English Premier League – Man. City 2011 Preview
Manchester City has consistently year after year remained in the shadow of its cross-town rival, and for some very obvious reasons. But new ownership changed that with deep pockets and gutsy player transfers that catapulted the Blues to a third place finish last season. But will City get the results from this season’s crop of players?
Odds to win the 2011-12 Premiership outright 7/2
City boss Robert Mancini, who is known for his temperamental attitude toward his players, has assembled a team that fits his attitude and persona perfectly. It appears that he wanted to create a team in his image with the type of players that fill his roster, and he will need to keep a close on his players, preaching levelheadedness.
One of the most notable players with a penchant for trouble is Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli played in just 17 total league games last year, but somehow still managed to receive six yellow cards as well as a red card. The 20-year old has all the attributes needed to be a top-class striker, but often lets his off-field issues affect his game. It will be up to Mancini to channel his young strikers aggression in a positive direction.
This is also the case for Emmanuel Adebayor who will return for another stint with the club, having played during the offseason on loan with Real Madrid. Adebayor is a very talented player but hasn’t gotten the chance to show what he can do because of his issues with attitude and work ethic.
And while you would think that having a side stacked with such talented international superstars may help the Blues chances at grabbing a long overdue EPL title, it has proven to have the adverse effect as the club continues to search for its chemistry.
Getting off to a solid start will go along for Man City, because if the team falters early in the season, they could completely collapse, because of what will be a intense locker room atmosphere.
Looked upon to help mitigate those tense moments and guide the team in the right direction will be veteran keeper Joe Hart. A vocal player both on and off the field, Hart, who only conceded 33 goals in 38 games and is expected to improve even those numbers with the help from Vincent Kompany, a reliable and versatile defender, who leads the defensive back.
However, despite a solid defense, the team will rise or fall on the toe of Tevez who , scored 20 goals last year. He will no doubt be expected to improve those numbers but it will interesting to see if he can shed the issues that along with a questionable work ethic and attitude, has held him back from rising to the status of one of football’s elite.
Matt’s Man City Prediction:
Manchester City has all the right ingredients to win the Premier League this season. However, personal issues and work ethic from some of its key players could make or break this side. Nevertheless, I do expect the Blues to finish in the top three or four regardless.
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