back an overdraft. There hasn't existed, for many years now, a 'fair' system. Without outside investment we'd effectively be looking at a permanent situation where the established old top four remained that way. Even Spurs broke into the top 4 on the back of huge spending which eclipsed City's during our takeover season. To suggest that a side could break into the top 4, meaningfully, or at all, just wouldn't happen via romantic notions of being a strong organised side being payed sensible wages. The problem nowadays: serious money being the only way now to win anything meaningful, isn't City's fault.

  • Comment number 70.

    I thought Silva was the best player in the Premiership last season having watched pretty much all of the top five team's matches. Wasn't really surprised when he wasn't even amongst the running for the YPOTY that Bale got. He's not the kind of player that you normally see on MOTD. Bit like Scholes, who never got received as much hype as Lampard or Gerard since he wasn't involved in too many goals.

    Having said that he will be a big miss for City if he gets injured. He's involved in pretty much every attack.

  • Comment number 71.

    61.
    At 14:08 22nd Aug 2011, WBA_Parera wrote:

    Man city have been outspending Man utd most transfer seasons since the premier league started especially the 90's.

  • Comment number 72.

    56.At 14:03 22nd Aug 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    After 36 Years of frutility

    -------------------------

    Dare we ask what FRUTILITY is?

    -------------------------

    An honest typo? Or a new healthy lifestyle option incorporating ones 5 a day? :)

  • Comment number 73.

    I think City will win the EPL this season. It's been a while coming, but they look the real deal now. If they get Nasri as well that will be it. Man U have not strengthened in midfield despite SAF admitting that was his priority, as they cannot afford the star names like Schjneider. I don't think they are strong enough any more to win the EPl.

  • Comment number 74.

    hajifur..I didn't write that...?

  • Comment number 75.

    58.At 14:03 22nd Aug 2011, Swollennoodle wrote:
    @ prophet_samuel, You are not describing a monopoly. A monopoly is one club dominating. You are describing an Oligopoly. And through your logic how did Spurs manage to get a top 4 spot?

    --------------------------------

    Didn't Harry buy the Portsmouth team? And Spurs gained the place Liverpool thew away, which they would have gained back in a season or two. Anyway thanks for the correction. Regardless of the technicalities of what I'm describing I think you get the point. There was a fixed top table, and breaking the stranglehold without fresh money coming in would have been nigh on impossible.

  • Comment number 76.

    It's a shame that, again, the conversation has turned back to money in football rather than what the blog was about, which was David Silva. Watching him since he joined City has been a privelege, the speed in which he spots a pass and his movement is just sublime.

    I'm glad that Dzeko has started playing well as well, given the right service he will be a very good player for us. When he came in to the team, we were still set up as if Tevez was playing up front, which played to none of Dzeko's strengths.

    Regarding the money in football thing, yet again, I'll just say that this is nothing new, it has happened since the start of football and will continue to happen. If we are guilty of ruining football, so is any club that has had outside investment in the past, so Arsenal, United, Everton, AC Milan, Barcelona, Villa to name a few were all guilty of this a long time before we were.

    Even taking that into account, I would argue that investment in football from other factors such as Sky and the CL has done as much to create a non-level playing field as the occasional sugar daddy has...

  • Comment number 77.

    68.At 14:13 22nd Aug 2011, hafijur wrote:
    54.
    At 14:03 22nd Aug 2011, jam tomorrow wrote:
    You do know Man utd net spend from 1992-1998 was nothing. Man utd mainly relied on the likes of giggs scholes becham neville. When we bought we sold as much if not more in value. Fact is with our revenue and success we spent less than Man city from 1992-1998 and in this period Liverpool spent more as well. So surely we should of finished below these teams.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Hmmm Cantona was cheap £1m give you that, Roy Keane £3m, Andy Cole £8mish, David May £1.5m, cannot recall others in that period Parker, Ince, Webb, Phelan, Pallister, Bruce, Kancheslkis, Wallace, Schmeichel pre 92 buys.

  • Comment number 78.

    So a rough summary from the United and Liverpool fans is that teams are only allowed to compete with them if they do so at a major financial disadvantage....

    Who was it that instigated the Champions League? Wasn't it the threat of a break away European league from the big G14 clubs who wanted all of the TV money? Weren't United and Liverpool members of that cartel?

    Most true football fans would like an open league like we used to have back in the 60s and 70s, but such has been the financial clout of clubs like United that every season has started for nearly 20 years with only 1 or 2 potential winners.
    Their ability to bully the transfer market meant that all of the best players went to 2 or 3 clubs and that was that. For example £30M for Rio - probably the equivalent of £60+M now by comparison.
    The only feasible way to break the monotony was for sugar daddies to bankroll big spending sprees and such is the profile that the EPL and CL have, that high rollers see it as an interesting place to play with their billions.

    Some will say that the new Fair Play rules will level things up but the truth is that they are there to redress the balance back in favour of the G14 again, which is exactly what will happen.

    Ultimately it's fun to see how the bullies are now squealing when they are being hunted down. Anyone else noticed how the language has changed as well now that Ferguson is not the bully of the transfer market. Dont get me wrong the man is a genius when it comes to building teams and spotting talent, but why is an expensive player only good value when he buys them?

    I hope that if City do win the title this year it is done with style and generosity - the latter is sadly lacking in the old guard!

  • Comment number 79.

    WBA_Parera
    I know but you just put that Man utd have been doing it over a long period of time but City outspent us virtually every transfer window from 92-98

  • Comment number 80.

    hajifur..No i didn't..I was quoting the predicatble saying "LOOK HOW MAN U BUILT THEIR TEAM OVER TIME.."

  • Comment number 81.

    United fan here.

    Yes City have spent lots of money, but rather than complain about it I think it's good to have the competition, and it's a priviledge to have to have players like Silva playing in the PL, however they got here.

  • Comment number 82.

    As a Spurs supporter I love to watch Silva play, he and Modric share much in common in both stature and intricacy. You could see last season that here
    was a special talent and he seems to be even better this year. I Saw above that
    someone feels City have no chance of winning the PL this season, well I for one
    wouldn't bet against it.

  • Comment number 83.

    56.At 14:03 22nd Aug 2011, PetShopBoys_Forever wrote:
    After 36 Years of frutility

    -------------------------

    Dare we ask what FRUTILITY is?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry mate, It's early here!

    Futillity, is that better?

  • Comment number 84.

    Those griping at City for spending money are venting at the wrong target anyhow. City have been a big fish on the radar financially for the last 3 seasons. But the PL and CL had become what they are today long before then (ie, money-centric). City are just playing to the rules someone else invented.

  • Comment number 85.

    I for one am disappionted that the media have finally realised how good Silva is, it means the likes of Robinson and Davies of Bolton will be putting in career threatening studs first hacks on him even more oh and going unpunished!

    BTW Really looking forward to the Man U v Spurs game tonight, United look good going forward but dodgy at the back, could Spurs get their first win at OT since 1989?

  • Comment number 86.

    Only problem is, Manchester City aren't really a football team any more are they?

    Why don't we just sell them the title, because they won't stop spending until they get it. Utterly ridiculous.

    Manchester City fans, a genuine question - doesn't your success feel like a hollow victory? For so many years you have harked on about being "the alternative" or "the proper Manchester club", but now you seemed to have turned your backs on that mantra in favour of the relentless desire for success, revelling in the simple fact that you have virtually unlimited money. If you win anything, you haven't earned it, you've bought it. Yes, Chelsea did it before you, but to a lesser extent, and Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have never done what City are doing.

    And for the record, I don't support any of these teams listed above, I am an objective football supporter, who feels that the Blue half of Manchester are nothing but detrimental to English football as a spectacle.

  • Comment number 87.

    Most of you seem to have a short term memory.
    Actually Fergie spent fortunes on his team during his first couple of years in charge of ManU. Although it was before the PL was formed he did it nonetheless. I'm not really sure what you guys are on about. ManU used to (and still do) buy every player that played well against them, but now suddenly it's a problem if ManC are doing it?!
    To me it seems that ManU are the only team that's allowed success and ManC and CFC should just buy average players from the Championship or even lower leagues, just to make sure the same team wins the league every year!
    And those of you shouting about revenue money vs. rich owner's money, what's the differance? To me it seems like revenue money is more worth or what? And where was that revenue money when Fergie was spending over his head during the 80's, breaking transfer records year after year or is it only revenue money after they started winning something with the team bought the same way that City is doing that counts?
    I have a lot of friends that support ManU and I must say most of them believe that winning PL title is their god given right and that if some other teams put up a challenge they're automatically bad guys and they have to find some lame excuse to their success as being bought or something when most of them know they did it the same way!
    So pathetic!

  • Comment number 88.

    And Mr Fahaji, self praise is no praise. I feel you are nothing but detrimental to the concept of sincerity.

  • Comment number 89.

    86.At 14:40 22nd Aug 2011, MrFahaji wrote:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mr Fahaji.

    I'm a CITY fan, been one for over 40 years, seen the good days of Lee, Bell, Doyle and Sumerbee and the bad days of 3rd tier football.

    In the dark days of 3rd tier football CITY still recorded crowds above 25,000. Football is a form of entertainment? If your now asking me if I feel "Hollow" about watching a better form of entertainment "your having a laugh".

    The movement and the pace at which CITY moved the ball yeterday was fantastic and yes, we played many games last year in the same mode. It's only 2 games in but their are "Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3".

  • Comment number 90.

    This is a joke they must have spent close to a billion over the past few years and the wage bill is a joke too. Yet despte all this they still aren't a patch on United. When we meet the game is dominated by one team - Fergie's Team.

    Mancini got lucky with cash otherwise they'd struggle to make Europe with his tactics.

    Cleverley and Anderson in the mid bossed them around at Wembley, imagine if we get Sneijder..

  • Comment number 91.

    17

    lol, maybe your right but i'd bet you 100 virtual pounds they wouldn't?

  • Comment number 92.

    90.At 14:50 22nd Aug 2011, KR - No More, No Less wrote:
    This is a joke they must have spent close to a billion over the past few years and the wage bill is a joke too. Yet despte all this they still aren't a patch on United. When we meet the game is dominated by one team - Fergie's Team.

    Mancini got lucky with cash otherwise they'd struggle to make Europe with his tactics.

    Cleverley and Anderson in the mid bossed them around at Wembley, imagine if we get Sneijder..

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your a funny man.

    What happened in the game that mattered? The FA Cup semi-final??

    " One Hundred Trillion $$$$$$$$$" Austin Powers, per your comment.

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    Spurs' team costing about £200m - it is one of the most expensively assembled squads in Europe. That's why they are challenging for the top 4.

    People need to face the facts that you need serious money to compete for a top 4 place. Even Arsenal can still offer bigger transfer fees and higher wages than most other PL teams outside the top 6.

    I'm not a Manchester City fan, but it's absurd all the sour grapes being shown by rival fans because City have raised the bar in terms of spending.

    The traditional ''Sky 4'' have had their noses put out of joint, because now one team is doing to them, what they have been doing to the other 88 league teams for the last few years!

  • Comment number 95.

    RE:

    60. At 14:06 22nd Aug 2011, The Stepford Sheep wrote:
    39.At 13:48 22nd Aug 2011, tgtaxi wrote:
    I am tired of this money arguement. Money is the same nomatter where it comes from. Does a £10 note from a cleaner buy more than a £10 note from a bank robber? Errm no. So whether Man U generated their own money or what it doesn't really matter. They still bought the best players on show at the time to be successful e.g. Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Jaap Stam ah the list is endless. Chelsea did it, Liverpool are doing it.

    But the bottom line is, none of these teams played as attractive football as City is playing right now. To be honest I haven't seen any player play as good as Silva since Ronaldinho.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Spot on!

    Silva has been magnificent since he joined CITY. If Modic is worth 35 Million what price for Silva?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OMG. Never read such drivel as that from these above. Silva is a very good player, but the best since ronaldinho????? WHAAAAAAAAAAT. Have you lot never watched anything other than MOTD for the past decade then? Have you lot never heard of Ronaldo, Messi, Zidane, Kaka (not so much now), Xavi, Iniesta?????

    I've heard some statements in my time but that is RIDICULOUS!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    I may as well say it now, yes I am a Manchester United fan but I won't talk about how the club has been financed as in some way it doesn't matter. United went on the stock market at the right time compared to other clubs and managed to make its own spending power grow. If other clubs could not get money or investment it would be a very boring league in which United would of probably won for the last ten season, then it would of been the new SPL. People on here saying 'they have brought success', well yes that how you get success. Blackburn in 1995, United is the biggest club in the world due to global investment, Barcelona invested in their youth dramatically and looks at their rewards now.

    City are in a very good position right now in terms in squad size and quality but I still think a squad of individuals rather than a team. I mean buying Nasri, a very good player but where exactly do you fit him in the squad? Oh yes, where Silva is playing, who is the same quality as Nasri, and been MOTM for the last two games, so what is the point of buying him?

    I thought Silva and Milner had very good games yesterday but a good performance against Bolton doesn't warrant your team the one of the best in the world, or as an apparent United fan said on here, can beat Barcelona. Cannot see where this can come from considering they crumbled against United in the second half of the charity shield with the likes of Cleverly on the pitch.

    City don't need to buy anyone else at the moment, they should sell the over-rated bench warmers (or some of the reserves now!). In my view Balotelli is a great player but he needs a stable environment and needs to be starting. Adebayor, Bellamy, Bridge the list could go on. If they did this it would keep the tops players at the club much happier as there is less threat to their own position in the starting line-up.

    I look forward to the Champions League as it will be interested how they do, in my view the defense is still a bit weak, although a very good goalkeeper. City conceded two goals against Bolton, from circumstances that didn't look threatening, especially the first. This will punish you dearly in the CL.

    Just remember the Premier League is won over 38 games rather than your first games against much weaker opposition (for PL standard anyway).

  • Comment number 97.

    silva just needed someone in the same mould as him to work with the slick passing he produce's, now he has that in aguero you will see the difference in play.

  • Comment number 98.

    29. At 13:38 22nd Aug 2011, The Stepford Sheep wrote:
    Why do CITY get critized for improving their team? Mancini took over from Hughes and decided that some players in his squad were not his cup of tea, hence Adeybayor, Bellamy, Bridge and Hughes have not featured. What happens when Mike Phelan takes over from Fergie? Doe's he keep the players he inherited or will he bring the players in he wants?

    =====================================

    Presumably he'll sell those he doesn't want and use the money to buy the ones he does want.

    The criticism people have here is that Mancini can't sell off the players he doesn't want due to their ridiculous contracts, but rather than work with those players, they get benched or loaned or dumped in the reserves and new ones are brought in.

    You'd be a fool to think that the Utd owners would allow a new manager to simply drop the old managers players to the reserves and spend their money buying replacements.

    Even the £100m people say Liverpool have spent ignores the £50m+ they made selling players.

  • Comment number 99.

    92.
    At 14:54 22nd Aug 2011, The Stepford Sheep wrote:

    90.At 14:50 22nd Aug 2011, KR - No More, No Less wrote:
    This is a joke they must have spent close to a billion over the past few years and the wage bill is a joke too. Yet despte all this they still aren't a patch on United. When we meet the game is dominated by one team - Fergie's Team.

    Mancini got lucky with cash otherwise they'd struggle to make Europe with his tactics.

    Cleverley and Anderson in the mid bossed them around at Wembley, imagine if we get Sneijder..

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your a funny man.

    What happened in the game that mattered? The FA Cup semi-final??

    " One Hundred Trillion $$$$$$$$$" Austin Powers, per your comment.

    Man City won the FA Cup and didnt even reach the Final of the Euro league, Man Utd Won the Premier League and reached the Final of the Champions League..

    With EVEN more spending, Man City lose 3-2 to Man Utd, and are out played by 2 average teams just to become lucky with some goals in their favour.. Yeah a true Champion Team.. HAHAHAHA, City are pretty much the biggest loser in all forms.

    Man Utd known worldwide, Man City are unheard of beyond Runcorn..

  • Comment number 100.

    67.At 14:13 22nd Aug 2011, dudesteven_g wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    41. The Stepford Sheep wrote:
    After 36 Years of frutility we win the FA Cup, there was nothing hollow about it. Can I tell you exactly how it felt??? "Absolutely Joyous".
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Good luck to the long suffering City fans, but unless your club can build on the initial cash-injection to make something more sustainable, I wonder if that FA Cup win it'll be remembered in the same way as Blackburn's Premiership title? Sure it's there in black and white in the record books, and Blackburn fans will still have fond memories, but does anyone outside of Ewood Park view it as anything more than a bit of a joke?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Or to translate - If United win the title it's a triumph for football and anyone else basically just doesn't belong there and it's a bit of a joke.

    The thing that made the old pre- EPL title race exciting was that although there were strong teams, their dominance tended to be relatively short lived. It used to be like the Championship is now. Ask 10 people to name their top 4 in the Championship and you'll get half of the league mentioned. That is potentially an exciting league! Surely the idea that there are 6 realistic contenders (OK so Spurs might be big outsiders) is better than the days when we all knew who would be the top 4 a few years back. Maybe the way forward is to allow the whole thing to become a billionaires playground - Everton, Villa, etc will all get sugar daddies and we'd have a division which was genuinely competitive.

    Alternatively put all of the EPL and CL income for English clubs into a pot and divide by 20 and set that as the most that clubs can spend on salaries and transfers. Completely level playing field. United wouldn't be keen of course as it limits their clout....

 

Page 1 of 3

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.