Football Season Guide

Manchester City


Emanuel Adebayor (att), Tottenham - loan), Roque Santa Cruz (att), Betis - return from loan), Jack Rodwell (mid), Everton)


Owen Hargreaves (mid), Stuart Taylor (gk), Wayne Bridge (def), Brighton), VladimĂ­r Weiss (mid), Pescara), Greg Cunningham (def), Bristol City)

Manchester City start the season as defending champions and now the big challenge ahead of Roberto Mancini and his men is to show that they have the character and consistency to claim the title again now that the drought was ended in the most dramatic of ways in the last seconds of the previous campaign. The City fans should never have gone through that sort of ordeal against QPR but that only made the success sweeter and they are certainly hungrier for more in the coming season. Mancini is setting his sights on a better Champions League campaign this time around and it remains to be seen whether he has the squad to really go the distance on two fronts. It has been a very quiet summer on the transfer front so far with the previously lavish spending nowhere to be seen this time around due to the fear within the board that City will not manage to comply with the financial fair play rules. Mancini has made his anger plain at the lack of signings and after the deal for Daniel Agger stalled, they moved in to agree a fee for Jack Rodwell from Everton who is to complete a move next week. He is not the superstar expected to arrive but is a talented player and could realise his potential if given the chance. Still, there are areas where the is not enough cover and this must be a worry for Mancini. That said, if the likes of Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Joe Hart stay fit for most of the campaign, City will take some stopping and are definitely the team to beat in the Premiership. As for Europe, the lack of a deep-lying playmaker who can find holes in the opposition defence is a big hindrance and that is why they are unlikely to make too much of a mark there.


Winning the title seems the main objective again and with the experience of having done that already, City are the main favourites for a reason.